Have you ever wondered what your favorite celebrities did before they were famous? It’s hard to imagine them doing anything other than entertaining us on the big screen, but many of them had surprising careers before they found success in Hollywood. In this article, we’ll take a look at 15 celebrities who had unexpected jobs before they became household names.
Our list of Celebrities
Harrison Ford – Carpenter
Before he became the iconic Han Solo and Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford was working as a carpenter in Los Angeles. He was building a recording studio for musician Sergio Mendes when he was discovered by George Lucas for the role of Han Solo.
Jennifer Aniston – Telemarketer
Before she became America’s sweetheart as Rachel Green on “Friends,” Jennifer Aniston worked as a telemarketer for a short time. She also had several other odd jobs, including a bike messenger and waitress.
Hugh Jackman – Party Clown
Before he was Wolverine in the “X-Men” franchise, Hugh Jackman was working as a party clown to make ends meet. He said he would often use his clown skills to entertain his fellow actors on set.
Kanye West – Gap Employee
Before he became one of the biggest names in hip hop, Kanye West worked at a Gap store in Chicago. He has mentioned his time at the store in several of his songs.
Sandra Bullock – Waitress and Bartender
Before she won an Oscar for “The Blind Side,” Sandra Bullock worked as a waitress and bartender in various restaurants. She also studied acting at the same time and got her first big break in 1993’s “Demolition Man.”
Tom Cruise – Carpet Cleaner
Before he became a Hollywood superstar, Tom Cruise was working as a carpet cleaner. He also worked as a busboy and briefly attended a Franciscan seminary.
Rachel McAdams – McDonald’s Employee
Before she starred in “The Notebook” and “Mean Girls,” Rachel McAdams worked at McDonald’s. She has said in interviews that she was not a very good employee.
Jim Carrey – Cleaner in a Factory
Before he made us all laugh with his comedic roles, Jim Carrey worked as a cleaner in a factory. He also worked as a stand-up comedian before he was discovered by Hollywood.
Madonna – Dunkin’ Donuts Employee
Before she was the Queen of Pop, Madonna worked at a Dunkin’ Donuts in New York City. She has said in interviews that she was fired from the job because she squirted jelly filling on a customer.
Jon Hamm – Set Dresser
Before he played the suave Don Draper on “Mad Men,” Jon Hamm was working as a set dresser for pornographic films. He has said in interviews that he was happy to have a steady job in the industry, even if it wasn’t the most glamorous.
Channing Tatum – Stripper
Before he became a Hollywood heartthrob, Channing Tatum worked as a stripper in Florida. He has used his experience in the industry as inspiration for the “Magic Mike” movies.
Ellen DeGeneres – Paralegal
Before she became a beloved talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres worked as a paralegal. She has said in interviews that she hated the job and would often make up jokes to entertain herself.
Johnny Depp – Telemarketer
Before he became one of Hollywood’s most famous actors, Johnny Depp was a telemarketer selling pens over the phone. He also tried his luck in music business with poor success.
Matthew McConaughey – Chicken coop cleaner
Before he became a leading man in Hollywood, Matthew McConaughey worked as a chicken coop cleaner and a part-time janitor.
Steve Carell – Mail carrier
Before he became a comedic powerhouse, Steve Carell worked as a mail carrier.
Megan Fox – Employee at a Smoothie shop
Before she became a household name, Megan Fox worked at a smoothie shop in Florida.
“I worked at a little smoothie shop in Florida and I mostly worked behind the register. Once a week, usually on Fridays, someone had to dress up as a fruit, a piece of fruit and go out and stand by the highway,” she said. “I was a giant banana.”
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – Professional wrestler
Before he was known as one of the biggest action stars in Hollywood, Johnson had a career as a professional wrestler in the WWE. He won numerous championships and even headlined WrestleMania before making the transition to acting.
Jennifer Lawrence – Model
Lawrence may have become a household name thanks to her Oscar-winning performances, but before she made it big in Hollywood, she was a model. She appeared in commercials and photo shoots for various brands and even starred in a few small indie films.
Brad Pitt – Chicken for El Pollo Loco
Before he became a Hollywood heartthrob, Pitt worked odd jobs to make ends meet. He dressed up as a chicken for El Pollo Loco, drove strippers around in a limo, and even worked as a chauffeur for strippers.
Demi Moore – Debt collector
Before she became an A-list actress, Demi Moore worked as a debt collector.
Simon Cowell – Mailroom clerk
Before he became a judge on American Idol, Simon Cowell worked as a mailroom clerk at EMI Music Publishing.
Amy Schumer – Bartender and waitress
Before she became a comedy superstar, Schumer worked as a bartender and waitress. She honed her craft at open mic nights and eventually landed her own TV show.
Angelina Jolie – Model and funeral attendee
Before she became an Academy Award-winning actress, Jolie worked as a model and appeared in music videos for artists like Meat Loaf and Lenny Kravitz. She also worked as a professional funeral attendee.
Martha Stewart – Stockbroker on Wall Street
Before she became a lifestyle guru and media mogul, Stewart worked as a stockbroker on Wall Street. She also started her own catering business, which eventually led to her first book deal.
Lucy Liu – Aerobics instructor
Before she became an actress on shows like “Ally McBeal” and “Elementary,” Lucy Liu worked as an aerobics instructor.
Eva Mendes – Mall employee
Before she became an actress and fashion designer, Eva Mendes worked as a mall employee and a hot dog on a stick salesperson.
Sheryl Crow – Music teacher
Before she became a Grammy-winning musician, Sheryl Crow worked as a music teacher in Missouri.
These celebrities’ surprising career paths serve as a reminder that success can come from unexpected places. Whether they were bartending, selling pens, or cleaning chicken coops, they all worked hard to get to where they are today.
But their humble beginnings also highlight the importance of perseverance and determination in pursuing one’s dreams. They remind us that success is not handed to us on a silver platter, but it’s something that we have to work hard for.
In today’s world, where social media and instant gratification dominate, it’s easy to forget that success often comes from hard work and dedication. These celebrities’ stories should inspire us to pursue our passions with relentless determination, no matter what obstacles we may face.
So the next time you’re feeling discouraged or unsure of your path, remember that even some of the biggest names in Hollywood started from humble beginnings. If they can achieve their dreams, so can you.
In conclusion, the surprising career paths of these 15 celebrities serve as a testament to the power of hard work, determination, and perseverance. They show us that success is not always linear, and that it’s never too late to chase our dreams. Let their stories inspire you to keep pushing forward, no matter what life may throw your way.