The Stunning Transformation Of Michelle Keegan

Michelle Keegan has quickly become one of the world's most in-demand actresses, and the surprising secret to her success has been something that many actors don't have the self discipline to do. She's willing to wait for that special story to come around — even if it means being out of work for months at a time.

When Keegan left the safety of her first job on a soap opera, she admitted during an interview on "Fearne Cotton's Happy Place," "I remember speaking to my agent, and there was scripts coming in, but they didn't feel the next step for me."

When that special script did eventually come around, Keegan became an even bigger star. She's since taken the time to craft an acting career that has everyone around the globe watching and waiting for her next role to be released. Yet, many fans would be surprised to know that she once admitted to The Guardian, "I never plan, because I don't like the thought of failure. I think maybe that's why I don't want to think too much about tomorrow. I just want to be in the moment."

Keegan is the moment, and she's soaking in all of her success following the release of her most recent series "Fool Me Once." Taking the time to choose projects that are the most important to her has led her to have both a successful career and a stunning transformation.

She had always dreamed of becoming an actor

Michelle Keegan always has had an interest in the arts, but she never believed it could be something she could ever do for a living. When graduation day rolled around, she had no idea what to do next. Unlike everyone around her, who were off to enroll in various universities, Keegan felt like she was the only one in her family who had no real passions aside from the arts. "My brother was very academic. I wasn't," the actress once explained during an interview on "Fearne Cotton's Happy Place."

Her father had encouraged her to join the Navy, but Keegan knew she needed to give acting a chance. Between her shifts working behind a makeup counter, she officially enrolled herself for a year of classes at the Manchester School of Acting near her parents' home. There, Keegan studied acting once a week just to see if it would lead to anything long-term. "I thought, 'At least I can look back and think I tried,'" she told Cosmopolitan UK.

Little did she know at the time, it was this small stepping stone that would be the start of enormous success in the entertainment industry.

She booked a successful soap at her second-ever audition

Michelle Keegan didn't think anything of it when she never heard back from her first official acting audition. However, it was her second one that completely surprised her.

In 2008, a 20-year-old Keegan auditioned for a major soap opera that she grew up watching called "Coronation Street." "I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd get 'Corrie,'" she admitted during an interview with Radio Times, "so I went along to that audition with the mindset that it would just be good experience."

Keegan quickly got a callback that completely changed her life. She had been cast as Tina McIntyre in the series under a six-month contract. Yet, six years and more than 850 episodes later, she still found herself in the same dramatic role. She even won seven British Soap Awards for both Best Newcomer and Sexiest Female.

From learning loads of lines to crying one minute and laughing the next, to this day, it's her time on the soap opera that she credits for teaching her all about what it truly meant to be a part of the entertainment industry. "For me, it's the best learning platform you could ever do as an actor," she said on "Fearne Cotton's Happy Place."

The Sexiest Woman in the World decided to switch gears

Michelle Keegan made a big decision when it came to her career in 2014: She decided to leave the world of soap operas behind. "It was a really hard decision to go," the actress admitted to The Guardian. "I could have stayed there my whole life."

To address her absence, the "Coronation Street" writers decided to kill off her character. This meant that she could never again return to the series, which was an equally exciting and terrifying thought for Keegan. Yet, the young actress also knew that it was time to move on.

To be taken seriously as an actor, she signed on for a military drama titled "Our Girl" in 2016. The show ended up being a success, but Keegan told The Guardian, "[T]he main thing I remember were the comments about how I was wearing too much mascara. It wasn't about my work, it was just about what I looked like."

The same year, she was named FHM's Sexiest Woman in the World. "It was embarrassing," she admitted. "Because I was in a lot of heavy storylines. There was one where I felt like I was crying every day for months and months. And then at the end of it, when the accolade was sexiest female, it was so frustrating."

Despite the unwanted attention to her looks, Keegan continued to claim herself an acting career, appearing in various roles, such as the dramedy "Brassic" in 2019 and even making her big stage debut in 2014 as Tinkerbell in "Peter Pan."

Michelle Keegan tied the knot with another successful star

Eventually, Michelle Keegan met someone special who understood exactly what it was like working in the entertainment industry. In fact, she met her now-husband, reality star Mark Wright, in a green room, of all places. After that fateful encounter backstage at "The X Factor" in 2012, the two continued to bump into each other at events until they began dating. In true TV star style, she tied the knot with the former "The Only Way is Essex" reality star in 2015 by debuting their big day for a feature piece in Hello! Magazine.

Since then, Keegan and her husband have learned to keep their private lives out of the public eye, even refraining from posting personal photos on either of their social media accounts for all of the world to see. "As I have grown up and I have gotten older, I've kept a lot of my private life private," the actress said on "Fearne Cotton's Happy Place." "And that's been a conscious decision for me."

Although each of them continue to have busy careers, they always make time to travel — wherever in the world life takes them — together.

