Everyone has to start somewhere. Before our favorite celebrities were swimming in fame and fortune, they were just your everyday 9-5 drones looking to make a quick paycheck. From Mick Jagger to Brad Pitt, at one time or another, these celebrities were slaves to the wage before they were raking in the millions. Feel like your dreams are out of reach? Take a cue from these stars. It may sound clich, but as our list proves, a little persistence and ambition goes a long way.
1. Mick Jagger: Ice Cream Man
Its rather difficult to imagine the enigmatic front man of The Rolling Stones scooping ice cream rather than swiveling his hips behind a microphone. But before Mick Jagger hit it big with Keith, he worked as an ice cream salesman. Thankfully, Jagger abandoned the popsicles and followed his dreams of rock-star glory. Were guessing that he found little to no satisfaction in the monotonous meanderings of the Average Joe.
2. Amy Adams: Hooters WaitressToday, spunky actress Amy Adams is garnering attention for her immense acting talent. From romantic comedy darling to dramatic tour de force, Adams has quickly become a critic and fan favorite. Her breakthrough role in 2005s Junebug earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Yet before the Academy was knocking on her door, Adams was an average high-school student in dire need of a car. In order to pay for a new set of wheels, Adams was turning heads for an entirely different reason: working as a waitress at Hooters.
3. Gwen Stefani: Dairy Queen ClerkWithout a doubt, Gwen Stefani is a music icon. But prior to her multilateral success, Stefani was just a girl working at her local Dairy Queen. However, in 1986, the teenager made the sweet escape into music when she became the lead singer for her brothers then unknown band, No Doubt. Now that the rock and roll chameleon has become a mother, it may seem that both music and her fashion line, L.A.M.B., have taken the back burner. Nevertheless, were pretty sure that Stefani wont be on hiatus for too long.
4. Tom Cruise: Hotel BellhopWhen hes not jumping on couches and incorrectly using the word glib, Katie Holmes hubby is one of Hollywoods biggest superstars. Yet long before he was fighting off aliens in War of the Worlds or plotting to assassinate Hitler in Valkyrie, Tom Cruise was once a hotel bellhop. Perhaps he shouldve put those hospitality skills to use when firing off at Matt Lauer? Regardless, we hear that Cruise is set to make the fourth installment of Mission Impossible. We cant wait to see what villains Ethan Hunt battles this time.
5. Jennifer Aniston: Waitress and CleanerOur favorite friend wasnt always so hip. Jennifer Aniston told US Magazine, I made my allowance as a kid cleaning toilets. I’m actually pretty good at it. Later on, in addition to cleaning, Aniston became a waitress to support herself while awaiting her big break. She also confessed to the magazine, I loved being a waitress. OK, I didn’t like time-share selling, I hated that job. But people used to say to me, You need to focus on having ambition,” she says. “And I guess sort of following that advice allowed a lot to come to me.” With her latest role in The Bounty Hunter and her rumored romance with co-star Gerard Butler, it seems to be that Aniston was destined for bigger things than scrubbing toilet bowls.
6. Demi Moore: Debt Collector
Nowadays, its hard to imagine that anyone would shut the door in Demi Moores face. However, prior to stardom, Mrs. Kutcher was probably the least welcome sight in her neighborhood. Moonlighting as a debt collector, we seriously doubt that the actress gained any devoted fans while making her weekly rounds.
7. Robin Williams: Street Mime
As the saying goes, do what you love and the money will follow. In the case of funnyman Robin Williams, it seems that his knack for comedy was an inherent blessing in disguise. Before the Night at the Museum actor was rallying the Rough Riders as Teddy Roosevelt, he was entertaining the average passerby as a street mime.
8. Eva Mendes: Hot Dog VendorActress, activist, and Calvin Klein model— screen siren Eva Mendes is a triple threat. What else does Mendes have on her hypothetical resume? You might be surprised to learn that it includes hot dog vendor! Like many of her fellow Hollywood peers, stardom didnt immediately fall into her lap. In order to help pay the bills, Mendes once sold hot dogs at the Glendale Galleria Mall in California.
9. Tom Hanks: Popcorn and Peanuts Vendor
Its been noted that Tom Hanks is this generations Jimmy Stewart, due to his flawless ability to channel the every day man in his acting roles. Could it be said that this isnt only the result of his talent but actual experience? Before Tom Hanks was dominating the box office and snatching top billing on movie marquees, he was selling popcorn and peanuts at the Oakland Coliseum.
10. Jim Carrey: Security Guard and JanitorFrom Ace Ventura to Bruce Almighty, Jim Carrey is one of Hollywoods reliable comedic actors. With roles in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the upcoming I Love You, Philip Morris, Carrey has successfully proven that not only can he make audiences burst with laughter, but he can break their hearts. Yet life wasnt always easy for Jim Carrey. When the actor was 15, his father lost his job. In order to help out the family, Jim had after-school jobs as a security guard and a janitor at a tire factory outside Toronto.
11. Denzel Washington: Barber Shop EmployeeThis Fordham University alum and Hollywood heavyweight wasnt always making the ladies swoon on the big screen. Denzel Washington is open about his first job at a barber shop called Modernistic, where he brushed the customers’ collars. In a 2006 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Washington said, I learned a lot about acting there. The best liars are in the barbershop.
12. Brad Pitt: el Pollo Loco Restaurant Promoter & Mascot (above)
As a struggling actor in Los Angeles, the Inglourious Basterds star donned a giant chicken suit in order to entice possible customers to the el Pollo Loco Restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. Considering the fact that Angelina Jolie was less than impressed with his workout gear in the Coen Brothers Burn After Reading, we can only imagine her reaction to seeing him flap about in a giant chicken costume.