11 Celebrity Careers That Took An Unexpected Twist

Celebrities — they're just like us! They have confusing phases while growing up, and sometimes their career paths take an unexpected turn of events.

Some were in the spotlight at a young age, while others got into the acting game as a second or third career.

This is a throwback to how these 11 celebrities got to where they are now. Whether they're in a better or worse place...I'll leave that for you to judge!

1. Macaulay Culkin


Macaulay was everyone's favorite '90s child star, starring in Home Alone. We all saw big things for this kid! What we didn't expect was a ten-year career break and an arrest for drug possession. Fortunately, he's keeping busy with acting and his band The Pizza Underground.

2. Amanda Bynes


This Nickelodeon turned movie star had a bright future ahead of her. Instead, she took a break and began a downward spiral into rehab and two DUIs, not to mention some some questionable social media behavior. She's doing much better today and has plans to start acting again soon.

3. Dwayne Johnson


Growing up, Dwayne's family went through financial problems, including eviction. He got into some theft, often getting him into trouble with the police. He found passion in football, but was struggling with depression. He didn't make it in the NFL as hoped, and was cut from the CFL.

But then he became "The Rock" we all know!

Instagram | @therock

After following in his father's wrestling footsteps, he made his Hollywood debut in 2001 with a role in The Mummy Returns. He's now one of the world's highest paid actors, making a whopping $65 million in 2017 with movies like Baywatch and Jumanji.

4. Nicki Minaj

Instagram | @nickiminaj

Nicki was born in Trinidad and Tobago, living in a small house with fifteen people. When in New York, her father was an abusive alcoholic who once set the family home on fire with her mother inside. She recalls police officers often being called to the house.

Despite her traumatic childhood, she came out on top.

Instagram | @nickiminaj

After meeting Lil Wayne, her career skyrocketed as she released several mixtapes and her debut album, "Pink Friday." She is now one of the most successful rappers of our time, with an estimated net worth of $70 million in 2017.

5. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen


Formerly known as "The Olsen Twins," these sisters were still young when they retired from acting. After Mary-Kate had a brief stint in rehab, the two went on to create two successful fashion lines, building a massive luxury empire!

6. Oprah Winfrey

Instagram | @oprah

Growing up, Oprah dealt with several accounts of sexual abuse within her own family. This lead to a pregnancy at the age of 14. After giving birth, the child soon passed away. She persevered, becoming a local news anchor, ultimately leading to her to create the Oprah Winfrey Network.

7. Leighton Meester 

Instagram | @itsmeleighton

This Gossip Girl actress came from rough beginnings and was actually born in a Texas prison, where her mom was serving time for drug smuggling. Today, Leighton is married to Adam Brody and worth an estimated $5 million.

8. Sylvester Stallone


Unbeknownst to many, Sylvester was homeless before he sold his script for Rocky. He actually sold his dog for $50, and after selling the script, bought him back for $3,000. He's since had an insanely successful career!

9. Chris Pratt 

Facebook | Chris Pratt

Before becoming a mega movie star, headlining in films like Jurassic World, Chris was just a chill dude who lived in a van in Maui. "We just drank and smoked w*** and worked minimal hours...just enough to cover gas, food, and fishing supplies."

He got his first acting gig while waiting tables. 

Facebook | Chris Pratt

He was scouted by actress Rae Dawn Chong, who ended up casting him in her directorial debut.

"The moment she told me she was bringing me to LA, I knew. I was like, 'This is what I'm going to do with the rest of my life.'''

10. Drew Barrymore


I always forget that this completely chill mama of two had an interesting path (to say the least). After getting her big break in E.T. and partying her early years away_,_ Drew was checked into a mental institution at the age of 13. I repeat, 13-years-old!

She has since completely turned her life around.


She is a role model to many, including her two daughters, and has put her past far, far behind her. Not only has she consistently knocked it out of the park with films and television, she has her own beauty line, too.

11. Terry Crews

Instagram | @terrycrews

Tery was drafted by the NFL in 1991. He was tossed around to different teams and retired after playing only 32 games in five years. With no backup career, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. Upon arrival, he swept floors at a factory just to make ends meet.

He ended up working security on the set of Ice Cube's Next Friday, and was cast in the sequel.


Friday After Next turned out to be Terry's big break, and his career took off from there. From White Chicks to Brooklyn Nine-Nine, he continues to show off his loveable sense of humor!