Hollywood Celebrities‘ Fame Road, What Were They Doing Then

Mel Gibson

Despite not being as active in front of the camera as he was before, Mel Gibson’s name is renowned the world over. Before making it big, the most acting experience he had was at a theatre in Sydney. That didn’t stop the actor from going to the Mad Max auditions, even if he had just been in a bar brawl the night before!

Director George Miller saw potential in Mel early on but didn’t think of him as fit for the hero role. To Mel’s credit, he managed to change the director’s mind and got himself cast as the lead upon their second meeting.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle’s discovery story is straight out of a Hollywood flick. She was only four years old when an agent spotted her eating at a restaurant in New York City. Quite the dream, right? Well, things were about to get even better.

Just a week later, she was cast in her first acting job. From there, she continued to get small TV roles—until she was cast as Buffy Summers in the cult-favorite series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The show was often given credit for catapulting her to stardom. Throughout the ‘90s, Sarah was one of the industry’s most popular young actresses.

Joohnny Depp

Growing up, Johnny Depp had no real intention of going into show business. In fact, the only reason he even became one is because of one very fortunate incident. He accompanied a good friend of his, Jackie Earle Haley, to an audition for Wes Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street. Jackie didn’t get the part, but fate had other plans for Johnny.

The filmmaker saw him on set and requested that he audition. We’re sure even Jackie was surprised after he found out that Johnny got the part—getting credit for one of the most memorable and horrible death scenes in the entire film.

Charlize Theron

You might think that for someone as beautiful as Charlize Theron, landing roles in Hollywood would have been a piece of cake. However, this was not the case. The actress moved to Hollywood when she was only 18 years old and lived in a hotel room the whole time. The auditions weren’t working out and eventually, her mother had to loan her money.

It was in the middle of an argument with the bank teller who refused to cash the check that Charlize’s “breakthrough” would happen. Talent agent John Crosby stepped in and offered to represent her. Within a year, Charlize would land her first role.

Matthew McConaughey

Even as a young man Matthew McConaughey had his eyes set on the limelight. The actor even had parts in commercials and student films, before finally making it big. So, how did it happen for him?

It started at a hotel bar in Austin where he met a producer who would later connect Matthew with filmmaker Richard Linklater. The director was casting for Dazed and Confused at the time but thought Matthew was too handsome for the part. The actor didn’t let up, however, and managed to land the role with credit to a creeper mustache and some terrible surfer hair.

Jennifer Lawrence

She went from being a little known actress to being the world’s highest-paid one in 2015 and 2016. Jennifer Lawrence was vacationing in New York City when she caught the eye of a talent agent. She got her start as a teen model and found success in the field, before landing a role in the TV series Monk. Given her talent and charm, she continued to land bigger parts—until she was cast in The Hunger Games franchise.

The producers made quite the risky investment casting a relatively unknown actress to portray the role of Katniss Everdeen, but that gamble has certainly paid off!

Eva Mendes

Known for her sultry good looks, most people might assume that Eva Mendes was a model prior to becoming an actress. However, this isn’t so. In fact, she was looking to establish a career in marketing, when a talent agent discovered her by chance. The agent was looking at another portfolio when he spotted a photo of the owner’s friend, Eva, in one of the shots.

Needless to say, this led to her being cast in 2 Fast 2 Furious and Ghost Rider. To her credit, Eva did make a successful career out of that chance meeting and established herself as a talented actress.

Peter Dinklage

Before winning over legions of fans through his performance as Tyrion Lannister in the series of Game of Thrones, actor Peter Dinklage had an office job and was part of the punk-funk-rap band, Whizzy. Yes, you read that right—he is a talented musician on top of being a versatile actor.

As for the office job, Peter jokes that he doesn’t remember what the company even did and that he would call in sick every Friday because he was partying the night before. It may have been a boring occupation for the actor, but we’re sure he’s grateful that it kept him out of bankruptcy.

Meryl Streep

She is, arguably, the reigning queen of Hollywood and the title doesn’t come without good reason. Aside from being known as one of the most down to earth actresses in the industry, Meryl also has an innate talent that many can only try and emulate. Don’t expect online classes to help you learn her methods—the actress is simply a natural. Surprisingly, this career wasn’t something she had always been interested in.

It was while she was at Vassar College that Meryl discovered what she’s capable of. Even a Vassar drama professor attests to her acting prowess, “She really taught herself.”

Pamela Anderson

She’s best remembered by audiences for her role as Lisa on Home Improvement and as CJ Parker on Baywatch, the role often given credit for helping her gain public recognition. Before getting cast on the show, however, someone had to discover the actress first.

Her story is one for the books. Pamela went to a football game in Canada wearing a Labatt’s shirt, nothing too exciting, until she appeared on the big screen. That’s when the crowd went wild and she was called to the field. This was eventually followed with a Labatt contract, a playboy shoot, and then Hollywood.