"The Vice President of Columbia told this actor that he was never going to make it in the business."
After Harrison Ford's first performance as a hotel bellhop in the film Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round, the studio vice-president called him in to his office. "Sit down kid," the studio head said, "I want to tell you a story. The first time Tony Curtis was ever in a movie he delivered a bag of groceries. We took one look at him and knew he was a movie star." Ford replied, "I thought you were supossed to think that he was a grocery delivery boy." The vice president dismissed Ford with "You ain't got it kid , you ain't got it … now get out of here."
Not happy with the roles being offered to him, Ford became a self-taught professional carpenter to support his then-wife and two small sons. While working as a carpenter, he became a stagehand for the popular rock band The Doors. He also built a sun deck for Sally Kellerman and a recording studio for Sergio Mendes. He returned to acting when George Lucas, who had hired him to build cabinets in his home, cast him in a pivotal supporting role for his film American Graffiti (1973).
Ford's work as a carpenter would land him his biggest role to date. In 1975, George Lucas hired him to read lines for actors being cast for parts in his upcoming space opera, Star Wars (1977). However, Lucas was eventually won over by Ford's portrayal and decided to cast him as Han Solo.
2. Steven Spielberg
Name one of the most successful movie directors today and the name "Steven Spielberg" pops to your mind! Yet, this sensational and acclaimed movie director was once denied entrance into a traditional filmmaking school. Steven, left with no other options, chose to major English at California State College at Long beach.
It was in 1965, he recalls, in one of those serendipitous moments, his life took a complete turn for the better. Visiting Universal Studios, he met Chuck Silvers, an executive in the editorial department. Silvers liked the kid who made 8 mm films and invited him back sometime to visit.
What happened next is quite a story…
Without a job or security clearance, he appeared the next day, dressed in a dark suit and tie, carrying his father's briefcase with nothing inside but "a sandwich and candy bars"… strode confidently up to the guard at the gate of the Studios and gave him a casual wave. The guard waved back and he was in.
"For the entire summer," Spielberg remembers, "I dressed in my suit and hung out with the directors and writers [including Silvers, who knew the kid wasn't a studio employee, but winked at the deception]. I even found an office that wasn't being used, and became a squatter. I bought some plastic tiles and put my name in the building directory: Steven Spielberg, Room 23C." Ten years later, the 28-year-old Spielberg directed Jaws, which took in $470 million, then the highest-grossing movie of all time.
3. Michael Jordan
"For the entire summer," Spielberg remembers, "I dressed in my suit and hung out with the directors and writers [including Silvers, who knew the kid wasn't a studio employee, but winked at the deception]. I even found an office that wasn't being used, and became a squatter. I bought some plastic tiles and put my name in the building directory: Steven Spielberg, Room 23C."
It paid off for everyone. Ten years later, the 28-year-old Spielberg directed Jaws, which took in $470 million, then the highest-grossing movie of all time. Dozens of films and awards have followed because Steven Spielberg knew what his teachers didn't — talent is in the eyes of the filmmaker.
He was cut from the high school basketball team, went home, locked himself in his room and cried
"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." – Michael Jordan
He was one of five brothers in a family with discipline and spirit of progress, he was brought up with high standard and great expectation. During his trials in The High School the coach thought it might be good for Michael to play in the university junior team group for a year to get more training time. So when the list of names of the university team was announced, Michael's mates were in the list, but Michael was not.
It was the very moment so deeply imprinted on Michael's life. He stared at the alphabetically arranged list of names, read and reread the list several times, feeling sure his coach had mistakenly left his name out. Later he admitted that when he got home that day, so disappointed and ashamed, he wept. His mother came to his side. "She said that the best thing I could do is to prove to the coach that he had made a mistake", recalled Michael. "And, leaving my disappointment behind, I started to improve my performance".
Michael reluctantly rejoined the junior university team squadron. He arrived at school before 7:00 AM in autumn, in winter, in summer and practiced. Almost every morning coach had to ask him to leave the court. Knowing that his lack of height made him unqualified for the university team, he often tried to get taller by daughing on horizontal bar. Although his height was under 183 cm, Michael quickly made himself a favourite player in the university junior team. Soon, the university team players started to come earlier to the games just to watch how Michael led university junior team. He developed it to a true team through Michael demanding from his team mates the same intensity he did to himself, and persuading the coach to urge the team to work harder under his criticisms. Eventually he was admitted into the university team.
Behind his competence and spirit, lies the secret: : "You can achieve incomparable level of skill through incomparable spirit and commitment". Through the following years Michael used to motivate himself by reflecting on his failure: "Whenever I achieve some success but feel so tired, I often come to think to give up and leave everything. But then I close my eyes and see again that list that didn't include my name. usually by doing that my spirit is revived".
