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The breakout stars of Sundance past: Where are they now?

  • abigail-breslin-split.jpg

    Abigail Breslin (Image Collect)

  • vanessa-hudgens-split.jpg

    Vanessa Hudgens (Image Collect)

  • andie-macdowell-split.jpg

    Andie MacDowell (Image Collect)

  • peter-gallagher-split.jpg

    Peter Gallagher (Image Collect)

If you start to see photos this week of your favorite stars on the slopes, dressed up as ski bunnies- then it means it is time for the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. What started back in 1978 as a small competition for independent American films, with the help of actor Robert Redford, has grown into a week-long celebrity-packed party on the slopes where new and established stars gather to watch (and judge) indie films. With so many iconic films coming out of Sundance over the years (“Deliverance,” Midnight Cowboy” and “Mean Streets” were all screened at the first 1978 festival), our friends at Snakkle.com track down the stars of past award-winning films from the Sundance festival circuit to see if they ever made it big.

PHOTOS: See all 24 pics of “Breakout Stars of Sundance Past: Where Are They Now?”

Abigail Breslin THEN as Olive in “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006)
Abigail Breslin played the sweet, young Olive Hoover in the Sundance break-out film “Little Miss Sunshine.” On the road trip to Olive’s “Little Miss Sunshine” beauty pageant, the entire Hoover family falls apart and comes together, discovering they’re all a bit of a “Super Freak.”

Abigail Breslin NOW
It can be hard to grow up both onscreen and off, but Abigail Breslin has taken everything in stride. She was only six years old when she was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Olive, and she’s been unstoppable ever since. She has appeared in “No Reservations” (2007), “Definitely, Maybe” (2008), and “My Sister’s Keeper” (2009). We look forward to her upcoming role as Valentine Wiggin in “Ender’s Game.”

Vanessa Hudgens THEN as Noel in “Thirteen” (2003)
Long before her huge Disney fame, Vanessa Hudgens played the small role of Noel in “Thirteen” and was a fresh face at Sundance. Noel is the straight-laced friend of Tracy, who appears a number of times in the film as a marker of how the taste of popularity has changed her out-of-control friend.

Vanessa Hudgens NOW
After the film “Thirteen,” Hudgens started landing guest spots in teen TV shows like “The Brothers Garcia” and “Drake & Josh.” But her role as Gabriella Montez (opposite Zac Efron) in Disney’s “High School Musical” movie series shot her to superstardom. You can see her in the 2012 film “Spring Breakers” as Candy, starring alongside James Franco, Ashley Benson, and real-life friend Selena Gomez.

Andie MacDowell THEN in “sex, lies and videotape” (1989)
Playing a sexually repressed woman whose husband is having affair with her sister, southerner Andie McDowell's vulnerability was captivating to watch on film in one of “Erin Brockovich” director Steven Soderbergh's earliest movies. This was Andie's break out role after a successful career as a model.

Andie MacDowell NOW
After her role in “sex, lies and videotape,” MacDowell starred in 1990's "Green Card” and 1993’s "Groundhog Day.” The ever-gorgeous actress has since taken a break from the big screen and she is now the face of L'oreal. Andie was recently cast as in the short-lived TV show "Jane By Design,” a TV take of the fashion film "The Devil Wear Prada."

Runway to the Red Carpet: Stars With (Some Awkward) Modeling Pasts

Peter Gallagher THEN in “sex, lies and videotape” (1989)
A young and sexy Peter Gallagher also starred in Soderbergh’s “sex, lies, and videotape” as the triple-timing John Mullany. The guy knew how to get around and get down, hooking up with his wife’s sister Cynthia and his friend Graham’s old flame.

Peter Gallagher NOW
Gallagher and his eyebrows have since become a household name after he starred as Sandy Cohen in the wildly popular TV series, “The O.C.” The talented actor and Tony-nominated Broadway performer can be seen recently on the series “Covert Affairs.”

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