When we think of celebrities, we often picture them in the spotlight, walking the red carpet or performing on stage. However, many famous faces started out doing some pretty bizarre and unexpected jobs before they hit the big time. From cleaning chicken coops to dressing up as a giant banana, here are some of the weirdest jobs that celebrities had before they became famous.
1. Brad Pitt – Chicken Mascot
Before Brad Pitt became a household name, he was just a struggling actor trying to make ends meet. One of his oddest jobs was dressing up as a giant chicken to promote El Pollo Loco, a fast-food chain in Los Angeles. Pitt would stand outside the restaurant in a feathered costume and hand out flyers to passersby. It’s safe to say that he’s come a long way since then.
2. Lady Gaga – Waitress
Long before she was the queen of pop, Lady Gaga was just a struggling artist trying to make it in New York City. To pay the bills, she took a job as a waitress at a diner. She once said that she was fired from the job because she would write song lyrics on the menus instead of taking orders. It’s a good thing she never gave up on her dream of making music.
3. Kanye West – Retail Associate
Before he was one of the biggest names in hip-hop, Kanye West worked as a retail associate at The Gap. He used his employee discount to stock up on clothes, and even wrote a song about the experience called “Spaceship.” West has come a long way since his days folding clothes and working the cash register.
4. Hugh Jackman – Clown
Believe it or not, the man who played Wolverine in the X-Men movies once worked as a clown at children’s parties. Hugh Jackman would dress up in full clown makeup and perform magic tricks and balloon animals for kids. He has said that the job taught him a lot about how to entertain and connect with people, which has undoubtedly served him well in his acting career.
5. Amy Adams – Hooters Hostess
Before she became an Academy Award-nominated actress, Amy Adams worked as a hostess at Hooters. She has said that the job was “not great,” but that it taught her a lot about how to deal with difficult customers. Adams has come a long way since her days in the tight orange shorts and tank top.
6. Christopher Walken – Lion Tamer
Before he was a famous actor known for his intense performances, Christopher Walken worked as a lion tamer in a circus. He has said that he would never do it again, but that it was a valuable learning experience. We can only imagine how that job prepared him for some of the more intense roles he’s played on screen.
7. Whoopi Goldberg – Mortuary Makeup Artist
Before she became a famous actress and television personality, Whoopi Goldberg worked as a mortuary makeup artist. She would apply makeup to the deceased to make them look more presentable for their funerals. Goldberg has said that the job was very difficult, but that it taught her a lot about the importance of treating people with respect, even after they have passed away.
8. Steve Buscemi – Firefighter
Before he became a famous actor known for his quirky roles, Steve Buscemi worked as a firefighter in New York City. He was a member of Engine Company 55 in Manhattan and even responded to the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. Buscemi has said that being a firefighter was the best job he ever had, and he continues to support firefighters and first responders to this day.
9. Channing Tatum – Stripper
Before he became a Hollywood heartthrob, Channing Tatum worked as a male stripper in Florida. He has said that the job was a way for him to make money and pay the bills while he was trying to make it as an actor. Tatum’s experience as a stripper even inspired the movie “Magic Mike,” which he starred in and co-produced.
10. Martha Stewart – Stockbroker
Before she became the queen of homemaking and a household name, Martha Stewart worked as a stockbroker on Wall Street. She was one of the only women working in the industry at the time, and she has said that the job taught her a lot about finance and investing. It’s safe to say that Stewart has come a long way since her days on the trading floor.