It’s hard to believe that there are celebrities out there who have become famous without ever having to audition. Is that really possible? Apparently, for some, it happens and that’s pretty incredible. Imagine being so good looking that you can just walk into the mall and get selected to star in the movie. That’s the way it happened for some celebrities but not always. Some people who worked really hard in the industry for many years before they get the role of a lifetime. But who wants to work hard when you can get the chance of a lifetime without even auditioning.
Sometimes, people get selected from modelling agencies or just because their Instagram followers are in the high millions. What happened to talent? Not that we are saying that these celebrities aren’t talented, but they seemed to have an easier break in Hollywood than most celebrities in the business. Sometimes, all it takes is some good genes to get you the role that helps your career take off. You might be surprised to find out who got their big break this way. Check out these 20 celebs who got their first acting gig without even auditioning.
20 Johnny Depp for Elm Street
Johnny Depp actually had no intention of being an actor. At only 15, he dropped out of school to focus on a music career. He started a band and then headed off to Los Angeles. He was married at the time and his wife introduced him to Nicolas Cage. He actually went with his friend Jackie Earle Haley to his audition for A Nightmare on Elm Street. Wes Craven’s daughter found Depp to be “dreamy” and told her father he had to have the part. Wes Craven him to come in for the role and that was the beginning of a very successful career.
19 Jennifer Lawrence in Monk
For someone so young, it’s really hard to believe that Lawrence is a famous actress who has already won an Oscar. She’s been in some of the best films in the last few years and has been nominated many times. Her success almost seems accidental when you think about it. She happened to be vacationing in New York City when she was spotted by a modelling scout at the tender age of 12. She started off as a teen model and her first gig was on the TV series Monk.
18 Rosario Dawson in Kids
Rosario Dawson just so happened to be at the right place at the right time. She was sitting on her front porch in the Lower East Side when she was spotted by photographer Larry Clark and his associate Harmony Korine. At the time, Korine was writing the screenplay which would eventually become the movie Kids. The two of them thought she would be perfect for the part and she wasn’t even out there trying to be an actor. This was obviously her big break and she went on to make many movies after that.
17 Evangeline Lilly in Lost
Evangeline Lily was another actress that seemed to get plucked out of nowhere. She had no interest in being a model or an actress, but that didn’t stop Hollywood from snagging her. She was just taking a walk in Kelowna, British Columbia when she was approached by a scout for Ford Models. She eventually contacted them because she wanted extra money for college. She was studying international relations and needed the money. It was when she got cast in Lost that her career really took off. She's now in the blockbuster Ant-Man and the Wasp.
16 Charlize Theron in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest
Charlize Theron is undoubtedly gorgeous so it’s not surprising that a scout snagged her right out from an appointment with the bank. It was her anger that peeked the curiosity of a scout. Theron told Oprah during an interview for O Magazine, “I’m like, ‘It’s survival, people.’ If I didn’t cash that check, I wouldn’t have had a place to sleep that night. I said to the teller, ‘You don’t understand — please!’ I was begging and pleading, and a gentleman came over and tried to help. I had to fill out a ton of paperwork and open an account, and I cashed the check.” She was spotted and her first role was in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest.
15 Danny Trejo in Runaway Train
Danny Trejo has had an interesting life. He had some serious personal struggles and wasn't exactly a good citizen. He was actually in recovery in a twelve-step program when he was asked to come and help out on the set of Runaway Train. The guy thought he would make the perfect convict for the movie and with his grizzly look, we would have to agree. He was also paid to train guys on set and help with their boxing skills and that's how his life took a turn for the better. He even taught actor Eric Roberts how to fight.
14 Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused
Matthew McConaughey really didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life, all he knew was that he didn’t want to follow his father into the oil business. He was another actor that happened to be in the right place at the right time when he sat at a hotel bar. He ended up meeting a casting director who introduced him to Richard Linklater who just so happened to be casting Dazed and Confused. At first, Linklater worried that McConaughey was too good looking for the part, but McConaughey proved that he could be creepy and sleazy when he wanted to be.
13 Lana Turner in They Won’t Forget
There were certainly times that Lana Turner’s talent was overshadowed by her stunning good looks. Sometimes, that’s how many celebrities become big, just because of the way they look. She became an iconic fox symbol during the height of her career and it all happened because she was spotted having a soda at Top Hat Café. She was introduced to Zeppo Marx who got her the role in They Won’t Forget. It wasn’t long before she got her breakout role in The Postman Always Rings Twice.
12 Marilyn Monroe in Dangerous Years
You might be surprised to find out that one of the most iconic blondes in history was actually born a brunette. Marilyn Monroe had a rough childhood as she spent a lot of time in orphanages and foster homes. She had often dreamed about being a star just like Lana Turner. A photographer spotted her while she was working at a plant. All he did was take her picture and put it in a magazine and that was the beginning for her. She dyed her hair blonde and the first role she snagged was Dangerous Years.
