What is it that makes a person? Is it the money of their family? Is it their childhood? Or is it their talent and determination to realize their dream and become successful? If anyone asks me, I'll say that it's the latter. The logic behind it is simple. No matter how much money someone has in their pocket or what childhood this person had to experience, if it's a strong and willful human being, eventual success won't keep them waiting.
To find proof of these words, we can take a look at celebrities. Some of them were homeless for some time; others endured a lot of troubles growing up and seeing their parents struggle to put food on their table. But there are also some celebs who were raised in luxury and had all their needs and wants met. It seems that they had such different lives. In fact, they did, but it doesn't make them different people. They actually have something very important in common. What is it? It's their belief in themselves, it's their effort to achieve success, as well as their ability to dream.
From Ryan Gosling to Eminem, from Zoe Kravitz to Adam Levine, let's take a look at celebrities who had tough childhoods, as well as those who could afford everything they wanted from the beginning of their lives.
20 Ryan Gosling (Grew Up In A Trailer)
These days, Ryan Gosling is a popular actor, who has a lot of money, but when he was a child, the situation was different. At school, he was bullied and had no friends. As if it wasn't enough, Ryan also had to find a job to help his mom pay the bills.
Even when Gosling landed a role in Mickey Mouse Club, things didn't become fixed right away. Upon moving to Florida, Ryan and his mom didn't even have money to pay rent.
"Most of the others went to this apartment complex but it was too expensive for my mother and me, so we lived in this trailer park," the actor recalls. But Ryan never lost his heart and finally realized his dream.
19 Kristen Stewart (Born With A Silver Spoon)
Kristen Stewart, born and raised in Los Angeles, comes from a cinematographic family. Her mother, Jules Mann-Stewart, was a script supervisor and film director, and her father, John Stewart, worked as a TV producer. Needless to say, their jobs were incredibly well-paid, so little Kristen had everything she wanted when she was a child.
Hey, she even lived in an Alice in Wonderland-themed mansion, which was listed in 2013 for $1.75 million!
Being a child, Kristen never dreamed of becoming an actress. Instead, she wanted to be a screenwriter or director. "I always practiced my autograph because I love pens," she recalls. "I'd write my name on everything." Well, it came in handy, didn't it?
18 Demi Moore (Grew Up In A Trailer)
Born in Roswell, New Mexico, Demi Moore had a tough childhood. Her father left her mother before Demi was even born. Later, when the girl was only three months old, her mom got together with another man. But it didn't bring stability into the family at all. Both Demi's mother and stepfather had a lifestyle problem, their relationship was far from being harmonious, all the money was used up, and they lived in a trailer park.
When Demi was 16, she dropped out of school and left her parents, aiming to become a model. Her professional rise began with a few photoshoots for magazines, and then she landed several TV roles to finally become rich and famous.
17 Edward Norton (Born With A Silver Spoon)
Before Edward Norton became a Hollywood star, his grandfather, James Rouse, laid a solid foundation for the family fortune. He was a Medal of Freedom winner, and he made a load of money working as a real estate developer and urban planner. Besides, Norton's grandpa also created the Rouse Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that worked to provide affordable housing to everyone all over the country.
But all the money Edward Norton had ever since he was born didn't make him a spoiled person. He still remains a nice and down-to-earth guy, who supports a few charities and rides the metro.
16 Sarah Jessica Parker (Grew Up In A Trailer)
Once Sarah Jessica Parker referred to her childhood as "Dickensian." As a child, she lived with her mother and stepfather, and they barely had money for anything. "I remember being poor," the actress recalls. "There was no great way to hide it. We didn’t have electricity sometimes. We didn’t have Christmases sometimes or we didn’t have birthdays sometimes."
But these early life troubles didn't break Sarah, nor did they make her stop dreaming about a better future. They must have only consolidated her determination to bring it in. Now that she's rich and famous, she recalls her past with gratitude for everything life has taught her.
15 Lindsay Lohan (Born With A Silver Spoon)
Lindsay Lohan had a very comfortable childhood due to the efforts of her father, Michael Lohan, who worked as a Wall Street trader and made a lot of money. Little Lindsay was growing up in the wealthy Long Island community of Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Little did she know back then that she was going to become a famous actress early in life after starring in the all-time classic The Parent Trap and then landing a number of other roles that consolidated her success. But then, as we all know, something went wrong, and the fame rollercoaster began...
