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Actresses Who Almost Became Nuns – And 3 Who Fully Did It

All of us at some point in our lives find ourselves standing at a crossroads. And regardless of where our lives ultimately end up taking us, it’s hard not to look back at things and wonder how things might have played out if we had done things differently.

These defining moments in our lives that could easily veer us off in two entirely different directions often present themselves when were relatively young. Pro baseball players, for example, often relate how they were gifted gloves when they were kids, and famous musicians likewise state that they were first introduced to their instruments of choice at a very early age.

After graduating from high school, we’re told that we have to make a decision about where we want to go to college, what we want to study, and how much of our time and energy we want to commit to pursuing our respective careers.

These life choices are seldom ever easy to make, and to be fair, the vast majority of young people end up making these decisions without knowing for sure where they see themselves in five or ten years.

In this video, we’ll be taking a look at a few actresses who at one point considered devoting their lives to God by becoming nuns. You got to admit, it’s kind of hard to imagine Anne Hathaway rocking a nun’s habit but as strange as it might sound, that’s totally how things almost played out for her.

Facts Verse Presents: Actresses Who Almost Became Nuns – And 3 Who Fully Did It

Eva Mendes

It’s been more than two decades since Training Day put this Cuban-American actress on the map. Before that film made her a superstar, Eva’s acting career began in the late 90s with a handful of roles in films such as Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror and Urban Legends: Final Cut.

After Training Day brought her widespread fame, she went on to be given prominent roles in movies such as 2003s 2 Fast 2 Furious, 2005s Hitch, 2007s Ghost Rider, and 2008s The Spirit.

From there, she ventured out into more dramatic roles with films like 2009s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, 2012s The Place Beyond the Pines, and 2012s Girl In Progress.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s roll the tape back a bit further. Mendes was born on the fifth of March, 1974, in Miami, Florida. She was raised by her mom in the LA neighborhood of Silver Lake after her parents got divorced. Mendes’ mother worked at Mann’s Chinese Theatre but later found a job with an aerospace company.

As a child, Eva had aspirations of becoming a nun. Her Cuban-American family was Catholic and quite devout, but Mendes changed her mind about devoting her life to the Church after her older sister Janet informed her that nuns didn’t get paid. After that bubble was burst, she briefly had dreams of becoming either an astronaut or an opera singer.

Mendes attended Hoover High School in Glendale, California, and later studied marketing over at California State University. She ended up dropping out of college, however, to pursue acting under the guidance of acting coach Ivana Chubbuck.

Her acting career really took off after her photo was spotted by a talent manager who was reviewing one of her friend’s portfolios. Eva’s first role was in the direct-to-video horror film Children of the Corn V, which was released in 1998.

From there, she enjoyed follow-up roles in films like 1998s A Night at the Roxbury and 1999s My Brother Pig. But it wasn’t until 2002, when she starred in Training Day, that she became a household name.

Mendez no longer does much acting these days. Since 2011 she’s been in a committed relationship with actor Ryan Gosling. The couple has two daughters who were born in 2014 and 2016.

Anne Hathaway

This American actress needs little introduction. She’s the recipient of several awards and accolades, including an Academy Award, A Primetime Emmy Award, and An Academy Award. In 2015, she was the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, and worldwide her films have grossed close to $7 billion.

Hathaway was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 12, 1982. In high school, she performed in several plays, and as a teenager she appeared in her first television series, Get Real, which aired on Fox from September 1990 to April 2000.

Hathaway landed her big breakthrough role in 2001 when she played the lead in Disney’s The Princess Diaries. After that, she starred in a series of family-friendly films, including 2004s Ella Enchanted.

In 2005, Hathaway transitioned into more adult roles – the first of which was in the drama Brokeback Mountain. The following year she played an assistant magazine editor in the comedy The Devil Wears Prada. That film, which saw her sharing the screen with Meryl Streep, was the biggest commercial success of her career up until that point.

Her next role in 2008s, Rachel Getting Married, saw her portraying a recovering addict. The critics gave her performance rave reviews, and she ended up being nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Hathaway has managed to keep her career alive with steady roles in films like 2008s Get Smart, 2010s Valentine’s Day, 2012s Les Miserables, and 2015s The Intern. Most recently, she appeared in the 2022 miniseries WeCrashed.

While it’s very hard to imagine Hathaway in any other career other than acting these days, as a kid she had very different expectations for her life. Like Mendes, Hathaway grew up as a Roman Catholic and for a while considered becoming a nun.

Fortunately for us Anne Hathaway fans, she ended up discovering her true passion before making a commitment to the Church. Thanks to her mother, Kate McCauley, Hathaway developed a love for acting while touring with her during her time performing in a production of the musical Les Miserables.

