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15 Stars Who Got Into Acting Accidentally

Celebs December 13, 2016 By Vincent

Sometimes, people have always dreamed of being something or working in a specific industry from a very young age and so they set out to try and achieve those goals and dreams whilst other times people just drift on by and settle into whatever comes their way. However, it is very rare for someone to achieve great success in such a highly competitive and sought after field as acting, especially when it was never their dream in the first place.


Here we document a group of big name stars who never really thought about acting until it came their way by accident.

15. Johnny Depp

Yes, that's right. The man with one of the most eclectic resumes in Hollywood never really wanted to be an actor and was only convinced to do it in order to pick up more money whilst working on his fledgling music career. Agreeing to the idea, he accompanied a friend to the audition for Nightmare on Elm Street and was cast for his dreamy good looks.


This would lead to a career as Tim Burton's go-to actor and Disney's go to cash-cow. He still occasionally plays in bands.

14. Estella Warren

The Canadian actress and model didn't start out her career in either of those fields as she actually aspired to be a synchronized swimmer and was good enough to be on the Canadian National Team for many, many years. However, it was out of the pool where she made a splash in fashion whilst participating in a school fashion show.


A talent scout spotted her and got her work on the runway and in magazines, this lead to TV commercials that then went on to become bigger acting roles.

13. Rosario Dawson

A 16-year-old Rosario Dawson hadn't even considered acting as a career when she was approached on her front porch by a photographer named Larry Clark, who was then writing the screenplay for his film that would later become Kids and he thought Dawson would be the perfect fit for the character of Ruby.


Dawson then went on to star in things like Sin City, Rent,  Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.

12. Channing Tatum

A promising school football star, Tatum got a scholarship  to college on the back of his sporting talents but would later drop out and take up odd jobs around LA including stripping for a living. He was then spotted for his good looks by a modeling agent and picked up work like that until he was encouraged to move into acting.


His breakout film Magic Mike was largely based on his experience as a stripper and he has gone on to become a serious star.

11. Evangeline Lilly

With no interest in acting or modeling, Evangeline Lilly was spotted in British Columbia by a talent scout who tried to convince her to go into modeling. Initially unbothered by the advances, she eventually contacted the scout when she needed money for her college tuition and then she started picking up modeling roles.


These went on to become TV roles in Lost  which then landed her bigger and bigger film roles.

10. Danny Trejo

The grizzled, Mexican hardman has had a prodigious film and television career appearing in things such as Breaking Bad, Machete Kills, Desperado and Con Air but things didn't start out too rosy for the actor. With a severe drug addiction starting from a young age, troubles with crime dogged Danny and he ended up at the infamous San Quentin prison where he became a boxing champion.


After leaving prison, Trejo was put on a 12-step rehabilitation program and was speaking at a meeting where he met a young man working on a film called Runaway Train who asked him if he'd be an extra. Whilst on set, he met another man who remembered him as a boxing champ from his time in jail and asked him to train the main cast for the film and it was whilst doing this the director decided he was good enough to give an actual role to in the film. Trejo now has an extensive body of work as well as helping other recovering addicts in his spare time.

9. Lana Turner

An iconic actress and sex symbol of the 1940s and 50s, Lana Turner was simply drinking  soda in a cafe one day when she was spotted and introduced to a man who got the 15-year-old a small part in They Won’t Forget and this led on to bigger and brighter things for the starlet who then became a household name.


Her good looks later became a bane of her career as she desperately tried to move into more serious roles, which she did eventually accomplish but with much hard work.

8. Sharlto Copley

Sharlto Copley did actually start out wanting to be an actor and actually studied drama at college. However, little success came his way by 19 and so he decided to build a business around his passion and he co-founded several companies in the entertainment industry. By the time he was twenty-four, he was South Africa’s youngest TV producer.


Copley befriended a young designer named Neill Blomkamp and allowed him to use his company computers for his design projects. Blomkamp would later go on to direct his debut feature District 9 and cast Copley in the lead role that would make him a star. Copley would then appear in Blomkamp's other features,  Elysium and Chappie as well as films such as The A-Team.

7. David Boreanaz

He did have one previous acting role before being cast in Buffy The Vampire Slayer  but he had no real thought of pursuing a career in acting. It was only because the role of Angel needed a ridiculously handsome character that he was cast as a neighbor of his was a friend of Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Marti Noxon and they saw him walking his dog past their house.


According to Joss Whedon, it was the reaction of all the ladies in the room when he came into the audition that got him the job and he went on from Buffy to get his own spin-off show Angel as well as then starring in smash hit  Bones.

6. Charlize Theron

A young Theron actually wanted to be a dancer and it was only due to a knee injury that she was forced to consider other career options and so she took on a few modeling contracts. However, still struggling to make ends meet, it was when she was in a bank and a teller refused to cash her cheque that she made a scene.


Fortunately for her, a casting agent was behind her in the queue and appreciated her flair for the dramatic and gave her his card. Theron is now an Oscar winner and highly acclaimed actor.

5. Mel Gibson

Like Sharlto Copley, Gibson wanted to be an actor but thought he would never make it and so was considering other options when he agreed to drive a friend to the audition for Mad Max. The night before, Gibson had gotten into a bar fight and his face was mangled enough for the casting people to ask him to come back in a few weeks when they'd be looking at who would play the film's villain.


When Gibson came back in three weeks, his face had recovered its usual good looks and he was suddenly considered for the title role, which would launch his career.

4. John Wayne

As a youngster, Wayne wanted to be a football player but an injury ended his dream and so he wound up working for the movie studios moving heavy equipment around. His athletic build landed him roles as an extra and then he started getting noticed more and more around the lots and got bigger and bigger roles.


His real name was Marion Robert Morrison and he was asked to change his moniker for his first big role. This he did and his masculinity went on to him becoming the quintessential cowboy in all the big westerns of his era.

3. Alexis Bledel

Studying at NYU and looking for quick cash in between her sporadic part-time modeling work, Bledel decided to audition for Gilmore Girls experience so that she could pick up a bit of quick cash in smaller opportunities later on. Suffering from the flu, she didn't really even put that much effort in at her audition.


The show creator saw past this though and thought she would be perfect for the role of Rory Gilmore and thus started her television career that included the hit HBO show Mad Men.

2. Sarah-Michelle Gellar

The Buffy The Vampire Slayer star never really considered her career options and that's, in part, down to the fact that she never really had to as she was spotted in a restaurant with her parents in Manhattan at the age of four. She was then cast in a Burger King commercial and then the role of Kendall Hart on the daytime soap All My Children.


This led her to go on to do the Buffy The Vampire slayer series which would make her a star and land her starring roles in films The Grudge and Cruel Intentions

1. Jennifer Lawrence

How can the biggest star around and Oscar-winning actor, Jennifer Lawrence, not have wanted to pursue the career that she has risen to the top off as one of the best performers of her generation? Well, whilst on a trip to Manhattan with her mother at the age of fourteen, she was approached by a talent scout who said that he could get her into modeling.


A few modeling shoots later and Lawrence thought that turning her hand to acting might be fun and her talent agent began to set up a few auditions for her. The rest, as they say, is history. 

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