Top 3 Tuesday - Lucky Breaks

The majority of now-famous actors toiled away for years at audition after audition and role after role until their 'break-through' performance garnered them widespread public attention. While others managed to strike gold with their very first audition or performance. How these successful careers started out is always a story we film fans love to hear, especially when the actor's big break came down to a healthy dose of luck and being-in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time.

This week's Top 3 are my favourite of these 'lucky break' stories. The three talented actors below got their foot in the door in slightly unconventional ways. They seized the opportunity, worked hard and were able to use their serendipitous beginning to forge a career every young actor hopes for. Power to them!

3. Anna Paquin - this nine-year-old Kiwi girl had no previous acting experience (there was a role as a skunk in a school play, if you count that as experience!) when her sister and a friend read an ad in the newspaper about an open audition for a young girl to play Holly Hunter's daughter in The Piano. What can probably be put down to sibling rivalry, or at the very least not wanting to be left out, Anna decided to attend the audition along with her sister. Of course she nabbed a call back and eventually the role, not to mention the Best Supporting Actress Oscar that followed. I bet she's glad her sister read the paper that day! 

2. Charlize Theron - a chance meeting got the wonderful Charlize her foot in the film industry door. After a knee injury forced her to choose a career other than ballet, Charlize moved to L.A. A few months in she was trying to cash a cheque at the bank and when she was refused (it was an international cheque her mother had sent from South Africa), Charlize threw a life-changing tantrum. Lo and behold but who should be standing behind her in the queue but talent agent John Crosby. He obviously liked Charlize's fiery spirit so he handed her his card. Soon he was introducing her to casting agents!

1. Harrison Ford - a definite case of being in the right place at the right time for Harrison! He'd had bit parts in film when he decided to work as a carpenter to pay the rent. And wouldn't you know it one of his customers was none other than George Lucas! Harrison was subsequently cast in American Graffiti. But one lucky break wasn't enough for Harrison - it was his second that finally got him the attention he deserved. The story goes that George asked Harrison to 'fill in' for actors reading lines for new film Star Wars. Liking his portrayal George cast Harrison in the role of Han Solo, and the rest is history. :-)   

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