The 9-Step Guide To Becoming An A-Lister

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Even the most stage fright-afflicted have dreamed of becoming big stars (or, maybe they were nightmares?). It's no secret that becoming a household name in Hollywood is one of the toughest shoot-for-the-moon goals in the entire world. Becoming a respected household name, though? Damn near impossible.
It's a rarified air that inflates the lungs of the A-list, and though scandal may erase certain names, others remain for life and beyond. We've observed the careers of some of today's brightest young stars, women who've ascended the ranks in a matter of years. These aren't just the Oscar winners of the world but the ladies who attract mass hysteria and major box-office points in addition to their accolades. We're not saying this guide will make you famous, but okay: That's exactly what we're saying.
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Have standards...just don't make them too high.

Refusing to do anything other than high-brow, intellectually challenging films is definitely one way to go. And, it can lead you to the top, certainly; it just won't bring the kind of mass fangirling that some stars command. So, you've got to know your goals. Take Kristen Stewart, for example. She's gone for less mainstream cred in things like On The Road or The Runaways, but she never turned her nose up at films like Jumper or famously, Twilight. Though, for the latter, a gigantic paycheck certainly helped with the convincing. Can't blame her — especially when R.Pattz is involved.
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Let your style reputation precede you.

Long before she became big-name famous, Kerry Washington was making waves on the style scene with pitch-perfect red-carpet looks. She's the epitome of demure glam, but her gowns are never boring, either. Pick a favorite indie designer to work with, choose dresses that catch the eye without being too weird, and you'll be a style star before you know it.
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Land a giant franchise.

Yes, you're risking getting pigeon-holed into your best-known role. But, you're also setting yourself up for an opportunity to land some seriously out-of-the-box roles that will surprise people even more once your franchise dwindles. If you can pull it off, well, nobody's going to deny your acting chops.
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Be relatable.

Sorry, but the role of Supreme Queen Of Ethereal Mystery is already taken, and her name is Tilda Swinton (served by lady-in-waiting Cate Blanchett). These days, the best bet for a starlet is to be down-to-Earth, modest, gracious, and approachable. You'll win over the press, and they'll take care of the rest.
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Go rogue.

For the kind of stardom we're talking about here, mainstream and mass-appeal roles are necessary bread and butter. But, you'll up your rank in the industry and increase your chances of Oscar recognition if you spice it up with the occasional, requisite indie flick. Anne Hathaway did it the morbid way in Rachel Getting Married, and it definitely went a long way towards breaking down her predictable Princess reputation.
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Chop it all off.

If you're not feeling the Charlize Theron in Monster or Nicole Kidman in The Hours route, consider a drastic haircut to get some attention with your willingness to flaunt traditional stereotypes of hotness. Bonus points for single-handedly bringing back the pixie cut since Mia Farrow.
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Book a couture campaign.

You might make more money with a regular retail brand (or, even better, a beauty sponsorship). But, nothing beats the respect and access granted by a high-end designer partnership. Dior, Chanel, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton — it's all gold. Plus, you'll be the best-dressed on the carpet for months — or years.
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Laugh at yourself.

If you prove yourself to be not only modest and relatable, but also hilarious and self-deprecating, the Internet will fall at your feet and beg you for more. There will be so many memes, you could probably retire for good in your mid-20s, only to emerge for the occasional Reddit AMA every ten years.
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Win awards!

Not a big deal at all. Just, like, win some Oscars or whatever. Just do it.
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Yay, you're famous!

Now, get off the Internet, use your name recognition to secure a meeting with Tom Hiddleston, make out with him, and come back to tell us all about it.
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