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17 Hard-To-Believe Ways Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic Roles

Hollywood is a chaotic industry where careers may be developed or ruined in a short time. Often, it takes years and years to “break into” the moviemaking industry, with hundreds of auditions. However, that’s not always the case.

In fact, many famous actors now like Harrison Ford, and Kit Harington have been given an opportunity in acting as a surprise with no intention. While working as a carpenter, Harrison Ford was cast in his iconic role of Han Solo in the epic space opera film “Star Wars”, for which he gained various precious accolades. And Kit Harington got the role of Jon Snow in “Game of Thrones” after fighting in a McDonald’s. That might sound crazy, but that’s not even the most bizarre instance!

Scroll down to see 17 celebrities who discovered or landed an early break in their career in unexpected ways. And if you’re struggling with your dream of becoming an actor, check it out because maybe you’ll be one of them.

#1 Jason Momoa did the Haka for his “Game of Thrones” audition.

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic Roles, ason Momoa did the Haka for his "Game of Thrones" audition.Source: HBO

Jason Momoa made his break in the character of Khal Drogo on “Game of Thrones”. With a very minimal script and knowing that Khal Drogo didn’t speak much, he did the Haka, a traditional dance that has origins in the Māori culture for his audition. His performance impressed the production team and then he got the role.

#2 After a public argument with a bank teller, Charlize Theron was chosen for her role in “Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest”

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: Universal Pictures

Charlize Theron was only 19 years old when she was first discovered. She got annoyed and argued with a clerk in front of everyone after she was refused to pay her check. John Crosby, a talent agent, was attracted to her outburst in the bank and subsequently took over as her manager. Later, she played in “Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest” and won an Oscar.

#3 Director Wes Craven’s daughter thought Johnny Depp was ‘beautiful’ enough to have a role in “Nightmare on Elm Street”

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: New Line Cinema

On casting for “Nightmare on Elm Street”, Depp’s performance wasn’t particularly impressive. While the director Wes Craven was unconvinced as Depp looked greasy, sickly, and pale, his daughter thought Depp’s charm was suitable for the film. As the result, she made a wise decision because Depp now is an accomplished actor with a very varied career.

#4 Samuel L. Jackson was so mad in the audition for “Pulp Fiction” because he was mistaken for Lawrence Fishburne

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: Miramax Films

It’s hard to imagine anyone else than Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield. After he was close to losing his role to another actor, Jackson flew to L.A. for another audition where he was incorrectly addressed as Lawrence Fishburne. Jackson was even angrier by this, and he expressed that wrath in his audition.

#5 Harrison Ford was spotted while doing a carpentry job

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: Paul Harris / Getty Images

Harrison Ford collaborated with George Lucas on the movie “American Graffiti” (Harrison Ford as Bob Falfa). After that, Ford continued to work as a carpenter full-time to support his family. One day, Ford was hired to build a door at the offices where the casting of “Star Wars” was happening. He met Lucas again and the rest is history. As Han Solo would say ‘Never tell me the odds.

#6 Tom Hardy turned up at the director’s house at midnight the night before his audition for “Warrior”

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: Lionsgate

 Tom Hardy was meant to check into a hotel when he arrived in the US for his “Warrior” movie audition. Instead, he arrived at the director’s home around midnight and spent the next five days there. We can all agree that this move was bold.

#7 Sylvester Stallone took the easy route and just wrote the script for Rocky himself – in three and a half days. And then cast himself.

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: Warner Bros.

Sylvester Stallone decided to create his own script after seeing the championship battle between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner. Although the producers and studios accepted his script, they were hesitant to hire an unproven actor in the lead. Then Stallone persisted, eventually taking on the part of Rocky, which made him famous.

#8 Tim Roth was drunk at “Reservoir Dogs” casting

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: Miramax Films

Tim Roth refused to read for the part of Mr. Orange because he was terrible at auditions. Quentin Tarantino took Roth to a pub and the two continued to drink there. While drunk, they “proceeded to read the entire script… every part in it about 10 times because we were hammered by then. And that’s how I got the job.”

#9 David Boreanaz was walking his dog past a friend of the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” writer

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: Warner Bros.

Marti Noxon, the producer of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, knew she wanted to cast someone who was impossibly handsome. And Boreanaz just happened to be walking by with his dog and then he was called in for an audition.  Undoubtedly, David had a special attraction to the women in the room.

#10 Ryan Gosling got his role in “The Notebook” because he wasn’t considered good-looking

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: New Line Cinema

Most people might think Ryan Gosling’s good looks helped him get some of the roles he has. But the director of “The Notebook”, Nick Cassavetes didn’t seem to agree and tell Ryan Gosling, ‘‘You’re not handsome, you’re not cool, you’re just a regular guy who looks a bit nuts.’’

#11 John Roberts got spotted for “Bob’s Burgers” because he impersonated his mum on Youtube

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: Donna Ward / Getty Images

You won’t believe how John Roberts, got the role of Linda Belcher in “Bob’s Burgers”. Roberts recorded a video on YouTube where he dressed up as his mother and spoke in her distinct voice. Creator Loren Bouchard noticed this, and the rest is history.

#12 Wayne Knight got his role in “Jurassic Park” because of THAT “Basic Instinct” scene

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: TriStar Pictures

Wayne Knight was lucky enough to skip the audition entirely as Steven Spielberg had seen his now infamous role in “Basic Instinct”. Spielberg looked at Sharon Stone and imagined Stone as a dinosaur and acted out the scene where he nervously watches a dinosaur. Knight then skipped the audition stage entirely and went right into the first day of filming.

#13 Rosario Dawson got her role in “Kids” while sitting on her front-porch

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Rosario Dawson was just sitting on her front-porch when the scriptwriter saw her and believed she would be perfect for the character. Then, at the age of 15, Dawson went to the audition and started a successful acting career that is still going on now.

#14 Harvey Stephens kicked the director in the balls and got the role of Damien in “The Omen”

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: 20th Century Fox

The horror of “The Omen” is partly because of Harvey Stephens’ portrayal. Richard Donner, the director, changed things up after two days of auditions. After two days of auditioning, director Richard Donner decided to change it up. When it was young Stephen’s turn to audition he was encouraged to attack the director, in the same way the character does in the film. Stephens took this seriously and kicked him in the balls while scratching at his face.

#15 Rory McCann went ballistic in his “Game of Thrones” audition

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: HBO

If you are unprepared for an audition or interview, it typically won’t go well. However, if you’re The Hound, everything would be different. Rory McCann’s sister accidentally printed out the opening lines by mistake, so the actor had to wait for four hours to learn his lines in the “Game of Thrones” audition. McCann said ‘When I walked into the room, I knew I had to go crazy, so I unleashed all of this’. And finally, he was chosen to play Hound.

#16 Kit Harington was spotted while fighting in a McDonald’s

Famous Actors Got Into Their Iconic RolesSource: HBO

Another “Game of Thrones” star has a special casting story. Kit Harington was in a McDonald’s with his date but a fight broke out and Harington had a black eye. Ironically when he turned up to his audition, Harington thought that his black eye helped get him his role.

#17 James Michael Tyler have a role in “Friends” because he can use an espresso machine

Source: NBC

The fact that James Michael Tyler was the only extra who understood how to operate an espresso machine got him the role in “Friends”. Despite not having a line until the show’s 33rd episode, it’s safe to say that he quickly gained the audience’s attention.