It’s no secret that having connections in Hollywood can influence your success in business. This can be said for how Alden Ehrenreich got his start, but his family connections aren’t the only thing that deserves credit for his blooming career. His father, who worked as Steven Spielberg’s accountant, got him through the door but it was up to Alden to leave a lasting impression.
And that he did. Alden impressed the director so much that Steven immediately got him an agent. His audition piece? A comedy video that also starred Steven’s own daughter. Needless to say, we know who stood out between the two!
Most might assume that actor Chris Pratt got started in the business as a model, with credit to his good looks. However, you might be surprised at how he found his way into Hollywood. No, he was not approached at random while out in the streets of Los Angeles or New York. The Guardians of the Galaxy star was working as a waiter at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in Maui when he got scouted.
It was director Rae Dawn Chong who saw potential in the guy serving their table. Right there, she decided to cast Chris in the horror movie she was working on!
In Evangeline Lilly’s case, acting was never really in the cards for her, but as luck would have it she was meant to be in Hollywood. At the time she was scouted by an agent from the famed modeling agency, Ford, she wasn’t looking to turn it into a career. Instead, Evangeline saw it as a means of getting the money she needed to pay for college without needing student loans.
Her first job? A commercial for a hotline catering to Canadian singles. Not bad for a start, because that led to small TV roles—including her breakthrough performance in Lost.
A teacher’s job often requires going beyond the four walls of their classrooms. The best ones can help put us on the right path, especially when it comes to our future careers. Such was the case with funny gal Kristen Wiig. It was one of her teachers who encouraged the actress to pursue acting after getting her college degree.
She later moved to Los Angeles and became part of The Groundlings improv group. She spent a few years working various jobs, whilst going to auditions, but eventually got the break she needed through SNL. Kristen was 32 years old at the time!
From actors who weren’t keen on acting at first to someone who actively sought a way into the business, Sharlto Copley did the most in order to pursue his dream. Performing in various school productions and even trying for a drama degree in college. His efforts weren’t bearing fruit, however, so Sharlto opted to go into business.
By 19 years old, he had already co-founded several companies. At 24, he was South Africa’s youngest TV producer! It was during this time when he lent, then rookie-director, Neil Blomkamp a few computers. Neil didn’t forget this gesture and repaid Sharlto with a lead role in District 9.
Cinderella and Sylvester Stallone are polar opposites, but they do have one thing in common. Before reaching the top of his game, Sylvester was a “starving artist” who was struggling to get his work noticed. This was during the 1970s and at one point, he couldn’t even afford to pay his rent—ending up in the streets and looking for a place to sleep.
Like the fairytale, he went from dealing with bankruptcy to being one of the richest celebrities in Hollywood. This is thanks to the script he wrote for Rocky. The best bit? He got to play the lead role in it!
Even as a young boy, Morgan Freeman had a love for movies. He would always save every penny he could find so that he could watch movies. When he reached his teens, however, the actor had to turn down a partial drama degree scholarship—a decision that must have been very difficult for him to do. Instead, Morgan opted for a much different career, one in the U.S. Air Force.
Acting has always been his passion, however, and after he was discharged in 1959 the actor moved to Hollywood. His skill didn’t go unnoticed, even though his big break didn’t come until he was 52 years old!
Most of us know Hulk Hogan as a wrestling icon, who helped make the sport more mainstream. Before entering the world of wrestling, however, he was a talented Little League Baseball pitcher. So talented, in fact, that he even got the attention of scouts from both the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Yankees!
Aside from this, he also played bass for a band and performed regularly in Florida. Needless to say, his work ethic has always been excellent. No wonder the former actor and wrestler has managed to stay out of bankruptcy and maintain his lifestyle even after he went into retirement.
Natalie Portman should get a sponsorship from a pizza chain given how she was discovered. The award-winning actress was scouted at 11 years old by a representative from Revlon. In true Natalie fashion, however, she told the rep that she had no interest in modeling—but wanted to get into acting instead. To her credit, she did get what she wanted.
Natalie spent two summers honing her skills in local theater productions. By 1993, however, she got cast for Luc Besson’s Léon: The Professional. Initially thought to be too young, she was able to deliver a stellar performance in the role.
On the small island of Barbados, Rihanna cultivated her big dreams. In 2003, she formed a group with two of her classmates, and with a bit of luck, they were able to get an audition with Evan Rogers. According to the famed record producer, he noticed Rihanna the moment she entered the room. “It was like the other two girls didn’t exist.” Despite her young age, the singer and entrepreneur’s presence was already palpable.
For the audition, she performed Emotion by Destiny’s Child. From there, she was flown to the United States to record demos. The degree of success Rihanna has achieved since then is certainly inspiring.