Leonardo DiCaprio devotees are waiting with bated breath to see if the all-American star will finally take home his first well-deserved Oscar for The Revenant Sunday night. And while no one is questioning the star’s chops as an actor, we do know that his career didn’t kick off with headline-making performances and roles that required more than one line. As DiCaprio told reporters after taking home the best actor SAG earlier this month, it’s the world of TV commercials that helped him find his footing in Hollywood.
“My first role was a Matchbox cars commercial. I played a little gangster, slicked back hair,” he revealed. “What did I learn from it? I was just so incredibly nervous. I remembered, the lesson I learned from it was just, ‘know your lines.’ Really. Just get that over with because once you learn your lines, then you can kind of settle into all the other moments in the scene. That’s the other piece of advice I give actors."
And while his first slew of memorable appearances began in the late ‘80s on beloved TV shows like Growing Pains, The New Lassie, Roseanne, and Parenthood, the Matchbox cars gig wasn’t his only sponsored piece of work. Below, we take a look at some of the most adorable, way back when commercials the man we now love to simply call Leo first starred in.