The surprising first movie roles of these Atlanta actors

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The surprising first movie roles of these Atlanta actors

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An executive with Tyler Perry Studios said Thursday that the company plans to expand its operations in southwest Atlanta.

Every successful actor has to start somewhere before their star truly starts to shine. You may know these home-grown Atlanta actors for their celebrity status, but their first movie roles may surprise you.

Blake Cooper

Despite his young age, this Atlanta born and raised actor has worked in show business since the age of 10, when he was signed by the J Pervis Talent agency. Shortly thereafter, he joined the cast of USA Network's “Unnecessary Roughness.” He is best known for playing the role of 'Chuck' in the 2014 film “The Maze Runner”, but his first film role was considerably smaller. Cooper is known simply as 'speech student' in the 2012 movie “Parental Guidance.”

Holly Hunter

Holly Hunter is also in town. Chris Pizzello

Holly Hunter may have made it big with hit movies, such as “Raising Arizona” and “Broadcast News,” but she was just part of the ensemble cast when she made her film debut in “The Burning.” The 1981 film starred Lou Davis as a disfigured caretaker bent on revenge after becoming the victim of a prank that went terribly wrong years earlier at a summer camp. Hunter, who basically has only a passing role in the film, plays 'Sophie,' one of the survivors who is chased and threatened by the garden-shear wielding madman.

Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry mixes it up with media on the red carpet at the 82nd Academy Awards March 7, 2010 in Hollywood. Sgt. Michael Connors

Although born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Tyler Perry's acting career actually began on stage in 1992 when he performed a one-man play in a local Atlanta theater. While you may know the long-time Atlanta resident best as the owner of Tyler Perry Studios and the sharp-tongued grandma character known as Madea, Perry's debut movie role in 2005 featured him playing not one, not two, but three different characters in “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” This movie incidentally included the debut of Madea as well.

Julia Roberts

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actress Julia Roberts attends the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) Frazer Harrison

While the former Smyrna resident's biggest screen success did not occur until 1990 when Julia Roberts starred in the box office hit “Pretty Woman” with co-star Richard Gere, her acting debut was surprisingly two years earlier in the 1988 film “Mystic Pizza.” Roberts plays Daisy, a waitress who works in a pizza parlor known as Mystic Pizza. Known as a "coming of age" movie, the film has gone on in time to have a cult following, due in no small part to Roberts debut performance.

Brian Tyree Henry

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 23: Brian Tyree Henry attends the "Atlanta" New York Screening at The Paley Center for Media on August 23, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images) Neilson Barnard

Although he was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the Morehouse grad calls ATL his home. But before Brian Tyree Henry had fans reciting the lyrics to “Paper Boi,” a song made popular by his character on FX’s “Atlanta,” the actor was lighting up the small screen as a guest star on an episode of “Law & Order.”

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