These Celebrities Had Shocking Jobs Before Becoming Famous

We’ve all had to work hard before getting into our respective fields or finally getting hired for a coveted position, and celebrities are no different. Getting a foot in the door in Hollywood is no easy task, and before they were award winners or glamorous A-listers, many celebrities were just making sure they could pay their rent on time.

In fact, while trying to support themselves many of our favorite celebs had some pretty shocking jobs. We all know for example that Channing Tatum was a stripper before making it in Hollywood which is why he was so believable in Magic Mike. However, other celebrities had some pretty eyebrow-raising jobs as well. One of Sylvester Stallone’s pre-Hollywood careers will certainly make you clutch your pearls (page 14).

1. Christopher Walken


Christopher Walken| Kevin Winter/Getty Images

  • Walken was a member of a circus 

Academy Award winner Christopher Walken might be known for his work in films like The Deer Hunter and Hairspray, but his backstory is far more interesting. Before he made it in Hollywood, Walken worked in a circus as an assistant lion tamer. The acting legend had a loin named Sheba, and he told Vanity Fair that she was “like a dog, really.”

Apparently, he had her so well trained that Sheba would roll over and sit on command, but we’re going to have to take his word for it.

Next: An EGOT winner’s ghostly job

2. Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg | Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

  • Whoopi Goldberg wasn’t your average kitchen beautician 

Whoopi Goldberg is now a staple on The View. However, prior to her breakout performance in The Color Purple, Goldberg was a trained beautician. That’s not really an odd job, but the actress/comedian also lent her services to a mortuary, styling corpses for funerals.

Apparently dead bodies didn’t bother her. However, her boss thought it was funny to hide among the corpses and scare her, so the Ghost actress went back to styling living, breaking people.

Next: An actor’s under the table deals 

3. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp in 2013

Johnny Depp | Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

  • Johnny Depp was out here selling false dreams

Johnny Depp has been a staple in Hollywood for decades. However, long before his debut on 21 Jump Street and certainly before his days as a pirate in the Carribean, Depp was a telemarketer selling ballpoint pens to unsuspecting people. Apparently, the job wasn’t exactly on the up and up.

Depp had to promise people things like trips to Tahiti if they brought a certain number of pens, but that wasn’t exactly true. Eventually, he felt so bad that he quit the job, but he told Interview magazine that he does credit the position for giving him some acting tips.

Next: A fashion mogul’s costume-clad role

4. Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham in white shirt

Victoria Beckham| Victoria Beckham via Instagram

  • Victoria Beckham was a sexual health educator on skates

Well before she was a fashion mogul, and certainly before she was Posh Spice, Victoria Beckham was simply looking for her big break like everyone else. To get her foot in the door, Beckham had a role on the BBC sexual education show, Body Matters.

Beckham dressed up as a sperm on roller skates to educate folks about their sexual health. At least it seemed fun.

Next: A MCU actor’s “Magic Mike” moment 

5. Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt | Michael Buckner/Getty Images

  • Chris Pratt supplemented his income as a waiter by doing something a bit naughtier 

Before he became a fixture in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or a beloved character from Parks & Rec, Chris Pratt was living in a mouse-infested van in Hawaii and working a Bubba Gump Shrimp as a waiter. However, to earn extra cash on the side, Pratt also stripped at parties. Unfortunately, his dance moves weren’t exactly up to par so he couldn’t get a stripping job at a club.

However, we’re sure some ladies have some fascinating bachelorette photos lying around somewhere.

Next: An actress’ model beginnings 

6. Geena Davis

Genna Davis at SAG Awards

Genna Davis at SAG Awards | Twitter

  • Genna Davis’ uncanny ability to be still helped her book a very interesting gig

Oscar winner Geena Davis might be best known for her role in Thelma and Louise, but she actually started off as a high fashion model. Breaking through in the fashion industry isn’t exactly easy, but Davis’ story is one for the history books. The actress was goofing around in Anne Taylor, posing in the storefront windows alongside the actual mannequins.

She told NPR, “Somebody saw me do that, and then he stopped to see what was now going to happen. But I just froze. I didn’t know, but I had an uncanny ability to be still.” Davis was so good that she was hired to be a human mannequin for real which eventually helped her get discovered.

Next: An actor’s slew of odd jobs 

7. Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman attends the BAFTA Los Angeles

Dustin Hoffman | Rich Polk/Getty Images

  • Dustin Hoffman is a master typist

Dustin Hoffman knew that making it in Hollywood meant he had to hustle. Before The Graduate and Kramer v. Kramer, Hoffman took any odd job that he could to make ends meet. This meant working as a doorman, checking coats, and even stringing flowers on Hawaiian leis.

However, Hoffman’s most shocking job by far was typing up the Yellow Pages. He was the only man who would take the job so he worked alongside 80 women. He explained to Vanity Fair, “I had no shame.” Hey, money is green no matter how you get it.

