6 Stars With a Heart of Gold Who Stood by Other Celebs
Sometimes, something that may seem like a small gesture or good deed to you, can change someone else’s life for the better. Many of our favorite celebrities have expressed gratitude to the stars who helped them before they hit the big time. Their stories prove that kindness and mentoring the next generation can make a huge impact and teach lessons that will be remembered for a lifetime.
1. Generosity can change lives.
Chadwick Boseman was in college when he learned the true power of generosity. Chadwick’s mentor, Phylicia Rashad, found out that Chadwick had been accepted to a summer program at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England. Sadly, he could not afford it. So Phylicia reached out to a friend of hers, who donated money so the students could attend.
Chadwick didn’t find out until after he got back that his mysterious benefactor was Denzel Washington. He wrote him a thank-you letter and said: “Imagine receiving the letter that your tuition for that summer was paid for and that your benefactor was none other than the dopest actor on the planet.”
It turns out that Denzel’s investment paid off. Chadwick went on to become a Hollywood star himself, acting in many TV shows and movies. But he is perhaps best known for his lead role in Black Panther. The movie made history as the first superhero movie to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture.
Chadwick remembered this good deed throughout his life, and took the lesson with him for years. “There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington,” he said in a speech he made at an event honoring Denzel’s career. In fact, he said that the whole cast of the movie, the whole generation of actors, stood on the shoulders of the greats, like Denzel.
And Chadwick isn’t the only person that Denzel was very generous in helping. He also convinced Baz Luhrmann to cast Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in the film Elvis, recently.
Denzel called the director, who said, “Then I got a call from Denzel Washington. I did not know Denzel. And he said, ‘I’ve just worked with this guy on stage. I’ve never seen a work ethic like it.’” Austin is now receiving Oscar buzz for his role as the King of Rock and Roll.
2. Taking a chance can pay off, big time.
Famous R&B singer Usher helped a young Justin Bieber right at the start of his career. Bieber had been posting videos on YouTube since he was 12, and through those he was discovered by his manager, Scooter Braun. His videos were getting thousands of views, and he just kept posting them.
Justin Bieber’s new manager flew him out to Atlanta, where he met Usher. Usher was immediately interested as soon as he heard Justin sing. He took a chance and signed the young musician to his record label, Island Def Jam Recordings.
Usher can teach us all a big lesson with this chance he took when he said: “I didn’t know what he would be, but I knew I wanted to be involved. And when I finally got the chance to hear him sing, I knew that this was a kid that was going to go very far. And I felt like I could offer him a lot.” And his instinct was right — in under 2 years, Justin went from YouTube covers to superstar.
3. Never be afraid to ask questions!
Meryl Streep is now one of the top actors in Hollywood, and she credits this to asking questions when she was a young actor who was just starting out. She met acting titan Jane Fonda on the set of the movie Julia in 1977. Meryl made good use of working with the iconic star and began asking her questions: “Explain movie acting to me,” she asked. No one had ever asked Jane Fonda those kinds of questions before.
Meryl said that Jane “like a big sister, walked me into movie-making”. Meryl was nervous to act with someone she admired so much in her first movie and was very intimidated. Jane gave the 28-year-old actress advice immediately, and Meryl loved her.
Afterwards, Meryl found out that Jane had gone back to California and told everyone about her, opening more doors for her future career. Meryl publicly thanked Jane for her generous heart, and said that not only is she grateful, but “all of the young actors I’ve worked with subsequently, in the years following, thank you too, because that lesson and kindness got passed down.”
4. Dream big and it might just come true.
You might know Mindy Kaling from her roles in shows like The Office, but not many people know where she got her start. In fact, Mindy started out as an intern for Conan O’Brien while she was a 19-year-old college student, when Conan’s show was in New York.
The young Mindy thought the show was very glamorous, and she enjoyed her time there. Mindy called Conan her “comedy hero” and she was so starstruck when she worked there. It was her dream to one day be a guest on the show.
She admitted, however, that she wasn’t a great intern. She wanted to work there to watch Conan work instead of doing odd jobs, so she wouldn’t do what she was hired to do, but would instead follow Conan around. But her dream came true, and she not only made it as an actor, but has even since been a guest on Conan’s show, where she confessed that doing so was her younger self’s dream.
5. Find your unique voice, and others will listen.
Friends Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson started Broad City as a self-made web series, with short episodes they put up online. The women met while taking classes at Upright Citizens Brigade and created the show about 2 20-something women living in New York. It is a unique piece of work, based firmly on the lives of Abbi and Ilana themselves. The show was later discovered by comedy star Amy Poehler.
Amy Poehler became a fan of the show, and she mentored them, then came on board to executive produce it for TV. The series was commissioned by Comedy Central, and it gained an audience, running until 2019. Amy Poehler said: “I’m excited to... introduce Abbi and Ilana to America” — and she certainly did. The show’s success is a testament that when you do what only you can do, it will bring the greatest success.
And while of course making the show launched the careers of Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, Amy Poehler was similarly grateful for the show. She called it “an extremely beautiful exploration of female friendship.” Summing up the show, Amy continued: “It’s been a wonderful 10-year journey for us”, and stated how grateful she was for the show, as it was also the first show she produced outside of Parks and Recreation.
6. Finding someone who inspires you is important.
Taking to her social media page, Ariana Grande shared a touching picture of herself and Carrey hugging. “There aren’t words,” wrote Grande. “I’ve been staring at my screen and no words do this moment justice.”
“Thankful for the most special experience of my life,” Grande said. “Nothing is crazier than getting to work with and spend time with someone whom you’ve idolized and adored since before you could speak. Actually, what’s even crazier is discovering that person to be more special and warm and generous in person than you ever could’ve imagined.”
Who inspires you in your career? What life lessons have you learned along the way from mentors and friends? Please share in the comments.