Everyone wants to know how the most popular film and television stars got their big break.  While some knew they wanted to be on the big screen right from the beginning, many others first pursued modeling careers.  Here are a few A-listers who, according to MSN, got their big break by taking the modeling route first:

Charlize Theron: Theron was trying to make it big in the modeling world when, at the age of 18, she attempted to cash a check at a bank in Los Angeles.  The check was from a different state and she got into an argument with the teller who refused to accept it.  Talent agent John Crosby just happened to overhear their conversation and offered to help Theron withdraw the money.  He then proceeded to offer to represent her as an actress and immediately sent her to acting classes.  A few months later, the now famous actress landed her first role in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest.

Channing Tatum: Tatum received a football scholarship to Glenville State College in West Virginia but would soon decide college wasn’t for him.  He dropped out and moved to Miami.  He was struggling to make ends meet with several odd jobs when a modeling agent just happened to notice him on the streets.  Not surprisingly, Tatum had little difficulty landing gigs with big brands, and his modeling experience served as a stepping stone for his film career.

Ashton Kutcher: This A-list actor was studying engineering at the University of Iowa when he was approached by a talent scout at a bar in Iowa City.  The agent encouraged him to enter a modeling competition, which he did and ended up winning.  After participating in several other competitions, he began appearing in commercials for well-known brands, such as Calvin Klein and Versace.  This exposure helped Kutcher to land his breakthrough role in That 70’s show.

Pamela Anderson: In 1989, Anderson went to a Canadian Football League game in Vancouver.  She just happened to make it onto the jumbotron, and this caused her to be noticed and approached by agents for Playboy.  Her success as a model soon paved the way for her film and television career.

Jennifer Lawrence: The 14-year-old was vacationing in New York when she was approached by a scout for a modeling gig.   The happenstance encounter led to an audition for a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial, which she landed.  Thus, her acting career began, and the rest is history.