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7 Celebrities Who Were Desperately Miserable Before We Know ‘Em

According to the ageless sage Yoda, “the greatest teacher, failure is,” failure is, in fact, the best teacher. When we witness people who have attained fame and money reaching the highest echelons of their chosen sector, we sigh enviously at their good fortune and wonder how they got so lucky. We think to ourselves, “How did they get so lucky?”

On the other hand, very few people have managed to attain such levels of achievement without encountering significant challenges along the way. Consider the following famous people, who have achieved great success despite experiencing obstacles that may have easily led them to give up.

1. Henry Cavill

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British actor Henry Cavill was formerly considered one of the industry’s unluckiest men. Cavill was slated as Superman in 2004, but the project was scrapped; he was a frontrunner to play James Bond but lost out to Daniel Craig; and he was passed over for lead parts in both Harry Potter and Twilight in favor of Robert Pattinson.

Cavill might have easily become dejected after such a series of misfortune. Nonetheless, he persisted, and he played Superman in Man of Steel (2013), Batman V Superman (2016), and Justice League (2016). Since then, Cavill has had further success with Mission: Impossible — Fallout and the Netflix series The Witcher.

2. Chris Pratt

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In contrast to the many famous actors who knew from a young age that acting was the career for them, Chris Pratt says he was never sure what he wanted to do with his life. He wasted away his youth with mindless scrounging and finally found himself living in his vehicle on the streets of Hawaii.

One day, when Pratt was working as a waiter, he was found and offered a minor role in a movie—the stuff of any young actor’s dreams. Despite Pratt’s inexperience, this was enough to launch his career, which has so far included appearances in the box office smashes Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World.

3. Lady Gaga

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When Lady Gaga joined the New York record company Def Jam in 2006, she felt she’d finally made it. Poker Face’s songwriter and vocalist were released from the record label after only three months because the executives didn’t consider her a good match for the company.

While being dismissed by a major company is no musician’s ideal situation, Lady Gaga used it as motivation to improve her craft. Since then, she’s amassed an impressive list of accomplishments, including selling over 124 million records, 13 Grammy Awards, and the beginning of a fruitful acting career. In 2022, she was expected to have amassed a fortune of $300 million.

4. Gal Gadot

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Gal Gadot won the title of Miss Israel, served in the Israeli military, and worked as a model before moving to Hollywood to launch an acting career. In spite of her three Fast & Furious appearances, Gal Gadot struggled to find work and was on the verge of returning to Israel.

It’s for the best that she didn’t, since Gadot aced the audition for Wonder Woman in 2013’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Despite skepticism from some fans, Gadot’s performance was a smashing success; in 2017, her standalone Wonder Woman film made even more waves. She has become an even more prominent leading woman since then.

5. Halle Berry

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Halle Berry, at age 23, relocated to New York to pursue an acting career after first focusing on beauty pageants during her adolescence (during which she made history by becoming the first African-American contestant for Miss World). It wasn’t a breeze to do so. After Berry’s job search became empty, she found herself in such dire financial straits that she was forced to take refuge at a homeless shelter.

Berry’s career was taking off, but she was hit with yet another huge setback when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She didn’t let it discourage her, though, and she went on to become not just the first African-American to win the Best Actress Oscar but also one of the most successful actresses of her generation.

6. Eminem

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White rappers were laughed at in the 1990s because of the stereotypes they perpetuated. Since this was the case, Marshall Mathers faced resistance from established professionals when he initially tried to enter the industry. This was not, however, the only challenge that future Eminem would face.

Mathers, who came from a working-class background, was bullied as a youngster. When he was nine years old, he was assaulted so severely that he slipped into a coma. Since then, he’s had problems staying sober and maintaining healthy relationships. Nonetheless, under the stage name Eminem, he overcame racial obstacles in the hip-hop industry to become one of the most celebrated and best-selling musicians in the genre’s history.

7. Elvis Presley

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The early responses to Elvis Presley’s musical interests were not encouraging. He was told he couldn’t sing by his high school music teacher and couldn’t afford the best teachers because he came from a poor household. The young Presley became so self-conscious due to this that he refused to perform in public.

Nonetheless, he persevered, and even in his earliest efforts into the music industry, he encountered rejection, failing two auditions to sing with bands. Presley’s groundbreaking style of singing and performance, which he evolved as his stage confidence grew, is largely responsible for his being crowned the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.