25 Celebrities on the Regular Jobs They Had Before They Became Famous

STYLECASTER | Jobs Celebs Had Before Becoming Famous
25 Start slideshow
Photo: STYLECASTER/Getty Images

It’s easy to imagine celebrities as these high-ranking, unattainable people who we will never meet—let alone live the same lives as. But everyone has to start from somewhere—even astronomically famous stars like Jennifer Aniston, Johnny Depp, and Rihanna. And yes, before they became chart-topping pop stars and award-winning actors, these stars made ends meet at grunt-work jobs, too.

MORE: 12 Uncanny Times Celebrities Impersonated Other Celebrities

From the Grammy-winning rapper who sold sweaters at Gap, to the past president who scooped ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, to the A-list actor who used teach P.E. at high school, we collected the most random, surprising, and ordinary first jobs celebrities held before making it big. Take a look at which Oscar nominee used to be a phone-sex worker, and more, ahead.

0 Thoughts?
1 of 25
Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj — Red Lobster Waitress

Before making it big in music, Nicki Minaj waited tables at Red Lobster, where she was fired for her "discourtesy to customers." 

"I worked at Red Lobster before and I chased a customer out of the restaurant once so I could stick my middle finger up at her and demand that she give me my pen back," Minaj told Billboard. "I swear to God I was bad."

Photo: Getty Images
Amy Adams
Amy Adams — Hooters Waitress

Before becoming a five-time Oscar nominee, Amy Adams was an 18-year-old waitress at Hooters, where she made money to pay her way through college.

"Well I was like 18, so everybody has the body at 18," Adams told "Entertainment Tonight." "But it was a great job out of high school and I was a hostess at first, and then I waited tables for a while, and it was great. It was a great way for me to earn money for college."

Photo: Getty Images
Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt — El Pollo Loco Chicken Dancer

Long before he was a leading man in Hollywood, Brad Pitt made cash by dancing in a chicken costume outside an El Pollo Loco in Los Angeles to lure in customers, according to NBC Los Angeles.

Photo: Getty Images
Chase Crawford
Abercrombie & Fitch Greeter

Chase Crawford scored his big break on "Gossip Girl" in 2007, but before that, she was a shirtless greeter at Abercrombie & Fitch. He never made it to the next step: a cashier.

"They play the same three CDs all day long," he told Metro. "They play it so loud you can't even talk in the store and they blast the place with cologne, you can smell it from a block away. I was a greeter. I had to stand out front and time would drag on. I would beg them to let me work on the cash register."

 

 

Photo: Getty Images
Eva Mendes
Eva Mendes — Hot Dog on a Stick Employee

Eva Mendes knows food courts well. Before she became an actress, she worked at several food stands at California's Glendale Galleria. First, she worked at a pizza place called Ciao before leveling up to an employee at Hot Dog on a Stick.

“I was one of those kids who couldn’t wait to get my work permit. Because at 15 you get your work permit in California and I couldn’t wait to legally work,” Mendes told Wall Street Journal. “I worked at this pizza/pasta place in the mall and it was great. It was called ‘Ciao.’ There was a sneeze guard so I would serve people—you would have to give it to them over the bar. I could not tell you how many times I would serve that food through the glass.”

Photo: Getty Images
Fetty Wap
Fetty Wap — Fedex Employee

Before he became a chart-topping rapper, Fetty Wap was delivering packages as a Fedex employee and serving fried chicken at Popeye's.

"I just needed a check," he told Interview magazine. "It was a standard thing for people where I’m from. Well, people from there that did what I did for a living, you know what I’m saying? Go get you a quick check when you mess your money up. It’s so crazy how much happened for me. Like, I thought I was going to be living in my same house this whole time."

Photo: Getty Images
Gabourey Sidibe
Gabourey Sidibe — Phone Sex Worker

Before becoming an Oscar nominee for 2009's "Precious," Gabourey Sidibe was a phone sex worker for three years, a job she credits as training for her acting career.

“I knew that when people were asking me, ‘So have you had any acting training?’ my acting school was on the phone, pretending to be some super-young 21-year-old college girl named Melody," Sidibe told People. "I know that was my acting! But I felt too stupid to say it.”

Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani — Dairy Queen Server

Gwen Stefani is making big bucks now as a coach on "The Voice" and an established musician, but before all that, she was serving ice cream. In an interview with Marie Claire, she revealed that she made her first dollar at Dairy Queen.

Photo: Getty Images
Harry Styles — Baker
Harry Styles — Baker

Before competing on "The X Factor" which led to his world-dominating fame in One Direction, a 14-year-old Harry Styles worked at a bakery in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, his home town. After making it big around the world, the singer even returned to the bakery when he was 19 to take pictures with the staff and eat some bread, according to Daily Mail.

Photo: Getty Images
Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman — P.E. Teacher

There might be a reason why Hugh Jackman is so ripped in all his movies. The actor worked as a physical education teacher at England's Uppingham School before making it big as a leading man. He even ran into one of his students, Rollo Ross, at a red carpet in Zürich, Switzerland, where he teased him about how his fitness habits.

"Rollo, I'm sorry mate," Jackson said. "But we go way back. I used to teach you at a high school in P.E., and I want to know how your physical education is progressing. It's very important to me."

Photo: Getty Images
Jay-Z
Jay-Z — Drug Dealer

Jay-Z is an eight-time Grammy winner, but before that, he was a drug dealer, which he credits for teaching him his quick-thinking money-making skills.

"I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer,” Jay-Z told Vanity Fair. “To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. Or if you want to start some sort of barbershop or car wash—those were the businesses back then. Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life. At some point, you have to have an exit strategy, because your window is very small; you’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die.”

