Celebrities weren’t as glamorous as they are today. Some of them had regular jobs just like us, while some endured a lot more pain before finding success. The jobs ranged from an attorney to a drug dealer. Their stories and the hardships they overcame, inspires us to follow our dreams. Long before these men and women had the chance to be in front of a camera, they had to face tough times. Some of us are lucky enough to be born into a loving and caring family and to have a bed to rest in every night. Unfortunately, some of these celebs were not so lucky. Here is a list of 10 of your favorite celebs who are mega-rich superstars today, but had to pave their way towards success through some of the most difficult obstacles in life.
1. Brad Pitt
The American actor and producer is currently worth $240 million. Before rising to fame, he danced around in a chicken suit for a fast food restaurant.
The multi-millionaire is currently worth $240 million. But before finding fame, he was not even worth a chicken. According to IMDB, the movie star’s first employer was El Pollo Loco. While employed there, Brad Pitt had to wear a chicken suit and hand out flyers to attract customers to the business. (source)
2. Johnny Depp
Before finding fame as an actor, the star tried out a multitude of jobs… and failed miserably.
Johnny Depp used to sell pens to strangers over the phone. According to the actor,
”I marketed pens – on the phone. 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 grandfather clock or a trip to Tahiti’. You promise them all these things if they buy a gross of pens. It was just awful. But I actually think that was the first experience I had with acting.” (source)
Before finding fame, the super fit “Material Girl” used to work at Dunkin’ Donuts at New York’s Times Square.
After dropping out of college, she moved to New York in search of a spot to pursue her dreams. When she started having trouble paying bills, she started working at Dunkin’ Donuts in Times Square. However, her job didn’t even last for a week. In fact, it didn’t even last for a day. The manager was forced to fire her on day one for squirting jelly all over a customer. Before being introduced to the city’s punk rock music scene in 1979, she took several waitressing jobs at fast food restaurants. (source)
4. Gerard Butler
The world renowned Scottish actor dreamed of becoming a lawyer. He started working in a law firm after finishing law school but was fired shortly after.
Born on November 13, 1969, Gerard Butler followed his passion and finished law school. Shortly after that, he started working at an Edinburgh law firm. Unfortunately, his partying antics and constant absence at work didn’t pan out for him. He was fired a few days after his employment; crushing his dreams of making it to the courtroom. The unqualified lawyer then moved to London in hopes of becoming famous. According to him,
“When I started out, I’m not sure I was actually in it for the right reasons. I wanted very much to be famous.”
In 1990, before finally landing an acting role, the star undertook several jobs; including a waiter, a telemarketer and a demonstrator for toys. (source)
5. Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson had a rough childhood. Born as an illegitimate child on April 22, 1937, in New Jersey, Nicholson was lead to believe that his grandmother was his mother and his mother was his sister.
June Frances Nicholson, the mother of Jack Nicholson, was a showgirl who was of an Irish, English and German descent. At the age of 18, June became pregnant with Nicholson and was unsure of who the father was. June’s parents agreed to raise Nicholson after he was born and to not reveal the true identity of his mother. While his grandmother acted as his mother, his mother acted as his sister.
However, in 1974, when Nicholson was 34, researchers from Time Magazine learned the truth. They informed him that his “sister,” June, was actually his mother, and his other “sister,” Lorraine, was really his aunt. Nicholson was surprised to hear the news but he said that it wasn’t traumatizing for him. (source)
“It was a pretty dramatic event, but it wasn’t what I’d call traumatizing… I was pretty well psychologically formed.”
6. Ashton Kutcher
Kutcher worked as a college summer hire and swept cereal dust at a General Mills factory to pay for his expenses. He also sold his blood to earn some extra income.
Kutcher was born into a poor family. At the age of 16, his living conditions worsened as his parents were going through a divorce. During his high school years, Kutcher and his cousin broke into his high school to steal money. The attempt failed as police arrived on the scene and arrested him. The experience changed his life for good and Kutcher decided to pursue his studies at the University of Iowa. To earn money for his tuition and expenses, Kutcher worked in the cereal department for the General Mills plant. He also sold his blood when he was desperate. (source)
7. Mayim Bialik
Mayim Bialik plays the famous neuroscientist character from The Big Bang Theory. She is in fact a neuroscientist in real-life.
The American actress played Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. She started acting at a very young age but rose to fame recently. Bialik has made guest appearances on many TV shows as well as voiced many animated TV shows. Even though she was interested in pursuing her acting career, Bialik was smart and always willing to learn more. In 1993, after finishing high school, she was accepted by both Harvard and Yale. Since she was close to her family and didn’t want to be too far away from them, Bialik chose to go to UCLA. There, she earned a B.S. degree in neuroscience. In 2005, she took a short break to pursue her acting career. But, in 2007, she returned to earn her Ph.D. in neuroscience. (source)
8. Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj worked as a waitress at Red Lobster in the Bronx, when she was 19. Though, it didn’t last for long, since she was fired for chasing pen stealing customers.
When Nicki Minaj was invited to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, she recalled the moment when she worked as a waitress at Red Lobster. She revealed that even though she was not a polite waitress, she made over $500 a week; which gave her the opportunity to buy herself a brand new BMW. During the interview, she explained,
“They always want too much bread. That’s what bothered me. You guys, please, if you go to Red Lobster, stop ordering extra bread. We’re so busy in the kitchen and it’s like, the kitchen is hot, we’re waiting for your orders, and have another table. And we go to the table thinking it’s a big emergency and they’re like: Can we have some more bread?”
Nicki Minaj was fired from several other jobs before she finally found fame. (source)
9. Jim Carrey
From 1978 to 1979, Jim Carrey took a job as a janitor at a factory, to support his family.
Jim Carrey was born into a poor family. When his father lost his job and was struggling to provide for the family, they had to leave their house and move into their van. Carrey, who was only 12 years old at the time, took it upon himself to support his family. He worked in a factory as a janitor. His father was supportive of the young comedian and often drove him around for plays in clubs, whenever possible. Eventually, the family’s financial stability returned and Carrey was able to focus more on his acting career.
Comedian Rodney Dangerfield saw the potential in Carrey and he signed the young comedian to open his tour performances. This gave Carrey the opportunity to explore himself as well as rise to stardom. Today, he earns an estimated $20 million per film. (source)
10. Hugh Jackman
Before becoming Wolverine, the famous actor worked as a “Happy Birthday Clown”.
We all know Hugh Jackman as the famous Marvel superhero Wolverine. Even though he wasn’t famous before the character, his acting career surely started off with a less impressive role. The actor worked the kids birthday party circuit and made less that $50 per show. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Hugh Jackman described his past job.
“I was Coco the Clown, and I had no magic tricks. And I remember a six-year-old standing up at a party saying, ‘Mummy this clown is terrible, he doesn’t know any tricks’—and he was right.” (source)