She collaborated with the same fashion brand as the Kardashians

In 2015, the television and film star made the decision to take a step into the world of fashion. That year, Michelle Keegan collaborated with a brand called Lipsy London: the same one that other celebrities such as the Kardashians, Ariana Grande, and Chrishell Stause have previously partnered with. With the help of Lipsy London, Keegan created a personal collection that incorporated some of her favorite pieces, ranging from matching sets to the perfect little black dress. The actress set out to design a diverse amount of pieces that any woman any age can wear.

Since her successful debut as a fashion designer, Keegan has continued to release new collections each year and is always flattered when she sees other women out and about in her pieces. Confidence, as she has proven time and time again, truly is key. "If you feel comfortable within yourself, that's all that matters," the actress told "On Demand Entertainment."

Michelle Keegan got creative during a worldwide lockdown

Over the course of her career, Michelle Keegan has never turned down any challenge — whether that be off or on the screen. In 2017, she signed on to lend her voice in her first radio play for BBC Radio called "On Kosovo Field." Over the course of five episodes, Keegan plays a woman who embarks on a trip of self discovery with her brother.

In 2020, Keegan revisited the world of radio once again. While the rest of the world was stuck at home during a worldwide lockdown, she didn't let the pandemic pause her acting plans. In order to continue working, she turned to her microphone she had at home and took part in another radio play. "Recording a radio play without being in a studio... welcome to the future!" she expressed to fans on her Instagram Stories.

At the time, Keegan was able to creatively balance both a steady acting career and spending more time together with her just-as-busy working husband. "It's been nice because we've both been working from home," she explained to Cosmopolitan UK in 2020. "Normally we could be out all day or I have to go to Manchester [to film 'Brassic'] or Mark is in London. I'm taking my dogs for daily walks, I've been doing a jigsaw a week and I've taken up cycling on a proper road bike."

She tackled the world of reality television

Michelle Keegan's husband has always been familiar with the world of reality television, but it wasn't until 2022 that the actress decided to take a stab at it, too. That year, she appeared as a celebrity judge on an episode of "RuPaul's Drag Race: UK Versus the World."

Appearing on the popular show was something that the actress was excited to be a part of. "It's so fun. It's creative," she shared in a behind-the-scenes clip. "It makes everyone smile, and I think the world needs a bit of that right now."

At the time, Keegan had just returned back to the set of her comedy series "Brassic," which marked her first acting role in the comedy space. The successful series showcases two lifelong friends who provide laugh-out-loud humor that Keegan loved being a part of to bring smiles to audiences' faces across the UK. 

She always loves 'coming home' to 'Brassic'

In 2023, actress Michelle Keegan ended her year by starring in a Christmas special involving her comedic "Brassic" character. At the time, she had just wrapped up filming her first thriller "Fool Me Once," which would be released the following month, so returning to the set of her comedy series — which she had been a part of for the last four years — was a special way to head into the holidays. "In between, I do these other jobs, which can be quite, you know, tense," she shared on "Fearne Cotton's Happy Place," "or I could be working away abroad, but then when I come home to 'Brassic,' it's just light-hearted comedy and I have so much fun."

A sixth season is expected to be available in late 2024, and being a part of such a heartwarming story is something that Keegan hopes will continue on for many more seasons to come. "It's always fun doing 'Brassic,'" she told Cotton. "It's like going home for me."

She took America by storm in the thriller 'Fool Me Once'

As soon as Michelle Keegan found out the novel "Fool Me Once" was being developed for the small screen, she dove straight into the source material. "After reading the book, I was like, 'That's what I want to do. That's a thriller,'" she said on "This Morning."

At this point in her career, Keegan knew she wanted to tackle a character who could keep viewers at the edge of their seats. "I love comedy. I've done 'Brassic' now for six seasons," the actress said, "but I love the challenge of doing a thriller."

In the series, she took on the role of Maya Stern, who becomes bound and determined to discover the truth when she sees her dead husband show up on their home's nanny cam. When the new thriller officially hit Netflix as the new year rang in, America realized how binge-worthy the eight-episode series is. The Netflix show hit number one that same week, and it was constantly popping up on Keegan's own streaming account. "Every time I saw it, it was like a pinch me moment," she admitted on "Heart Breakfast." "I couldn't quite believe it."

Following its success, the U.S. was immediately buzzing about this new actress, and outlets began reporting that she was being offered six- and seven-figure deals to continue to appear on more shows in the states.

Michelle Keegan eventually wants to end up as a writer

It seems that Michelle Keegan's successful acting career won't be slowing down anytime soon. While she has admitted that she doesn't like to look too far into the future in order to focus on what she has now, there is one thing she hopes to make plans to accomplish someday soon: seeing her own stories she's written on the big screen.

It was during the COVID-19 pandemic that Keegan discovered a love for writing scripts. "I'm writing two things," she told Cosmopolitan UK at the time. "I've never had the time to sit down, write and research and I'm really enjoying the process. It's a comedy drama and a mini-series drama."

During lockdown was when Keegan further developed both of their plots and began taking official meetings with interested production companies — over Zoom, of course. "Hopefully it's something we can get off the ground," she said. "It's exciting."