Celebrity News

16 Wild Ways Celebrities Were Discovered

Rosario Dawson didn’t even have to leave her house!

Every celebrity’s path to fame has to start somewhere. Not everyone in Hollywood kicked off their career by cold-calling agents or sending their demos to record labels, though. For some, it was more like a chance encounter straight from a movie.

Here are 16 celebrities who were discovered in wild, unusual ways:


When Vin Diesel was 7, a play director caught him and his friends breaking into a theater, but instead of getting them in trouble, she cast them in her upcoming production.

Jean Baptiste Lacroix / WireImage / Via Getty

She gave them each $20 and a copy of the script for Dinosaur Door.


Music manager Scooter Braun was searching for a different artist on YouTube when he accidentally clicked on one of Justin Bieber’s videos instead.

Gotham / GC Images / Via Getty

Scooter told the Daily Goalcast, “I called every school district in that part of Ontario until his mum called to get rid of me, and I convinced her to get on the first plane she and he had ever been on.”


When Tracy Chapman was a student at Tufts University, her classmate Brian Koppelman stole one of her demos and sent it to his father, who was a music executive.

Cbs Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images

Charles Koppelman instantly hopped a plane to see her perform and eventually signed her to his label.


Gisele Bündchen signed up for a modeling course to get a free trip to São Paulo, and while she was on the trip, a modeling agent scouted her at a McDonald’s.

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Having grown up in the small town of Horizontina, 13-year-old Gisele hadn’t even seen a fashion magazine before.


When a commercial was shooting outside her apartment, 15-year-old Rosario Dawson sat on the front porch until a director and a screenwriter approached her and asked if she’d like to be in a movie.

Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images

According to Dazed, screenwriter Harmony Korine told her, “I wrote this character for you without even realizing. I didn’t even know you. You’re perfect for this character; you have to come in.”


Anya Taylor-Joy was scouted as a model on the street while she was walking her dog.

Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

She was discovered by Storm Model Management scout Sarah Doukas, who also discovered Kate Moss.


Pamela Anderson was in the stands at a BC Lions football game when a camera operator pointed his lens at her, broadcasting her image onto the Jumbotron and turning her into an instant local celebrity.

Fotonoticias / WireImage / Via Getty

At the game, she was wearing a shirt advertising Labatt’s beer, and she became a spokesmodel for the brand soon after.


A FedEx delivery driver overheard 13-year-old Mandy Moore singing, and he sent a copy of her demo to his friends at Epic Records.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

The chance encounter at an Orlando recording studio led to her first record deal.


When Nick Jonas was about 6, his mom took him to the hair salon, where someone overheard him singing and gave her a manager’s card.

Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images for SHEIN Together Fest 2021

He went on to become a child Broadway star before signing his first record deal at age 11.


Jason Statham made a living selling knockoff jewelry on the street corners of London before a modeling gig put him in contact with director Guy Ritchie, who wrote him a part as a black market jewelry hawker.

David M. Benett / Dave Benett / WireImage / Via Getty

Jason told AOL the role in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels was “no acting required… Just me stepping into a world of cinema doing what I used to do.”


Nineteen-year-old Marilyn Monroe was working in an aircraft factory when a touring army photographer snapped her picture. She began working as a model for the photographer and his colleagues soon after.

Sunset Boulevard / Corbis via Getty Images

She quit her factory job, divorced her husband, dyed her hair blonde, and changed her name. A few years later, her modeling success led to a contract with an acting agent.


Steven Spielberg spotted Alden Ehrenreich in a comedy video the aspiring actor helped make for a mutual friend’s bat mitzvah.

George Pimentel / WireImage

Alden told Vanity Fair, “If I had any idea that anyone would see that, I probably wouldn’t have done it. It’s really funny that he could glean anything from that.”


Toni Braxton was singing to herself at a gas station when songwriter Bill Pettaway overheard her.

Steve Granitz / WireImage / Via Getty

He helped Toni and her sisters land a record deal with Arista Records as the Braxtons.


John Wayne had a job moving props and filming equipment at Fox Film Corporation when the filmmakers — most notably John Ford — started casting him as an extra instead.

Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images

Ford introduced him to fellow director Raoul Walsh, who cast Wayne in his first starring role. 


When Katherine Heigl was 9, her aunt invented a haircare product, photographed her as a model, and sent the pictures to New York modeling agencies.

Usa Network / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Katherine was signed to Wilhelmina and experienced success as a child model and commercial actor before booking her first big screen role in That Night.


And finally, when Haley Joel Osment was a child, a pair of women running a casting table at his local Ikea snapped his picture, which led to his first commercial role.

Michael Tullberg / Getty Images

He told Vulture, “Just from that commercial, the casting director for Forrest Gump got in contact with us, and I was reading with [director Robert] Zemeckis and Tom Hanks pretty soon after that.”

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