25 Celebs Who Worked Minimum Wage Jobs
Think you’re the only one who had to put in 10-hour days at miserable pay before you scored a better gig? Think again. Although they’re now mega-famous, these 25 celebs also put in their minimum-wage time.
The celebrated actor and gossip mag favorite didn’t always live the glamorous life. Before his breakout role in Thelma & Louise, Brad Pitt dressed up as a chicken to promote the fast-food joint El Pollo Loco.
Long before Jennifer Aniston was making $1 million per episode of Friends, she had a job as a bike messenger when she was 19. “My lowest moment was probably driving into a door that opened. I’m very uncoordinated and extraordinarily klutzy,” she once said of the gig.
Now part of the Kardashian dynasty, Kanye West was once a hopeless college dropout working as an assistant at The Gap. He even rapped about it in his song “Spaceship.”
Sandra Bullock fine-tuned her comedic chops not behind a camera but behind a bar. The former bartender contends that she learned a lot of her accents by imitating the customers at her minimum wage gig.
Before her multiple Academy Award nominations, Amy Adams took a job waitressing at Hooters when she was 18 years old, a job she quit as soon as she could afford her first car.
Hollywood A-lister James Franco has been very open about his time working at McDonald’s when he was a struggling actor and how grateful he was for the job. He claims he worked the late shift drive-thru and would use fake accents on customers to practice for his acting classes.
Transformers star Megan Fox once discussed her minimum wage job working the register at a Florida smoothie shop on The Ellen Degeneres Show. “Once a week, usually on Fridays, someone had to dress up as a piece of fruit and go and stand out by the highway. I was a banana, a giant banana,” she revealed.
Before she became the world’s first billionaire novelist, J.K. Rowling worked as a secretary in London for Amnesty International – but she secretly wrote stories on her work computer and was reportedly fired from the job!
He may be a multi-billionaire now, but Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was once a mere mortal who, like James Franco, got his start at McDonald’s. Perhaps counting out people’s change laid the foundation for counting his ever-growing net worth.
The American Idol singer-turned-Oscar-winning-actress not only worked at Burger King when she was younger but also received free Burger King for life after mentioning her former job in an interview.
Like his onscreen alter ego Peter Parker, The Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield has also worked minimum wage jobs. He was a barista at Starbucks and an assistant in a Reiss clothing store. He loved the Starbucks gig, but working at Reiss reportedly bored him to tears.
Famous for being frontwoman of No Doubt as well as a judge on NBC’s The Voice, Gwen Stefani recently revealed that her first job ever was working at Dairy Queen.
Though he seems to have been born with a mic in his hand, stand-up comedian and sitcom superstar Jerry Seinfeld once worked as a light bulb telemarketer. He was so embarrassed to do the job that he reportedly used the fake name “Dave Wilson” when he made his calls.
Before he was leader of the free world, former President Barack Obama has said his first job was scooping ice cream at Baskin-Robbins. The experience led him to famously say that he and Michelle hope their daughters will put in their own time working for minimum wage.
Though she’s one of the most iconic pop stars of all time, Madonna once had a role that wasn’t so glamorous: working at Dunkin’ Donuts. She didn’t last long in the role, though, as she was fired for a jelly-squirting incident.
Rachel McAdams’ show-stopping smile was probably the only thing keeping her employed at her minimum-wage McDonald’s gig as she had a tendency to daydream. Perhaps she was busy imagining her future net worth of over $14 million?
Chart-topping rapper Nicki Minaj may make headlines now, but once upon a time, she was making side salads at Red Lobster. A firebrand even from that young age, Minaj was fired for flipping off a customer.
Everyone has their favorite Danny DeVito film (Twins, anyone?), but few know that he was actually a hairstylist before he hit Hollywood. Danny reportedly loved the job, but had to answer when opportunity knocked.
It may appear that Mariah Carey was born a diva, but the truth is that she once had to wait on others as a salon assistant. Though she’s nothing but glamour now, the pop star’s roots involve sweeping up hair rather than having her own done.
Before her acting career took off with her Oscar-winning comedic performance in My Cousin Vinny, Marisa Tomei was a waitress in Brooklyn. Earning tips at night let her audition during the day, which led to her first role on the daytime soap As the World Turns.
Dropping out of school so he could help support his family, Jim Carrey worked as a janitor in his hometown of Ontario before moving to the U.S. to break into comedy. It’s a good thing, too, as Hollywood just wouldn’t be the same without movies like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Dumb and Dumber.
Add Pink to the list of celebs who earned their keep slinging fries at McDonald’s before hitting the big time. This Grammy-winning artist may be famous for her vocals now, but she was once just another voice asking if you wanted fries with that.
Iconic stand-up comedian Chris Rock once had a job as a busboy at Red Lobster before he was selling out arenas and earning millions. Rock was so down-and-out when he worked at the restaurant that he used to eat leftover food off plates he bussed for customers.
Who would have guessed that adamantium claw-wielding Wolverine was once a much more humble figure: namely Coco the Clown. That’s right, before he was an X-Man, Hugh Jackman was a clown making $50 a party.
Before she was a Desperate Housewives star, Eva Longoria was desperate to pay for her own quinceañera party when she took a job at Wendy’s. She exceeded at the job, though, and was soon made manager. She quit the gig after three years and ended up winning the title of Miss Corpus Christi USA, which eventually led her to Los Angeles and stardom.