What 11 Celebrities Used to Do Before Becoming Big Shots in Hollywood
We never imagine that the cashier at the supermarket might one day become an international celebrity. Dreams don’t come true in the blink of an eye. That’s why some celebrities first did odd jobs before making their way to stardom. Some were firefighters, others were graphic designers, and some even dressed as restaurant mascots.
1. Johnny Depp worked in telemarketing.
At 16, Johnny dropped out of school to become a musician. But while waiting for fame to come his way, he had other jobs to support himself. He even had the chance to try his acting skills in a job away from the big screen. When he worked selling pens as a telemarketer, he had to come up with new names and possible prizes to get the customers to buy many items.
“You promise them all these things if they buy a gross of pens. It was just awful. But I actually think that was the first experience I had with acting,” Johnny recalled.
2. Alan Rickman was a graphic designer.
Rickman’s first career choice was not in films, as he considered design to be a more stable career than acting. He studied graphic design, and after graduating, he opened a studio in Soho with other colleagues. They did magazine illustrations, book and album covers, and advertising. Fortunately, three years later, Rickman decided to study acting, and the rest is history.
3. Whoopi Goldberg prepared bodies for burial.
Few people probably know that Whoopi Goldberg is a professional beautician. Long before she became a two-time Oscar winner, she applied what she had learned in beauty school, doing hair and makeup on dead people. According to the actress, she started working in the funeral home after seeing the position advertised in the newspaper.
4. Morgan Freeman worked as a radar technician.
Although Morgan wanted to act ever since he was a child, he turned down a drama scholarship at Jackson State University to enlist in the Air Force. Before training as a pilot, he worked as a radar technician until he realized that wasn’t his place. Even so, he received an honorable discharge as an airman first class.
5. Terry Crews drew courtroom sketches.
The actor and former NFL player has shown that he also has a talent for drawing, which landed him a job before he entered college. His first artistic occupation was as a sketch artist in a courtroom: “I had an art scholarship before I had a football scholarship,” he explained.
6. Helen Mirren worked at an amusement park.
The thought of Helen Mirren may bring to mind a myriad of roles, except one: promoter. Long before she made her way to Hollywood, one of her jobs was to attract the attention of passersby to make them visit Kursaal, a theme park. The actress shared: “I shouted out rubbish to get people’s attention.”
7. Jack Nicholson was a firefighter.
One of the actor’s most remembered scenes is the one in which Jack Torrance, his character in The Shining, smashes a door using an axe. The prop crew had to build a stronger door than they had originally planned, as it turned out that the actor had worked as a firefighter, so breaking it down was an easy job for him.
8. Ashton Kutcher swept up cereal dust.
The now actor and producer enrolled at the University of Iowa, where he majored in biochemical engineering. To pay for his studies, he worked sweeping cereal dust at General Mills, a manufacturer of various food products. Shortly thereafter, he began his career in the entertainment world when a talent scout introduced him to male modeling.
9. Geena Davis was a live mannequin.
Before a film director noticed her talent, employees at Ann Taylor, a clothing store, discovered that Geena had an unusual ability to sit still. One day, the young woman saw an empty chair in a window display where there were mannequins that appeared to be sitting down to eat. She decided to sit down and when someone turned to look at her, she stood still.
A crowd gathered in front of the window, wondering if she was real or not. “When I felt like their attention was drifting, I would move kind of like a robot,” she recalled. The store ended up hiring her as a mannequin on weekends.
10. Michelle Pfeiffer was a supermarket checker.
The iconic actress studied to become a court reporter. During this time, she worked as a cashier in a supermarket until she realized what her true passion was. The actress said about this moment: “I remember distinctly standing in the check stand in a fit of desperation. I thought to myself, ‘What do you want to do with the rest of your life?’ And it was acting.”
11. Brad Pitt was a restaurant mascot.
Have you ever wondered who might be hiding under a mascot costume? Brad Pitt used to work as the mascot in El Pollo Loco restaurant before making it in Hollywood. At the time, Brad had different odd jobs, which included dressing as a chicken and waving a sign during the grand opening of the fast-food place.
Which was your first job? Share your experience with us.