Photo: Getty Images
Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston — Toilet Cleaner

If you're looking for someone to make your toilet squeaky clean, Jennifer Aniston might be your girl. Before she became a famous sitcom star on "Friends," the actress cleaned toilet for extra cash. "I made my allowance as a kid cleaning toilets. I'm actually pretty good at it," she told Parade magazine.

Photo: Getty Images
Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp — Ballpoint Pen Salesperson

Johnny Depp has played a variety of colorful characters, but the first role he took on was a ballpoint pen telemarketer.

''I marketed pens—on the phone," Depp told USA Today. "But the beauty of the gig was that you had to call these strangers and say, 'Hi, how ya doing?' You made up a name, like, 'Hey, it's Edward Quartermaine from California. You're eligible to receive this grand-father clock or a trip to Tahiti.'

Photo: Getty Images
Jon Hamm
Jon Hamm — Set Dresser for Porn Movies

Jon Hamm started out in the entertainment industry, but not in the way you might think. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the "Mad Men" star revealed that he used to be a set dresser for porn movies.

"I was actually at that time working as a set dresser for Cinemax softcore porn movies," Hamm, told Vanity Fair. "It was soul-crushing."

Photo: Getty Images
Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts — Baskin-Robbins Scooper

Before winning an Oscar for "Pretty Woman," Julia Roberts scooped ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, according to a "fun facts" list on the chain's website.

Photo: Getty Images
Kanye West
Kanye West — Gap Employee

Along with being a Grammy-winning rapper, Kanye West is a respectable fashion designer. He might've learned his passion for clothes while working at Gap long before he made it big in music.

"It's funny that I worked at the Gap in high school, because in my past 15 years it seems like that's the place I stood in my creative path—to be the gap, the bridge," he wrote in an essay for Paper magazine.

Photo: Getty Images
Madonna
Madonna — Dunkin' Donuts Cashier

As a struggling singer in New York City, Madonna worked at a Dunkin' Donuts in Times Square. Though, she was reportedly fired from the job for squirting jelly on a customer, according to Us Weekly.

Photo: Getty Images
Megan Fox
Megan Fox — Banana Mascot

Before making it big with films like "Transformers" and "Jennifer's Body," Megan Fox worked at a tropical smoothie shop in Florida, where she dressed in a full-body banana costume to lure customers in. After she revealed the news on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Fox was scared by a giant banana.

Photo: Getty Images
Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle — Wedding Invitation Writer

After announcing her engagement to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle is a household name. But long before she was inaugurated into the royal family, she wrote wedding invitations for celebrities like Paula Patton and Robin Thicke.

"I went to an all-girls Catholic school for like six years during the time when kids actually had handwriting class," she told Esquire. "I've always had a propensity for getting the cursive down pretty well. What it evolved into was my pseudo-waitressing job when I was auditioning. I didn't wait tables. I did calligraphy for the invitations for, like, Robin Thicke and Paula Patton's wedding.

Photo: Getty Images
Queen Latifah
Queen Latifahi — Burger King Employee

When she was 15, Queen Latifah worked at Burger King for spending money. That was long before she became a big-time movie star. “If my brother and I wanted money in our pockets, we had to get jobs—my first was at 15, at Burger King," she told Parade.

Photo: Getty Images
Rachel McAdams
Rachel McAdams — McDonald's Employee

Rachel McAdams is known as a movie star today, but back then, she was an employee at McDonald's—and not a good one, according to her.

"[I worked at McDonald's] for a good three years," she told Glamour. " I was not a great employee; I broke the orange juice machine one day."

Photo: Getty Images
Rihanna
Rihanna — Army Cadet

It's hard to believe that Rihanna was anything but a pop star. But when she was a teenager, she was an army cadet in a sub-military program in Barbados. Singer Shontelle was her drill sergeant.

"That’s what drill sergeants do. We boss cadets around, we make them do push-ups . . . especially when they show up on the parade square late,” Shontelle told BBC. “We were both in cadets together—it wasn’t compulsory or anything. But picture me and Rihanna in combat boots and fatigues crawling through mud and things like that.”

Photo: Getty Images
Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham — Dancing Sperm

Victoria Beckham was known for her dance moves when she was in the Spice Girls, so it's not all too surprising that one her first jobs was as a dancing sperm performer on roller skates for a BBC sex-education show.

Chrissy Teigen
Chrissy Teigen — Surf Shop Employee

Chrissy Teigen worked at a surf shop in California before becoming a model. In fact, the shop was where Teigen was discovered by a model scout, who made her career, she told The Daily Beast.

“Modeling, I just never thought I could do it myself really ever," Teigen said. "I still have trouble calling myself a model. I just never thought I was tall enough or skinny enough. [When I was starting] it was the time of the very thin, waif-y runway models. So I knew I couldn’t do that.”

Photo: Getty Images
Barack Obama
Barack Obama — Baskin Robbins Scooper

It's hard to believe that the 44th president of the United States scooped ice cream for minimum wage at Baskin Robbins, but here we are. According to the ice cream chain's website, former POTUS Barack Obama was an employee.

Photo: Getty Images

Next slideshow starts in 10s

These Looks Prove Plaid Isn't as Traditional as You Thought

These Looks Prove Plaid Isn't
as Traditional as You Thought
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Amy Adams
  • Brad Pitt
  • Chase Crawford
  • Eva Mendes
  • Fetty Wap
  • Gabourey Sidibe
  • Gwen Stefani
  • Harry Styles — Baker
  • Hugh Jackman
  • Jay-Z
  • Jennifer Aniston
  • Johnny Depp
  • Jon Hamm
  • Julia Roberts
  • Kanye West
  • Madonna
  • Megan Fox
  • Meghan Markle
  • Queen Latifah
  • Rachel McAdams
  • Rihanna
  • Victoria Beckham
  • Chrissy Teigen
  • Barack Obama
share