It's a Guy Thing

3 Celebrity Success Stories that Could’ve Been Movies Themselves

Who doesn’t dream of being a celebrity? Being surrounded by fans, millions of people all over the world watching every word they say, everything they do? To live a successful story fit to be turned into a movie? For most, this will always remain a dream, something we see on the silver screen in movies like “A Star Is Born”.

For some of today’s celebrities, becoming a star was just a dream once. Then, in a turn of events worthy of a movie script, they turned their fortune around, becoming the famous faces they are today.

Charlize Theron

Let’s start the list of celebrities who switched their careers up to stardom with South African actress Charlize Theron. Born in Benoni in 1975, she grew up on her family’s farm as the only child. Her father, an aggressive alcoholic, threatened her and her mother with a gun, to which the mom shot back, killing the father in self-defense.

Charlize spent a year modeling in Italy after winning a competition in Salerno, then moved to New York. There, she attended the Joffrey Ballet School until her knees gave out – she was stranded far away from home, in a windowless basement apartment with “major depression”, as she put it. This was when she decided to try her luck in the film industry.

Her mom bought her a one-way ticket to Los Angeles and sent her money to help her stay afloat. One day, at a local bank a teller refused to cash a check sent by her mother – a shouting match followed that attracted the attention of talent agent John Crosby who happened to be in the same bank. Crosby immediately handed her his business card, later introduced her to casting agents, ultimately jumpstarting her movie career.

After several minor roles, she finally broke out in 1997 with Taylor Hackford’s “The Devil’s Advocate”, playing with Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves.

Jim Carrey

It’s probably hard to imagine the actor known for portraying iconic characters like Ace Ventura, The Mask, and Truman Burbank as a struggling comedian. But he wasn’t always recognized as the comedy genius we see him as today – at the beginning of his career, he had serious problems to overcome.

His family has encountered serious financial problems when he was young – serious enough for him to be forced to work eight-hour shifts after school as a janitor, later as a security guard at the factory his father was employed at. At one time, he had to make a tough choice: he dropped out of school to have more time to dedicate to comedy while continuing to work to help his family stay afloat. Soon after, his family became homeless, living in a Volkswagen van.

His father helped the young Jim Carrey put together a stage act, driving him to Toronto to make his debut at a local comedy club. Carrey, an impersonator, bombed at his first stage performance – this made him doubt his calling, and even consider working at a steel mill in Ontario. Luckily, his family’s financial problems were finally solved, allowing him to dedicate more time to comedy – he returned to stage with a more polished act, he received good reviews, he moved to Hollywood, made his TV debut on The Tonight Show, then turned his attention to film and television… and the rest, as they say, is history.

Halle Berry

Halle Berry was named after a department store that doubled as a local landmark in Cleveland, Ohio. Her mother divorced her abusive father when she was four – she and her sister were raised by their mother, and she hasn’t heard of her father ever since.

After winning several beauty contests, including being the first runner-up of the Miss USA pageant in 1986, she moved to New York in 1989 to pursue an acting career. Things didn’t go as planned, though – she ran out of money, ultimately ending up sleeping at a homeless shelter for a while. Her first role was that of model Emily Franklin in the short-lived sitcom “Living Dolls” – during the taping of an episode, she fell into a coma. As it turns out, she had type I diabetes.

Her big-screen debut came with the 1991 Spike lee drama Jungle Fever, where she played a drug addict. Since then, her schedule has become very busy – her latest movie role was that of the tough girl Sofia in John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum.