Before success, there’s hard work.
And sometimes, you’re doing that hard work while living out of your car. It’s not just for corporate interns or employees of tech giants like Google and Tesla — living out of a car (or camper, or van) has been a stepping stone for for everyone from James Cameron to Hilary Swank.
Here are seven incredible stories of the rich and famous who started out living in their cars.
Jacquelyn Smith, Natalie Walters, and Vivian Giang contributed to an earlier version of this story.
Pratt, aka Burt Macklin, has been turning heads with his transition from loveable funny guy Andy Dwyer on 'Parks and Recreation' to action hero Owen Grady in 'Jurassic World.'
But that's not the only major transition the actor's gone through.
At age 19, Pratt accepted a one-way ticket to Maui, Hawaii, from a friend and set up a humble abode in a flea and mice-infested van -- a setup that he told The Independent was 'pretty awesome.'
'We just drank and smoked weed and worked minimal hours, 15-20 hours per week, just enough to cover gas, food, and fishing supplies,' Pratt said. 'You know it was a charming time.'
That same year, actress Rae Dawn Chong met Pratt when he was waiting tables at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in Maui, took note of his good looks, and cast him in her directorial debut, 'Cursed Part III.' (Pratt is seen holding the script in the above photo.)
'The moment she told me she was bringing me to LA, I knew,' he said. 'I was like, 'This is what I'm going to do with the rest of my life.''
When Cameron was writing 'The Terminator,' he was 'barely making ends meet, even living in his car for a time,' according to IGN.
But his main concern at the time wasn't money. He was determined to direct his screenplay despite his limited experience.
When he pitched 'The Terminator' at meetings, the production companies said they liked the script, but they didn't like the idea of him being in charge.
Cameron persevered and partnered with producer Gale Anne Hurd, who bought the rights to the screenplay for $1 and named Cameron the director.
The film went on to make $77 million worldwide.
According to the biography 'Jim Carrey,' the comedian dropped out of high school and lived in a VW bus with his family parked in different places throughout Canada. They eventually moved into a tent on his older sister's lawn and parked the van in the driveway.
Carrey said it was during these tough financial times growing up when he developed a sense of humour.
According to BusinessPundit, when Phil McGraw, aka Dr. Phil, was 12 years old, he was homeless and living in a car in Kansas City with his father, who was interning as a psychologist.
McGraw later went on to obtain his own bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D., and he joined his father's psychology practice in Texas.
In the 1990s, Oprah Winfrey invited McGraw to appear on her show. He later became a regular on 'Oprah' and eventually launched his own syndicated advice program.
The well-known Emmy-winning financial adviser, who has published numerous New York Times bestsellers, could not afford to move out of her van when she first moved to Berkeley, California, in the 1970s, according to The Huffington Post.
For two months, Orman and a friend took a job clearing trees for $3.50 an hour and lived out of Orman's van. Today she is a multimillionaire.
The actor, TV personality, and author told People Magazine that when he was just starting out as a comedian in the late 1980s, 'one or two gigs fell through,' and he suddenly found himself homeless.
People reported that Harvey lived in his 1976 Ford Tempo for three years -- he would wash up in hotel bathrooms, gas stations, or swimming pool showers -- until he was called to appear on 'Showtime at the Apollo.'
That gig turned out to be Harvey's big break.
Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank lived in a car with her mother while they saved up for an apartment in Los Angeles
According to Time, Swank, who grew up in a trailer park, moved to California with her mother as a teenager to pursue a career in acting.
Before landing roles, she and her mum lived in a car and stayed in an empty house for a few months.
Swank told CBS News: 'We had a friend who was selling their house. And so they said, 'You know, there's no furniture, but you can stay there at night. And then, during the day, you have to leave so we can try and sell it.' So we got air mattresses. Blew the air mattresses up. Slept on the air mattresses. And left in the morning.'
She went on to win two Oscars by age 30.
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