Being an actor may seem like a “fun”, carefree job, but stand back for a moment and consider the confidence and talent needed to pull off such a task. Could you wake up every morning and convincingly transform into a different person, while a room full of people judge your every movement? If you’re being honest with yourself, the answer is most likely a no.
Actors, for the most part, take their jobs very seriously. Memorizing lines, staying in character and losing weight -or putting on weight- are just a few of the many challenges actors take on each time they land a role. So, let’s say you wake up one day and decide you want to become an actor; what’s your first step? You go to acting school… right? Well, you would think so, but that’s not the case for everyone. You would be surprised to find out that some of your favorite actors and actresses actually skipped what seems like a crucial step on the path to becoming an actor.
Below is a list containing ten actors and actresses who never went to acting school. Find out which actors managed to end up on the big screen without any formal training. It’s pretty impressive what one can achieve if they believe in themselves enough. These select few prove that it is possible to become an accomplished actor with or without schooling.
10 Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger made the bold decision to pursue a career in acting right out of school at age 17. He along with his long time best friend Trevor DiCarlo drove across Australia in search for any acting work. Ledger's first gig was a small role in the Australian television series Clowning Around. From there, Heath landed a handful of small parts on different sitcoms. His feature film debut was in the 1997 Australian film Blackrock, and just two years later he starred in the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You; after that, it was smooth sailing for the young Australian.
9 Meg Ryan
8 Tom Cruise
Though he may be a little overrated and a crazed rambling Scientologist, Tom Cruise’s success in the film industry cannot be overlooked. At a young age, Cruise and six other boys put on an improvised play to music called IT at the Carleton Elementary School drama festival, impressing drama organizer Val Wright. It was clear he had a knack for showmanship. However, before Cruise pursued his career in acting, he nearly became a Catholic priest – this probably wouldn’t sit well with his Scientologist buddies.
7 Joaquin Phoenix
6 Christian Bale
5 Russell Crowe
4 Jennifer Lawrence
3 Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp’s eccentric personality definitely made him stand out among others, aiding his chances of success in the entertainment business. Originally his dream was to be a musician, which he was during his teenage year,s gaining moderate success up until the early 1980s. Once he married Lori Anne Allison, he began working a number of different odd jobs, including as a telemarketer for pens, which he considers his first acting job.
2 Ben Kingsley
1 Brad Pitt
Much like a few other entries on this list, Brad Pitt made the brash decision to go big or go home. Just two weeks before graduating, he decided to pack up and drive from Missouri to Hollywood with just 325$ in his pocket. Once there, his first stop was at a McDonald's with a remaining 225$ to his name; while waiting for his fast food feast, he noticed an ad in the newspaper for work as an extra in a movie. He auditioned for the part and landed the role. From there, his determination did not dwindle; Pitt continued to take small parts. In 1994, Pitt’s career finally sparked, first with Interview with the Vampire and then in Legends of the Fall. After the success of these two movies, Pitt went on to be one of the most sought-after talents in Hollywood, starring in films such as Seven, 12 Monkeys, Meet Joe Black, and Fight Club. Not to mention he ended up marrying the alluring Angelina Jolie; not too shabby for a guy with no prior acting experience.
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