Malin Akerman: I Came to Hollywood With $40 in My Pocket (Video)

“Let’s just do it. Let’s just go to L.A.,” “Billions” actress recalls saying, at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast in San Francisco

Last Updated: May 13, 2016 @ 7:45 AM

Like a long line of starving artists who preceded her, Malin Akerman came to Hollywood with practically nothing, she shared at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast in San Francisco on Wednesday.

After winning some small roles in Canada, she decided to head to Los Angeles with her best friend and roommate. “Let’s just do it. Let’s just go to L.A.,” she recalled saying at the time. “We hopped on plane and put literally every last penny, literally everything we had — $40 — in our pocket.”

Akerman’s story isn’t instant rags to riches. Far from it.

At age 24, she would show her reel of commercials and television appearances from Canada. But they didn’t impress anyone in L.A. “They don’t count for anything once you move to Hollywood,” she explained.

There was little money, so Akerman, now 37, and her friend would get suitors to pay for their meals, eat free mini muffins at the bank and treat themselves to cheap “Two-Buck Chuck” wine. “We would stuff bread in our pockets and [eat] ramen noodles,” she said. “I didn’t get a single job that first year. It was really bad.”

So Akerman, now the star of Showtime’s “Billions,” decided to front a band, even though, “I can’t sing.”

Another year and a half went by before she realized something needed to change. “I’d been here two-and-a-half years, sleeping on a futon and working for $20 a day.”

She decided to try acting one more time before cashing in her chips and going back to college. This time she lucked out and — in just three weeks time — won a role on HBO’s “The Comeback.”

“It opened so many doors all of a sudden to auditions,” Akerman said.

Watch more Malin Akerman in the video above.

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