ByGenevieve Van Voorhis, writer at
Game of Thrones, ASOUE, and all things '00s. Twitter: @gen_vanvee Email: [email protected]
Genevieve Van Voorhis

The life of a Hollywood A-lister might look easy, but some of our favorite stars have had a hard road to get to the top. Read their inspiring stories below.

1. Chris Pratt

Today he's one of Hollywood's hottest actors, having done big blockbusters like Jurassic World and Guardians Of The Galaxy.

The 36-year-old star told Ellen Degeneres:

"I lived in a van in Maui when I was 19 for about a year."

Here he is holding the script for Cursed Part 3 outside his humble abode. He made $700 to do that movie, and lived off the money for a year.

He's now happily married to Anna Faris, and has an adorable son, Jack.

2. Sylvester Stallone

Ever heard of a little film called The Party At Kitty & Stud's? Maybe you know it by its later name, The Italian Stallion? That's right — it's Sylvester Stallone's softcore '70s porno flick.

via Buzzfeed
via Buzzfeed

He made the film in 1969, and ten years later, the actor told Playboy:

"I was starving when I did it. I’d been bounced out of my apartment and had spent four nights in a row at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, trying to avoid the cops, trying to get some sleep and keeping my pens and books in a 25-cent locker. I mean, I was desperate. That’s why I thought it was extraordinary when I read in one of the trade papers that I could make $100 a day. And the fact that I had to take off my clothes to do it was no big deal."

Hard times didn't end after The Party At Kitty & Stud's. After the $200 bucks (in today's money, it would have been $1,290) disappeared, he was still in dire straits. Only this time, his wife was pregnant. So what did he do?

Check out the answer from a 1976 issue of the New York Times:

"Well, one answer was that Stallone, a sometime actor-turned-screenwriter, could sit down and in 3 1/2 days write a screenplay with a meaty starring role in it for himself, persuade someone to film it, and wind up a millionaire. Improbable? Pessimists might say so, and advise Stallone to try something more sure, like the Irish Sweepstakes. Impossible? Well, no, because you see, there's this new movie, called 'Rocky.'"

It took only 28 days and a million bucks to make Rocky — a movie that split critics right down the middle but ended up launching the multi-million dollar franchise that rescued Stallone's career.

3. Sam Worthington

Source: Screenrant
Source: Screenrant

What did Sam Worthington say when James Cameron offered him the lead in Avatar? Cameron remembered the story to the Toronto Sun:

"He said he needed a week to get his brakes fixed... He was living in his car."
Source: Beau Grealey, Ring Studio
Source: Beau Grealey, Ring Studio

The Clash Of The Titans actor desperately needed a chance, and that's exactly what Cameron gave him. The director continued to describe the currently rich and famous 37-year-old actor:

"He's not interested in the wealth and the glitz and all that. He just likes to finish the job and go surfing with his buddies. He's intensely loyal to his friends."
Source: Fox
Source: Fox

The humble 39-year-old himself told the Times Of India:

"The journey has just started; I have to go far away in my voyage and have seen a lot of ups and down so far and I am ready for anything, anything that could happen — irrespective of good or bad. I can still live in my car (laughs) and I am not at all trapped with stardom."

4. Jennifer Lopez

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The 46-year-old dancer, singer and actress faced opposition from her family the moment she decided to pursue her career in the arts. She told W Magazine:

"My mom and I butted heads. I didn’t want to go to college—I wanted to try dance full-time. So she and I had a break. I started sleeping on the sofa in the dance studio. I was homeless, but I told her, ‘This is what I have to do.’ A few months later, I landed a job dancing in Europe. When I got back, I booked In Living Color. I became a Fly Girl and moved to L.A. It all happened in a year.”

Today, Jenny from the Block is worth a whopping $320 million.

And in case you don't remember what a Fly Girl is:

5. Carmen Electra

The Playboy Model and Baywatch actress had a pretty conservative upbringing in Cincinnati. Back then she was called Tara Leigh Patrick, and she went to Princeton High School and Barbizon Modeling and Acting School. She moved to Ohio and started dancing in shows at Kings Island amusement park. That's where she got discovered by an artist known as Prince.

She and Prince became involved both professionally and romantically, with her signing onto his record label Paisley Park Records under the stage name Carmen Electra. She toured with Prince and danced at his club in Vegas for a while, but ultimately the relationship and the gig ended.

Electra revealed to Review Journal that a scummy boyfriend in the '90s stole her $5,000 savings, and she found herself homeless in LA:

"I remember sitting on a park bench in the valley. I was crying because I was stranded. It was over 100 degrees outside. I was sitting there with a pocketknife and a pager and some change in my pocket, and a really nice pair of high heels. Versace heels, because I had a few pieces of my amazing clothes I'd gotten along the way."

And how does she feel about her homeless history now that she's an international super star?

"I love it, because you know what? Maybe that's what gave me the drive to be in this business, and stick it out, and really push myself and make it happen. I made a decision to do it on my own... and to be an independent woman, and I'm proud of that."

What's your favorite rags to riches story?

Via:, ETonline


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