If you’re like us, you worry all the time about getting older. But for an growing number of people these days, life really begins at 40!
To tie in with Judd Apatow’s new film, This is 40, we’ve picked ten Hollywood stars who didn’t become famous before they hit the big 4-0.
1. Jeremy Renner
Jeremy Renner was brought onto Mission: Impossible to inject some new blood into the series. But by then, he was already 40 years old! Since his big break with The Hurt Locker, he’s joined no fewer than 3 blockbuster franchises, including The Avengers!
2. Steve Carell
He spent over 15 years performing in theater, sketch and TV before he hit it big with the 40 Year Old Virgin. By then, the Office star was already 43! He has since eclipsed Jim Carrey has the highest-paid comic actor in Hollywood!
3. Leslie Nielsen
He was an unconventional matinee idol through the 50s and 60s, starring in B-Movies like the camp sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet. But it wasn’t until he was 54 years of age when Airplane! launched him as the king of deadpan spoofs, leading to a successful comedic career with The Naked Gun, Hot Shots and some of those Scary Movies.
4. John Slattery
A television mainstay with plenty of one-off appearance on shows like Providence and Law and Order under his belt, Slattery became a housewives’ favourite silver fox at age 45 with his turn as alcoholic bon mot machine Roger Sterling in Mad Men.
5. Tommy Lee Jones
Was there ever a time when Tommy Lee Jones was young? He arguably didn’t become a household name until he was 47, playing a tenacious US Marshal on the hunt for Harrison For in The Fugitive.
TLJ Trivia: Jones attended Harvard University, where he was roommates with future US Vice President Al Gore!
6. Morgan Freeman
The most recognisable voice in cinema was already 52 when he struck gold in 1989 with three hits: Glory, Lean on Me and the Oscar-winning drama Driving Miss Daisy. Before that, many Americans grew up watching him on children’s television staple The Electric Company, performing in educational sketches alongside Spider-Man!
7. Judi Dench
Before she played M in the James Bond films and her name became street slang, Judi Dench used to hang out in a place called a “theatre” with people like Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. With awards galore and a number in blockbuster films to her name, there’s no doubt now that Dame Judi’s a movie star of the highest order.
8. Samuel L Jackson
Coming straight off The Avengers, this ageless bad-ass might be in the prime of his career but we often forget that he was 46 when Pulp Fiction shot him into the spotlight! And since then, he hasn’t aged a day — how does he do it?
9. Billy Bob Thornton
Thornton was about 41 when he made it big with Sling Blade, an independent drama he wrote, directed and starred in. It became the sleeper hit of 1996, earning him two Oscar nominations and winning him the prize for Best Original Screenplay. But more importantly, it made him famous enough to convince Angelina Jolie to marry him and do crazy stuff to prove her love. Surely that must be his career highlight?
10. Ricky Gervais
Before he became Britain’s biggest comedy star with The Office at the age of 40, Ricky Gervais had been a University Union employee, a band manager and a Radio DJ for XFM. Oh yeah, and he was also in a New Romantic pop duo called Seona Dancing for a spell: a fact that gets brought up pretty much with every TV interview he does.
This is 40 is now available on blinkbox