Before They Hit It Big: Odd, Crazy, and Unbelievable Jobs of the Stars

By Gina LaGuardia

Did you know that Eva Mendes worked on a hot dog truck, Kanye West was an associate at the Gap and that Patrick Dempsey was a professional juggler before hitting it big? Indeed, the road to your dream career may be paved with a few odd jobs. But hey – if it worked for these celebrities, it can work for you, right?

The life lesson here: Stay focused! Even if you’re toiling day in and day out for the time being in a not-so-perfect position, if you aspire to accomplish great things and use the new year to put those goals into action, you can eventually make it big as well.

Here, a little star-inspired inspiration…

  • Madonna Runs on Dunkin
Back in the day she did! According to a History Channel biography, the Material Girl was once a Dunkin Donuts girl.
  • Chicken by Day, Driver by Night
Leading man and heartthrob Brad Pitt used to dress up as a chicken for El Pollo Loco. And he also drove limousines. Something tells us he probably got some good tips!
  • Queen of Kings 
We’re sure Queen Latifah had it her way when she used to work at Burger King.
  • Presidential Scoops

Believe it or not, President Barack Obama was an ice cream scooper at Baskin Robbins.

  • Hottie Pen Salesman. 
We would have bought plenty of pens from Johnny Depp when he sold ‘em, wouldn’t you?
  • We’re Not Kidding
Nicole Kidman was a former massage therapist, which we can kind of see, since she seems very chill.
  • Hooter Who?!
We loved Amy Adams as the no-nonsense Lois Lane in “Superman,” which makes it tough to picture her a Hooters girl! But alas, she did wear those short orange shorts at one time in her life!
  • Gym With Jackman
It’s no wonder where The Wolverine’s Hugh Jackman got his physique from – he’s a former high school gym teacher, after all. Dodgeball, anyone?!
  • Beautifying the Dearly Departed
Before her stint in movies, Whoopi Goldberg worked as a mortuary beautician. Yes – the often makeup-less star applied makeup to the deceased. Now that’s something for her to talk about on “The View.”
  • Legally Ellen
We can’t imagine Ellen DeGeneres keeping a straight face as a paralegal. After all, if anyone could make the law fun, it’d be Ellen!
  • Smooth Salesman
Even with his Hollywood family background, one of George Clooney’s early jobs was selling insurance. We can totally see the debonair movie star smooth-talking all his clients.
  • Being Mr. Bus Driver
No offense, but we’re wondering how many children were scarred by having scary character actor John Malkovich as their school bus driver!
  • Read All About It!
Extra, extra … It may be hard to imagine, but pretty boy Tom Cruise used to be paperboy in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
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