For a lot of actors and actresses, changing your name is just part of the process as you make your way through Hollywood.
This is often for one simple reason. Usually, actors and actresses change their names because there is already someone in the Screen Actor’s Guild with the same name they have.
It turns out that one of the SAG rules stipulates that there cannot be two actors with the same name!
Here are 13 celebrities who changed their names before making it big:
1. Blake Brown
She goes by Blake Lively these days!
Lively is her mom’s last name.
2. Diane Hall
Of course, she’s been Diane Keaton for her entire career.
Keaton was her mom’s maiden name, and since there was another Diane Hall in the Screen Actor’s Guild with the name, she just swapped them out.
3. John Stephens
John Legend, anyone?
The singer changed his name after poet J. Ivy suggested it because he sounded like “a legend.”
4. Ralph Lifshitz
Also known as designer Ralph Lauren. Ralph endured years of bullying about his last name and changed it as a teen.
5.Thomas Mapother IV
It’s Tom Cruise!
Cruise was actually his middle name, so he just dropped his last name completely.
6. Michael Douglas
Nope, not the one you’re thinking of… this guy goes by Michael Keaton now.
7. David Jones
Nope, not Davy… you’ll know him as David Bowie.
He changed his name to avoid exactly that conflict.
8. Natalie Hershlag
She’s always been Natalie Portman for work. Portman is actually her grandmother’s maiden name.
9. Winona Horowitz
Winona Horowitz changed her name to Winona Ryder, which is definitely a name many of us know and love.
Winona chose “Ryder” on a whim, as an album by Mitch Ryder was playing at the time.
10. Elizabeth Mitchell
She’s Elizabeth Banks now!
Elizabeth changed her name because the Screen Actor’s Guild already had an Elizabeth Mitchell.
11. Stan Lieber
Does the name Stan Lee leap to mind? The comic legend used Stan Lee as his pseudonym while writing the Captain America series.
12. Steven Tallarico
Can you believe that’s Steven Tyler’s first last name?
13. Andrew Clutterbuck
The Walking Dead star’s name is Andrew Lincoln now!
Did any of these surprise you? Did you actually know some of these beforehand?
Let us know which name change is your favorite in the comments!