It surely wasn't an easy ride, and we all hope that Lindsay is fine now.
14 Leonardo DiCaprio (Grew Up In A Trailer)
It's interesting that the role that brought Leonardo DiCaprio fame was actually pretty close to his own background. As you must have understood, we're talking about him playing Jack in Titanic. Jack was such a nice guy, but he had no money in his pocket. Leo was the same before he made it big in Hollywood.
In one of his interviews, Leo mentioned that he was "a very poor kid." "It really was like Taxi Driver in a lot of ways…" the actor recalls. "I grew up very poor and I got to see the other side of the spectrum."
This period of Leo's life influenced him a lot and contributed to his desire to become an actor, as well as his aversion to all kinds of bad habits.
13 Rooney and Kate Mara (Born With A Silver Spoon)
Sisters and actresses Rooney and Kate Mara come from a very rich family that got its fortune due to... football. According to Best Life Online, their paternal grandfather, Wellington Mara, was the founder of the New York Giants franchise. As if it wasn't enough for the girls' happy childhood, their maternal grandfather, Timothy James Rooney, created another franchise, the Pittsburgh Steelers. These days, both franchises are estimated to be valued at about $1 billion each.
Thus, due to that favorite U.S. pastime, Rooney and Kate were raised with class. But, obviously, it's not due to their grandparents' money but rather due to their own talents that both of them became successful actresses.
12 Hilary Swank (Grew Up In A Trailer)
A popular actress and a two-time Oscar winner, Hilary Swank grew up in a trailer park with her mother. Even when Hilary started pursuing acting, she still had to live in a car because she couldn't pay her rent.
It's interesting that Swank's early financial troubles made her appreciate her life more. "My background is not something I forget," the actress shares with Daily Mail."It helps me to not take what I have for granted. I really appreciate that I get to travel and see the world, and that I can pay my bills. It’s an incredible feeling to know that I can actually buy that pair of shoes, and I appreciate a sale as much as the next person. I think about how I’m spending my money, and I like to spend on my family."
11 Armie Hammer (Born With A Silver Spoon)
Armie Hammer, the actor, was named after his grandfather, Armand Hammer, the oil tycoon, who made a fortune for his family to know no needs. Armand Hammer Sr. had been the chairman of Occidental Petroleum for 33 years, and he was the person who turned a poorly profitable company into one of the largest energy and gas corporations in the United States. Besides, Hammer was a philanthropist, and he had a goal to bring peace between the USA and USSR.
However, even though Armie Jr.'s family had a lot of money, he still had his own troubles. "For all intents and purposes, my parents disowned me when I dropped out of high school and began acting," the actor recalls. "But they have since become supportive of me and say that they are proud of my work." Of course they are!
10 Jim Carrey (Grew Up In A Trailer)
The early years of Jim Carrey were no picnic. His family was impoverished, and when Jim was 15 years old, he had to drop out of school to find a job and help support his family. He worked as a janitor. At some point, the situation got so serious that the family lost their place to live and had to sleep in a van.
Now, when Carrey recalls this time, he feels thankful for all these challenges. He says that this time of his life was "a traumatic kick in the guts." Probably, this period contributed a lot to him becoming the kind of person he is now.
9 Bryce Dallas Howard (Born With A Silver Spoon)
The daughter of filmmaker Ron Howard, Bryce Dallas Howard was babysat by family friend Tom Cruise when she was a child. Maybe because she played with the actor a lot as a kid, or because she saw her dad working in the movie industry, the girl always wanted to become an actress. However, she feared that if people saw her last name, they'd think that she got roles only because of her father. For this reason, she dropped her last name and went as Bryce Dallas in the beginning.
But later, her parents asked her, "Aren’t you proud to come from our family? Is there something that we’ve done?" Bryce remembers, "I was like, 'Omigosh, no, I am so proud of you guys!'" And she added her last name back right afterward.
8 Kelly Clarkson (Grew Up In A Trailer)
Kelly Clarkson didn't have such a troubled childhood, but she also faced her share of financial challenges. "My apartment in L.A. burned down, and I had to move home; I had no money and I had to sleep in my car for three days," the singer recalls. "I just auditioned for this thing that said they'd pay you, and it happened to be Idol. I didn't go into it thinking this would happen; I went into it thinking it might pay my electric bill."
"Literally, my [professional life] is happenstance," Kelly adds, explaining that she never wanted to become a famous singer. "I work very hard, but I always wonder how in the world I got here."
It's amazing how things can turn sometimes...
7 Ed Sheeran (Born With A Silver Spoon)
Some people say that an artist must face adversity or starve, but the family of Ed Sheeran is proof that it doesn't have to be the case. His parents are both successful artists. His father, John, is an art curator and lecturer, while his mother, Imogen, creates jewelry items. The couple even had their own art consultancy. It was called Sheeran Lock, and it was very successful for 20 years.
Their jobs brought a lot of money to the family, so growing up, little Ed had everything he needed. Seeing the creative life of his parents, he also aspired to become an artist. His dream came true, and now he's a famous singer-songwriter.
6 Shania Twain (Grew Up In A Trailer)
The childhood of Shania Twain was far from being perfect. For some time, Shania, her mother, and her siblings even had to live in a homeless shelter to stay away from the girl's father.
"Mom got out of the car to use a pay phone while we sat and waited in the car, returning a few minutes later with a piece of paper on which she’d scribbled the address of a homeless shelter," the singer recalls in her memoir From This Moment On. "That night, we slept in a crowded, sweltering place on cot-like beds spread out along the walls of a series of spacious, open rooms designed for large groups."
5 Adam Levine (Born With A Silver Spoon)
Adam Levine had a cushy childhood due to the efforts of his father, Fred Levine, who became incredibly successful as the founder of retail chain M. Frederic. Since Adam's parents had enough financially, the boy ended up attending Brentwood, a prestigious private school that basically became the birthplace for his singing stardom. Why? Because this is exactly where he met his friends who later on became his fellow Maroon 5 band members!
While still at school, they started playing and quickly amassed a large number of fans.
So if it wasn't for the money of Adam's father, perhaps we wouldn't have this band nowadays.
4 Jennifer Lopez (Grew Up In A Trailer)
The family of Jennifer Lopez wasn't as poor as some others in this list, but still, in her teenage years, Jen turned out to be homeless for some time. The girl dreamed of becoming a dancer, but her family didn't support her choice. So at some point, Jennifer didn't want to come back home and stayed to live in her dance studio.
"My mom and I butted heads," the singer recalls in an interview with Daily Mail. "I didn't want to go to college — I wanted to try dance full-time. So she and I had a break. I started sleeping on the sofa in the dance studio. I was homeless, but I told her, 'This is what I have to do.'"
Luckily for Jen, it didn't last for a long time, because only a few months later, she landed her first dancing job and things got started.
3 Taylor Swift (Born With A Silver Spoon)
Taylor Swift had a really, really idyllic childhood. Her parents were rich enough to give their little daughter everything she wanted. Taylor's father was a financial adviser at Merrill-Lynch, while her mother's job was a mutual fund marketing executive. The Swift family lived on an 11-acre Christmas tree farm, and little Taylor got to attend a private school in her hometown of Pennsylvania. Sounds nice, doesn't it?
So the girl has known what luxury and comfort are from the early days of her life. But she never sat still, and nowadays she keeps on maintaining her wealth on her own.
2 Eminem (Grew Up In A Trailer)
Marshall Mathers, whom we know as Eminem, was very poor when he was a kid. He lived with his mother, who had a lifestyle problem, and his brother in a trailer park in Detroit. When he was 15, his mother made him find a job to help her pay the bills. However, it didn't help, because at some point they were evicted from their trailer.
The rapper recalled this incident in his interview with Rolling Stone. He came home to see a locked door and an eviction notice. "I had to break in," he says. "I didn’t have anywhere else to go. There was no heat, no water, no electricity. I slept on the floor."
But Marshall didn't pay too much attention to these troubles. He had a dream and took decisive steps to realize it.
1 Zoe Kravitz (Born With A Silver Spoon)
It's obvious that Zoe Kravitz was born rich. After all, she's the daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet. Besides, her grandmother on her father's side was an actress Roxie Roker, while her grandfather on her father's side was filmmaker Sy Kravitz. Even her godparents come from the world of cinematography: her godfather is movie producer Bruce Cohen and her godmother is actress and singer Cree Summer.
When Zoe was 5, her parents separated and her mother got together with another Hollywood star, Jason Momoa, with whom Lisa Bonet now has other kids. So now Momoa is Zoe's stepfather.
Hopefully, we mentioned all the celebrity names in Zoe's family lineage.