ByVaria Fedko-Blake, writer at
Staff Writer at Moviepilot! [email protected] Twitter: @vfedkoblake
Varia Fedko-Blake

Sometimes all it takes is for someone to be in the right place at the right time and... "BOOM!" they've made it and everybody knows their name.

The following eight actors and actresses became famous in rather unconventional ways, stumbling upon fame when they least expected it. Although they went on to become some of the most recognized and hard-working people in Hollywood, their beginnings weren't actually attributed to talent, but rather sheer chance. Let's find out who!

1. Marilyn Monroe

Before she became the world famous blonde bombshell that we all recognize, Marilyn was anything but. In fact, she was born Norma Jeane Mortenson and was a brunette, spending her childhood moving between foster homes and orphanages in LA.

As a young woman, she worked at a munitions plant inspecting parachutes, which is when a local photographer for YANK magazine snapped a picture of her.

The cameraman highlighted to everyone that she was banging hot and that her breasts would change the world. Incidentally, he was right. Marilyn went on to take acting classes, died her hair blonde and became one of the most iconic actresses of the 21st century.

2. Jason Statham

Rough-talking Brit Jason Statham did not get his start in acting in the most conventional of ways either. Many years back, he was set on becoming an Olympian swimmer when he was spotted by a talent agent in a local sports center.

He then modeled for a few fashion ad campaigns, from where his career took off. Today, he is one of the most recognizable faces in crime and action movies.

3. Charlize Theron

When she was 18, a dirt-poor Charlize Theron moved to Hollywood with only one suitcase. One day, as she was trying to cash her very last check, she came head-to-head with a bank teller who refused to accept it because it was from another state. Charlize ended up having a full blown argument, catching the attention of John Crosby, who helped her find a solution with the bank.

He then signed her on to his talent agency on the spot. Within months, with his help, she landed her first role in Children of the Corn III.

I guess it pays to start a mad screaming match out in public once in a while, right?

4. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp initially had no plans to become an actor, wanting to focus on a music career instead. However, that swiftly flopped.

It was only when he went with a friend to an audition for a horror flick about an ugly janitor who murders kids through their dreams that he was introduced to the acting world. Wes Craven ended up giving Depp the part of the protagonist's boyfriend in A Nightmare on Elm Street, who dies in the most grotesque way ever:

5. Mel Gibson

The Australian actor had never even considered a career in movies until he landed one by accident.

Apparently, Mel Gibson was giving a lift to a friend to an audition for Mad Max when he was also dragged in front of the director and producer.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, rather!), the night before the audition, Mel was involved in a drunken brawl at a bar, leaving his face bruised and battered. Yet, when the director saw the sorry sight that he was, he deemed him absolutely perfect for the role. Mel was given a call-back, because as the casting crew put it, the film "needed freaks!"

6. Pamela Anderson

Although Pamela Anderson is best known for keeping the Baywatch series afloat thanks to the buoyancy of her boobs, I bet you didn't know how she got her big break in the first place!

Firstly, she was known as Canada's Centennial Baby in 1967 - i.e. the first baby born after midnight on Canada's 100th birthday. Yet, it was only later when she was bopping about as a fitness instructor with an impressive rack that brought her attention. Apparently, during the a Canadian Football League game, her incredible knockers wearing a Labatt's t-shirt came up on the jumbotron, much to the delight of the fans.

Labatt's quickly signed her on to a modeling contract and the rest is history.

7. Sarah Michelle Gellar

When she was just 4 years old, tiny Sarah Michelle Gellar was eating in a restaurant with her mom in New York City when she was approached by a talent agent. A few months later, she made her movie debut in Invasion of Privacy.

Years later, she stepped into the role of Buffy, the most badass slayer of the undead in Sunnydale.

8. Harrison Ford

Even though he tried to break out into the movie industry a number of times, it seemed that it just wasn't in the cards for Harrison Ford. That is -- until he decided to abandon his acting efforts to become a carpenter instead.

At one point, when he was fixing a door at George Lucas's house, he was invited to audition for a Star Wars movie and snapped up the infamous role of Han Solo!

Sources: and


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