4. Walt Disney
Fired from a newspaper because he "lacked imagination and had no original ideas"
Walt Disney was born in Chicago 1901, His father's persistence was one of the most important factors that changed his life. Walt attended drawing class every Saturday in Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design, which his father considered as "an education".
At the end of World War I, Walt quitted high school to join the ambulance driver troops and managed to earn a huge success in drawing and caricature for the U.S Troops. He went home to join the Kansas City Star as an intern in cartoon section. He was rejected. Walt established his business called Laugh-O-Gram, he added $15,000 from investors and sold his cartoon series to Kansas City cinema. As Walt's staffs were getting ready to work on the series, the company itself was struggling to survive and his only client got bankrupt six months later and only one movie from the series completed, Walt was also bankrupt.
Walt said, "It was good to experience huge failures when you were young." He left Kansas City with only $40 and joined his brother Roy in California by hoping that he could revive Laugh-O-Gram series in Hollywood. He aired his short comedic news at a cinema in Los Angeles and sold an idea for a film – a tale about Alice in Wonderland to a New York film distributor called Charles Mintz. He received $1,500 per film, this was his great debut. Walt and Roy built their business together;Walt returned with a series about a naughty rabbit named Oswald, the first animal character to appear in a comic. The series was a huge hit, and soon replaced Alice. Disney's success was finally here. Little did he know that he would lose all his staff members and right over his most important asset: Oswald the Rabbit, which had been given license under Mintz. He was left with small amount of money and an idea.
Mickey Mouse was invented. Walt felt his first "spoken" animation movie would become a sensation and it did. Walt began building his studio from the money he received from Mickey and began to develop more Mickey adventures-such as Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Goofy, and other Disney animals. Walt took a lesson from Oswald the Rabbit and the result was he made the most important business decision when he sold his first Mickey series: he insisted to maintain control over his artistic work and ownership of his characters. At first it was a bitter experience, but in the end it became the most valuable lesson, because it taught him to secure his company.
5. Sylvester Stallone
The Sylvester Stallone story is a true rags to riches tale. He rose from an almost impossible situation to the fame and fortune that he now enjoys.
Stallone attended school in suburban Philadelphia where he first started acting. He then spent two years instructing at the American college of Switzerland in Geneva. When he arrived back in the United States he became a drama major at the University of Miami where he also began to write.
He left college before graduation and moved to New York to pursue his acting career. He auditioned for almost every casting agent in town with no success. He decided to turn more towards writing and wrote many screenplays while waiting for his acting career to blossom.
After numerous failed attempts he found himself broke once again. IN an act of desperation he waited outside of a local liquor store asking people if they would buy his dog; his closest and best friend. In the end someone bought his dog for roughly $50. Stallone was extremely devastated that his life had come to that point.
Walking in the cold streets of New York City he wandered into the local library to warm up. While he browsed through the many books he discovered some of the best classics by many famous writers which inspired him to work harder on his screenplays and various writings.
One day Stallone was sitting at home watching a fight between Weppner and Ali. Weppner was getting absolutely slaughtered but kept holding his ground and coming back for more. This underdog was really fighting for it despite the slim chance he would even get close to winning.
This inspired Stallone to begin writing based on his inspiration from this fighter. He wrote for over 24 hours straight and after this time he had written the entire script to Rocky.
He tried to sell the script with the intention of playing the lead role. However, months passed with enormous rejections from many producers, until eventually someone loved it and they agreed to do the movie. He was wrapped and told them that he wanted to play the part of Rocky.
They declined and told him he was a writer not an actor. There is a story that Stallone had been offered more than a hundred thousand dollars for his script as long as someone else could take the lead role, but he refused. He was so sure in his heart that this part was meant for him and him alone. He refused to compromise.
A couple of weeks later they contacted him with an even higher offer and Stallone still insisted that he play Rocky. The once again declined. Was he nuts? I mean the man was poor, he could barely even eat.
The offer kept rising just so he would sell them the film without playing the part. The price eventually got around $400,000 and still he declined. He was certain that he was actor and that was it, there was no compromise.
Finally the studio agreed to allow Stallone to proceed with the film, provided that it was made on a shoestring budget. Eventually they offered Stallone a measly $25000. Stallone accepted the deal so they weren't throwing their money away by having him as the lead role. He accepted. Then the first thing he did was go back to the liquor store to buy back his dog.
He waited 3 days for the guy to come by and finally there he was with his dog. He offered the guy $150 to buy back the dog, the man declined. The offer kept rising, but again, Stallone knew his outcome and kept pursuing his goal.
It ended up costing him $15000 and a part in the movie to buy back his dog. The guy and the dog are in Rocky
As you all probably know what happened with the Rocky movie. It became a world commercial success and Oscar Winner. The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards in all, and went on to win the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Film Editing
The sequel, Rocky II was released a few years later and also became a major success. The film series has grossed more than $1.25 billion at the worldwide box office.