'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt': Before They Were Stars
Ellie Kemper (Kimmy Schmidt)
Ellie Kemper picked up top-billing in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as the title character, a young woman who has spent her formative years held captive in a bunker and is learning to acclimate to life in New York City. Kemper spent more than 10 years in the industry before taking on the role of Kimmy, earning one of her very first credits for 2007's TV movie Redeeming Rainbow (pictured above). She got her big break in the late 2000s, when she started playing Erin Hannon on The Office.
Tituss Burgess (Titus Andromedon)
Tituss Burgess may have become a household name as Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's Titus Andromedon, but he was a Broadway star for years beforehand. Burgess, who plays Kimmy's hilarious roommate, made his Great White Way debut in the mid-2000s, appearing in Broadway productions of Good Vibrations, Jersey Boys, The Little Mermaid (pictured above), and Guys and Dolls. He found a home in television soon after as 30 Rock's D'Fwan.
Carol Kane (Lillian Kaushtupper)
Carol Kane had an illustrious Hollywood career before becoming Kimmy Schmidt's Lillian Kaushtupper. The actress made her debut in the '70s, landing her first named role in 1971's Carnal Knowledge (pictured above) alongside Jack Nicholson, Candice Bergen, Ann-Margret, and Art Garfunkel. Kane went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for Hester Street (1975) and a Golden Globe nomination for Taxi (1978).
Jane Krakowski (Jacqueline White)
Jane Krakowski was a TV vet before she landed the role of Jacqueline White, Kimmy's outrageous on-again, off-again boss. After making her big-screen debut in 1983's National Lampoon's Vacation (pictured above), she hit the small screen in Search for Tomorrow, Another World, Ally, and Ally McBeal, before playing Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock.
Sara Chase (Cyndee Pokorny)
Sara Chase joined Kimmy in the bunker as Cyndee Pokorny, a fellow kidnapee. The gig is Chase's largest TV role to date, after making a name for herself on the stage. She starred in the off-Broadway musical The Toxic Avenger (pictured above), and hit Broadway in First Date the Musical. On-screen, she popped up in one-off episodes of Law & Order, Mercy, and The Office.
Sol Miranda (Donna Maria Nuñez)
Sol Miranda found her place in the bunker as Donna Maria Nuñez, another woman being held captive by the Reverend. Miranda made her on-screen debut in Law & Order (pictured above), playing various characters in a few episodes over the course of six years. She went on to cameo in an episode of Blue Bloods and hit the big screen in Arthur Newman (2012).
Lauren Adams (Gretchen Chalker)
Lauren Adams joined Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as Gretchen Chalker, a captive who has trouble living her life outside of the bunker. The actress started her acting career in the 2010s, earning acclaim for her comedy work as a part of TV shorts, Upright Citizens Brigade productions, and TV episodes. She also paid the bills with work in ad campaigns, such as the Boar's Head commercial pictured above.
Ki Hong Lee (Dong Nguyen)
Kimmy finds a friend and romantic interest in Dong Nguyen, an immigrant who is also studying to earn his GED. Ki Hong Lee took on the part after earning his first on-screen credits in 2010. Pictured above in an episode of Modern Family, Lee also made early appearances in episodes of Victorious, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and New Girl.
Mike Carlsen (Mikey Politano)
A favorite in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's second season, Mike Carlsen plays Mikey Politano, a construction worker who falls for Titus. Carlsen first earned acting credits in the 2000s with episodes of Rescue Me, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Law & Order. It was in 2010, however, that the actor experienced a bit of foreshadowing when he played a construction worker in an episode of 30 Rock (pictured above).
Tanner Flood (Buckley Voorhees)
Child star Tanner Flood plays Buckley Voorhees, the unmanageable son to Krakowski's Jacqueline. Though he's only 13 years old, Flood has six years of acting experience to his name. Pictured above in an episode of 30 Rock, Flood also appeared in Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and episodes of Pan Am, Royal Pains, and Mulaney.
Jon Hamm (Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne)
Jon Hamm popped up in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, the man who holds Kimmy and co. in his bunker. While Hamm is best known for his Emmy-winning turn as Don Draper in Mad Men, he made one of his first on-screen appearances as a contestant in the game show The Big Date in 1996 (pictured above).
Dylan Gelula (Xanthippe Lannister Voorhees)
Dylan Gelula plays Jacqueline's daughter Xanthippe Lannister Voorhees, a painfully cool teen who has a touchy relationship with Kimmy. Gelula has filled her filmography with bit TV roles, including a 2011 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (pictured above). She also made appearances in NCIS, Jennifer Falls, and Chasing Life.
Tina Fey (Marcia Clark/Andrea Bayden)
The co-creator of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Tina Fey also joined the show's cast as a lawyer and a therapist in two different roles. A Second City alum, Fey got her big break in the '90s when she landed a job with Saturday Night Live. She famously went on to work on Mean Girls (2004), Baby Mama (2008), and 30 Rock.