ByJack Carr, writer at
You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon, and you are my daughter.
Jack Carr

She may be most famous as the Transformers star who is frequently voted the world's sexiest woman, but Megan Fox's career could have turned out very, very differently...

Although she studied dance and drama from just 5 years old, Megan was also a seriously good swimmer. Fox's mother Gloria has previously spoken with pride about her daughter's swimming accomplishments, having smashed the under-8 record time for individual medley whilst swimming in competition in Kingston, Tennessee, near her home town.

Having been raised in a strictly Pentecostal home, Fox's religious upbringing probably has a lot to do with the emphasis her parents put on achievement in sports from a young age.

But don't think she was just a champion in the pool; she also studied ballet and tap, and specialized in performance jump rope, which, for the uninitiated, looks like this (courtesy of the Hungarian national jump rope champs):

So if you were ever one of those people who wrote Fox off as a talentless, you might be surprised to learn that things could have turned out very differently for this dark horse.

And she's not the only one: each of these celebs who made their name in the world of acting or entertainment previously passed up on the opportunity to try and make it in the world of pro sports...

1. George Clooney

We know him best as the breakout star of ER who went on to do some seriously great films (Ocean's Eleven, Gravity, and next year's Hail, Caesar!) - and the odd facepalm-er (looking at you, Batman & Robin), but Hollywood's silverest fox very nearly became a pro baseball player instead.

In 1977 he received an offer to try out for the Cincinnati Reds, having been a standout player at Augusta High School in Kentucky aged 16. He didn't make it past the first cut, which must have been heartbreaking - but one door closes and another door opens, as they say. He's probably not too mad about it anymore.

2. Jason Statham

Before he was England's go-to movie gangster, Jason Statham had a way more surprising career: he actually represented his country at the Commonwealth Games in 1990. Impressive, don't you think? Check it out below.

Even at 23, his body is pretty insane. Still, diving's loss is cinema's gain... right?

3. Kurt Russell

You'll next see legit screen legend Kurt Russell in Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, but did you know that the Massachusetts-born actor could have been a sporting hero?

In 1972, Russell was named a minor-league all-star for the California Angels (now the Los Angeles Angels) and was all set to be called up to the majors the following year - until fate struck and a torn rotator cuff ruled him out for good.

Baseball DNA clearly runs in the family, because Russell's nephew Matt Franco played in first base for the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets.

4. Charlize Theron

Having spent her childhood in South Africa, Charlize moved to Milan, Italy at the age of 16 to pursue her dream of becoming a pro ballet dancer. At 17, she relocated again to New York to attend the prestigious Joffery Ballet School.

Unfortunately for her, Theron's knees couldn't handle it, and so she pursued modeling and eventually acting instead. In his own way, the big man in the sky must have been smiling down on her, because it all turned out pretty well.

5. Louis Tomlinson

One Direction star and notorious Yorkshireman Louis grew up an avid fan of the Doncaster Rovers, who play in the third league of English football.

After achieving global fame with his questionably-attired bandmates, Louis retrospectively signed to the Rovers in 2013. It was all a PR gimmick, obv, but it did allow him to play a reserve team game.

In 2014 he announced that he had bought the Rovers, but later had to admit that the takeover had fallen through, which is pretty embarrassing - but hey, he's always got his millions to cheer him up.


Which celeb should have stuck to sport?


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