It’s not exactly summer stock, but scores of celebs have honed their skills in that bastion of sugary consumerism, the Coke ad. While some performances are certainly of the sip-and-you’ll-miss-it ilk, they offer glimpses of future success. Here’s a roundup of some bubbly beginnings.
— Clarissa Cruz
— Keanu Reeves, ”First Race,” 1983 Synopsis: Crumpled with disappointment after losing a bike race, Reeves perks up when his sympathetic TV dad brings him a drink. Sample dialogue: Asked who his coach is, Reeves answers, ”My dad.” Early signs of greatness: The soon-to-be box office star infuses the words ”a Coke” with pitch-perfect Bill & Ted-esque dude-ism. Grade: B+
— Matt LeBlanc, ”Bus Stop,” 1990 Synopsis: Awaiting a bus on a desert road, a sweaty LeBlanc spots a billboard-size bottle of Coke — and guzzles it down. Sample dialogue: None, though his snug jeans speak volumes. Early signs of greatness: As the icy bottle drips on his shoulder, the future Joey unveils the perplexed expression that’s come to signal many a Friends punchline. Grade: B
— Sharon Stone, ”Changes on a Train,” 1990 Synopsis: In a spot for Coke subsidiary Diet Sprite, Stone’s train leaves while she’s getting a soda — forcing her to climb back on the moving machine, Indiana Jones-style. Sample dialogue: ”I changed my mind,” she barks at a suitor. Early signs of greatness: Though Stone’s locomotive heroics show action-star potential (see Total Recall), it’s her mussed-up, cleavage-baring persona that displays her true Instincts. Grade: A
— Jenna Elfman, ”Make Me Laugh,” 1991 Synopsis: Elfman and a slew of badly dressed early-’90s refugees bounce to the ”I like the Sprite in you” jingle. Sample dialogue: None, given her split seconds of screen time. Early signs of greatness: The multitalented Dharma & Greg star manages to simultaneously wink and stick out her tongue. Grade: B-
— Cameron Diaz, ”Beacon,” 1992 Synopsis: A scantily clad Diaz is drawn to a lighthouse-dwelling hunk proffering cold cola. Sample dialogue: ”I see I’m not the only one,” she murmurs, as a crowd flocks to the tower. Early signs of greatness: Dippity-Do hairdo foreshadows her seminal There’s Something About Mary moment. Grade: A-