According to Vogue, Hathaway for some time considered the possibility of becoming a nun as more of back-up career if acting didn’t work out. Everything changed, however, after her oldest brother came out as gay. At that point, Hathaway and her family converted to Episcopalianism. When asked about the conversion, Hathaway would later say that she simply couldn’t support an organization that had such a limited view of her beloved brother.

These days, Hathaway no longer identifies as a member of any particular religion. In fact, she says that her faith is a ‘work in progress’.

Anjelica Huston

Best known for her roles in films such as Ever After: A Cinderella Story, The Addams Family, Buffalo 66, The Witches, The Grifters, and several Wes Anderson offerings including The Life Aquatic, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Darjeeling Limited, actress Anjelica Huston was born in Los Angeles on July 8, 1951.

She was the daughter of director John Huston and the granddaughter of actor Walter Huston, but as much as she was fully immersed in Hollywood from an early age, at first, she was very reluctant to enter into show business herself.

After her father came to Ireland on a fox-hunting trip, he fell in love with the country and relocated his family there when Anjelica was 2. She spent the majority of her early life roaming the rural Irish countryside. She loved the sense of independence that it gave her and found that she didn’t need to be around people all the time to be happy.

Huston went to a convent school where she was seen as a bit of an oddity owing to the fact that her father was an atheist. In fact, he instructed the nuns that she wasn’t to be indoctrinated. Against his wishes, however, Anjelica longed to be indoctrinated.

Huston told the Daily Mail that she used to put her mother’s old tutus on her head and pretend that she was participating in her First Communion. At the age of six, she worked up the courage to tell her father that she wanted to be a nun.

Ultimately, however, she never committed to that path, and in 1969, she reluctantly made her screen debut in her father’s film A Walk With Love and Death. After that, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a model throughout the 70s.

In the early 80s, she decided to actively pursue acting full-time and subsequently scored her breakthrough role in 1985s Prizzi’s Honor. Since then, she’s appeared in over 50 films and television shows, with her most recent performance being in 2021s, The French Dispatch.

Dolores Hart

Born Delores Hicks in 1936, this actress started her acting career when she was a young woman. At the age of 18, she scored a role playing Elvis Presley’s love interest in the 1957 film Loving You. At 18. she became famous for giving Elvis her first on-screen kiss in that role.

Hart went on to enjoy notable roles in 9 more films over the next five years, sharing the screen with Hollywood leading men like Stephen Boyd, Robert Wagner, Montgomery Clift, and George Hamilton.

For a while, it seemed as if she was poised to become one of the film industry’s most prolific starlets. She had her pick of roles and even got engaged. But then, when she was 24, she suddenly announced that she was leaving Hollywood behind to become a nun.

Later she would reveal that she had a turning point when filming Francis of Assisi. In that flick, she played St. Claire of Assisi and met Pope St. John XXIII while in Italy during the film’s production. Apparently, when she met the Pope, she introduced herself as Delores Hart, the actress playing Clare. The Pope responded by saying that she was in fact the real St. Clare of Assisi.

Hart’s friends and fans where angry and shocked by her decision. Even her best friend who was a priest thought she was crazy, but that didn’t thwart her plans. She ended up joining a convent and spent the remainder of her life as a nun.

Olalla Oliveros

Oliveros was a very successful Spanish model and actress who starred in several films and advertisements throughout her home country and the world, but in May 2014, she gave up her career to become a nun. She entered the semi-cloistered Order of Saint Michael after experiencing what she described as an earthquake while visiting the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal.

After that visit, she couldn’t shake the image of herself dressed as a nun. At the time, she thought that the idea of joining a convent was absurd, but she eventually concluded that the lord Jesus was calling her to reliquish her life of glamour and fame in order to become a woman of God.

Amada Rosa Perez

Before she disappeared from the public eye in the mid-2000s, Perez was one of Columbia’s most succesful models and actresses. Five years after dropping out of the spotlight, she re-emerged to explain where her life had taken her. Apparently, she had a religious conversion and was working with a Marian religious order – although she hadn’t technically become a full-on nun.

At the peak of her career, Perez was diagnosed with a disease that caused her to lose much of her hearing. The diagnosis forced her to question her lifestyle and what her future held. Up until that point, she had been feeling disappointed, disillusioned, and unsatisfied with life’s fleeting pleasures. Directionless, she sought answers through religion.

While she’s not exactly a nun in the traditional sense, Perez’s life has taken a full 180-degree turn. She no longer seeks things like riches, sexual immorality, or the pleasures of the flesh. She regularly attends Mass, goes to confession, and prays the Rosary while striving to be a model that promotes faith and the true dignity of women.

On that note, we’ll go ahead and wrap this video up. Before you move on to watching another one of our facts-packed videos, take a moment to show us a little support by dropping us a line in the comments.

Did you know that Eva Mendes and Anne Hathaway both grew up wanting to become nuns and that actress Delores Hart, best known for her role in the 1957 Elvis Presley Film Loving You, actually managed to achieve that goal? Let us know, and as always, thanks for watching.

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