Ashton Kutcher

Even from the get-go, Ashton Kutcher’s good looks have always gained much attention. He was a simple college student, pursuing an engineering degree when he was discovered by a talent scout. His first taste of the spotlight was at a modeling competition. Despite being a rookie, Ashton ended up winning.

He would go on to a number of other similar contests, gaining popularity in the process. Eventually, he would land huge brand deals for the likes of Versace and Calvin Klein. His big break came after he was cast in That 70’s Show, gaining public recognition and meeting his future wife in the process.

Rosario Dawson

When it comes to luck, Rosario Dawson has plenty. Unlike other celebrities on our list so far, the beautiful actress didn’t even have to leave home in order to get discovered. The then fifteen-year-old was simply hanging out on the porch of their home when she caught the eye of a screenwriter, who was working on the script for Kids at the time.

As the story goes, she took his advice and went to audition. To her credit, Rosario had the talent and was cast as Ruby. This would lead to more roles, including one in Spike Lee’s He Got Game.

Jason Statham

He’s among the highest-paid actors in Hollywood at present, but before he was in movies, Jason Statham was selling jewelry in the streets of London to keep himself out of bankruptcy. It was while he was out and about, minding his business when a talent agent took notice of him. This was a major turning point in his story for that meeting led Jason to director Guy Richie.

Guy was working on his debut feature Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels at the time and saw much potential. With that, Jason managed to land the first of many other high profile roles.

Harrison Ford

Even the actor’s early beginnings could be turned into a movie. Before becoming one of the industry’s most respected actors, Harrison trained in carpentry as a means of supporting his family. As fate would have it, he was hired by Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas to build cabinetry for his home. This led to a friendship between the two and the director would later offer Harrison a role in the film, American Graffiti.

Combined with his innate talent and good looks, we have to credit Harrison’s work ethic as well. He was able to turn their chance meeting into an illustrious Hollywood career.

Samuel L. Jackson

His onscreen presence is incomparable and his versatility certainly is one of actor Samuel L. Jackson’s strengths. He has starred in countless blockbusters and highly acclaimed productions, including the Avengers, Pulp Fiction, and Django Unchained. His collaborations with Quentin Tarantino are always highly anticipated and with good reason.

The director helped him reach the level of success he has now. With credit to his role in Pulp Fiction, he was able to introduce his talents to a wider audience. Not only did the film go on to become a cult favorite, it also catapulted him into public recognition. That success still continues to this day.

Wilford Brimley

Some aspiring actors and actresses bus tables while they wait for their big break to happen. In Wilford Brimley’s case, he was so far removed from Hollywood that the chances of him becoming an actor were close to none.

He was working on a ranch as a blacksmith. A real-life cowboy who could ride a horse really well. It was this talent that led to him getting cast in a number of Westerns as an extra. Robert Duvall eventually convinced Wilford to put in the investments needed to build a career as an actor. Fortunately, this advice really paid off in the end.

Estella Warren

The actress was on an entirely different career path before she started getting cast for various productions. Prior to receiving credit for her appearance in Kangaroo Jack and Planet of the Apes, she was part of the Canadian National Swimming Team for years. In fact, Estella began training with them at the age of twelve!

However, competing with the team took a backseat after she was scouted by a talent agent during a high school fashion show. She was offered a modeling job the same day and that led to commercial appearances, as well as acting roles in both film and TV.

Danny Trejo

He’s played some of the most memorable characters in movies and his early beginnings were just as colorful. The actor struggled with personal issues as a young man, with many of his actions leading to prison sentences. With much credit to his efforts, he was able to pull his life back together. Danny even became a boxing champ after!

His ticket to Hollywood came from a screenwriter he did time with. At first, he was hired to provide boxing training for the cast but was eventually signed on to appear in the film itself. Since then, he has made quite a successful career for himself.

Christoph Waltz

Choosing acting as a profession isn’t always glamorous. This is something Christoph Waltz is quite familiar with. He earned a living doing behind-the-scenes stage work and kept his family out of bankruptcy through the small TV roles he managed to land. The Austrian actor consistently works hard, so it isn’t too surprising that his efforts were eventually rewarded.

He got his big break with the help of director Quentin Tarantino who cast him in Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds, where he portrayed SS officer Hans Landa. Since then, Christoph has won two Oscars and has established himself in the industry as a bankable actor.

Alexis Bledel

With her doll-like features, Alexis Bledel certainly stands out from the average mall crowd—this was how she got scouted as a model, after all. While modeling seemed like a great idea at first, Alexis quickly realized that she wasn’t earning enough to pay for her NYU tuition and finish her degree.

Fortunately, her beauty came with an abundance of talent as well. While auditioning for roles, she also worked a number of different jobs—including waiting tables. Eventually, she landed the part of Rory in the Gilmore Girls series, despite the fact that she had the flu during auditions for it!