Though we all have our own favorite celebrities, it’s hard to picture them as anything but successful. They are people we look up to and many of them live pretty glamorous lives. All of this makes it hard to imagine that they are actually just normal people like you and me, many of whom have modest beginnings. Just in case you were curious, here’s a rundown of some unusual celebrity backgrounds you might not have known about.
1. Johnny Depp
Though Johnny Depp is known now for creating distinguished and unique characters on the big screen, his day-to-day life was not always what it is now. In fact, before he was a successful actor in films like Edward Scissorhands and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, he actually made a living by selling people pens over the phone.
2. Brad Pitt
Before he was a heartthrob and a blockbuster star, Pitt used to dance around in a chicken suit for a for a fast food restaurant. We can only imagine how hot the inside of that costume used to be! Suddenly hair and makeup doesn’t sound so bad.
Though Madonna eventually revolutionized pop music in the 1980s, before that she had humble beginnings working at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Times Square. Still, everybody has to start somewhere.
4. Harrison Ford
As one of the more famous Hollywood origin stories, Harrison Ford was working as a carpenter in George Lucas’s home when he was discovered by the famous director and cast in the iconic role of Han Solo.
5. Sandra Bullock
Though she’s now an Oscar-winning actress, Sandra Bullock originally started her career as so many up and coming actresses do. Throughout the 80s, she made her living as a waitress.
6. Eva Mendes
Eva Mendes is likely considered one of the most beautiful women at the world, all of which is pretty interesting when you consider her first job. Like some of us out there, Mendes worked at the mall—more specifically at a hot dog stand.
7. Angelina Jolie
As Angelina Jolie has been known in the past for her morbid sense of humor, maybe it’s not so surprising that she was once on track to become a funeral director.
8. Stacey Dash
Before her days as an actress and a stint as a commentator on Fox News, Stacey Dash has very relatable beginnings folding clothes at a mall.
9. Jennifer Aniston
Although Friends went on to become one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, Jennifer Aniston’s career started making calls to strangers as a telemarketer.
10. Tim Allen
Although Tim Allen is mostly known for his iconic and family friendly show Home Improvement, his beginnings were much seedier as he used to be a cocaine dealer in the 1970s—he even ended up serving time for his crimes before getting work as an actor.
11. Cindy Crawford
When most people think Cindy Crawford, they think of the world famous supermodel. What most people don’t know is that Crawford used to live in Illinois and once shucked corn for money.
12. Mariah Carey
In addition to her incredible vocal range, Mariah Carey has a reputation of being a diva of highest order. With that in mind, it’s not entirely surprising that she was once on track to finishing beauty school before she became a pop star.
13. Ashton Kutcher
While Ashton Kutcher’s reputation has been built on broad comedies like That 70s Show and Punk’d, he’s actually quite a brainiac—in school, he was originally studying engineering before deciding to go the acting route.
14. Tom Cruise
Of all American movie stars, few are as recognizable or iconic as Tom Cruise. What’s more surprising in light of his highly-publicized involvement with Scientology is that he was originally attending a seminary in the hopes of becoming a priest.
15. Andrew Garfield
Though you may recognize the young British star Andrew Garfield as the star of the new Spiderman movies, he originally started in a much more modest and commonplace job as a barista at Starbucks.
16. George Clooney
Another of America’s most recognizable stars, George Clooney has always been reaching for lofty dreams. Although he eventually succeeded in becoming a movie star, he initially wanted to be a baseball player for the Cincinnati Reds in 1977s. Fortunately for Hollywood, he didn’t make the cut.
17. Rachel McAdams
Finally, before she was America’s newest sweetheart, Rachel McAdams did her time as a cashier at McDonald’s. Still, she’s gone on to star in many movies that have won our hearts such as Mean Girls or Wedding Crashers. It just goes to show that there’s hope for all of us yet!