Superhero movies are all the rage right now. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is chugging along with hit after hit, as evidenced by instant classics like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, while Warner Bros. keeps trying to make the DC Extended Universe happen. Deadpool, of course, is very different. It focused on humor and character development instead of major league world-building. And it also managed to do the impossible with the first movie: they created an origin story that was actually fun to watch. To recognize why this is so impressive, go ask yourself how many more times you need to see Bruce Wayne’s parents shot or Peter Parker bitten by a spider before you have it memorized. Long story not so short? Origin stories for superheroes usually aren’t fun to see.
However, origin stories for superhero actors are pretty awesome: they let you get a great glimpse of the stars from well before they put on their spandex and bionic arms. We know you came here to see some embarrassing pics. And you don’t need Cable’s help to slide through time to get them. If you don’t mind some Deadpool 2 spoilers, just keep scrolling to check out these 15 embarrassing yearbook photos of Deadpool stars!
Warning: Tiny spoilers for Deadpool 2 ahead.
15. JOSH BROLIN
It feels like there’s not much we can say to introduce Josh Brolin. Obviously, he’s having a hell of a summer: he plays Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, a movie that is knocking out box office records faster than a Mad Titan for Infinity Stones. And in Deadpool 2, he plays a villain (or perhaps an antihero) of a different stripe. He is Cable, a mercenary man from the future who is powered by cybernetic technology and a small arsenal of guns. To look at his old yearbook photo, you’d never guess how good he’d be at playing bad! Cable is the latest example of a Hollywood truism: you basically hire Josh Brolin for his scowl.
He is absolutely amazing at staring into the middle distance and scowling like an inscrutable hero from an old Western. In this old yearbook photo, though, the prickly actor is all smiles. His hair also looks a lot more friendly, especially when you compare it to Cable’s no-nonsense flat top. We were really struck by his eyes, though — while he may look a lot more friendly than his future Hollywood roles would have you believe, his eyes have the confidence of a man who could take on the world… or, at the very least, take on an army of heroes spread across two different movies!
14. TERRY CREWS
Arguably the funniest element of Deadpool 2 is the formation of X-Force. In the world of Marvel Comics, this was a long-running series that focused on former students of Charles Xavier who went off to do their own thing. In this movie, it’s just an ersatz team that Deadpool and Weasel form in an attempt to stop cable and rescue the young Firefirst from both assassination and his own bad decisions. In this team, Terry Crews plays Bedlam, a mutant who can disrupt electrical signals. Like the other X-Force members, though, he is killed before we can really see his powers in action!
While Bedlam has a mutant power, the most intimidating thing about him is that he is played by Terry Crews. While Crews has spent the last few years being charming and hilarious, he is also pure muscle and athleticism, meaning he cuts quite the intimidating figure. If this old yearbook photo is anything to go by, then Crews has been doing this since he was a kid. While the younger Crews does not yet have the bulky physique he will have as an adult, you can see his strength, athletic talent, and intimidating scowl on full display in this great photo!
13. STAN LEE
Stan Lee has become the unofficial Marvel ambassador to the world. He (along with other comics luminaries like the late, great Jack Kirby) created and popularized many of the most famous Marvel characters, including Spider-Man and the X-Men. Now, Stan Lee pops up in cameo roles in basically every Marvel movie. This is interesting as it lets him pop up in MCU and non-MCU Marvel roles alike. In the first Deadpool, he had a less conventional cameo: the avuncular actor was actually a DJ at the club that Deadpool and Weasel visit in their search for Vanessa.
In that role, Stan Lee looks like it seems he always had: short, gray hair, thin mustachio, and big sunglasses. It’s kind of a backhanded compliment to Lee that he has basically looked the same age forever, appearing very similar in this cameo as he did when he popped up in the first X-Men movie almost two decades ago. That’s why we like this old yearbook photo: not only do we finally see young Stan Lee, but he’s a clean-shaven hottie! With eyes like that, it makes you wonder why he always insists on wearing shades for all of his public appearances.
