The 15 Most Unlikely TV Actors-Turned-Movie Stars

Need for speedDisney/DreamWorks‘Breaking Bad’ star Aaron Paul will attempt to open this weekend’s ‘Need For Speed’ at the box office.

From Goldie Hawn to Jennifer Aniston, we’ve frequently seen our favourite TV stars grow up before our eyes and become world-famous after transitioning to film.

Some are simply destined for stardom. But there’s another class of actors who, while always talented, weren’t exactly predicted to do big things.

Click ahead to see which famous actors emerged from humble beginnings.

Surprising actors-turned-movie stars >

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Aaron Paul went from 'Big Love' and 'Breaking Bad' to trying take over the box office with this weekend's 'Need For Speed.'

Not even Breaking Bad's most hardcore fans could've predicted Aaron Paul would become such a major star when the series first debuted in 2007.

He was just the skinny white kid from Big Love in wankster apparel. But Paul grew into the actor he is today on the show and, by the final episode, it was clear he had a serious future.

Jennifer Lawrence went from 'The Bill Engvall Show' to back-to-back Oscar nominations.

At the time, it appeared The Bill Engvall Show would be sucked into oblivion upon cancellation, but something strange happened. The girl who played Engvall's daughter became one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood.

Credit Lawrence for choosing the path less taken. She won a demanding role as Ree Dolly in Winter's Bone a year after Engvall ended and earned her first Oscar nomination. Two more would follow, including a win for Silver Linings Playbook.

Before Michelle Williams starred in 'Blue Valentine' and 'Oz The Great And Powerful,' she was part of the 'Dawson's Creek' cast.

It's next to impossible to break the typecasting mould after appearing on a show like Dawson's Creek (just ask James Van Der Beek).

But Williams did it more successfully than any other actor. Katie Holmes was the one everyone would have picked to be a star, but it was Dawson's other love who would go on to win three Oscar nominations.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt was on 'Third Rock From The Sun' before he became 'Don Jon.'

JGL didn't look much like a future star when he was on Third Rock from the Sun, but the child actor was well-seasoned.

He had appeared in A River Runs Through It and The Juror by the time Third Rock became popular.

Olivia Wilde starred on 'The O.C.' before hitting it big with 'Rush' and 'Tron.'

Sure she was gorgeous and all, but who would have predicted the major movie star to emerge from The O.C. would be Olivia Wilde?

She wasn't on the show long, but her character had a lasting impact, starting affairs with both Seth and Marissa.

Leonardo DiCaprio had to go through 'Growing Pains' before he became 'The Wolf Of Wall Street.'

DiCaprio started small, as Luke Brower on Growing Pains from 1991-92. At the time, it seemed co-star Kirk Cameron was the one destined for stardom, but he never had the talent.

DiCaprio was the true star and showed it almost immediately after leaving the sitcom for more adult fare. He would win an Oscar nomination for What's Eating Gilbert Grape just a year later in 1993.

Bradley Cooper was on 'Alias' before being nominated for two Oscars.

Cooper had appeared in a few films, including the great Wet Hot American Summer, before grabbing his first major character on J.J. Abrams' Alias as Jennifer Garner's BFF Will Tippin.

His role shrunk more and more as the show went on though, and nobody would have guessed he'd be sitting on two Oscar nominations in 2014.

Naomi Watts was an Australian soap opera star before her two Oscar nominations.

This one's for Australian audiences. Watts had a small recurring role on the Aussie soap opera 'Home and Awa'y as a disabled young woman.

She was a bright young star, but we doubt any 'Home and Away' fan would have picked her for mainstream success in America.

Isla Fisher was a star on Australian TV before she hit it big on the big screen in the U.S.

Isla Fisher is another Home and Away alum who would depart Australia's Gold Coast for the bright lights of Los Angeles.

She was young, beautiful, and talented but a career starring alongside the likes of Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, and Leonardo DiCaprio was far-fetched. Not anymore.

George Clooney was on a string of successful TV shows before he got lucky again on the silver screen.

Clooney had recurring roles on three shows in the '80s: E/R (not the Michael Crichton one), The Facts of Life, and Roseanne. He was handsome, despite some terrible haircuts, but no one expected him to become a leading man.

He would go on to star in the cult favourite From Dusk Till Dawn in 1996 and he never looked back.

Will Smith was 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air' before becoming one of the 'Bad Boys.'

It was improbable to begin with that a rap star would find success on a wholesome family sitcom, but that's exactly what happened for Will Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Doubly improbable was what would follow: Smith became one of the highest-grossing movie stars in film history following star-making roles in Bad Boys and Independence Day.

One of Morgan Freeman's first roles was as 'Vincent the Vegetable Vampire.'

The guy who played Vincent the Vegetable Vampire on The Electric Company is now one of the most-respected and in-demand actors in film today.

We doubt anyone would have predicted that in 1971. Freeman started small, but nobly, on the PBS educational children's show.

Tom Hanks has 2 Oscar wins under his belt, but had an unlikely start.

Hanks' big break came as a cross-dresser on ABC's comedy Bosom Buddies.

It was a risky role for any actor to have taken in the early '80s, but Hanks not only did it, he parlayed it into one of the greatest screen careers in movie history. Not many saw that coming.

The 'Freaks and Geeks' crew were relatively unknown until Judd Apatow put them on the big screen.

Freaks and Geeks underperformed during its short run on NBC in 1999 and 2000, but it would spawn some major stars.

James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel all became A-listers while Linda Cardellini, Busy Philipps, and Martin Starr have enjoyed plenty of success as well. The show's devoted following never forgot these actors, but at the time, it was just one of many teen sitcoms.

Robin Williams played quirky characters on TV before winning an Oscar.

Williams first appeared on Happy Days as the fast-talking alien Mork and Garry Marshall loved him so much he gave him his own spin-off, Mork & Mindy, which aired from 1978 to 1982.

Marshall and others in the industry obviously knew Williams had insane talent, but audiences couldn't have predicted they were watching a future Oscar winner.

Now that you've seen TV actors who became movie stars ...

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