Roth's Rat Infestation
Actor/director Eli Roth was determined to succeed in Hollywood after he reached rock bottom living in a rat-infested apartment in New York City.
The Hostel filmmaker moved to the Big Apple to study movie directing as a teenager and spent years in low-paid jobs as he attempted to get his career off the ground.
And Roth admits he nearly gave up on his dream after his lowly home in Manhattan became overrun with rodents.
In a blog post on Jewish website Craignco.com, he explains, "I'll never forget the rat infestation in my apartment on 25th Street in New York City. I was 25 years old at the time, working as a production assistant for $100 a day wherever I could.
"The building next door was under construction, and ripping up the ground dug up all the rats that came with it. Suddenly they were everywhere. I'll never forget the day we spent wearing breathing masks and rubber gloves, scrubbing our apartment from head to toe, tossing the rotting carcasses into a trash bag. At one point I looked at my brother and said, 'I'm 25. I have $300 in a bank account. Most of my friends have professional degrees, houses, and health insurance. And I'm cleaning up dead mice in a sweltering walk-up on 25th Street'."
But Roth didn't give up and six months later he had moved to California and raised enough money to shoot his first film, Cabin Fever - and he's now able to look back on his time in New York as a character-building moment in his life.
He adds, "I'll never forget that moment I bottomed out. Looking back, it was the best thing that could have happened. I think in life we tend to expect things to happen for us because we want them to, and you need moments like that to remind you that simply wishing for your dream isn't enough. You have to take responsibility and make things happen for yourself... (The) rotting (rat) carcasses gave me the final push I needed to take matters into my own hands and create the future I had always dreamed of."