You have to start somewhere! Ever wonder what your favorite star did to pay the bills before making it big? Wonderwall.com has rounded up a list of celebs' early gigs, starting with Dwayne Johnson. Before The Rock found fame in the wrestling ring or on a movie screen, he had a very pedestrian job — he washed dishes! He revealed this fun fact on Oprah Winfrey's "Master Class," sharing that he worked at a pizza shop from 3 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. after school every day. "I have learned out of that such a great appreciation for hard work and putting in hard work," he said of the experience, adding, "It sounds crazy but still to this day I never use a dishwasher. I wash every dish by hand." Keep reading to find out more about the stars' interesting pre-fame jobs!
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Before landing the greatest job of all and becoming a real-life princess, Meghan Markle was just like the rest of us. Among Duchess Meghan's layperson gigs? Working as a calligrapher! Before finding fame on "Suits," the former actress worked at Paper Source in Beverly Hills where she taught calligraphy classes and worked on wedding invitations. She even once had a famous client — Paula Patton, who hired her to do the invites for her 2005 wedding to Robin Thicke.
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In 2017, Eric Stonestreet took to Instagram to reveal a very random (and hilarious!) former gig — he once worked security for Garth Brooks at a concert in Kansas! Not only did the "Modern Family" actor share photos of himself dutifully protecting the country crooner back in 1995, but he went to one of Garth's shows and got him to sign the old pictures!
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Megan Fox's first job involved completely covering her face! "I only had one job growing up. I worked at a smoothie cafe," the actress once told Nylon. The gig required her to don a pretty insane getup every Friday, which she shared with the outlet: "I used to have to dress up as a banana. I had the option of apple or banana. I always went with banana because it was thinner."
Way before starring on the hit NBC show "This Is Us," Justin Hartley was a regular guy with a regular job — mowing lawns! "I used to mow lawns for $20. Doesn't sound like much, but it turned into quite a business. My brother and I had about 10 a week that we would do. And all before the sun went down," Justin told Business Insider in 2016.
Taylor Swift had a pretty interesting gig while growing up on a Christmas tree farm! From age 5 until 10, she had a gig "picking the praying mantis pods off of the trees, collecting them so that the bugs wouldn't hatch inside people's houses," she told Esquire in 2014.
Donald Glover wears many hats these days — actor, writer, director, rapper — so it's only fitting that he had multiple jobs before finding fame. Aside from babysitting his brother and sister, he told Business Insider in 2016 that his other money-making activity was breaking down boxes at a teacher school-supply store.
When Melissa McCarthy first moved to Los Angeles, she turned to Starbucks for employment. In 2013, the former barista opened up on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" about the time she was starstruck on the job serving Chris Farley. "At one point I got so overwhelmed — because he was right there — that I started crying," she told the late-night host. "I was just standing there, making him his coffee, and I know I was just like, 'Stop locking on him!' I was so locked on him."
Dwayne Johnson isn't the only former dishwasher in Hollywood! Jon Hamm once worked as a dishwasher at a Greek restaurant called Spiro's in his hometown of St. Louis. "Working in a restaurant is a good life lesson for anybody, My friend used to say that no one should be able to work in Hollywood if they haven't worked in a restaurant," he told Wealthsimple magazine.
When she was 18, Amy Adams worked as a Hooters waitress. "I did it because I needed to buy a car," she told London's Mail on Sunday in 2006.
Another former Hooters girl? Naya Rivera! The star worked at the location in Valencia, California, before landing her big break, "Glee." She opened up about the not-so-great gig to Allure in 2013, saying, "I have nightmares about that job, period. When I was working there, I was really skinny — a lot skinnier than I am now. But I was always self-conscious."
James Franco worked at McDonald's. In fact, he wrote about it in the Washington Post in May 2015, explaining, "McDonald's was there for me when no one else was." James was there for three months. "I was treated fairly well at McDonald's," he added. "If anything, they cut me slack. And, just like their food, the job was more available there than anywhere else. When I was hungry for work, they fed the need."
Madonna didn't last long at one of her first jobs — working at a Dunkin' Donuts. She told Howard Stern in 2015, "I was playing with the jelly-squirter machine." Stern joked that had Madonna played her cards right, she could be a manager at Dunkin' Donuts now. "I could be the CEO," she replied. "Dang it!"
Selling pens over the phone? Turns out that's a real job, once held by Johnny Depp! He told Interview magazine in 2014, "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."
Beyonce started working early, and it certainly wasn't a glamorous gig! Queen Bey swept the floor at her mother's hair salon from age 6 to 9. "I helped sweep hair off the floor for tips to pay for my season pass to Six Flags," she told Essence in 2012.
Kanye West at the Gap? Yep, the fashionable rapper once worked at the retailer and later rapped about the experience on his album "College Dropout." His song "Spaceship" claims he didn't enjoy the experience and eventually stole clothes.
Jennifer Aniston shared one of her first jobs with Movieline in 2011 — she worked as a bike messenger in New York City! "Toughest job I ever had," Jennifer noted of the gig, which she did at age 19.
