Not all celebrities are born into fame; some took years to finally make it “big.” Here are both surprisingly normal and very odd jobs some members of the Hollywood elite had in order to make ends meet.
Surprising Jobs Celebrities Had Before They Were Famous
Steve Buscemi – Firefighter
Actor Steve Buscemi used to put out fires before he segued into acting. He jumped back into his old job when he volunteered as a firefighter to help with the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
Christopher Walken – Lion Tamer
Hollywood legend Christopher Walken was only sixteen when he joined a touring circus. After the lion tamer finished his act, he would leave one lion for Walken to do tricks with at the end of the show.
Ashton Kutcher – Swept Cereal at General Mills
While in college, Ashton Kutcher worked at a General Mills factory, where he would sweep cereal dust to make some extra cash for the summer. He also helped at his family farm.
Jon Hamm – Porn Set Dresser
After losing his catering gig, Mad Men star Jon Hamm worked as a set dresser for soft-core pornography films when he was 25.
Amy Poehler – Ice Cream Scooper
Actress and Comedian Amy Poehler scooped ice cream at Chadwick’s, her local parlor, which she said involved “stacking, wiping, scooping, and lifting.” She also had to play the kazoo anytime it was a customer’s birthday.
Brad Pitt – Worked at El Pollo Loco
Brad Pitt’s first job in Hollywood was at an El Pollo Loco chicken restaurant, where he had to stand outside in a chicken costume and wave at people walking by.
Matthew McConaughey – Worked at a Country Club
Actor Matthew McConaughey worked at the Oak Forest Country Club in his hometown of Longview, Texas. He raked sand traps on the golf course and shot at armadillos who were eating the grass. He also had jobs cleaning chicken coops and washing dishes.
Cindy Crawford – Shucked Corn
While in middle school and high school, world-renowned supermodel Cindy Crawford made $4 an hour shucking corn in a cornfield.
Madonna – Worked at Dunkin Donuts
When Madonna was living in New York City, she worked at a Dunkin Donuts in Time Square. However, she was reportedly fired when she squirted jelly on a customer.
Melissa McCarthy – Barista
Before she found fame in movies and television, Melissa McCarthy worked as a barista in Starbucks and worked at the YMCA. She had to find jobs that were walking distance to where she lived because she didn’t have a car.
Eva Longoria – Worked at Wendy’s
Eva Longoria worked at Wendy’s for six years while a teenager, where she learned helpful burger tips, like how the mayonnaise goes on the bun first, then the ketchup, and then the mustard is put directly on the meat. She moved up the ladder, becoming manager at age 18.
Tom Cruise – Hotel Bellhop
Mega-star Tom Cruise originally wanted to be a priest. He worked as a hotel bell hop to pay for seminary school, but obviously that never came to fruition.
Jennifer Aniston – Bike Messenger
Before her role in Friends jumpstarted her career, Jennifer Aniston delivered packages by bike when she was 19 years old. She said it was the toughest job she ever had and one time accidentally crashed into a door. She also tried her hand at telemarketing.
Gwen Stefani – Worked at Dairy Queen
Singer Gwen Stefani was a teenager when she worked at Dairy Queen. She used her earnings to buy her first album, by Shaun Cassidy. She was also a make-up artist in a department store when she was 20 years old.
Hugh Jackman – Birthday Party Clown
Coco the Clown, A.K.A. Wolverine star Hugh Jackman, performed at children’s birthday parties. Unfortunately, he didn’t know any magic tricks, but he could at least juggle.
Pierce Brosnan – Fire-Eater at the circus
Like Christopher Walken, Pierce Brosnan also worked at a circus. He spent three years as a fire-eater, a skill he learned from a street performer in 1969.
Nicole Kidman – Massage Therapist
When Nicole Kidman was seventeen, she trained to become a message therapist in order to help her mom, who was diagnosed with cancer and had muscle pains after going through chemotherapy and radiation. She enjoyed it so much that she still gives massages when she can.
What do you think about this list? Did any of these jobs surprise you?