LOS ANGELES — Everyone in Hollywood wants to be a multihyphenate, right? A key figure in that tradition is the model-turned-actor. Maybe they wanted to act but had to take modeling gigs first; maybe they modeled first but wanted to prove they were more than just a pretty face.
Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker continues her crossover with supporting roles in “Battleship” and “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”
Here’s a look at five celebrities who’ve staked out serious careers in front of both kinds of camera.
Milla Jovovich: Born in Kiev, she was spotted at age 11 by famed photographer Richard Avedon, who featured her in Revlon’s “Most Unforgettable Women in the World” ads. Jovovich went on to appear on dozens of magazine covers and in campaigns for several brands. But she’s also carved out a major acting career as star of the sci-fi “Resident Evil” series (directed by her husband, Paul W.S. Anderson) and has appeared in various films.
Charlize Theron: The statuesque stunner from South Africa started modeling in Milan at 16. Since then, she’s shown a fearlessness in her choices and an eagerness to play parts that are less than beautiful on the outside (her Oscar-winning performance as a frumpy serial killer in “Monster”) as well as on the inside.
Ashton Kutcher: The 6-foot-2 Kutcher dropped out of the University of Iowa, where he’d planned to study biochemical engineering, after an agent recruited him at a bar to take part in a modeling competition. He won first place and went on to work the catwalks in New York, Milan and Paris. Kutcher made his name playing dumb pretty-boy roles on the TV series “That `70s Show” and in movies.
Tyrese Gibson: He grew up in South Central Los Angeles but burst onto the pop-culture scene as a teenager singing “Always Coca-Cola” in a 1994 commercial. Soon afterward, Tommy Hilfiger himself picked Gibson to be the face of his brand. After making his acting debut in John Singleton’s “Baby Boy,” he found himself with recurring roles in a couple of heavy-duty franchises: all three “Transformers” films and a couple of the “Fast and the Furious” movies.
Kim Basinger: A former Georgia pageant queen, she signed a contract with the Ford modeling agency and appeared on several magazine covers in the ’70s. She’s played the Caped Crusader’s girlfriend (in the 1989 “Batman”) and Eminem’s mom (in “8 Mile”). In 1998, she won the Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role in “L.A. Confidential.”