12. KARAN SONI
Many of the memorable characters in the world of Deadpool’s movies have super powers to help distinguish them. We see characters that can set themselves on fire, turn themselves to steel, regenerate from any wound, and so on. In such a crazy world, though, it’s ironically easier for the “normal” characters to stand out. They serve as proxies for the viewers, allowing us to see an insane world of heroes and villains through their eyes. And the best example of this has to be the character Dopinder. You may not know his name, but you definitely know his face!
This is the character who has the dubious honor of driving Deadpool all around town. While Deadpool got amazing regenerative powers and has lethal skills honed from years of being both in Special Forces and a mercenary, he doesn’t have anything like super speed, so poor Dopinder is stuck driving him around. Dopinder is played by Karan Soni, and his old childhood photo shows how he is relatively unique on our list: while many of our actors smile when they’re young and scowl when they’re older, Soni has a deadly serious face as a kid but an easygoing smile as an adult. Of course, you’d have to have a good disposition to accept a “crispy high five” instead of your actual fare!
11. SHIORI KUTSUNA
A great running gag in both Deadpool movies is the relative lack of X-Men hanging around in the Xavier mansion. Deadpool himself likes to break the fourth wall and comment on how this is clearly a sign that the studio is being cheap because all he ever sees inside the mansion is Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. While there’s a great cameo with some of the more major X-Men behind a door, Deadpool 2 still focuses primarily on Colossus and Negasonic for cameos. However, they’ve added one more to the team with the impossibly cute Yukio! Despite her becoming one of our regular X-Men in these movies, we don’t get a whole lot of Yukio. In fact, she is mostly notable for her bright personality (signified by her smile and a chirpy “Hi, Wade” whenever she sees Deadpool) and her status as Negasonic’s girlfriend.
She is played by Australian-Japanese actress Shiori Kutsuna, and while Western audiences may not know much about her, she’s been acting since 2007. She was a teenager then, and this old photo helps drive home how little Kutsuna has changed in terms of beauty and personality! Here’s hoping we see a lot more of Yukio in future X-films.
10. BILL SKARSGARD
In Deadpool 2, Bill Skarsgard plays the character of Zeitgeist. The movie has a lot of fun with his chosen codename — while Deadpool guesses that he must have his finger on the pulse of current trends, the truth is that he is able to vomit up acid on his enemies. While this sounds like an interesting combat ability, we don’t see much of it. Like the other members of X-Force, he is doomed to a short life and a really nasty death. And to make things worse, he manages to kill Peter on his way out!
While the character isn’t given a lot to do in the movie, Skarsgard really helps to sell Zeitgeist as mysterious and intimidating. This is mostly due to his eyes: Skarsgard himself has a rather gaunt face and haunting eyes, and he can definitely scare audiences when he wants to. As it turns out, this is a skill he has had for a while now: this old photo of Skarsgard shows that he has been refining his narrowing eyes and pouting grimace for years now. While we’re not going to see any more of Zeitgeist, we’re looking forward to seeing Skarsgard’s other roles in future films!
9. GINA CARANO
The first Deadpool movie had a lot of things that made it stand out — solid performances, good effects, and an absolutely killer sense of humor. The movie also pleasantly stood out in another way, as it had a relatively short running time. It came in at about an hour and 49 minutes, which may not seem that short. However, in a world of superhero flicks pushing us close to three hours, Deadpool was downright brief. Nonetheless, the movie managed to squeeze in multiple memorable villains, including the super tough Angel Dust who was played by Gina Caranao.
As we said, Carano’s character was very strong. In the final battle, she was able to go blow for blow with Colossus while barely getting a scratch. And she also ended up being the gruff and serious villain, while Ajax (or should we say Francis?) got to chew the scenery up with his dialogue, Angel Dust was always serious and to the point. That’s part of why we love Carano’s old yearbook photo — she is smiling very earnestly, with both her teeth and her eyes practically beaming with happiness. You’d never guess she has a Hollywood career of playing ruthless characters ahead of her!
