Whenever you feel discouraged by the fact that your current career does not satisfy you, whenever you don’t like what you do at all or that you’re not earning enough or that your current job field is much too unstable, rest assured that if you really want to, you can change your career anytime. Yes, our world is abundant with examples of some of the most drastic career changes. Whenever you feel your optimism levels dwindling, we have just the thing to set your spirits up again: this list of completely surprising celebrity career paths. Read on and you’ll see just how much the search for alternative jobs can pay off, or simply be amazed of how some celebrities whom you thought were mainly a pretty face were actually into a hardcore career that you wouldn’t have expected.
1. Gerard Butler
The tough “300” star wasn’t your average Joe with an extra six-pack: in his early years, Gerard Butler actually graduated from law school and even landed a job at a prestigious law firm a year after graduating. But even though his career seemed to tick all the planned steps, his desire to become an actor soon became overwhelming, and therefore he decided to simply quit his job and try his luck in the acting world. He became a casting assistant and soon thereafter he landed his first lead role in Coriolanus.
2. Brad Pitt
You’re probably already familiar with the famous video of Brad Pitt dancing around in a chicken costume to make an extra buck in his youth (please check it out if you haven’t seen it yet), but there’s more to that story. Before he did that though, he kept pretty busy: he almost finished a journalism major from the University of Missouri (renouncing it just 2 credits away from graduation), and then dropped out and moved to L.A. Instead of practicing his previously chosen career, he preferred to get modest jobs such as delivering refrigerators or spectacularly fun jobs such as driving exotic dancers around as a limo driver, but to pursue his dream of stardom.
Pop culture’s undisputed queen was at the debut of her career as one of the many showgirls in France. Prior to her 1984 appearance on American Bandstand that brought her into the public eye, she struggled with keeping modest jobs and hopped from one employment place to another. She was even fired from the Dunkin Donuts in the New York Times Square’s location. Allegedly, Madonna splashed jelly filling on a customer.
4. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp, one of the most fascinating men on the planet, capable of amazing transformations during his roles, had the most unexpected career start. In fact, his example may be just the most surprising celebrity career you’ll ever hear about: in his youth, he used to be a pen salesman. Yup, you read that right: Johnny Depp used to be a telemarketer and sold pens for a living, by calling people who did not want to be called and attempting to convince them to buy items they probably didn’t need. Now that puts a different perspective to those annoying phone calls we all get!
5. Natalie Portman
The amazing young star who played in so many different movie niches and whom I’d personally award an Oscar to at any point was always so much more than just a simple pretty face. You may find it hard to believe, but this celebrity career started out in the realm of science. She graduated with a psychology major at Harvard and worked as Alan Dershowitz’s research assistant. She skipped the premiere of her first Star Wars movie (Episode I) so she could take her exams, and declared on more than one occasion that she doesn’t care if college ruins her acting career, because she’d rather be smart than be a movie star. Several of her scientific papers (including one about the enzymatic hydrogen production from sugar) have received praise and awards within the scientific community.
Pink is a one of the celebrity career paths at the opposite end of the spectrum: the charming singer chose to drop out of high school in order to pursue her dream of singing and by the outcome of it it’s pretty clear that she made the right choice. She eventually returned to school to get a G.E.D in 1998. Other than that, her adolescence was marked by drug use and petty crime, but her talent and huge creative input into her songs and videos eventually helped her rise above the troubled background.
7. Hugh Jackman
The ever-charming man we all know as Wolverine (and maybe as Leopold from ‘Kate and Leopold’, if you have a secret soft spot for rom-coms) used to earn a living by dressing up as a clown for children’s parties. Judging by his acting skills which he got to showcase later one, it’s safe to presume he did an awesome job at being a clown as well.
8. Jim Carrey
Last, but not least, we shouldn’t forget about Jim Carrey as another inspiring choice on our list of surprising celebrity career paths. The star we’ve all come to see as the absolute centre of attention, regardless of the type of movie he’s starring in, had a pretty humble beginning. He used to work as a janitor in a factory, starting with age 15 and quitting school in the process, so he could support his poverty-stricken family. Thankfully, they managed to turn things around eventually. Jim Carrey got the start he needed in his career as a comedian. The rest is history, and his movies have all become huge successes that speak for themselves.