Today's stars didn't all start out on their current paths. For example, it's no secret that Johnny Depp first came to Hollywood as a musician, or that Natalie Portman studied psychology at Harvard. But there are plenty of other celebrities who dreamed of something different as kids, only to change direction later on. Here are five top stars who weren't always headed for fame and fortune.
1. Ice Cube wanted to be an architect.
He's continued to show an interest in the finer points of structural design, appearing in a video that celebrates designers Charles and Ray Eames. But Cube's drafting skills aren't what they used to be. As he told the New York Times, "You don't want to live in nothing I draw."
2. Denzel Washington wanted to be a journalist.
He would certainly have been good at gathering information, since being interviewed by one of the toughest men in Hollywood couldn't be anything less than totally intimidating.
3. Amy Adams wanted to be a ballerina.
Okay, so it's not hard to imagine the former Enchanted princess as the graceful, adorable center of a dance show. But had Adams, who apprenticed with a dance company in high school, picked ballet shoes over the silver screen, we would have missed out on some powerhouse performances (particularly the one-two-three punch of The Fighter, The Master, and this year's American Hustle).
4. Matthew McConaughey wanted to be a lawyer.
He's getting buzz for just about every one of his performances these days, but the native Texan left high school planning to study law and become a defense attorney, a role he's since played twice. But even McConaughey probably admits that law school would've been a better use of time than Failure to Launch.
5. Bryan Cranston wanted to be a cop.
Yes, it's true; for a while, the Breaking Bad star was on his way to hunting down real-life Walter Whites. He is pictured above in the year book photo for his high school chemistry club, though, so he was already heading towards his true calling.
At age 16, following the example of his older brother, Cranston joined the LAPD Explorers — a group for teens with police aspirations — and he even completed a police-science degree. Thankfully for TV fans everywhere, he ultimately decided to go the drug-lord route instead.