From Runways To Big Screens: 5 Actors Who Started As Models

These models-turned-actors have made defining pivots in their careers.

Posing for ad campaigns and embodying a persona while walking on the runway requires some amount of acting talent. It’s no surprise that there are some models who want to take this skill to the next level by appearing in films and TV shows.

Here are some models who have made a successful leap into acting and built an impressive filmography for themselves.

READ ALSO: Age Is Beauty: Demand For Models Over 60 Is Sky-High

Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne booked her first modeling gig at just 10 years old when she was featured in Vogue Italia alongside Lady Eloise Anson. Since then, she has walked numerous fashion weeks and worked with various fashion houses including Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, and Chanel just to name a few.

Cara Delevingne at a Ralph Lauren fashion show
Image via Instagram @caradelevingne

In 2012, she landed her first acting role in the film adaptation of Anna Karenina. A few years later, she went on to star in Paper Towns, Suicide Squad, Valerian, and more films. She also joined the all-star cast of Only Murders in the Building for its second season.

Milla Jovovich

Milla Jovovich began her modeling career in 1987 when she was on the cover of Italian magazine Lei. She’s been featured in over 100 magazine covers since then, including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, and GQ.

Milla Jovovich modeling for Rodarte
Image via Instagram @millajovovich

As a child, Jovovich’s mother enrolled her in acting classes. In 1988, she was cast in her first movie and TV shows. Now her name is most often associated with sci-fi and action movies, with her breakthrough roles in The Fifth Element and the Resident Evil franchise.

Uma Thurman

Though Uma Thurman started modeling at only 15 years old, it didn’t take long before she made the shift to the big screen. She made her acting debut in the 1987 teen thriller Kiss Daddy Goodnight. But it was her role in the Oscar-winning drama Dangerous Liaisons that earned her recognition from critics and audiences.

Uma Thurman at the 25th anniversary of Room to Grow
Image via Instagram @umathurman

Today, Thurman is probably best known for her work in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. Her role as Mia Wallace earned the actor her first nominations for the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Halle Berry

In the ‘80s, Halle Berry began her career in modeling and entered several beauty contests. She won Miss Ohio and finished as the first runner-up in the Miss USA pageant. Berry then went on to place sixth at Miss World 1986, where she was the first African American contestant.

Halle Berry at a Michael Kors fashion show
Image via Instagram @halleberry

In 1989, she moved to New York City to pursue her acting career. Following several projects, Berry earned worldwide recognition when she played Storm in the X-Men franchise. 

But it was her role in Monster’s Ball that got her the trophies for Best Actress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Academy Awards. She is also the first African American to win the Oscar for Best Actress.

Charlize Theron

At age 16, Charlize Theron won a one-year modeling contract and moved to Milan, Italy with her mother. After working as a model throughout Europe, they both moved to the United States where Theron enrolled at the Joffrey Ballet School. However, a knee injury put a stop to her dancing aspirations.

Charlize Theron at the premiere of Fast X
Image via Instagram @charlizeafrica

In 1994, she moved to Los Angeles to try her hand at acting. She was living from paycheck to paycheck until she was discovered by a talent agent. Since then, she has become one of the world’s highest-paid actresses. 

She won an Oscar for Best Actress in 2003 for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster and earned nominations for her roles in North Country and Bombshell.

Banner image via Instagram @caradelevingne.

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