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Twisted Jobs 10 Celebrities Had Before They Were Famous

Getty Images / Jason Merritt / Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Some celebrities pop up overnight, helped along by a star-making performance that makes it seem as if they came out of nowhere. But before all that fame and glamour and easy money, plenty of celebs had to actually work to make ends meet — and a lot of them had some pretty bizarre occupations along the way.

We went through a bunch of bios, discarded the mundane stuff, and found ourselves with a fairly impressive list of the weirdest and worst jobs anyone could ever hope to have.

And now we share them with you. Because we're loving that way.


Jason Merritt, Getty Images


Ellen DeGeneres

Oyster Shucker

Before she invaded our households as a TV host, the beloved Ellen held numerous jobs — including one as an oyster shucker (hey, someone has to get those little aphrodisiacs outta their shells). But she says that was the destiny of all Big Easy residents: “When you live in New Orleans, you're bound to be an oyster shucker.”


Joe Scarnici, Getty Images


Hugh Jackman


The versatile actor of stage and screen got his start as Coco the Clown at kids' birthday parties, presumably scarring them for life — not necessarily because he was scary (even though all clowns are), but because he was awful. “I had no magic tricks and I remember a 6-year-old standing up at a party saying 'Mummy this clown is terrible, he doesn't know any tricks,'” Jackman once recalled, adding, “And he was right.”


Jason Merritt, Getty Images


Johnny Depp

Pen Salesman

Before his days as Capt. Jack Sparrow, Depp used to cold-call people and try to convince them to buy customized ballpoint pens, telling them that if they bought enough, they'd get a grandfather clock. But he may have been a little too honest for the gig, because he once admitted, “When the supervisor wandered off, I would say, 'Listen, don't buy these pens. The clock is made of corkboard. I'm a thief; we're ripping you off.'”


Getty Images


Matt Damon


He's the epitome of an all-American male, so it's kind of surprising to learn that Damon used to breakdance for cash in Harvard Square. It may or may not actually be true, though — Matt says the whole story is just a funny rumor started by pal Casey Affleck. That said, Casey maintains it absolutely happened, but that Damon doesn't want to admit to it for fear of hurting his image as a “serious actor.” (What about his duty of standing up for all the underrepresented white boys with rhythm?)


Michael Buckner, Getty Images


Brad Pitt

Chicken Mascot + Limo Driver for Strippers

Pitt's first job is every kid's worst nightmare: dressing up as a chicken for a restaurant and handing out fliers to attract customers. But he graduated to something much more dignified (well, sort of) later on, when he became a limo driver for strippers headed to bachelor parties. “I'd pick them up,” he said, “and at the gig I'd collect the money, play the bad Prince tapes and catch the girls' clothes.”


Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images


Matthew McConaughey

Chicken Coop Cleaner

McConaughey's known for being one of the most, shall we say, “aromatic” actors in Hollywood, so it's no wonder he was comfortable shoveling chicken coops when he was an exchange student living in Australia. He has no regrets, though, once saying, “Those types of trips are really [the] ones that leave a lasting impression.”


Joe Scarnici, Getty Images


Megan Fox

Banana Mascot

Megan Fox as a dancing banana will never stop being funny, because there's nothing that gives us the Beavis giggles like a hot chick dressed as a phallic object. Anyway, she wore the costume to attract customers to the smoothie shop where she was employed at the time — but if drawing a crowd was the goal, they'd have been better off just having her parade around in a bikini.


Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images


Jon Hamm

Set Dresser for Porn Flicks

Before his days on 'Mad Men' and '30 Rock,' Hamm worked on soft-core porn movie sets. ''Essentially, I had to move furniture around sweaty, naked people,” he recalls. “It wasn't a great job but the money was useful.” Why someone didn't think to put him in FRONT of the camera is anyone's guess.


Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images


Whoopi Goldberg

Phone Sex Operator

Goldberg is certainly not the first person who comes to mind when thinking of appropriate phone sex operators, but alas, that's who at least a few guys wound up with when they called a 900 number lo these many years ago. (Maybe that's how she got the name “Whoopi.”)


Rob Kim, Getty Images


Victoria Beckham

Dancing Sperm

No, seriously. In her pre-Spice Girls days, lucky viewers caught Victoria Beckham dressed as a sperm on roller skates for a BBC sex-education TV show called 'Body Matters,' thus ensuring that impressionable kids everywhere now envision testicles as some sort of biological Thunderdome.


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