While most stars toil away for years in the grind of Hollywood to finally find their big break, some celebrities are just fortuitously in the right place at the right time. How was your favorite celeb discovered???
After moving to L.A. at the tender age of 19, Theron was in a bank on Hollywood Blvd one afternoon, trying to cash a check from her mom (to help pay the rent). When the teller refused to cash said check, Theron went nuts on the poor chap. Standing behind her in line was a talent agent who handed her his card after witnessing the fit and proceeded to introduce her to casting agents.
Shannyn was indeed living in L.A. pursuing her dream of dancing and modelling. She had also begun DJing for extra money on the side. One night, while helping a DJ friend who was spinning at Gwyneth Paltrow’s brother’s birthday party, a casting director noticed her unique look and asked her to audition for “A Knight’s Tale”, in which she won the lead (over Kate Hudson).
While accompanying his friend to an audition (with no intention to try out), Depp was spotted by the bigwigs and asked to read for the part of the heroine’s boyfriend and unexpectedly and unintentionally landed the part of Glen Lantz in “A Nightmare on Elm Street”.
While bar-tending one night at the SoHo Bar and Grill, the unassuming Ellen was noticed by a talent scout and pegged for a L’Oreal campaign.
Whilst attending a BC Lions football game with friends in 1989, Anderson was shown on the jumbo-tron wearing a very tight-fitting Labatt beer brand t-shirt. Because the company was promoting at the game that night, reps escorted Anderson to the field amidst great applause and the rest is history.
After high school, Channing received a scholarship for college football but dropped out and moved to Miami to enjoy his youth. Whilst roaming the streets one day, a modeling agent noticed his big face and he ended up in shoots for Abercrombie and Fitch, Pepsi, and Vogue.
Whilst squatting on the stoop of a New York pad where she was staying (uninvited), a photographer approached her about a screenplay they were working on. She fit the role of grimy New York teenager perfectly in the movie “Kids”.
Around the age of ten, Portman was in a pizza parlor enjoying a slice when she was approached by a Revlon scout about modeling. Being the strong-willed and independently-minded child that she was, she politely turned him down, indicating she preferred to pursue a career in acting instead.
While out walking his dog one day, David was approached by a talent scout who had noticed him and thought he’d be perfect to play the hunky, emotional vampire bad-boy Angel in the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Right place, right time...
After years in and out of the slammer, Danny Trejo found sobriety and became a drug counsellor. One day, a mentee asked him to visit the set where he worked to help him avoid a relapse. The set was for “Runaway Train”, and Trejo was asked to be an extra (appearing as a San Quentin inmate) because of his grizzled, weathered appearance which led to a quick succession of similar offers and eventually resulted in grizzled, weathered stardom.
After becoming disenfranchised with the insignificant roles he was receiving in Hollywood, Ford taught himself carpentry in order to support his family. George Lucas hired him to build cabinets in his home, and also gave him a role (which was a significant moment in his career) in the movie “American Grafitti”.
Lilly worked several jobs before becoming an actress, like mechanic and flight attendant, but one fateful day Lilly was discovered on the streets of Kelowna, BC by a Ford Modeling agent. The agent gave her his card and at first she tried to deny modeling and acting, but after learning how much money she would make, she accepted several parts in order to pay for college and soon landed her “Lost” contract.
Whilst slaving away in a munitions factory, unassuming Norma Jean was photographed by a military photographer for a piece on “Women in War Work”. The photographer was stunned by her natural instinct for being in front of the camera and informed her that she was incredibly photogenic and really had something going for her.
Will Smith was discovered at just the right time. Already with a blossoming career in music, the Fresh Prince was on his way to a sporting event one day and got a little turned around. He approached a man in a parking lot, who happened to be Benny Medina, a VP at Warner Brothers, and asked for directions. The man knew who Smith was, and realized he’d be perfect for the lead role in a new show based on Medina’s life, and that’s how we got “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”.
After deciding college wasn’t his top choice of post-teenage life opportunities, Diesel made a short film about a struggling actor. The film was picked up and played at the Cannes Film Festival and noticed by Steven Spielberg who gave Diesel a spot in “Saving Private Ryan”.
After graduating from high school, Brinkley moved to Paris, France to pursue a career in illustration. While standing in a post office one day she was noticed by American Photographer Errol Sawyer. He did her pics and introduced her to the Paris branch of Elite Modeling Agency who gave her the push she never expected into the fashion industry, and she soon became one of America’s most recognizable faces.
Mendes was randomly captured in a few photographs for her neighbor’s portfolio. After said neighbor submitted these pics to an agent, the agent noticed Mendes' mug in the photos and contacted her to play a few relatively small roles which turned out to be the jumping off point for her career.
At the age of 14, while on vacation in New York, Lawrence was approached in Union Square by a talent scout (who asked to take her picture). She began receiving calls from multiple agencies to come and do cold readings and soon landed her breakthrough role in “Winter’s Bone” in 2010, for which she earned an Academy Award nomination.
While living in Australia, a friend told Gibson he needed a ride to an audition. The night before the audition, Gibson got into a drunken bar fight and showed up the next day with many bruises and scrapes on his face. The director noticed him and thought he might make a good extra for a dystopian-future-themed movie and asked him to return later. When he came back fully healed and full of fresh manhood, the director asked him to read for the lead part. “Mad Max” was his breakout role which led to certain stardom.
After an injury disqualified him from his football scholarship, and with no money to continue paying for college, he began applying for tons of jobs, a few of which were with some local film studios. He got a job in the prop department of Fox studios and eventually through contacts and networking there, he developed a friendship with director John Ford. Ford got Wayne his first leading role and eventually cast him as the star in “Stagecoach”, and the rest is movie history.