The 2018 Oscar nominees are made up of a mix of stand-out relative newcomers and well-respected veterans. But they all had to start somewhere.
Among those vying for a statue at this year’s Academy Awards are the likes of 22-year-old Timothee Chalamet in his first nomination as well as more seasoned greats such as Meryl Streep, 68, who has racked up a record-breaking 21 nominations over her career.
As they learn who among them will walk away with the top prizes, FEMAIL looks back at the roles that helped break these talented individuals into the tough world of Hollywood stardom.
Look below to see just how much these actors and actresses have changed from their early big breaks to their most recent Oscar-worthy roles.
The difference 35 years makes: Willem Defoe’s very first credited role was as Vance in 1982’s Loveless (left), and now the 62-year-old is up for the Best Supporting Actor statue for his performance in The Florida Project (right)
On the up: Richard Jenkins, pictured right last month, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor in The Shape Of Water, began as a theater performer before landing initial roles in Silverado and Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters (left) in 1986
Paying off: Octavia Spencer (pictured right last month) is a household name today and up for Best Supporting Actress, but started her career with small roles in the likes of A Time To Kill, The X-Files and 1999’s Never Been Kissed (left)
Long way: Sally Hawkins might be up for Best Actress for her performance as a mute woman in The Shape of Water, but landed her first major role in 2002’s All Or Nothing, where she played the teenage daughter of a minicab driver (left)
Big hitters: The Shape of Water has produced no less than three Oscar-nominated onscreen performances between Sally, Richard and Octavia
From horror to honors: Sam Rockwell hit screens for the first time back in 1989 in horror film Clownhouse (left) and tonight is up for his very first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor aged 49
Well-respected: Frances McDormand’s debut role was in 1984’s Blood Simple, directed by her husband Joel Cohen, and has since already picked up a Best Actress gong for 1997’s Fargo
Facing off: Sam and Frances, 60, are nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Best Actress respectfully for their roles as a local cop and a grieving mother in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Launch pad: Woody Harrelson is still best known by many for his very first role as the affable bartender that shares his name in Cheers, which he played from 1985 to 1993, but is far less friendly in his latest nominated role of Sheriff Bill Willoughby
All up together: Like Shape of Water, 56-year-old Woody rounds out a third Oscar-nominated performance in one film for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing
British treasure: The soap opera Emmerdale Farm was the set of Lesley Manville’s first major role back in 1974 (left) and today she sees her first Academy Award nomination for her role as Cyril in Phantom Thread at age 61
Longtime favorite: Denzel Washington’s very first film role was in 1981’s Carbon Copy (left), and in his illustrious career has had eight Oscar nominations and two wins (pictured right in November 2017)
Quite a character: Denzel, 63, plays the eccentric title character in Dan Gilroy-directed legal drama Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Small beginnings: Daniel Day-Lewis (pictured right in December) is now considered one of the greatest actors of all time, but it all started with an uncredited appearance at 13 as a young thug in 1971’s Sunday Bloody Sunday (left)
Start to finish: Day-Lewis, now 60, announced his retirement from acting in 2017, shortly after completing his now-nominated role in Phantom Thread
Living legend: Christopher Plummer became a cinematic legend with his role as Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music in 1965 (left) and has in recent gained Academy Award attention, including a Best Supporting Actor win in 2012’s Beginners
Next up: The 88-year-old Canadian (pictured in his Best Supporting Actor-nominated role in All the Money in the World) is both the oldest Academy Award acting winner and nominee of all time
Again and again: No one has ever received the sheer number of nominations for the Oscars as Meryl Streep. The 68-year-old made her onscreen debut in the 1977 TV movie The Deadliest Season (left) and is now up for Best Actress in The Post (right)
From sitcoms to the Oscars: Laurie Metcalf had a few small television roles before landing her breakout part as Jackie Harris (left) on Roseanne, which she played from 1988 to 1997 and at age 62 is up for her first Academy Award for Lady Bird
No signs of stopping: Saoirse Ronan (pictured right on Saturday) first came to widespread attention with her role in 2007’s Atonement (left), which she landed at 12 and earned her a first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress
Mom and daughter: Saoirse, 23, and Laurie are the stars of Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird and are nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively
Years ago: Gary Oldman (pictured right on Saturday) has had one of the most varied careers in Hollywood, starting with early roles such as skinhead Coxy in 1983’s TV comedy Meantime (left)
Tipped to win: The 59-year-old actor has already won a SAG Award and a BAFTA for his prosthetic-enhanced performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour
Making a shift: Mary J. Blige (pictured left in 1999 and right in 2018) came to fame as a singer in the 1990s before making her acting debut on The Jamie Foxx Show in 1999
Hitting it big: The singer had only a few roles under her belt before stunning the critics with her performance last year in Mudbound, which has earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress
Oz beauty to Hollywood darling: Like many Australian stars who found success abroad, Margot Robbie’s breakout role was on soap opera Neighbours in 2008 (left), but today at age 27 (right) she is a worldwide household name
All the glory: Margot his up for Best Actress for her critically acclaimed turn as figure skater Tonya Harding in I, Tonya
Leading lady: Allison Janney’s career began its rise in the 1990s with small TV roles on shows like Law & Order (left, in 1992) but later became well known for her turn in political drama The West Wing. The 58-year-old is pictured right on Saturday
Standing tall: Alison has already won a BAFTA and a SAG Award for her performance as an abusive mother in I, Tonya
Young talent: Timothee Chalamet, 22, made his TV debut on Law & Order in 2009 (left) when he was just 14 years old
First time: Timothee is one of the youngest actors to earn a nomination for Best Actor at the Oscars thanks to his performance in Call Me By Your Name (pictured)
Early start: British actor Daniel Kaluuya, 29, made his onscreen debut in the BBC teleplay Shoot the Messenger in 2006 (left)
Emotive performance: Daniel played the misled lead character Chris in the box office horror smash Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele