We’ve all seen movies that have inspired us or changed our outlook on the world, but films can have a big impact on the lives of their stars, too — and those celebrity-altering roles aren’t always found in the movies you’d expect.
10 movies that totally changed their stars’ personalities
Lara Croft: Tomb RaiderAngelina Jolie wasn't always on the path to sainthood. (Remember when she wore vials of blood around her neck?) Filming Tomb Raider in Cambodia changed her. There she gained a greater awareness of the world's war zones and was inspired to donate her time (and millions) to the United Nations Refugee fundParamount
Eyes Wide ShutA gruelling, 400-day-long shoot under the direction of a demanding Stanley Kubrick ultimately wrecked the marriage of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. But while a split may seem like a bad thing on the surface, we'd say there was a definite upside to the divorce: Kidman’s escape from Scientology.Warner Bros.
Stuck on YouThat's right, Oscar winner and activist Matt Damon once starred in a tasteless "comedy" about a pair of conjoined twins — and it changed him for the better. During shooting, he met his civilian wife and his ticket to a paparazzi-free life — a revelation after being hounded while dating Winona Ryder and Minnie Driver.Fox
Pulp Fiction“John Travolta was as cold as they get. He was less than zero,” Quentin Tarantino's agent has said. Pulp Fiction brought the actor back from the dead career-wise and made him a hot property all over again. No small feat in an industry where you’re only as good as your most recent box office returns.Miramax
TitanicThere's just one survivor left from the 1912 sinking of the Titanic and she recently ran into money trouble after finding herself unable to pay her nursing home bills. Leo and Kate to the rescue! Thanks to their ties to her story, the Titanic stars have stepped in to help cover costs.Paramount
GothikaProducer Joel Silver offered up nearly half his salary as collateral, allowing a troubled and uninsurable Robert Downey Jr. to be cast in Gothika. We'd wager that the kind of belief he had in him went a long way towards helping Downey finally kick his drug problem, setting him on a path towards Marvel greatness.Warner Bros.
The Harry Potter moviesThe Harry Potter franchise turned its young star Emma Watson into a crusader for women's rights — as evidenced by her recent appearance at the UN. Watson said she felt sexualized by the media at age 14 and discriminated against at just eight. Her experience made her want to do something about it.Warner Bros.
Mr. and Mrs. SmithHere's where Brad Pitt jumped on the humanitarian track (inspired by his future wife, Angelina Jolie). Sure, a messy divorce came out of this movie too, but as one half of Brangelina, Brad dove headfirst into into good samaritanism, supporting causes related to education, HIV, the environment, politics and poverty.Fox
Good Night and Good LuckGeorge Clooney says his directorial debut, about the media's responsibility to the public, inspired him to make an impact on the wider world. Since making the film, he’s gotten himself arrested for civil disobedience, been held at gunpoint in Darfur, and funded a satellite to monitor human rights crimes in Sudan.Warner Independant
The Long Walk to FreedomBeing cast as a legend is intimidating but for Idris Elba, it was inspiring too. Playing Nelson Mandela left him wanting to walk in the footsteps of the African leader. "I realize that there lies some influence in playing someone like (him). People are listening. I should take this opportunity," said the actor.Weinstein Co.