The entertainment industry is full of celebrities who want to be a double, triple, and quadruple threat. It’s rarely enough to just be an actor or a musician anymore. Everyone wants to try their hand at something else. Modeling in particular is often just a jumping off point for beautiful people to get into acting or music.
Since most models are discovered in their early teen years, they have lots of time to make some money, get some experience under their belt, and get noticed. They start out walking high fashion runways, and if they’re lucky they’ll get a high profile ad campaign. From there, they’ll have the exposure to start going on auditions and hopefully break into acting. Clearly, a lot of models don’t exactly have the acting chops, and they should probably just stick to what they’re good at. But they’ll still get the roles because they’re beautiful and recognizable with an existing fan base.
Here are 10 of the hottest model turned actors right now.
10. Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne made her modelling debut at the age of 10 and signed to Storm Model Management in 2009. She is one of the most recognizable models of her generation with ad campaigns for Burberry, H&M, Tom Ford, and DKNY, and runway appearances for Fendi, Oscar de la Renta, and Chanel, among many others.
Her first acting role was a small part in Anna Karenina, and she has since starred in Paper Towns, and will appear as the Enchantress in the upcoming Suicide Squad. Critics have been impressed by her acting chops so far, but she’s made it clear she isn’t ready to retire from the fashion industry just yet.
9. Emily Ratajkowski
You probably recognize Emily Ratajkowski from Robin Thicke‘s music video for “Blurred Lines”. She appeared topless in the video, and it got the entertainment industry’s attention. Following the video’s popularity, she shot to sex symbol status and was named Esquire‘s Woman of the Year in 2013, beating out Jennifer Lawrence. She also appeared in Sport’s Illustrated, FHM, Maxim, and Rolling Stone.
Her first feature film role was as Ben Affleck‘s character’s mistress in Gone Girl. She had a role in the recent Entourage movie, and will star in the upcoming We Are Your Friends, opposite Zac Efron.
8. Suki Waterhouse
Suki Waterhouse may be most well known for her relationship with Bradley Cooper, but the British model is only at the beginning of her career in acting. She was discovered when she was 18, has modeled for brands like H&M and Swatch, and she’s currently the face of Burberry.
Her most high-profile acting role to date has been Marlene in the film-adaptation of Insurgent. She’s currently working on a romance thriller called The Bad Batch opposite Jim Carrey and Keanu Reeves.
7. Djimon Hounsou
Various A-listers like Channing Tatum and Ashton Kutcher got their start in male modeling, but Djimon Hounsou has to be one of the most critically-acclaimed male models turned actor. It was fashion designer Thierry Mugler who encouraged Hounsou to pursue modelling, which he did while living in France. After moving to the U.S in 1990, he did some music video work, before making his feature film debut in Without You I’m Nothing.
He went on to receive Oscar nominations for his roles in In America and Blood Diamond. He’s also appeared in high profile films Guardians of the Galaxy and Furious 7. He still does some modelling, and did an underwear campaign for Calvin Klein in 2007.
6. Milla Jovovich
Known for the role of Alice in the Resident Evil franchise, Milla Jovovich started her career as a model when she was only nine years old. At 11, she became the youngest model to ever appear on the cover of an American women’s fashion magazine when she covered Mademoiselle.
Since then, she’s been on the cover of over 100 different magazines, and has been an international spokesmodel for L’Oreal since 1998. Before Resident Evil, she appeared in Return to Blue Lagoon (and was compared to Brooke Shields for the role), Dazed and Confused, and The Fifth Element.
5. Kate Upton
Known for her curvy figure and two Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers, Kate Upton is one of the most recognizable commercial models in the industry today. She has been on the cover of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, and Esquire, among many others. She’s been on every Sexiest Woman of the Year list in existence, and has a huge social media following.
Her first film role was in 2011’s Tower Heist. Her latest film, The Other Woman, opposite Leslie Mann and Cameron Diaz was a commercial success, and she’s set to star in The Layover, a comedy directed by William H. Macy, which is filming this year.
4. Brooklyn Decker
Brooklyn Decker is another model best known for her Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover. She has also appeared in FHM, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour magazine spreads. She did a couple of music videos before landing a guest starring role on Chuck, followed by roles on Royal Pains and Ugly Betty.
Her first film role was in Just Go With It opposite Adam Sandler, for which she was nominated for a Razzie for Worst Couple. Since then, she has been nominated for two more Razzies for her roles in Battleship and What to Expect When You’re Expecting, so her acting career isn’t off to a very good start, critically speaking.
3. Molly Sims
Molly Sims dropped out of college when she was 19 to pursue a career in modeling. One of her first jobs was a contract as a spokesmodel for an Old Navy campaign. She went on to appear in Sport’s Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue five times, including posing in a bikini made out of diamonds that was worth $30 million.
She transitioned to acting with a main cast member role in all five seasons of NBC’s Las Vegas and appeared in a few feature films like The Benchwarmers, Yes Man and Pink Panther 2.
2. Rebecca Romijn
Rebecca Romijn enjoyed a successful modelling career alongside supermodels like Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, and Christy Turlington. She modeled for Sport’s Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret, and walked the runway for Giorgio Armani among many others.
Her biggest acting role to date was her portrayal of Mystique in the X-Men franchise before Jennifer Lawrence took over as a younger version of the character. She was also a main cast member on the ABC show Ugly Betty for a couple of seasons.
1. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is known for being a Victoria’s Secret Angel since 2006. She worked exclusively in the fashion industry until she was cast in a Burberry campaign, and then in a short film by Agent Provocateur, which revealed a little bit of her acting chops.
Her first film role was as a replacement for Megan Fox‘s character in the third installment of the Transformers series. Her performance didn’t get very good reviews, but she’s followed it up with a high profile role in Mad Max: Fury Road, which has been universally praised.