Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson and Alicia Vikander: The first-time Oscar winners' screen debuts

Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson and Alicia Vikander: The first-time Oscar winners' screen debuts

Oscar virgins

Text: Adibah Isa

Image: Getty Images

It’s a night for first-timers: Brie Larson, Alicia Vikander and Leonardo DiCaprio nabbed their first Academy Awards last evening. We remember their very first time on screen

Alicia Vikander
Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl

It seems that 27-year-old Alicia Vikander came out of nowhere — plucked from Europe's extreme north to star in not just one, but three feature films last year: Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and The Danish Girl. The Swede's film debut was in the TV movie Min balsamerade mor (My embalmed mother) in 2002, playing one of the grieving daughters in the period piece. She gained critics' recognition in the Swedish music drama Pure (2009), which also attracted film festival attention internationally. Her English debut was in Anna Karenina (2012), in which Keira Knightley also stars. The then 23-year old Vikander was thought to be one of the most exciting actresses in Europe back in 2002.

Alicia Vikander at the Busan International Film Festival promoting Pure (2010)

Fun fact: When the actress was young, she and mother Maria (who was her date to the Oscars) used to wake up at 2am Sweden time to watch the awards ceremony every year.

Brie Larson
Best Actress for

When she was seven, Brie Larson's first taste of television was showing up on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, but not as a guest. She was cast in one of the show's many skits, named Mudslide Barbie. Her film debut was by way of Disney, starring in Right on Track, playing a real life drag racer. She starred alongside Seventh Heaven favourite Beverly Mitchell — the latter was considered the more popular of the two. The 26-year-old is not unfamiliar with premieres and the red carpet, though. She's attended premieres the likes of Crossroads (2002) — yes, that movie which also starred Orange Is The New Black's Taryn Manning, and where Britney Spears took an unfortunate stab at acting.

Brie Larson Crossroads

Fun fact: Remember the Jennifer Garner-led movie 13 Going on 30 (2004)? Larson was one of the Mean Girl-esque clique Six Chicks, even speaking a few lines.

Leonardo DiCaprio
Best Actor for The Revenant

Oh to be young and unknown. Leonardo DiCaprio's first screen time was in the television series The New Lassie (1989 - 1992), a sequel to the 1954 series. At the age of 15, DiCaprio portrayed the character of 'Young boy' in one of the episodes. This was a start to the roles that followed after, also in television: Santa Barbara, Roseanne (he was uncredited), Parenthood and Growing Pains. A year later in 1993, he would star in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), which earned him his first Academy nomination out of six.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Parenthood

Fun fact: The Revenant star knew early on the power of choosing the right roles. When he was 18, he turned down the chance to star in Disney's Hocus Pocus for the indie flick What's Eating Gilbert Grape.


Mad Max: Fury Road took home the most awards of the night, which included Costume Design, Production Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, Film Editing, and both Sound Mixing and Editing. See the rest of the big winners below.

Best Picture: 
Best Directing: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
Best Original Song: Writing's On The Wall from Spectre.
Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul (Hungary)
Best Documentary Feature: Amy
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Best Cinematography: The Revenant
Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short
Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight