How do you become a successful actor? Well, you go on an audition and they give you a role. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Of course, we left out the arduous process of getting rejected a few hundred times before finally getting that ‘yes’ from the casting directors and landing your first role. So one thing that is key to success in the thespian career path is perseverance. Another is not being too picky about the roles you take, especially in the beginning. Every actor must start somewhere and all of them are probably eternally grateful to the first show or movie that gave them a chance to show off their skills and get noticed. The 15 actors that we are going to talk about today, thanks to Aunty Acid, may be global superstars now, but their humble beginnings are rooted in British TV shows.
1. Andrew Lincoln
You probably know Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead, but the English actor began his career by acting in a much less serious production. He appeared on one episode of political satire series Drop the Dead Donkey in 1994, and he was also in hit movie Love Actually where he played that guy who was pining after Keira Knightley.
2. Catherine Zeta-Jones
One of the first roles Academy Award winner Catherine Zeta-Jones had was on a TV series called The Darling Buds of May. It lasted three seasons and it was quite popular in the early nineties, successfully launching the Welsh actress’s career.
3. Andrew Garfield
Andrew Garfield reached world-wide fame when he was cast as the Amazing Spider-Man, but his career began when he was in five episodes of teenage drama Sugar Rush.
4. Sean Bean
Sean Bean has been famous since forever, right? Well, he too had to start somewhere and that happened to be a short role on popular police drama The Bill. In the early ’90s, he took part in another crime drama Inspector Morse.
5. Damian Lewis
You probably know Damian Lewis from Homeland, but you probably don’t know that one of his first roles was on police drama series A Touch of Frost.
6. Orlando Bloom
Before becoming Legolas in The Lord of the Rings, Orlando Bloom was in three episodes of drama series Casualty.
7. Keira Knightly
Twice Oscar-nominated actress Keira Knightley is perhaps best known for playing Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean. However, one of the first projects she ever did was playing a young tearaway in The Bill in 1995.
8. Felicity Jones
Among Felicity Jones’s most popular movies are The Theory of Everything and Rogue One, but before becoming a Hollywood A-lister, the English actress could be seen playing the character of Ethel Hallow in beloved children series The Worst Witch.
9. Jerome Flynn
Before starring in Game of Thrones, your favorite roguish sell-sword first became famous with his role on award-winning series Soldier, Soldier. Together with Robson Green, his co-star in the series, he launched a music career as pop duo Robson & Jerome.
10. Lena Headey
Lena Headey is perhaps best known as acid-tongued Cercei Lannister from Game of Thrones, but the origins of the English actress’s career can be found in the history drama How We Used to Live.
11. Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender is the star of so many movies nowadays, from the X-Men to Assassin’s Creed. He began acting, though, in hospital drama Holby City.
12. Benedict Cumberbatch
Sherlock was the show that launched Benedict Cumberbatch straight into stardom, but before becoming our favorite consulting detective, he was part of crime comedy series Heartbeat.
13. Kate Winslet
We all fell in love with Kate Winslet in Titanic, but one of the first shows the English actress was ever on, was hospital drama Casualty.
14. Stephen Moyer
You might know Stephen Moyer as smoldering vampire Bill in fantasy drama series True Blood. Hewever, the English actor first began his career in the TV adaptation of the play Conjugal Rites.
15. James McAvoy
Before becoming Professor X and before playing a character with 23 different personalities, James McAvoy starred in drama series Shameless. That was where the Scottish actor met his wife Anne-Marie Duff.