11 Mel Gibson in Mad Max
Imagine driving a friend to an audition and snagging the role for yourself instead? That’s exactly what happened to Mel Gibson. He had zero experience and yet, when he drove a friend to an audition for the movie Mad Max, it was him that they wanted. His face was bruised from a bar fight the night before and when director George Miller saw him, he thought he would be perfect for the role as one of the bad guys. When Gibson returned a few weeks later without his bruises, Miller saw how gorgeous he was and cast him as the hero.
10 Sharlto Copley in District 9
Sharlto Copley had always wanted to be an actor, but he had given up on it by the time he was cast in District 9. He ended up becoming one of the youngest TV producers in the industry in his 20s. It was at the moment that he had given up on acting that he met a young Neill Blomkamp and let him use his computers. Because of his kindness, Blomkamp decided to cast him in his movie which made a star out of Copley. He went on to star in two more of Blomkamp’s movies, Elysium and Chappie.
9 Sarah Michelle Gellar in An Invasion of Privacy
Sarah Michelle Gellar actually got discovered at the age of four which is pretty huge. She’s been in the industry for a really long time. She was eating at a restaurant in New York City when she was spotted by an agent. That eventually led her to being cast in movies. It only took her a week to land her first gig as an actor in the TV movie An Invasion of Privacy. She moved on to All My Children and then got her breakout role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And the rest is history.
8 David Boreanaz in Buffy the vampire slayer
It blows our minds when we find out that some actors have been discovered because they were doing mundane things. David Boreanaz was just walking his dog when his career-defining role just fell into his lap. Prior to that, he had no acting career at all. He can thank his neighbors who saw him walking by and happened to talk to the Buffy’s writer and told them that they knew who they could hire for the role. He was brought in for the role and the rest is history.
7 Jason Statham in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
Sometimes, it is just sheer luck that gets you the role of a lifetime. Back before he was famous, Jason Statham used to sell fake jewelry on the streets of London to pay his bills. He was an amateur high diver and wasn’t making any money. A talent agent spotted the handsome Brit while he was working out and brought him to meet Guy Ritchie. The director wanted Statham to be a street vendor who was selling fake jewelry. Now, what are the chances of that? He didn’t even need to act for that role.
6 Marion Robert Morrison in Mother Machree
John Wayne never intended on being an actor, in fact, he wanted to be a professional football player. But due to an injury, he wasn’t able to. He eventually got a job at Fox Film Corporation as a grunt worker who moved around furniture and props. Director John Ford eventually had him in some of his movies as an extra. Overtime, the two became good friends and Ford continued to give him small acting gigs. It wasn’t long before Wayne was being introduced to other directors and got his first starring role.
5 Natalie Portman in The Professional
Natalie Portman was a young girl when she was spotted by a talent agent while eating pizza. At 11, she got thrown into the world of modelling, but it wasn’t long before she grew tired of it. She was quite young when she got the role in The Professional. Many people thought she was too young to be in such a serious role. She proved that she was an amazing actress and she went on to make a ton of movies and even won an Oscar for her role in Black Swan.
4 Alexis Bledel in Gilmore Girls
It’s always crazy to hear when actors get their breakout roles without any experience at all. Alexis Bledel had never acted before she got the role in Gilmore Girls. She had been scouted as a model and the only reason she got into acting was because she was looking for a way to pay her tuition. She had said that she was sick and miserable with the flu, so she barely tried at the audition. They must have seen something in her because they cast her in the lead role as Rory Gilmore.
3 Pamela Anderson in Home Improvement
Pamela Anderson found her way to Hollywood through sheer luck. She’s a gorgeous woman but she clearly always had that thing about her that people just loved. Her life changed one day when she decided to go to a football game in Canada wearing a Labatt T-shirt. She suddenly found herself on the big screen and the crowd went so crazy for her that they asked her to come down for a standing ovation. That led to a beer contract, then a Playboy centerfold, and then Hollywood started rolling out the red carpet. She got the role on Home Improvement and her big break came when she was cast in Baywatch.
2 Wilford Brimley in True Grit
We love Wilford Brimley and he had such a long and strong career in Hollywood. He had well over 70 film credits to his name and he even became an oatmeal spokesperson. Brimley never intended to become an actor, in fact, he was a real-life cowboy. He worked as a blacksmith and a ranch hand and it was because he was a real-life cowboy that he started getting cast in some westerns. He was good friends with Robert Duvall and that was when he was convinced to really give acting a try. His film debut was with True Grit and after that, he got his break on The Waltons.
1 Harrison Ford in Star Wars
Considering how huge of a star Harrison Ford is, it’s hard to believe that there was a time that he was more than happy being a carpenter. It was a casting consultant by the name of Fred Roos thought Ford would be perfect for the lead role in Star Wars. At the time, George Lucas only wanted new actors and Ford had already starred in one of his movies. Roos brought Ford to the set to install a door and that was when Lucas noticed him and cast him in the role that made his entire career.