With Avengers: Infinity War taking the world by storm, here’s a look back at the franchise’s major players before they joined the Marvel universe.

Scarlett Johansson / Black Widow


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Her Marvel alter ego Black Widow, a.k.a Natasha Romanoff, was born and raised to be an assasin. In real life, Johansson always knew she’d grow up to be an actress.

“I was one of those kids who used to stare in the mirror until I made myself cry,” the actress, 33, told New York Magazine in 2004. “I just knew what to do, instinctively. It was like, I don’t know … fate,” she added. “I just love everything about making movies.”

Chris Hemsworth / Thor


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He’s bulked up, chopped off the hair and lost an eye (onscreen, anyway), but Hemsworth still has that looks that catapulted his career from Australian soap star to the God of Thunder.

Pictured on the left from 2006, the same year he appeared on Dancing with the Stars Australia, Hemsworth went on to take Hollywood by storm with a series of roles in Star Trek, A Perfect Getaway and Ca$h.

Jeremy Renner / Hawkeye


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Before he was Hawkeye, Renner was applying eye shadow.

The actor got his big break in 2009’s The Hurt Locker, which earned him his first Best Actor nomination at the Oscars. But before he became an action star, Renner made ends meet by working as a makeup artist.

”[I was] as a makeup artist,” he told Access Online. “I could do makeup because I did theater … I couple paint and I could draw, so I’m like, ‘OK, I’ll do makeup on girls all day… It bought me a lot of free time to go audition when I needed to because I only had to work a few hours a week. I didn’t have to wait tables, so it was actually a great gig.”

Gwyneth Paltrow / Pepper Pots


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The Chief Executive Officer of Stark Industries and Tony Stark’s fiancée, Virginia “Pepper” Potts has become Iron Man’s most trusted partner.

But long before she teamed up with the Avengers, Paltrow grew up as Hollywood royalty. The daughter of actress Blythe Danner and producer-director Bruce Paltrow, she made her film debut alongside John Travolta in 1991’s Shout. (The photo above was taken just a year later).

Tom Hiddleston / Loki


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Look at Loki’s blonde locks!

Hiddleston was largely unknown to American audiences when he audtioned for the first Thor film in 2009.

“I initially auditioned to play Thor,” the actor revealed to Den of Geek in 2012. “That was what I was being considered for, because I’m tall and blonde and classically trained, and that seemed to be the mold for what Thor was, he was to be a classical character. And it was in my auditions. I owe this entirely to Marvel and their open-mindedness, they saw something that they thought was interesting. They saw some temperament that they liked.”

Robert Downey Jr. / Iron Man


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Nowadays Downey Jr. is flying around in a metal suit fighting crime, but before he became an Avenger, the actor went through an infamous bad boy phase.

“The past for me was 30 years of dependency, depravity, and despair… otherwise known as ‘An Actor Prepares!’ ” he joked at the world premiere of Avengers: Infinity War.

He got his first lead role algonside Molly Ringwald in The Pick-Up Artist in 1987, a year before the above picture was taken at the 1986 premiere of Back to School. Due to his roles in a series of coming of age films in the 80’s, Downey Jr. is sometimes considered a member of Brat Pack, which includes other John Hughes’ alums like Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and Emilio Estevez.

Tom Holland / Spider-Man


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Holland was just 10 when a choreographer noticed his talent at a dance competition. After eight auditions and two years of intense training, he got his big break performing in Billy Elliot the Musical on London’s West End, first as Billy’s best friend, Michael, and later as the lead role.

He got his big onscreen break in 2010 starring in The Impossible alongside Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, and starred with his future Marvel costar Hemsworth in 2015’s In the Heart of the Sea.

Captain America / Chris Evans


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Before he led the Avengers as Captain America, Evans was a member of another notable team of superheroes: the Fantastic Four.

Just a few years after making his big break in the comedy Not Another Teen Movie, Evans landed the role of the Human Torth in 2005’s Fantastic Four. He reprised the role in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.