Avengers Cast Childhood Clips

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By FilMonger

Ever wondered what the cast of The Avengers looked like before they became Earth’s mightiest superheroes? If you pictured bowl cuts, braces and, in one unfortunate case, mullets, you wouldn’t be too far off. We’re bringing you a special S.H.I.E.L.D. dossier about their origins, back when they were fighting acne, ’80s fashion trends, and bad haircuts.

Then: Way back in the day, Robert Downey Jr. moved with his father to California, where he enrolled in Santa Monica High School. Among his classmates: oh, you know, Charlie Sheen, Sean Penn, and Rob Lowe.

Now: Robert Downey Jr. dropped out of high school before graduation, moving to New York to pursue acting. Despite a number of battles with addiction and run-ins with the law along the way, he has ultimately become one of the most successful and profitable actors in the business. In 2013, Downey Jr. confirmed that playing Iron Man has earned him about $50 million since 2008. His net worth today: an estimated $220 million.

Chris Evans – Captain America

Then: Before he was one of Hollywood’s most handsome men, Chris Evans was just a dorky middle school kid like the rest of us. Proof of this came on a 2011 episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, during which Fallon surprised Evans with a bunch of his old yearbook photos. “It’s so unacceptable,” he said of his seventh grade photo. “I blame my parents completely. They knew every day this kid was walking out the door and they said, ‘Good luck!'”

Now: Evans, of course, grew out of his braces and bowl cut to become the super-beefed-up Captain America. Incidentally, Evans told Jimmy Kimmel he actually turned down the role a few times before accepting, mostly out of fear for signing a multi-picture contract. He eventually changed his mind after talking to family and friends which, millions of dollars later, was clearly the right thing to do.

Scarlett Johansson – Black Widow

Then: Scarlett Johansson has been in the Hollywood biz since she was a child. Long before she became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., she made her feature film debut in the critically maligned comedy North and followed with roles in Home Alone 3 and The Horse Whisperer.

Now: ScarJo has enjoyed critical acclaim and box office success in the lead up to playing Black Widow, thanks to films like Lost in Translation. In recent years, however, Black Widow has been subjected to numerous criticisms on the Internet, many of which felt that her story arc in Avengers: Age of Ultron was sexist. “Everything that I’ve done with the Widow, to me makes sense,” Johansson said to Entertainment Weekly in response to her character’s critics. “It’s in line with active decisions that I’ve made for the character.”

Mark Ruffalo – Hulk

Then: The son of a construction painter (and a wrestling champion), Mark Ruffalo actually competed in wrestling tournaments throughout high school. He eventually gave it up to pursue acting his senior year in high school.

Now: After starring in critically acclaimed movies for years, Ruffalo entered the Avengers universe in 2010 when he was cast to play The Hulk. Fans have been hoping for a stand-alone Hulk movie ever since. However, Ruffalo told Yahoo in 2015 we probably won’t see one for awhile, mostly because of tense studio relations between Marvel and Universal. “I know for a fact that everyone is holding out hope that one day we can do it. But the nature of the relationship right now, it’s a little prohibitive. And I hope that that changes…but right now it doesn’t look particularly promising.” It’s okay, Dr. Banne