10 Actors Share How Challenging It Was When They First Began in Hollywood

2 years ago

Some actors have an extremely bright and striking career. Seeing them on the screen, we can’t even imagine that the beginning of their career could have been complicated. However, even the most iconic stars had to go through some of the most challenging times to reach their dream.

We at Bright Side adore the bravery and willpower of our favorite actors, and we want to share their stories with our readers.

1. Chris Pratt

Before the breakthrough of his career, Chris Pratt had to work as a waiter at a “terrible restaurant,” as he recounted, to earn a living and be able to attend auditions. Pratt would make $20-$30 a day. It wasn’t enough to make ends meet, so he would eat leftovers from the customer’s plates. “I’ve been busted so many times eating from people’s plates that they were like, ’You have to stop doing that!’” remembers Pratt.

2. Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds, future Deadpool-to-be, had to go through a hard time at the beginning of his career. He moved to Los Angeles right after graduating from high school. He had not even been in LA for one hour yet when he got his car got stolen.

“My Jeep was stolen, but then it was just rolled down a hill around the corner,” remembers Reynolds. “They removed the doors, took the stereo, and I was left with this shell that was my car.” He was forced to drive to auditions in a car with no doors in the freezing cold.

3. Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey seems to be such an iconic figure today that it is hard to believe that back in 1983, when he first came to Hollywood, he couldn’t find his place for a while. So he wouldn’t lose hope in his success, Carrey was visualizing his future career. “For years, I used to drive up to Mulholland Drive every night and look at the city and sit and imagine myself with all this money and being sought after,” he remembers.

4. Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has played quite a wide range of characters, though he had to make his way through them to find his dream work. For the first month in Los Angeles, Pitt lived in a house with a maid from Thailand who didn’t even speak English. “I was just so up for the adventure and so excited when I’d drive by a studio where they make movies,” he remembers. “It meant the world to me.”

Then, he moved to a 2-bedroom place he shared with 7 more people.

5. Matthew McConaughey

Mathew McConaughey, from True Detective and The Gentlemen, is forever thankful for the late Don Philips, a producer who helped him get his first auditions and even sheltered him when McConaughey first arrived in Hollywood and had no place to live. “[He was] the guy whose couch I slept on for 3 months for free when I first got to Hollywood,” says McConaughey.

6. Charlize Theron

The first years of Charlize Theron’s career were extremely tough, trying to survive in Hollywood. “If I had to do that whole journey again today, I don’t know if I’d have the guts to even live in the places I lived,” Theron says.

“When I got off the plane, I asked the cab driver to take me to the cheapest hotel in Hollywood. Back then, the hotel could be rented by the hour. But I’d lived in worse model apartments. I took a bottle of bleach and some rags, and I cleaned up my room and stayed there for a couple of weeks. From my window, I could see the Hollywood sign,” reveals Theron in an interview with Orpah.

7. Clint Eastwood

For Clint Eastwood, the chance to become the iconic actor he is today required taking risks. He dropped out of the LA City College and went on to train to be an actor. Eastwood came to his father to say he was dropping out.

“He said, ’Don’t get too wrapped up in that; it could be really disappointing,’” remembers Eastwood. “I said, ’I think it’s worth a try.’ But I always remember it could have gone the other way.”

8. Emma Stone

Emma Stone first moved to Hollywood with her mother after they decided to give her acting career a shot. They lived in a 2-bedroom apartment, and Stone tried to break through the auditions. “I auditioned for 3 months pretty steadily, got absolutely nothing, and then they stopped sending me out,” she remembers. However, she didn’t give up and started working at the Three Dog Bakery — a bakery that sells dog treats.

The job was not the one she’d dreamed of, but she went for it, “Because I was, like, ’Now I’m working, see? I’m not getting auditions, but I gotta stay here,’” Stone says.

9. Kelly Clarkson

At the beginning of her journey, Kelly Clarkson “did anything that paid,” as she says, to keep the lights on. “If you’re hungry enough and you want electricity, you’ll work anywhere, and so I did,” she says. However, the hard job was not the only challenge she had to overcome.

After a year in Los Angeles, her and the friend’s room burned down. Clarkson had to sleep in the car for several days until she got enough money to go back home. Later, she made it through the audition for American Idol and made her way back to Hollywood.

10. Johnny Depp

Even though Johnny Depp is now well-known as a major Hollywood actor, he was a part of a band the first time he came to Los Angeles. The competition in the music industry was no less than it was in the film industry.

“There were so many bands, it was impossible to make any money,” says Depp. “So we all got side jobs. We used to sell ads over the telephone. Telemarketing.”

Did you know these actors had to overcome such a tough challenges? Whose story was the most impressive to you?


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