Brie Larson is an Academy Award-winning actress who will soon be battling intergalactic villains as the star of "Captain Marvel," Walt Disney's next potential blockbuster Marvel movie that hits theaters in March 2019.
But, if it wasn't for a well-timed job offer, Larson might be a marine biologist right now instead of gearing up for her superhero movie debut.
Larson, 29, who is originally from San Francisco, moved to Los Angeles with her family to pursue an acting career as a kid. When she was 9, she landed a role in a skit on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in 1998, before appearing on the sitcom "Raising Dad" for one season in 2001.
As a teen, she continued booking acting jobs (including small roles in comedy films like 2004's "13 Going on 30" and "Hoot," in 2006), and even recorded a pop album that was released by Universal Music Group's Casablanca Records in 2005, when Larson was 16.
But with the album reportedly only selling about 4,000 copies and Larson's acting career failing to lead to any major gigs, she started to doubt whether a career in the entertainment industry was realistic and almost quit.
"It just wasn't working the way I wanted it to," Larson said last year in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.
"All the kids I went to school with were going to college and I was still trying to do this thing called 'acting' and not going very far," Larson says in the interview. "What's weird about this profession is that no one can really tell you when you are delusional. I used to wish that I'd wanted to be an athlete, because it's easy to quantify if that's working — just measuring your speed!"
To make matters worse, Larson was initially rejected after auditioning for a role as Toni Collette's teen daughter on the Showtime series "United States of Tara." Collette was an "acting hero" for Larson, so the rejection especially stung. Larson likened it to "being left at the altar" in a 2011 interview with Bullett Magazine.
It drove her to really contemplate a new career and she started applying to colleges.