22 weird jobs famous people had before making it big

Brad PittEmmanuel Wong/Getty ImagesBrad Pitt used to have to dress up like a chicken.

Everyone’s got to get their start somewhere.

Sometimes that means taking a strange or terrible job before moving on to something bigger and better.

Here are 22 of the weirdest jobs that famous people had before making it big.

Mariah Carey was a hat checker

Like many other rising celebs, Carey worked many jobs. At one point, she worked as a hat checker. According to IMBD, Carey stated that she 'got fired from all her jobs because of her attitude and was concentrating on becoming a (backup) singer and mixing demos.'

Kanye West worked at the Gap

Yeezus used to work at the GAP?

According to Life Buzz, the rapper actually alludes to his old job in 'The College Dropout': 'Let's go back, back to the GAP. Look at my check. wasn't no scratch. So if I stole, wasn't my fault. Yeah I stole, never got caught.'

Jon Hamm was a set dresser for porn films

Hamm's early off-screen job wasn't as glamorous as the 1960s 'Mad Men' days. Hamm, who stresses that the porn he designed sets for was strictly soft-core, said it was an easy way to earn a few hundred a day, according to AZ Central.

Rachel McAdams worked at McDonald's

By her own words, McAdams wasn't a very good employee at the fast food giant. According to US Magazine, the 'Spotlight' star once broke an orange juice machine.

Vince Vaughn was a lifeguard

Lacey Terrell/HBO

'The Internship' actor used to mind the pool at the YMCA.

At one point, he pulled in an older patron who was drifting too far into the deep end.

'I went home, I told my dad that story and he said, 'You didn't save anybody! That's ridiculous. You moved a senior a couple of feet. You didn't save anybody at all,'' he told KABC Television.

Rod Stewart was a gravedigger

Before Stewart charmed audiences with classics like 'Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?' and 'Maggie May,' he worked as a gravedigger at Highgate Cemetery in London during his teens.

According to 'Rod Stewart: The New Biography,' he hoped working at the cemetery would rationalize his fear of dying: 'He had suffered from nightmares about death from a very early age and so thought, as an impressionable teenager, that perhaps getting as close as he could to death, actually digging out holes to be filled by real bodies, he could rid himself of that fear.'

Sean Connery cleaned coffins

The 'James Bond' star worked a series of odd jobs before making it as an actor, including life-guarding and working as a milkman. His weirdest -- and creepiest -- gig was cleaning coffins, according to Hex Jam.

Christopher Walken was a lion tamer

At the age of fifteen, Walken joined a travelling circus and was briefly a lion tamer (because, of course he did). He's modest about his lion-taming days; he claims Sheba, the lion, was very old and 'really more like a dog', according to Gothamist.

Sylvester Stallone was a lion cage cleaner

We're not sure who had it worse: Walken, who tamed a lazy lion, or Stallone, who cleaned up after them. While waiting for his acting career to take off, the Rambo actor cleaned up lion cages at the Central Park Zoo, according to Biography.com.

Whoopie Goldberg was a mortuary beautician and phone sex operator

Kevork Djansezian/Getty

The 56-year old comedian and actress took a job as a mortuary beautician after she became a licensed beautician. Her boss played a welcoming prank on her by pretending to be dead and sitting upright to wave at her. 'That's the worst thing that could ever happen to you here, and it won't,' he told her. 'So there's nothing to be scared of.'

During a segment of 'The View' she also mentioned briefly working as a phone sex operator. 'When I was younger, the money was great,' she said. 'See now, people would know my voice.'

Orlando Bloom was a clay trapper

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Bloom landed his first gig at age 13, working as a clay trapper at a pigeon shooting range. Clay trappers load and aim clay discs used as targets for shooters.

Victoria Beckham was a dancing sperm

Rob Kim/Getty Images

This one's hard to believe and slightly terrifying. Posh Spice used to dress up as a sperm for a BBC sex-education program, according to Star Crush.

Warren Beatty was a rat catcher

To say that Beatty got his start in theatre is putting it lightly. According to the biography 'Warren Beatty: A Private Man', when the actor was 17, he got his first job at the National Theatre in Washington -- patrolling alleys at night to check for rodents.

Patrick Dempsey was a professional juggler

One of Dempsey's first jobs was juggling for money. When he was 15, the former Grey's Anatomy star competed in the International Jugglers' Association and came in second, according to the association's website. He was beat out by then eight-year-old Anthony Gatto, who went on to set numerous records and perform in Cirque du Soleil.

Here's a video of him dancing and juggling at 18 years old in a music video. Dempsey also showed off his juggling talents on ABC and Rachel Ray.

Mick Jagger was a porter at a mental hospital

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Long before joining the Rolling Stones, this rocker carried around luggage at the Bexley Mental Hospital while he was a student at the London School of Economics, according to Bill Wyman, Stone Alone: The Story of a Rock 'n' Roll Band'. He earned about 90 shillings per week (equivalent to almost 7 U.S dollars -- worth roughly $52 in 1961).

Matthew McConaughey was a chicken coop cleaner

While McConaughey was living in Australia as a Rotary exchange student, he earned money by cleaning chicken coops, according to Inside Hollywood. On the side, he washed dishes as well. Still, he doesn't regret his odd-end jobs while travelling. 'Those types of trips are really ones that leave a lasting impression,' he says, according to The Richest.

Madonna worked at Dunkin' Doughnuts

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Before making it big time, the 'Material Girl' worked at Dunkin' Doughnuts in Times Square. It didn't work out though. Madonna reportedly got booted when she squirted jelly filling on a customer, reports Life Buzz.

Brad Pitt was a chicken mascot

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Angelina Jolie's husband may be a movie star, but once upon a time, he was nothing more than a chicken. His first employer was El Pollo Loco (Crazy Chicken) and, according to IMBD, he had to dress as a chicken, hand out flyers, and attract customers to the restaurant.

Ellen DeGeneres was an oyster shucker

The outspoken talk show host has had her share of menial jobs, according to TV.com, including house painter, vacuum salesperson, bartender, waitress, and sales clerk. Most notably, she held the position of oyster shucker. Oyster shucking involves opening the shell of the oyster with a knife.

In 'Ellen: A Biography,' DeGeneres is quoted as saying, 'When you live in New Orleans, you're bound to be an oyster shucker, aren't ya?'

Megan Fox was a banana mascot

The actress/model used to wear a banana costume to attract customers to a smoothie shop in Florida.

On the Ellen DeGeneres show, she admitted that it was the only real job she had. As a joke, DeGeneres had a man dressed as a banana sneak up from behind and scare her.

Johnny Depp was a telemarketer

Christian Marquardt/Getty Images

Before he made it big in Hollywood, the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' star hawked pens over the phone.

According to Interview magazine, Depp's role involved calling up strangers and telling them that they were eligible for a complimentary grandfather clock or a trip to Tahiti if they ordered a shipment of pens.

''I sold one thing, one gross of pens to one guy,' Depp told Interview. 'And then he was asking me about the trip to Tahiti and I was riddled with guilt, so I told him, 'Hey, man, you don't want these (expletive) pens. This is a scam. The grandfather clock is made of press board. You're not going to Tahiti. I'm sorry.' So I talked him out of it.''

Helen Mirren worked at an amusement park

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Today, Dame Helen Mirren is known for her award-winning performances on the stage and on the silver screen. However, before her star took off, she had a considerably less glamorous stint in show business.

According to the Mirror, Mirren worked at the Kursaal amusement park as a 'blagger,' an employee who encourages customers to go on the rides.

Samantha Cortez contributed to a previous version of this story.

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