Before she became a record-breaking rapper, Minaj tried her hand at acting
Back when she was known as Onika Maraj, Nicki Minaj was an intense, phone-throwing, scene-stealing actress.
In the above clip courtesy of British TV show You Saw Them Here First, Minaj, now 32, gets so into her dialogue that she almost hits her scene partner with a prop telephone!
Her acting days started in her teen years in Queens, New York, at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.
With a fresh, makeup-free face and her hair in braids, Minaj’s teen self is a far cry from the pink-haired, booty-shaking, take-no-prisoners rapper she would become.
Though she was cast in the Off-Broadway play In Case You Forget in 2001, Minaj’s acting career never really took off. She worked a variety of jobs – including a stint as a truly awful Red Lobster waitress – before her mixtapes took the hip-hop world by storm beginning in 2007. Now, she’s Billboard‘s most-charted female rapper in history.
Of course, Minaj would eventually make her acting debut in a big way – she starred in this year’s The Other Woman alongside Cameron Diaz, Kate Upton, and Leslie Mann. She also provided the voice for Steffie in 2012’s animated Ice Age: Continental Drift.