Most movie and TV stars get noticed in a casting call, and then hope they get to keep working long enough that they become famous and that society's rules thus no longer apply to them. It's a pretty straightforward process. But some celebrities take the scenic route to stardom, and wind up going down some strange back roads ...
#5. Matt Dillon's Career Exists Thanks To A Creepy Dude Stalking Children
Matt Dillon is "that guy you know from that thing." He has indeed been in many things. Some of them good! Dillon's career started with Over The Edge, a 1979 drama about young people engaging in drug use, vandalism, attempted murder, and successful murder. What separated it from other coming-of-age stories is that Over The Edge was a teen movie starring real teenagers -- like Dillon, who was only 14 at the time.
Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are ultra-violence, half-shirts, and the Bee Gees.
The producers of the movie wanted to cast talented amateurs from outside Hollywood in the main roles, and that meant a nationwide call. But their budget was virtually non-existent, so they did the next best thing and started stalking real schoolkids. One of the film's talent scouts went to Westchester, New York and walked around a middle school spying on kids in hallways and classrooms because, Jesus, the '70s really were a different time, weren't they? On the last day of "scouting," Stalker Ace found a young Matt Dillon skipping class, wandering the hallways acting tough, as teenagers often hilariously attempt to do, and brought him to meet the director. Presumably in the back of a windowless white Econoline van.
20th Century Fox
Which would explain his choice of mustache for There's Something About Mary.
#4. Norman Reedus Got His Break By Gettin' Hammered
Norman Reedus is best known as Daryl Dixon from AMC's The Walking Dead. But before he became famous for playing one of the few tolerable people to survive the apocalypse, he got his break by getting hilariously drunk at a party. Apparently, Hollywood really is a "fake it 'til you make it" kinda place: Reedus got hammered at an industry party and started screaming at people, but because he did it while wearing women's glasses (which he'd stolen from one of his fellow party-goers), a producer confused his ordinary belligerence for the special belligerence of a budding celebrity, and offered him a part in a play. This eventually led to Reedus nabbing his first film role, and even landing a job as a Prada model in 1997. Reedus is rather handsome now, but back in the day, he was David-Bowie-level gorgeous.
Ground Control to Major Damn.
The Prada gig ended after a week, though, when Reedus used an expensive sweater to mop up a spilled beverage. Because you can lead a man to fucks, but you can't make him give one. He went on to model for Alessandro Dell'Acqua, Gap, and Levi's, until he was hit by an 18-wheeler in 2005 and thrown through the windshield of his car. He had a titanium eye socket implanted in his skull and four screws in his nose. After that, he was obviously perfect for The Walking Dead, since he basically was one.
He still occasionally models, because damn.
#3. Mila Kunis Had To Win The Lottery (TWICE) To Become An Actress
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Mila Kunis had to work her ass off to become famous, but she never would've had the chance to do so if not for pure, blind luck. See, Kunis was born in Soviet Ukraine, to parents who (understandably) did not want to live in Soviet Ukraine. They desperately wanted to get out of the country and move to America, but in order to do that, they first had to win the Green Card Lottery.
Officially called the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, the lottery is the yearly giveaway of immigrant visas to 50,000 lucky foreigners. We don't really have all of the program's numbers, but in 2007, the Department of State received more than nine million DIVP applications, and those were just people who meet their insanely strict criteria. All in all, the chances of getting a Diversity Visa are slightly lower than one percent.
Miraculously, the Kunis family won the lottery ... which only meant that they could go to Moscow and await the results of a second lottery. The entire process took five years, but it was worth it. In 1991, Kunis arrived in Los Angeles with her parents, eventually got her role on That '70s Show, and later went down on Natalie Portman in Black Swan. So in a way, we're all winners.
Except for Lisa Frank, who have yet to recover from the loss of their very best spokesgirl.