Published On: Mon, Aug 11th, 2014

12 Odd Jobs Before They Were Famous

By: Megan Shea

Before they were A-listers, these famous names were working the grind just like the rest of us, many of them in rather strange places.


1. Ellen DeGeneres


Before her days as a well-known talk show host and Cover Girl, DeGeneres had a lengthy resume of odd jobs. From an oyster peeler, to vacuum saleswoman, to painter, she had her fair share of obscure assignments. DeGeneres also worked at a glove factory for half a day, but quit because she hated it so much. “When you live in New Orleans, you’re bound to be an oyster shucker,” DeGeneres said of the experience.

2. Brad Pitt

brad pitt

It wasn’t always red carpet events and Dolce & Gabbana suits for Brad Pitt. This famous actor sported very different attire pre-stardom. Pitt wore a chicken suit to promote the restaurant El Pollo Loco.

3. Amy Adams


Before her days as an A-lister, Adams worked as a Hooters girl for two months to save up for a car while in high school. The actress called the stint “a short-lived ambition.” “I wasn’t cut out to be a waitress, and I certainly wasn’t cut out to be a Hooters waitress,” Adams said of her time working there. Fortunately, other opportunities arose.

4. Channing Tatum


Known for his his roles in films like 21st Jump Street and Dear John, Tatum made a name for himself in other…. less conventional ways before he caught the acting bug. This actor even produced his own movie about a former, odd job. Magic Mike was loosely based on Tatum’s experiences as a stripper when he was 19 years old.

5. Kanye West


Kanye West was a former sales associate at The Gap, and it’s pretty safe to say the star wouldn’t be caught wearing their clothes today. You would think retail would be humbling, but then again, it doesn’t surprise us that it wasn’t  for Mr. West. He rapped about his time there in the song “Spaceship,” which has an entire verse dedicated to portraying himself as a nightmare of an employee who stole khakis.

6. Orlando Bloom


At age 13, Bloom’s first job was at a skeet shooting range as a clay pigeon trapper. Needless to say, he’s moved on bigger and better things since.

7. Ozzy Osbourne 


Sometimes, jobs speak volumes about people. Ozzy Osbourne worked at a slaughterhouse, which I hesitate to even call “odd.”

8. Rod Stewart


Rod Stewart undoubtedly wins the award for creepiest odd job. Before his music career took off, Stewart was supposedly a gravedigger at Highgate Cemetery. Perhaps that’s where the soulful lyrics originated.

9. Matt Damon


Matt Damon used to breakdance for cash in Harvard Square. There’s more than a few things that are difficult to process in that sentence. There may or may not be truth to this one; Damon insists it’s just a rumor, but friend Casey Affleck says otherwise.

10. Megan Fox


Megan Fox worked as a dancing banana mascot. Cue the laughs-a future beauty icon dressed as a phallic object is pretty timelessly funny. She was dressed to attract customers to a local smoothie shop. We don’t doubt it was probably an effective business model.

11. Whoopi Goldberg


Whoopi Goldberg was once a phone sex operator. Definitely an uncomfortable thing to put on your resume. Goldberg claimed the money was great and it provided acting experience. Whatever it takes to justify that one. And just below that on Goldberg’s resume, you’ll see the odd job of mortuary beautician, meaning she put makeup on the deceased. She deserves her own talk show just for coping.

12. Matthew McConaughey 

matt mc

Before his Oscar-winning days, McConaughey took on a number of odd jobs as an exchange student living in Australia, including shoveling chicken coops. One must work their way up to starring in films touching on global issues and raising awareness all while grossing over $55 million at the box office.

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