What Celebrities Did Before They Became Famous

Showbiz personalities have not always been A-listers. Before they made it big, they were just ordinary people like us paying for rent, catching buses, and working odd jobs to make ends meet. In other words, they’ve had their share of struggles before reaching a point where they get to walk red carpets, cut ribbons, have chauffeurs, enjoy the best-booked spots and a vast fanbase. Don’t believe it? Well, log on to celebrity websites and check out what your favorite movie star or musician did before they became famous.

Here we take a look at 20 stars at the jobs they did before they hit the big time!

1. Brad Pitt

Salesman – Brad Pitt was studying to become a journalist. When he was two credits short of graduation, he dropped out and moved to California. Before receiving recognition as an actor, Pitt supported himself by selling refrigerators and driving people around in limos. He also worked for the fast-food chain ‘el Pollo Loco’ where he wore a fancy chicken suit.  

2. Barack Obama

Ice Cream Man – Former US President Barack Obama once wrote in a LinkedIn post that his first job was that of an ice cream scooper at a Honolulu Baskin Robbins back in the mid-70s; he was in his teens at the time. Obama said that the job may not have been a glamorous one but it taught him values such as hard work and responsibility as well as the ability to balance work with school, family, and friends (although it made him so sick of ice cream that he left it for good). 

3. Madonna

Cashier – She might be the queen of pop today, but the ‘Material Girl’ once worked as a cashier at Dunkin’ Donuts at Time Square, New York City. Rumour has it that she was sacked for squirting donut jelly over the customers. She was fired just after a week of hiring because the employers felt she was not taking her job seriously. 

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4. Zayn Malik

Amateur Boxer – Before gaining success as the lead singer of the boy band One Direction, the English music artist Zayn Malik was a boxer (age 15 to 17). In an interview with VMAN, the ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’ singer revealed that he aspired to become an English teacher as a child. 

5. Kerry Washington

Waitress / Teacher – American actress and director Kerry Washington did several jobs while she was trying to make it big in acting. From working as a waitress to teaching at schools, Kerry has done it all. In fact, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 44-year old actor revealed that while shooting for the mega-hit movie ‘Save The Last Dance’, she was still serving as a supply teacher across New York City public schools. 

6. Megan Markle

Calligrapher – We know Megan Markle as the daring Duchess of Sussex and former ‘Suits’ star. But did you know that while she was pursuing a career in acting in Beverly Hills, she was teaching calligraphy, book-binding, and gift-wrapping at Paper Source? Megan also worked as a freelance calligrapher and wrote handwritten wedding invitations. The invitations for Paula Patton and Robin Thicke’s wedding in 2005 were handwritten by none other than the Duchess herself. 

7. Megan Fox

Shop promoter – The American model and actress Megan Fox is best known for her performances in action films such as the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ and ‘Transformers’ series. But before becoming an established movie star, she was working as a promoter for a smoothie shop. That’s right. The ‘Jennifer’s Body’ star wore a banana suit as a promotional gimmick for a local shop. She told Ellen DeGeneres that every Friday one of the employees was supposed to dress up as some fruit and stand out by the highway. And she got to be a ‘giant banana.’ 

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8. Gemma Chan

Lawyer – English actress Gemma Chan was all set to become a lawyer; she secured a prestigious placement at the multinational law firm Slaughter and May. However, she soon realized that it was the courtroom drama and barrister speeches in movies that had attracted her to law. She hence decided to change course and went on to become a successful actor. 

9. Harrison Ford

Carpenter – On his way to becoming a household name, Harrison Ford actually built household furniture as a carpenter.

Declared by the head of Columbia Pictures to having “no future” in Hollywood and frustrated with the quality of roles being offered, Harrison Ford decided to pursue a fall-back job to support his family. He became a self-taught professional carpenter.

“Through carpentry, I fed my family and began to pick and choose from among the roles offered,” he once said. “I could afford to hold out until something better came along. But I never gave up my ambition to be an actor. I was frustrated but never felt defeated by my frustration.”

10. Sandra Bullock

Waitress and Bar tender – Like many aspiring stars of screen and stage, Miss Congeniality funded her acting classes by working as a waitress and bar tender.yer; she secured a prestigious placement at the multinational law firm Slaughter and May. However, she soon realized that it was the courtroom drama and barrister speeches in movies that had attracted her to law. She hence decided to change course and went on to become a successful actor.

11. Jim Carrey

Tyre Factory cleaner – The man with the elastic face and The Mask took up work as a factory cleaner in his younger days to support his family economically. Carrey took on the cleaning job to help his family and continued to work as a security guard and janitor while he performed standup comedy. His hard work certainly paid off, as he’s now one of the most successful and celebrated actors in the industry starring in movies including Ace Ventura, The Truman Show, and Bruce Almighty.

12. Jennifer Aniston

Telesales – Yes that’s right. Rachel Green once worked in telesales. The Friend’s star and, according to Men’s Health magazine, “Sexiest Woman of All Time” spent a forlorn fortnight trying to flog timeshare holidays while seeking her first major acting role..

13. Morgan Freeman

Delivery man – he man with the smooth deep voice once spent his mornings delivering papers to his neighbours. Presumably, he now spends that time narrating the daydreams of cute penguins or starring in The Shawshank Redemption.

14. Mariah Carey

Makeup artist – Mariah Carey has always been a glamorous gal. At high school she earned the nickname ‘Mirage’ by rarely turning up for lessons and shortly after she started training to become a makeup artist. However, the best selling female artist of the 2nd millennium never completed her course as he career took off in the early 90’s

15. Kayne West

Sales assistant – Before breaking into the industry as a successful rapper, Kanye West worked as a sales assistant in Gap. We can’t see him wining employee of the month however, with his lyrics from his debut album ‘The College Dropout’ proclaiming that he used to steal from the store!

16. Cheryl Cole

Waitress – After years of TV commercials, her big break finally came in 2002, while she was working as a waitress before finding real fame on Popstars: The Rivals where she becoma one fifth of Girls Aloud.

17.Channing Tatum

Male stripper – Not only did Channing Tatum play a stripper in Magic Mike, but he also worked as one in real life when he was 19 years old. Tatum worked in a strip club in Tampa, Florida for eight months after high school..

18. Whoopi Goldberg

Morgue Beautician – Sister act star Whoopi Goldberg worked as a Morgue Beautician. She took the job because she was trained as a beautician. Reportedly, her boss once hid in one of the drawers and jumped out at her as a way to reassure her that ‘there’s nothing to be scared of.’ Hmm, we wonder how well that worked!

19. Ozzy Osbourne

Slaughterhouse worker – Before becoming the front man for Black Sabbath, Ozzy, also known as The Prince of Darkness, worked in a slaughterhouse.

20. Michelle Keegan

Checkout assistant – Michelle Keegan, well-known for her role on Coronation Street, worked as a check-in assistant at Manchester Airport before taking to the small screen at the age of 20.

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