6 Famous Actors Who Started Out as Male Models

How Top Actors Got Their Start as Fashion Print and Runway Models

Hollywood is filled with gorgeous men. That’s a fact. But have you ever noticed that some are really, really good looking? So good looking that you wonder why they’re wasting their talents on the big screen when they could be starring in a Gucci campaign?

Well, chances are they already have. Maybe not Gucci, per se, but many big-time stars actually got their start as male models. Some shot to fame as Abercrombie & Fitch models, some honed their chops in national campaigns and others walked the runway for major designers. Here’s a look at some of the hottest actors who went from fashion to Hollywood.

1
Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher presenting at an awards show
WireImage / Getty Images

Before he became a mega movie and television star, Ashton Kutcher was a simple midwestern boy trying to make it in the modeling world. He entered an international modeling and talent competition in 1997 with the hopes of being crowned Male Model of the Year, but lost out to Josh Duhamel. No worries though—he immediately signed with Next modeling agency in New York and landed gigs with Calvin Klein, Abercrombie, Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, and other huge designers.

2
Josh Duhamel

Close up of Josh Duhamel
FilmMagic / Getty Images

Just like Ashton Kutcher, Josh was a good ol’ midwestern boy (he’s from North Dakota) who dreamed of making it big. He moved to California after college, working odd jobs and dabbling in modeling, and even though he beat out Ashton in the aforementioned modeling competition, it took a few years of working modeling gigs here and there before his career really took off. In 1999, he finally landed the job that would open the door to Hollywood: a leading role on All My Children.

3
Kellan Lutz

Kellan Lutz at fashion week
FilmMagic / Getty Images

Before hitting it big with Twilight and becoming an international teen heartthrob, Kellan Lutz was a high school basketball player who had no interest in modeling. But when he learned that his friend made $500 in one-day modeling for Dillard’s, Kellan was hooked. He sent in some low-quality photos to an agency in Scottsdale, Arizona and heard back almost immediately. After being signed, Kellan not only shot for Dillard’s, but also booked national campaigns for Levi’s and Abercrombie & Fitch.

4
Mark Wahlberg

Premiere Of Paramount Pictures' 'Pain & Gain' - Red Carpet
WireImage / Getty Images

Remember when Oscar-nominated Mark Wahlberg was an insanely popular rapper? When the world knew him as Marky Mark (with or without a Funky Bunch attached)? Well, that’s what launched his modeling career and his acting career. After displaying his ripped physique in his Good Vibrations music video, he landed a series of underwear ads for Calvin Klein. But these weren’t just any old ads—they also featured a then 17-year-old Kate Moss.

5
Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum leaning against a white wall outside
WireImage / Getty Images

Thanks to a little film called Magic Mike, we all know about Channing Tatum’s stripper past. But did you know that after he retired from that stage he moved to Miami, where he was discovered by a model scout? Not long after, he was cast in Ricky Martin’s She Bangs music video (he was only paid $400 for the gig). Then, he landed campaigns for Abercrombie & Fitch, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Nautica, and other big names. He even appeared in Vogue magazine opposite model Karen Elson. His move into the acting world came when he auditioned for (and landed, of course) TV commercials for Mountain Dew and Pepsi. The rest is history!

6
Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson at a film festival
WireImage / Getty Images

It’s hard to imagine Robert Pattinson as anything other than a Twilight hottie, but this English actor didn’t always look so masculine. At the age of 12, he had what he described as an androgynous look—a look that made him popular in the modeling world. His big claim to fame (at the time) was modeling underwear for a small Chinese magazine. But thankfully, his looks grew up and his career became “incredibly unsuccessful.” So, he decided to switch over to acting. The world rejoiced. Modeling was not Robert’s forte.