We bet every one of you reading this has one weird thing about your body you'd change if you could -- maybe you have an eye that's slightly lower than the other, or a nasty little scar on your lower back where your tail used to be. We all want to be perfect.
But not so fast. As a whole bunch of famous people can tell you, a horrible deformity and/or physical mutilation can be the difference between failure and stardom. For instance ...
7Sylvester Stallone: An Iconic Face by Way of Botched Childbirth
Let's not mince words here. In terms of full-on acting chops, Stallone isn't much more impressive than any other action star. You know, except for the part where he wrote, starred in and received Academy Award nominations for one of the greatest films of all time. In fact, thanks to Rocky, Stallone was only the third person at the time to be nominated for both acting and writing in the same year. The other two? Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles (for Citizen Kane, no less).
So, yes, maybe he's got that over the Steven Seagals of the world, regardless of the Judge Dredd-level turds that followed.
The gun later won an Oscar.
Now ask yourself -- would anybody have given a shit about Rocky if the studio had gotten their way and cast a star like Burt Reynolds or Ryan O'Neal in the lead role? The whole point was that this guy was a schlub, a down-and-out boxer. Something about Stallone in that role just made people believe in it.
Specifically, his face. The face that looked like it had spent decades taking blows to the jaw. You can say the same thing about First Blood -- this time a down-and-out soldier instead of a down-and-out boxer. The signature Stallone roles just wouldn't feel right without that signature fucked-up face giving his mouth a permanent snarl. But how the hell did it get that way?
Just try to imagine him screaming anything but "Adrian!" It can't be done.
As romantic as it would be to blame Stallone's droopy face on a lifetime of hard living and tough breaks, Stallone's lazy facial features are actually due to Bell's palsy, a facial nerve paralysis condition that was caused by birth complications. Namely, he was yanked into the world with forceps that also came into less than pleasant contact with his face and severed a nerve, effectively paralyzing the lower left half of his face (including a bit of his tongue). And just like that, literally, a star was born. Schwarzenegger only wishes he were that lucky.
Which is why he'll be returning for a third term as governor and swapping punches with Mr. T.