Not everyone can start out in the acting, modelling or talk show industry without first breaking a little sweat.
From Howard Stern to Brad Pitt, most celebrities began their careers making a modest earning and doing menial tasks.
From Cindy Crawford ruining her manicures on corn to Amy Adams‘ skimpy uniform to downright embarrassing (see: Victoria Beckham, slide 8), these 15 celebrities know what it means to pay your dues.
Jon Hamm may play the suave and dapper Don Draper on 'Mad Men' now but at one time, he was behind the scenes in a much different movie genre.
The actor worked as a set dresser for adult films.
'You gotta move cameras around, and ashtrays. And continuity is apparently an issue,' Hamm explained to The Guardian of his duties, which the out-of-work actor took on, he says, to make ends meet until his current girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt cast him in a play.
While looking for extra cash as a college freshman in Illinois, the supermodel made a living as a corn-shucker at a local fair.
With her spunk and love of dancing in public, Ellen DeGeneres was born to host her own talk show. But it took the hilarious comedian a while to figure out that dream.
DeGeneres worked as everything from a painter and vacuum salesperson to oyster peeler. She even worked at a glove factory but hated it so much she quit after 'half a day.'
Watch Ellen return to one of her first jobs at JC Penney below.
Tom Cruise doesn't just have the 'Mission Impossible' series and 'Risky Business' on resumé. The actor was also a paperboy for the Louisville Courier Journal.
And if Scientology doesn't work out the way he hopes, Cruise can always fall back on his other religious path.
At age 14, Cruise joined a seminary in Cincinnati for a whole year and even took a vow of celibacy.
Madonna must have practiced 'voguing' behind a counter because before she became a world icon, she worked as a Dunkin doughnuts clerk in the New York City Time's Square location.
And odd job for an odd man.
The actor behind strange ventures such as 'Edward Scissorhands,' 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and 'Ed Wood' was once a pen salesman.
Depp would call up potential customers and try to lure them in with free getaways to Greece and a grandfather clock just so they would buy some customised ballpoint pens.
Victoria Beckham cares about safe sex.
In one of her first onscreen jobs, the ex-Spice Girl and current fashionista played a sperm (yes, you read that right) on roller-skates for a BBC sex-education television show called 'Body Matters.'
Amy Adams may be known for playing the innocent characters in movies like 'Enchanted,' 'Doubt' and 'The Muppets,' but she her past job wasn't all that sweet.
The actress earned money as a Hooters girl.
'I did it because I needed to buy a car,' she told London's Mail on Sunday in 2006. She left Hooters after saving $900, enough to buy a used Chevrolet.
Considering his interest in writing, producing, directing and acting, it seems appropriate that George Clooney would try out all sorts of jobs during his path to stardom.
The actor behind Oscar-winning films like 'Syriana,' 'The Descendants' and 'Good Night, And Good Luck.' was once a door-to-door insurance salesman, a tobacco cutter and a seller of women's shoes.
Clooney told Larry King in 2006:
'I was a horrible insurance salesman. I'll tell you why. The selling part I could do but then they wanted you to always tack on a little something extra. We'd take it from a whole life insurance to term life insurance and put some money away in an annuity for them or in an IRA but maybe you could use a little other insurance as well...And I couldn't because you felt like you were pulling their leg then... But I was good at cutting tobacco. I was fast.'
Before Howard Stern was the controversial king of satellite radio, he was performing a much more G-rated job: he was an ice-cream truck driver.
The former James Bond used to have a much more morbid job.
Sean Connery held many odd positions from lifeguard to milkman but the strangest of all was as a coffin cleaner.
Whoever thought Brad Pitt would have to cover his face for a job?
The 'Fight Club' and 'Moneyball' actor used to don a chicken suit for the El Pollo Loco chicken restaurant franchise.
But he also had a job in the strip-o-gram industry. No, not as a stripper, but as a limo driver for the service.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.