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Hiring of a big celebrity in a starring role (not a supporting or minor one), even if it's not the sole major role, in a movie, play, or TV show. Only, this celebrity isn't known for acting. In fact, this may be the celebrity's first acting job. A close cousin of Stunt Casting, only with a bit more risk, since the stunt castee doesn't have much experience (if any), and is practically carrying the project despite that inexperience.

So why is it done with such risks? Well the fact is that this sometimes works (it tends to work better for stand-up comedians, singers and pro wrestlers, being close to what they normally do for a living anyway). Also even if the vehicle is a failure, the new actor may still have a career afterwards.

You are most likely to see I Am Not Leonard Nimoy play throughout the movie. If the work is about the celebrity in Real Life it overlaps with Autobiographical Role. If the celebrity's role is doing what they're famous for, it overlaps with Cast the Expert.

Examples of Non Actor Vehicle include:
  • Sonja Henie in One in a Million. She made quite a few films after that.
  • Swimmer Esther Williams started a similar screen career with a supporting part in Andy Hardy's Double Life. A series of star vehicles followed, starting with Bathing Beauty.
  • Carol Heiss in Snow White and The Three Stooges was an attempt to make her the next Sonja Henie. It unfortunately didn't work out that well; The Three Stooges weren't even brought in until the studio realized Heiss couldn't carry the movie.
  • Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which saved him from bankruptcy and launched his blockbuster acting career. Definitely one of the best points in favor of this trope.
  • Britney Spears in Crossroads.
  • Cindy Crawford in Fair Game.
  • David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth. He went on to appear in a number of films in both lead and supporting roles, such as Labyrinth, and also made a foray into live theater in 1980 as the title character in the Broadway play The Elephant Man. He also played Pontius Pilate in Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ.
    • What many people don't realize is that David Bowie was an acting student before he started making music. So this is somewhat of an aversion.
  • Two big vehicles for Shaquille O'Neal; Kazaam and Steel. His first film, Blue Chips, had him in a supporting role and was better-received.
  • Dwayne Johnson in The Mummy Returns and The Scorpion King partially counts - it was more of a 'breakthrough to non-wrestling fans' rather than a direct example of this trope. He's had a decent acting career since then, to the point that he's not even credited as "The Rock" anymore.
  • Randy Couture in the straight to DVD sequel to The Scorpion King, subtitled "Rise Of A Warrior".
  • Roddy Piper in They Live! He ad-libbed one of the most memorable lines in the film and helped choreograph its (in)famous fistfight.
  • Hulk Hogan in No Holds Barred, Suburban Commando, Mr Nanny, and Santa with Muscles.
  • Howie Long in Firestorm.
  • Harry Houdini in The Master Mystery.
  • Kurt Thomas in Gymkata.
  • Neil Diamond in The Jazz Singer (1980).
  • Luciano Pavarotti in Yes, Giorgio.
  • Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan, where she played a pop musician. Led to an almost two-decades-long acting career, in which she generally did well if she was part of an ensemble (as in Dick Tracy, A League of Their Own, and Evita), and... didn't if she was appearing in a star vehicle (as in everything else she ever did).
  • Michael Jordan in Space Jam.
  • Jordan's then-teammate Dennis Rodman in Double Team (second-billed to Jean Claude Van Damme) and Simon Sez.
  • Whichever wrestler is starring in any given WWE Films project:
    • The Rock, as mentioned above.
    • See No Evil, starring Kane.
    • The Marine, 12 Rounds, and Legendary, starring John Cena.
    • The Condemned, starring Stone Cold Steve Austin.
    • And direct-to-DVD films starring The Big Show, Triple H, Mr. Kennedy, Randy Orton and Ted Dibiase, Jr.
  • Mariah Carey in Glitter.
  • Ray Allen in He Got Game.
  • Mick Jagger in Performance and Ned Kelly.
  • Vanilla Ice in Cool as Ice. Since then, he's mostly appeared in cameos and non-major roles.
  • Eminem in 8 Mile.
  • College football star (and high-profile NFL flop) Brian Bosworth in Stone Cold. He's done a fair amount of supporting roles since then.
  • Brazilian soccer star Breno Mello and track & field athlete Adhemar da Silvain in Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus).
  • Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard.
  • Bjork in Dancer in The Dark. It was such a bad experience for her that she swore she'll never act again.
  • Olivia Newton-John in Grease.
