I just think these actors who become big because of a show
Eccleston was a celebrity and successful film/TV actor well before Doctor Who. See Shallow Grave, 28 Days Later, Second Coming. Probably the most famous a Doctor Who actor has been before taking the role.
I've always respected Eccleston for not playing the fame game. He isn't a media whore like John Barrowman and does have principles.
Yeah - Photoman has it back to front, Eccleston was cast *because* he was a well established well respected actor and they wanted to show how seriously they were taking the revamp: