Gisele Bunchen has been coined by Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell as the only true remaining “supermodel”. But before she reached international fame prancing around Victoria’s Secret catwalks in her underwear, she was just a regular girl on a school excursion, eating McDonalds no less. She was scouted by a modelling agency and immediately put into contests. After tasting success, the stunning Brazilian relocated to New York. Attention, all budding models – hit up McDonalds, stat!
Ready for a typical story about a celebrity’s rise to fame? Keep reading. Somehow, Pamela Anderson today isn’t famous for being Canada’s Centennial Baby in 1967 – ie, the first baby born on Canada’s 100th birthday. She’s more well-known for her, um, assets. While working as a fitness instructor after high school, Pammy was spotted at a football game, her image flashed on the big screen and she was called out onto the field to a standing ovation. All for being aesthetically desirable. It wasn’t long before she landed a modelling contract and multiple calls from Hugh Hefner.
All American Television
Because of his famous moustache, Burt Reynolds initially aspired to work as a police officer. However, he started to consider acting when he recited Shakespeare in a class and consequently impressed his professor. After acting in a play, he was awarded a scholarship to the Hyde Park Playhouse in New York. From there on, he earned numerous acting roles on stage and gradually moved towards film.
Johnny Depp has made Edward Scissorhands, Captain Jack Sparrow, Raoul Duke and Mort Rainey legendary. But as a teenager, he was more inclined to become a rock star. He even left school before graduating to focus on his career path. He eventually met Nicolas Cage through his future wife, who suggested acting as a possibility. He auditioned for a movie role for no apparent reason, and now we’re forever grateful for Mr Cage. Unfortunately for Nicolas, Johnny is now a bigger star than him.
20th Century Fox
Before he became known as Hulk Hogan, the wrestler aspired to entertain crowds as a rock star (but don’t we all?). He was rockin’ with his band, Rukus, when pro wrestlers in the crowd spotted him and recommended him to show his skills in a different arena. In a snap, he transformed from unknown struggling musician to one of the most recognised wrestlers in history.
Mr Statham has had a rather interesting life. He was a training athlete in London before he was chosen to model for French Connection after being spotted working out and looking fit. From this opportunity, he met Guy Richie and was cast into the 1998 film “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”, which thankfully was well-received by critics.
Buena Vista Pictures
Believe it or not, Kate from “Lost” used to be in phone sex adverts in Canada. Pre-fame, Evangeline did missionary work in the Philippines and then became a flight attendant. Then, one day walking on the streets of Kelowna in the British Columbia, she was approached to model for Ford. She ended up in phone sex ads to earn money for her education. Didn’t see that one coming!
He’s a household name now, but before portraying William Wallace in “Braveheart” and scoring not one but two coveted Oscars in his film career, his life was far from Hollywood-esque. Mel’s father was awarded US$145 000 after winning a lawsuit against New York Central Railroad, and using the money, moved the family to Sydney. Mel attended school and then NIDA here, before taking off and making it big back in the US. His big break came after his role in 1979’s “Mad Max”, which he auditioned for after a drunken fight at a bar the night before. The director gave him a callback because he said the film “needed freaks”, and Mel seemed to make the cut. Looks like it worked out for him after all!
Village Roadshow Pictures
Today, Marilyn Monroe stands beside Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in name recognition. But before we knew her for being the curvy blonde bombshell that sang happy birthday to JFK, Ms Monroe had a rather household name – Norma Jeane Mortenson, and she sported plain brown locks. She was put in foster homes and orphanages as a child, and worked a less-than-glamourous life at a munitions plant. One day, she was featured on the cover of “Yank, the Army Weekly”, became an overnight sensation, dyed her hair, started acting and the rest was history.
She’s been in “Men in Black II”, “Rent” and “Alexander”. But before she landed such high-profile roles, she was living the hard life in New York. Her mum gave birth to her when she was just 17, and broke into an apartment to provide Rosario with a home. Sitting in front of her humble abode, she was approached by Larry Clark and Harmony Korine, who told her, despite having no previous acting roles on her resume, that she’d be perfect for their new film project, “Kids”. She landed the part and the controversial movie became her breakout role.
John Wayne, aka The Duke, had a thriving football career on scholarship with USC until an injury forfeited his funding. For financial reasons, John landed a job in the props department at Fox. Due to his athletic build, he was occasionally selected to play a football player in the background of films. He eventually befriended director John Ford, which led to his breakout role in “Stagecoach”. John ended up filming 171 movies in the span of 50 years. Impressive!
Steven Seagal actually became famous due to acting as a guinea pig! Creative Artists Agency’s Michael Ovitz was on a mission – he wanted to transform an uncharismatic everyday person into a Hollywood star. At the time, Michael was learning martial arts from Steven, and decided to test his goal on him! While we wouldn’t blame Steven for being offended by the initial reasoning behind his acting career, we’re sure he’s forgiven his trainee!
She’s become known for her appearances in men’s magazines and her MTV reality show, “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila”, but how did her fame come about? It all started when she was scouted at a shopping centre in Texas when she was still in her teens… by a Playboy rep. Before then, she was part of a gang and a victim of a drive-by shooting at 16. She has said that her circumstances inspired her to become a model and move to California in 2001.
Think Mr Brimley has an unmistakable cowboy look? Maybe you wouldn’t be surprised to discover that he was a ranch hand and blacksmith who worked as an extra on movie sets with horses around. His presence was so constant that it became a regular job. When his friend Robert Duvall suggested Wilford to take his acting career one step further, it was probably the best decision of his life – Wilford eventually starred in “True Grit”, “Lawman” and “The Waltons”. Not bad for a guy who decided to take his horse-loving cowboy life on-camera.