8. ZAZIE BEETS
Zazie Beets plays the iconic character Domino. Of all the side characters and cameos featured in Deadpool 2, Domino is arguably the most important, so it was vital that her portrayal be just right. As it turns out, Beets knocked the role out of the park, helping sell Domino as a woman who is fearless, confident, and absolutely convinced that her extreme good luck is a superpower. And why shouldn’t she be? It’s basically what helps keep her from getting killed with the rest of X-Force and helps her survive to the end of the movie. When it comes to encapsulating the character that we eventually see on-screen, this old photo does a hell of a job.
We can see that Zazie Beets has never been overly humble or modes. Instead, she takes charges with a wicked smile and a shirt that declares her to be the “king.” She’s not overconfident, though, as she turns in a kind of career-defining performance in Deadpool 2, and we’re now just as excited to see a standalone Domino movie as we are to see another Deadpool or X-Men movie. Maybe she’ll be in those, too — some good luck powers can help keep sequels from sucking!
7. ROB DELANEY
One of the reasons that Deadpool’s X-Force team is doomed from the start is that the team is seemingly slapped together at random. While he and Weasel make a show of reviewing applications and interviewing various candidates, we see that they actually hire everyone who applies (minus poor Dopinder). And the most hilarious outcome of this is that Deadpool ends up hiring Peter (played by Rob Delaney), a man who has no special powers but is packing a large amount of enthusiasm. And that enthusiasm mixes with Delaney’s brand of comedy in some outright hilarious ways!
The old photo we have here is actually pretty meta. In the movie, Deadpool compares the mustached Peter to the clean-shaven photo he sent in and wonders aloud if he is being catfished. Of course, the smooth-faced Delaney is the version of this actor and comedian that most of his fans are familiar with, and the mustache of the movie is what seems weird. This old photo shows us that not only did teenage Delaney rock a mustache, but he even had a rocking beard to go with it. We’re pretty convinced if Peter was rocking both the beard and the hair of his younger self, Deadpool would have signed him on that much more quickly!
6. MORENA BACCARIN
In a lot of ways, the first Deadpool movie helped to redefine Morena Baccarin for her fans. Then again, she’s no stranger to this — due to its popularity, many fans initially had trouble seeing her as anyone other than Inara once the hit show Firefly was canceled. She changed all that by turning in an absolutely riveting performance across multiple seasons of Homeland. She then changed it up once more by playing Vanessa, a character who falls in love with Wade Wilson before he is diagnosed with cancer. Later, she gets kidnapped by Ajax, but the feisty Vanessa never comes across as a simple damsel in distress.
Because she has changed so much, it’s fun to look at this old photo of Morena Baccarin to see just how much of this iconic actor is the same and how much is different. And despite the many different characters she has played over the years, it seems like the core of Baccarin is unchanged. She has eyes that dance between being playful and piercing and a sexy smirk that would give Han Solo a run for his money. It’s easy to see how everyone from Malcolm Reynolds to Deadpool ends up falling in love with her characters!
5. TJ MILLER
Some of the actors on this list didn’t have to change a lot for their roles. For instance, Brianna Hildebrand was rocking Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s look before she was cast, and all she had to do was suit up and scowl more. Other characters underwent more of a transformation, and between years going by and getting ready to star in Deadpool, they become practically unrecognizable. And that’s the case with Deadpool’s friend and ally Weasel, played by the funny actor TJ Miller. Miller’s offscreen antics have become almost as legendary as his onscreen ones, which ironically makes him a good fit for the world of Deadpool.
This old photo of TJ Miller represents when he was first getting started as an actor and comedian. And comparing this to the on-screen Weasel, it really is like night and day. Whereas Weasel has long hair that frames his entire face, the younger Miller has short and curly hair that leaves his ears exposed. And while Weasel has a smattering of facial hair, young Miller has a prominent and hairless jawline. The rumor mill has it that Miller won’t be in any future Deadpool movies, and we’d be lying if we said we won’t miss his trademark dark humor!