Next: This actress had to become a piece of fruit 

8. Megan Fox

Megan Fox in Jonah Hex, Warner Bros

Megan Fox in Jonas Hex | Warner Bros.

  • Megan Fox had to become a banana

Prior to her breakthrough as a teenage actress, Megan Fox had one other job. She worked as a cashier in a smoothie shop in Florida which is pretty normal. However, once a week the smoothie shop forced her to do something much more outside the box. The Transformers actress told Ellen DeGeneres that every week she put on a banana suit and stood out on the highway to promote the shop.

That would have been a dealbreaker for us.

Next: This actor had to get a job at 15 to support his family

9. Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey| Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

  • Jim Carrey was very angry about his very first job

Comedic legend Jim Carrey grew up very impoverished. In fact, during much of his childhood, he lived with his family in a van that the parked across Canada. At age 15, Carey dropped out of school to help support his family. He got a job as a janitor.

At the time, Carrey was feeling a lot of anger and animosity about his plight in life, so he carried around a baseball bat on his janitorial cart because he wanted to “beat the heck out of something.”

Next: A model who knows a bit about farming

10. Cindy Crawford

Cindy Crawford

Cindy Crawford | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

  • Cindy Crawford wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty

Supermodel Cindy Crawford is known for her stunning looks and her iconic runway walk, but before Crawford and her mole were taking the fashion world by storm, she was doing something very different. Crawford revealed that back in her hometown of DeKalb, Illinois, she was shucking corn.

Schucking corn is far from glamorous. The businesswoman tweeted that removing the peel and leaves from raw corn was “hot, dirty work.”

Next: An Oscar winner who got close to some chickens.

11. Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey smiling in front of lights wearing a black bowtie

Matthew McConaughey | Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

  • Matthew McConaughey got super acquainted with some chickens

Matthew McConaughey might be known for his rugged good looks and southern drawl, but he was much less glamorous when he was an exchange student in Australia. While living in the foreign country, McConaughey knew he had to get a job, so he found employment in a rather unlikely place. The Dallas Buyers Club actor worked cleaning out chicken coops.

He told Quantas, “Those types of trips are really ones that leave a lasting impression.”

Next: A rocker whose job made him sick, literally. 

12. Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath poses in the press room after winning Best Metal Performance for 'God is Dead?' during the 56th Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, January 26, 2014.

Ozzy Osbourne | Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

  • One of Ozzy Osbourne’s first jobs made him vomit every day

Rocker Ozzy Osbourne might seem like a man with of nerves of steel. After all, you have to be pretty badass to be the frontman for Black Sabbath. However, even he couldn’t tolerate one of his first jobs before breaking into the industry, and we understand why. Osbourne worked in a slaughterhouse cleaning up remains.

It was an extremely unpleasant experience. Osbourne told The Telegraph, “For the first four weeks, I did nothing but throw up.”

Next: An actress who was fired from Hot Dog on a Stick.

13. Eva Mendes

Eva Mendes poses with her hands resting together at an event for Nordstrom

Eva Mendes| John Parra/Getty Images

  • Eva Mendes was fired from her hot dog dipping job

Before Eva Mendes was starring opposite Denzel Washington in Traning Day and Out of Time, she was working as a hot dog dipper at Hot Dog on a Stick. The actress and mother of two also wore those brightly colored uniforms that Hot Dog on a Stick employees are known for.

Unfortunately, Mendes was fired from her job for giving a secret Santa gift to a co-worker that had personal care products in it. Though Mendes did it jokingly, she told W Magazine that her manager was not amused.

Next: An actor who did some different kind of acting.

14. Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone strikes a pose the 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival

Sylvester Stallone | Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

  • Sylvester Stallone bared it all for a check

Well before Rocky, Sylvester Stallone was doing some very different kind of acting. In 1970, Stallone acted in the softcore adult flick called Party at Kitty and Stud’s. The name of the flick sounds promising at least. Stallone said he was so broke at the time that he either had to do the movie or rob someone.

We’re not saying we’ve seen them, but you might be able to find some still photos from the film.

Next: An actress who hated the friendly skies

15. Evangeline Lilly

Evangeline Lilly

Evangeline Lilly | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

  • Evangeline Lilly got some sweet revenge at her horrible job

Long before her big break on the stand out ABC series Lost, Evangeline Lilly was a flight attendant for Royal Airlines. According to the actress, the gig was awful. On The Tonight Show, Lilly revealed to Jay Leno that it was “the worst job ever” and she was always forced to deal with rude and nasty passengers.

Luckily, Lilly found ways of getting even. She once farted in a particularly rude passenger’s face because she was fed up. Fair.

Follow Aramide Tinubu on Twitter @midnightrami.

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