  • Anime example: woman pro-wrestler Cutey Suzuki as the voice of Iczer-3. Also happens with (many) singers who take a turn as voice actors/actresses.
  • Olympic Swimming champion and male model Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan: the Ape Man. His performance proved so successful that he was cast in the same role eleven more times.
  • Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby took a turn playing the title character in the Peter Pan stage musical in 1974 -- and did so well that she returned to it in The Nineties and again in a Branson, MO production in 2009.
  • Cellist Yo-Yo Ma in the Atom Egoyan film Sarabande.
  • Jackie Robinson in The Jackie Robinson Story.
  • Doris Day, before starring in Romance on the High Seas, was known only as a singer.
  • 50 Cent in Get Rich Or Die Tryin.
  • Taylor Firth in the 2010 remake of Ice Castles.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger in Hercules In New York.
  • The Village People and Bruce Jenner in Cant Stop The Music; the former also overlaps with Autobiographical Role.
  • Dee Snider in the horror movie Strangeland, which he wrote himself.
  • In France, AB Productions was specialized on this... Among other things.
  • Mickey Spillane in Ring of Fire.
  • Purple Rain, created as a showcase for the singer Prince and based on his album of the same name. It won an award for Best Original Score.
  • The Beatles in: A Hard Days Night, Help!, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine... In fact, it was because of these movies that Ringo Starr got his taste for acting.
  • Disney Channel sitcoms like to do this a lot. Isn't it convenient that all of their stars can sing and "act"?
  • Rudolf Nureyev (ballet dancer) as Rudolph Valentino (silent movie star) in Valentino.
  • Shirley Manson, lead singer of the band Garbage, as Catherine Weaver in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic in UHF, but its not as much a leap for him as he was already accustomed to delivering comic performances and the movie was basically "what would TV be like if Weird Al did that instead of music parodies?"
  • Bette Midler in The Rose; though she had dabbled in the theatre in her early career, it was her first movie role. She went on to have a long and fairly successful career as an actress, reaching her peak in both fields at about the same time (the late 1980s and early 1990s).
  • Korean Television Stations are frequently used as places where singing idols try and diversify their entertainment value:
    • The Dogged Nice Guy in Boys Before Flowers is Kim Hyun Joon from the group SS 01. He shows up again in Playful Kiss.
    • Almost every lead character in Dream High has a Real Life career in a singing group. This is not surprising, though, as the premise of the Korean Drama is a bunch of kids at a high school who specializes in the entertainment business (like the 1980's show "Fame").
    • Oh My Lady stars Si Won, one of the singers in the Boy Band Super Junior. His character is lampshaded as having the worst acting skills ever.
    • Mickey Yoochun, from the music groups TVXQ and JYJ, played the Lonely Rich Kid in Sungkyunkwan Scandal.
    • You Are Beautiful has several, including Lee Hong Ki from the group FT Island and Jung Yong Hwa from CD Blue. In a non-musical reversal, Jang Guen Suk started as a model before the show, and just released his first music album in April 2011.
  • John Wayne Bobbitt: Uncut.
  • John Denver in Oh, God!.
  • Steven Soderbergh likes this trope, apparently stemming from his experience working with non-actors in the 2005 indie film Bubble.
    • The Girlfriend Experience stars porn actress Sasha Grey as a high-class callgirl.
    • Haywire stars Mixed Martial Arts covergirl Gina Carano.
    • Sodebergh's use of this trope actual started with his surreal 1996 opus Shizopolis which stars the man himself in not one but two roles. Its probably one of the more interesting examples of the trope because underneath all its weird and surreal humor its really about Soderbergh examining the crumbling of his marriage (his real life ex-wife appears as his characters wife) as well as his anxieties about the future of his directing career in the wake of a series of flops following his debut Sex Lies & videotape.
  • The new The a Team film cast former UFC champion Quentin "Rampage" Jackson as B.A. Baracus, filling the shoes of Mr. T, who was also known for his tough-guy exploits before getting into acting.
  • The 1956 Broadway musical Mr. Wonderful gave Sammy Davis, Jr. his first starring role; it incorporated a large portion of his nightclub act wholesale.
  • Perhaps one of the more interesting examples: director Steven Soderbergh
  • Several members of AKB48 took part in the anime AKB0048. Quite a few of them havd no acting experience up until now.
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