Matthew McConaughey told GQ his first job was raking the sand traps at a Texas golf course, which included a bizarre additional assignment — shooting armadillos. His boss asked him to come earlier than his usual 3 a.m. start time to kill the pests, and Matthew obliged, even calling it the "most fun part" of the position.
Gwen Stefani's first gig was at Dairy Queen! The music superstar served ice cream at her local DQ in Orange County before finding fame with her band No Doubt.
Sure, nowadays Julia Roberts is one of the most famous movie stars on the planet, but before she hit it big, she had a very normal gig — scooping ice cream at a Los Angeles Baskin-Robbins!
Aziz Ansari told BlackBook Magazine that his first job was as "a dishwasher at one of those Japanese places that cook on your table." His verdict on the experience? "Not too fun."
While Nicky Minaj was growing up in Queens, New York, she worked some odd jobs including answering calls as a customer service rep. She told GQ in 2014, "I like dealing with people, but I don't really like a lot of b——-, so maybe customer service wasn't the best job for me." She also worked as a waitress at a local Red Lobster and recounted the story of being fired from that gig to Billboard in 2010, explaining: "I worked at Red Lobster before that and I chased a customer out of the restaurant once so I could stick my middle finger up at her and demand that she give me my pen back."
Denzel Washington worked in a barbershop and told Oprah Winfrey that it actually helped him with his current profession. "I learned a lot about acting [there]," he told Oprah in 2006. "The best liars are in the barbershop."
McNuggets for McAdams! Rachel McAdams spent three years working at a McDonald's before finding fame. She told ABC's "Good Morning America" in 2012, "I was not a great employee; I broke the orange juice machine one day. I had a little bit of an OCD thing with hand washing. They were like, 'Hey, the drive-through's backing up. Stop washing your hands!'"
Before becoming the resident heartthrob on "Gossip Girl," Chace Crawford worked at Abercrombie and Fitch as a greeter… usually shirtless. He wasn't fond of the experience, telling The Metro in 2008, "They play the same three CDs all day long. They play it so loud you can't even talk in the store and they blast the place with cologne, you can smell it from a block away. I was a greeter. I had to stand out front and time would drag on. I'd beg them to let me work on the cash register."
Kourtney Kardashian's first job is in the same field as her current one — television! But before her E! reality show days, Kourt worked behind the scenes. "I had to yell 'cut' and 'rolling' all day," Kourtney told Us Weekly of her time as a production assistant.
Chris Rock worked as a busboy at a Red Lobster restaurant near his home in Queens, New York. "The thing about Red Lobster is that if you work there, you can't afford to eat there," the comic said on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in 2003. "You're making minimum wage. A shrimp costs minimum wage." He sure can afford to eat there now!
Before "Dreamgirls" and way before "American Idol," Jennifer Hudson worked the drive-thru at her local Burger King. Since finding fame, the star has spoken warmly of her fast-food experience, telling The Guardian in 2018, "I've loved all my jobs. Even when I worked at Burger King."
Jim Carrey once worked nights as a janitor cleaning an Ontario warehouse in his native Canada. Jim told "Inside the Actors Studio" in 2011 that he would do a shift of custodial work for eight hours after school and eventually dropped out at 16 to work full-time.
Rita Ora once worked in a shoe store. "I hated it. That just wasn't my ambition," Rita shared on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" in 2015. "Mine wasn't to sell sneakers, but you got to do what you got to do at the time, which is what I did."
In her book "My Horizontal Life," Chelsea Handler wrote about her past as a waitress. The comedian once waited tables at a Morton's steakhouse in Los Angeles.
Before becoming a major movie star, Tom Cruise paid the bills by working as a hotel bellhop!
Eva Longoria once flipped burgers at a Wendy's in her hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas. "I make a good Frosty," she shared on Katie Couric's daytime talk show in 2013. "I was manager by the time I was 18. I love Wendy's. I love that whole experience in my life."
Here's a dark one: A pre-fame Rod Stewart worked at a cemetery! The future musician, though rumored to have been a gravedigger there, actually measured out future grave plots for "a few quid," according to his autobiography.
Ellen DeGeneres had plenty of jobs before hitting it big, but one of the strangest? Shucking oysters! While living in New Orleans, the future comedian held down the unusual gig and also did time as a bartender, a house painter, a car washer and a gift wrapper. Talk about diversity!
Fetty Wap's pre-fame gigs included a two-day stint at FedEx followed by a week-long job at Popeye's. His third job ever? Finding fame as a rapper, he told Interview magazine in 2016.
"Pitch Perfect" star Anna Camp fondly reminisced about her first job to Business Insider in 2016. "I taught cotillion in South Carolina. It's ballroom dancing. I had taken it and my best friend, her mom owned the company, and so in eighth grade I decided to help teach," the actress shared, adding: "I got, like, $8. It was fine. I was teaching little kids how to foxtrot. It was super-cute."