3The Kid Who Joined the A-Team
Started Out As:
A kid in the 1980s who was really, really into The A-Team.
Via TV Tropes
He's the one who's not a cake.
Note: He wasn't celebrating his own birthday in that picture -- he was celebrating B.A. Baracus' birthday.
"Howling Mad Murdock" in the movie reboot 25 years later.
They called him "Howling Mad" because he once skinned and wore a prostitute.
Even if you don't recognize the name Sharlto Copley, you're probably familiar with his most famous role: Wikus, the unconventional hero of District 9. What you also might not know is that he's not an actor.
Not really, anyway. He was just the best friend of the director, Neill Blomkamp, and pulled off his amazing performance by basically being himself and improvising every single line on the spot.
But Copley's life-long ambition was never to star in a cult sci-fi film. As a kid, he had a different obsession: The A-Team. If you didn't grow up in the 1980s, it's hard to understand what a big deal the show was for a while. And like everyone on this list, Copley took it above and beyond. At school, he and his group of friends formed their own A-Team in the playground, and even defeated a rival A-Team, presumably demoting them to B-Team. Oh, and he got a Mr. T cake on that character's fictional birthday.
Ever since then, Mr. T wears a gold plate and spoon around his neck. Just in case.
But of course the show eventually ended and was relegated to the category of "one of those embarrassing '80s things." And like every kid, Copley had to grow up and accidentally stumble into the lead role of a $30 million action sci-fi classic. OK, so not like every kid.
Anyway, it was during the promotion of District 9 that Copley heard about a project that, let's face it, was always kind of inevitable -- the big-budget Hollywood remake of The A-Team. And they hadn't yet cast the role of Copley's favorite character, Howling Mad Murdock. Copley knew that his childhood self would fly forward in time just to punch him in the balls if he didn't go for that role.
Honestly, after seeing this picture, we would have done the punching for him.
So he did exactly what he'd just spent the past few months doing -- he improvised. Summoning his childhood mastery of Murdock's character, he recorded an audition tape in his hotel room, which was mostly him as Murdock messing around with an invisible dog. His portrayal didn't even match the direction that they were going to take with the character in the movie, but after Dwight Schultz, the original actor behind Murdock, saw the tape, he was reduced to tears of laughter and insisted that Sharlto Copley was the man for the role.
To sum up, Copley spent his childhood years playing The A-Team in the schoolyard, and 25 years later was paid millions to do the same thing, and then roll down the red carpet in a tank.
Dreams 1, reality 0.
2The Geek Who Would Be Doctor Who
Started Out As:
A young, obsessed Doctor Who fan whose schoolteachers had to tell him to shut up about it.
Settle down, freaky nerd ladies.
Recently, Doctor Who won a victory over Star Trek by becoming the longest-running science fiction series ever. Twice as many actors have played the Doctor over its entire run as have played James Bond. All the way back in the '70s, the role belonged to Tom Baker (the fourth Doctor), and his biggest fan in the universe was a geeky kid named David McDonald.
And McDonald was a megafan to an extent that few men could begin to realize. As a child in school, it was all he ever wrote about, to the point where his teacher had to tell him to stop before she had to fail him. His most treasured possession was the stripy Doctor Who scarf his grandmother knitted him.
She also knitted him that wicked '70s white guy 'fro.
But he was a talented kid, even if he channeled all that talent into incessantly ranting about Doctor Who (a teacher still has one of his essays about the Doctor, titled "Intergalactic Overload," in which McDonald talked about becoming obsessed with the thought of being the Time Lord himself). And where most kids eventually drop their fantasy of growing up to be, say, a Jedi, David McDonald stuck to his guns and joined acting school. Only, because they already had a guy named David McDonald, he changed his name to something that a lot of nerds will find instantly familiar: David Tennant.
Tennant worked hard, forging himself a successful career in Shakespearean stage productions, until one day, while recording a radio play, he learned of a project that was being recorded next door: a Doctor Who animation being produced in an attempt to revive the series after a 14-year hiatus. This was Tennant's big break. He crashed the production and managed somehow to convince the director to give him a small role. Now that his foot was in the door, he was able to audition for the role he was born to play once the series geared up again. And guess what? He lost to Christopher Eccleston.
Oh, but they gave Tennant the role a year later, when Eccleston quit. And Tennant went on to be voted the best version of the Doctor ever by fans, which makes sense, because he knew the character better than anyone in the history of the universe. As if that wasn't a big enough screw you to the realists who mocked his obsession, he also married the daughter of Peter Davison, the fifth Doctor. Because apparently his good fortune just wasn't implausible enough already.
She's three and a half feet tall.