4. BRAD PITT
A great character gag in Deadpool 2 comes from the character of “The Vanisher.” As the name implies, this character’s main ability is to turn himself invisible whenever he feels like it. The problem is that he feels like it all the time, so characters are never entirely sure whether Vanisher is in the room or not. The movie milks this gag for so long that it’s easy to think Vanisher isn’t even real, right up until the point that he gets electrocuted and dies. While this is happening, we get to finally see Vanisher, and he comes wrapped in an ironic cameo!
In a true “blink and you’ll miss it” moment, you can see that Vanisher is played by none other than Brad Pitt. If you’re thinking this is a pretty big name for a pretty small role, the truth is that Pitt is in the movie as a joke: back in the day, he was seriously in the running to play the role of Cable. When Brolin was cast, fans wondered if they’d ever see Pitt in the X-universe, so his appearance is a shout out to them. And Pitt seems to be a good sport about it: judging by his old yearbook photo, he is always happy and eager to take on new challenges!
3. BRIANNA HILDEBRAND
Even though she had already amassed quite the acting credits, the first Deadpool was the movie that put Brianna Hildebrand on the map. She played Negasonic Teenage Warhead, a young X-Man who is able to see the occasional humor of Deadpool and is also capable of putting him in his place with her razor-sharp wit. She pops up again in the sequel with a new hairstyle and a new girlfriend. And judging from this old photo, it looks like this really is a new hairstyle compared to her classic on-screen and off-screen look as defined by the first Deadpool.
Many of the actors on this list look dramatically different when you compare them to their iconic characters. In the case of Hildebrand, she is surprisingly the same, aside from looking much more happy and having a more muted wardrobe, the younger Hildebrand looks like she could have stepped right into the shoes of her big screen breakout. In that first movie, Deadpool teases her about her shaved head quite a bit, comparing her to characters like Ripley from Alien 3. However, this photo confirms what fans already knew: Hildebrand is out to redefine what beauty means, and she’ll embrace whatever look she pleases!
2. LESLIE UGGAMS
Obviously, the first Deadpool movie had a lot of appeal to casual audiences. You didn’t have to be a Deadpool comic expert or superfan to laugh at the jokes and to generally enjoy the treasure to the world known as Ryan Reynolds. However, the movie did have some fun things for comics fans, including unexpected characters popping up. One example is Al (also known as Blind Al). In the comics, she was a literal prisoner of Deadpool, though the movie shows her filling a similar role in sharing a duplex with our hero.
Deadpool directs a lot of cruel humor towards Al, with much of it focusing on how old and unattractive she is. That’s one of the reasons we like comparing Al to this old photo of her actor, Leslie Uggams. To put it mildly, young Uggams was an absolute stunner, with an enchanting smile and piercing eyes. Both of these great qualities are covered up by the Deadpool movies, as Al spends most of her time scowling and all of her time behind her sunglasses. Still, it seems understandable: we can only imagine that having to live with Deadpool and his endless pranks and insults would eventually provoke more scowls than smiles.
1. RYAN REYNOLDS
Ryan Reynolds has a pretty great sense of humor. That’s an important quality when you’re going to be headlining a role where the character is best known for his nonstop wisecracks. It also helps Reynolds to poke fun at some of his less-than-awesome previous roles, ranging from starring in X-Men Origins: Wolverine to the terrible Green Lantern movie. Both Deadpool movies use a lot of self-deprecating humor to play off of how Reynolds looks, but judging from this old yearbook photo, he won the genetic lottery a long time ago (in a high school far, far away)!
Compared to some of his more outlandish movies and photos from his adult life, this photo is pretty mild. It’s mostly just Reynolds offering a tight-lipped smile to the cameraman. Nonetheless, you can see the seeds of the adult Reynolds here. His eyes seem to sparkle with mischief, and the slight smile looks ready to break into a big grin at any minute. So, while he is definitely younger and more reserved, he is very recognizable as himself in this photo, and fans of Reynolds from pretty much any franchise he’s been in can instantly see the actor they love in this picture from long, long ago.
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