Some actors spend their entire career fine-tuning their craft and yet somehow never manage to land a role for which they will be remembered for years to come. Others, through a combination of good fortune and a healthy dose of talent, knock it out the park in their very first movie. Finding the right part isn't the only hurdle a new actor has to bound over, but sometimes a bit of good luck means that the part finds them. Some of the greatest debut performances in the history of cinema came about as much as a result of clever casting as they did from the hard work of the actor; as with many of film history's defining moments, there's often a little bit of magic involved. From a harrowing portrait of a child soldier to an actor who redefined what cinema achieve, here are the 15 greatest movie acting debuts the big screen has ever seen.
15. Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
If you could count on anyone remaking a classic Western like True Grit and not only doing a great job of it but also bringing something new to the table, it was the Coen Brothers. Unlike their woeful remake of The Ladykillers, this redo emerged as one of the greatest films of its genre so far this century. In emphasising fidelity to the source novel rather than the John Wayne-starring 1960 movie, the Coens brought to the fore the character of Mattie Ross. Played by Hailee Steinfeld with the maturity and confidence of a seasoned professional actor, it's an incredible turn that stands up against her co-stars including Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. While Steinfeld didn't win the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, it was nevertheless a remarkable debut, particularly in light of her relatively brief foray into the world of acting before she was cast in True Grit. Steinfeld hasn't been in anything quite as noteworthy since, but at just 18 years old there's plenty of time for more impressive performances to come.