Success in Hollywood is often determined by two things: talent and exposure. A great actor might remain unseen if they are routinely cast in films that don't do well at the box office. For some, a rise to stardom happens almost overnight, with cult classic roles bringing their level of fame to epic levels almost overnight. These actors might've appeared in a few movies before landing their breakthrough role, and some got lucky with a successful first film. These stars have become household names in Hollywood, with successful careers built off of their early successes.
10 Kristen Stewart: Twilight
Kristen Stewart was just 17 years old when she played Bella Swan in Twilight. Based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer, Twilight became one of the most successful films of the decade, rolling in close to $400 million at the box office in 2008. Kristen's success in the role led her straight into a successful career as an actress and director. She was the highest paid actress in 2010 and 2012. At age 29, she has already accumulated a net worth of close to $100 million from her roles in nearly 50 movies.
9 Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter
Perhaps one of the most recognized (and adored) characters of our generation is Harry Potter. Based on the fantasy novels by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone hit the theaters in 2001, and amassed an incredible $975 million at the box office. Following the success of the first film, seven sequels were released between 2002-2011, all featuring Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. The series is the highest-grossing of all time, with the final chapter, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, grossing $1.4 billion. With a net worth of $110 million, Daniel is now focusing on new film roles.
8 Emma Stone: Superbad
For the past decade, Emma Stone has starred in one hit role after the other. As one of Hollywood's top actresses, she has amassed a fortune of $28 million, all before turning 30! Though she appeared in a few TV shows in the early 2000s, what put her on the map was her first lead film role, in 2007's Superbad. Her overnight success would lead to her securing iconic roles in Zombieland, Easy A, Crazy, Stupid Love, The Amazing Spiderman and La La Land. She even managed to take home the Best Actress Academy Award for her performance in La La Land, which has been her highest rated film, to date.
7 Ryan Gosling: The Notebook
Ryan Gosling is one of the most appreciated actors of our generation. Adored by his (largely female) fan base, Gosling has shown that his talent is not just superficial. Though he appeared in several films in the early 2000s, it was his role in 2004's The Notebook that gave him superstar status. Playing alongside Rachel McAdams, this dreamy Canadian actor checks all the boxes for the perfect rom-com lead. With an estimated fortune of $60 million, Ryan Gosling has had success in his professional and personal life. He has been partnered up with Eva Mendes since 2011, with whom he has two daughters.
6 Channing Tatum: Magic Mike
Channing Tatum's role in 2012's Magic Mike propelled his fame to epic proportions. Though he had already starred in several well-received films, nothing could compare to the mania that erupted when Magic Mike came out. Loosely autobiographical, the film follows the life and times of the underground male entertainment industry. The film grossed $168 million at the box office; a success that led to the 2015 sequel, Magic Mike XXL. Tatum, who recently divorced his wife of 9 years, Jenna Dewan, has a net worth of $50 million. He has been dating singer, Jessie J, since 2018.
5 Steve Carrell: The 40 Year-Old Virgin
These days, everyone knows Steve Carrell. Before his lead role in hit TV show The Office, he played geeky Andy Stitzer in cult classic film, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which came out in 2005. This role won over his many fans, who appreciated his unique humor and guy-next-door vibe. As one of the most sought after actors in the industry, he's starred in over 30 films since 2005. Breaking out of the comedy genre, he's recently showcased his talent as a dramatic actor in Freeheld and Beautiful Boy. He has an estimated fortune of $50 million, which will likely go up in the coming years as he continues to score lead roles in Hollywood hits.
4 Matthew Broderick: Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Let's take it back to the 80s with one of the most classic films of the decade: Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Written, produced, and directed by John Hughes, this was the breakout role for actor Matthew Broderick, who played Ferris Bueller. His portrayal of a rebellious teen playing hooky gained him a Golden Globe Award for Best Lead Actor. Broderick, who had only dabbled in acting before landing this role, would proceed to star in dozens of films and television shows, marry Sarah Jessica Parker, and amass a $45 million dollar net worth.
3 Kate Winslet: Titanic
Kate Winslet rose to global fame with 1997's historical romantic drama, Titanic. At the time, it was the highest grossing film of all time, amassing $2.2 billion at the box office. Titanic is one of only three films to have won 11 Academy Awards. Her epic performance paved the way for her incredible career to blossom. She has starred in dozens of films, namely, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, The Reader, and Sense & Sensibility. One of the most respected and adored actresses of our generation, Kate has a net worth of approximately $45 million.
2 Reese Witherspoon: Legally Blonde
Reese Witherspoon is reaching a whole new level of fame, thanks to her excellent portrayal of Madeline Mackenzie in HBO's hit TV show, Big Little Lies. Before, though, she was known primarily as Elle Woods from Legally Blonde, the epic 2001 chick flick that expanded her career significantly. Grossing $142 million at the box office, the film opened many doors for Reese and typecast her as the queen of the rom-com genre. She also showed off her dramatic acting chops with her portrayal of June Carter Cash in 2005's Walk The Line. A highly paid actress, she is worth $150 million.
1 Shailene Woodley: The Fault In Our Stars
Shailene Woodley was a 22-year-old actress with little experience under her belt when The Fault In Our Stars came out, in 2014. The film was met with critical acclaim, grossing over $300 million at the box office, and making Shailene a face to watch in Hollywood. She starred in The Divergent Series in 2015 and 2016, Snowden in 2016, and has been a regular cast member on HBO's hit show, Big Little Lies, since 2017. At 27 years old, her career has hit the highway with one success after another. Her successes have already earned her a fortune of about $9 million dollars.