Hollywood is filled with plenty of rags to riches stories. Jim Carey worked as a janitor, Demi Moore was a debt collector, Brad Pitt used to wear a chicken suit while handing out fliers and Sharon Stone worked (works?) at a McDonald's.
But some actors' beginnings can be attributed to not hard work, but sheer chance or accident. Such as...
Even though he's turned into a walking punchline the last few years, there's no denying Mel Gibson will go down as one of the biggest stars in Hollywood history. His movies have made two billion dollars in the US alone and he's got two Oscars to go with it.
But Gibson's accidental stumble into stardom started in New York, where he was born (not Australia, as it turns out). Gibson's father, Hutton, filed a lawsuit against the city and won. After collecting his money, he moved his family to Australia. It was in this dingo-infested continent that a young Mel started to dabble in acting, and would get his big break due to a ridiculous, drunken stroke of luck.
Gibson went to the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. There he would perform in some stage productions, including the male lead in Romeo and Juliet, with Judy Davis as his co-star.
However, Gibson didn't consider a film career until a friend told him he needed a lift to audition for a movie. It was about a desolate, waste of a world in which gasoline is hunted by gay bikers.
Apparently, he still wasn't considering a film career, because the night before the audition, Gibson got into a drunken brawl at a bar. He dragged himself to the audition sporting a face full of fist shaped bruises. The director happened to catch sight of his sorry ass. Deciding that he already looked like he was living in a dystopian future, he asked him to come back because, as he put it, the film "needed freaks."
When Gibson did return, his wounds had healed into an unrecognizable mask of handsome manliness. The director asked Gibson to read for the only character who doesn't look like a blistered freak, and he landed the titular role in Mad Max , the franchise that would make him known around the globe.