Every year, thousands of young men and women move to Hollywood with dreams of fame and fortune. More often than not, they never make it to the A-list. But the truth is: that most of the time, it’s pure luck that gets you noticed in Hollywood. The actors on this list might be exceptionally talented and hard-working, but that’s not why they’re famous. Nah, they were just in the right place at the right time. Here is Screen Rant’s list of 10 Famous Actors Who Made It Big By Accident
Charlize Theron may have torn up the big screen as Imperator Furiosa in the amazing Mad Max: Fury Road, but she wasn’t always such an imposing figure. In fact, her big break in life came when she was at one of her lowest moments. Though she trained to be a professional ballet dancer, Theron tried to make it as an actress after a knee injury ended her dancing career. She got her big break after throwing a tantrum at a bank because a teller wouldn’t let her cash a cheque. An talent agent behind her in line noticed her passion, asked if she was an actress, and quickly landed Theron her first starring role as a dominatrix in 2 Days in the Valley.
Though he had a small role in George Lucas’s American Graffiti in 1973, Harrison Ford was still making a living as a carpenter at the age of 35. When it came to casting Star Wars, however, Lucas asked his old friend to sit in for auditions and screen tests, standing in for characters that hadn’t been cast yet. To Ford’s surprise, Lucas liked his screen test of Han Solo so much that he gave Ford the role. As we all know, Han Solo became the breakout character of Star Wars, and Harrison Ford would go on to star as the rogue-ish Indiana Jones in another George Lucas-produced film, Raiders of the Lost Ark. The rest, as they say, is history.
Natalie Portman grew up on Long Island, but she got her big break in a New York City pizza parlour at the age of 11. When a scout for Revlon cosmetics spotted her in the restaurant and asked her if she was interested in modelling, she said no. Natalie wanted to act. The scout put her in touch with some agents, and she was soon cast as a lead character in Luc Besson’s The Professional. Later on, Portman starred in hits like Star Wars: Episode 1, V for Vendetta and Black Swan, but it was all thanks to that time she got a slice o’ pizza pie in ol’ New Yawk City.
You probably know Ken Jeong best as Dr. Ken, the title character of ABC’s hit sitcom. But did you know that Jeong actually is a doctor? For years, Jeong worked as a licensed physician in California while he moonlighted as a stand-up comedian. It wasn’t until he appeared in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up — playing a doctor — that he was able to give up medicine and pursue acting full time. Since then, he’s appeared in The Hangover, Community, and several Judd Apatow movies. Who would have expected a regular ol’ doctor to become famous, simply by playing himself?
Like many of the other actors on this list, Channing Tatum was spotted “in the wild” on the streets of Miami by a talent scout. Recognized for his good looks, Tatum began modelling and acting. He made his first TV appearance on an episode of CSI: Miami in 2004 and broke onto the A-list with Step Up in 2006. Before he was discovered, though, Tatum made ends meet in an, uh, exposed fashion. As an 18-year-old, Tatum began stripping at a Miami nightclub under the name “Chan Crawford.” Though he later claimed that he did it because he was “young and dumb”, these experiences inspired the hit Magic Mike series, so they can’t have been that bad!