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My First Job: 17 Actors Reveal What They Did Before Making It Big

Published on January 11th, 2017 | Updated on January 16th, 2017 | By FanFest

Celebrities – they’re just like us! Or, well…they used to be.

This past Sunday The Golden Globes showed a segment with some of your favorite actors sharing what their first job was. The interviews include a few Golden Globe nominees both past and present filmed after their visits to The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon this past year.

The jobs range from waiters, to snow shoveling, lifeguarding, golf caddies, and pooper scoopers. And of course leave it to Chris Pratt to add a little humor and charm throughout.

Check out the list below to see where your favorite stars all began!

1. Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson’s first job was on “The Spirit of Washington” Dinner Cruise. She was a singing and dancing waitress. Now you can find her stealing scenes on the small screen as Cookie Lyon in Empire and on the silver screen in the Golden Globe nominated film, Hidden Figures.


2. Amy Adams

Adams was a licorice salesperson at the rodeo in Utah. Now you can find her in the nominated film Arrival. She will also be starring in the upcoming Justice League movie as well as the new series Sharp Objects based off the novel by Gillian Flynn.


3. Benedict Cumberbatch

Cumberbatch’s first job was working at a perfumery in London and something tells me that he was quite popular at it. Since then he has been nominated for an Oscar for The Imitation Game and has just sunk his feet into the Marvel Universe as Dr. Strange.


4. Ben Affleck

Affleck clearly had a passion for cinema at a young age as his first job was tearing movie tickets. That exposure clearly helped build on his love for film as he has since won 3 Golden Globes and 2 Academy Awards. You can find Affleck behind the camera a lot these days but he has also stepped into some big shoes and taken on Bruce Wayne in the Batman reboot.


5. Jeremy Renner

Renner got his start slinging papers. Now you can find him as Hawkeye in The Avengers and other Marvel films as well as in the Mission Impossible movies. Renner was also nominated for an Academy Award for his leading role in 2010’s The Hurt Locker. 


6. Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart is constantly bringing the laughs so I’m sure he was quite the jokster at the pool where he lifeguarded. It probably gave him some good material for his future of stand up comedy as well.  Seems that Kevin Hart is everywhere these days. He’s hosting award shows, starring in movies, and still doing comedy shows. Look out for him in the upcoming Jumanji movie with The Rock.


7. Felicity Jones

Jones says that her first job was being “the letter V in a promotional video for a British TV channel.” She has had quite the career since then including an Oscar nomination for her role in The Theory of Everything. Now you can find her in theaters as Jyn Erso in a little thing called Star Wars. 


8. Tyler Perry

Perry didn’t have the most glamorous of first jobs.  He entered the working world “cleaning up poop at a pet shop,” which is probably the worst hat to wear when working at a pet shop. Now, Perry wears many hats. He’s a well known writer, director, and actor. He brings smiles to our faces as Madea and his ensemble movies such as Think Like a Man and Why Did I Get Married?


9. Martin Short

Short had a very telling first job. He was a TV Guide delivery boy, and that clearly paid off for him as he eventually became one of the names inside the TV Guide. Short has won 2 Emmys and was most recently seen as Wilbur Turnblad in Hairspray Live! 


10. Sarah Paulson

All hail Sarah Paulson! She has been taking television by storm over the past few years as part of the American Horror Story anthology as well as her Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning performance as Marcia Clark in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Well, she got her start as a waitress at a pizzeria in Brooklyn and made sure to give her old stomping grounds a nice call out by name.


11. Eddie Redmayne

For some reason during the segment Eddie Redmayne’s first job was beeped out. I’m not sure if it was for a humorous effect insinuating that he worked as a waiter at an inappropriate venue or if it was an accident, or intentional. Either way Eddie Redmayne was a waiter somewhere. Now, he holds an Oscar for his role as Steven Hawking in The Theory of Everything and has been giving some amazing performances in movies such as Les Miserables and The Danish Girl. He also just took on the magical role of Newt Scamander in J.K. Rowlings Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. 


12. Michael Fassbender

Fassbender’s first job was as a golf caddie in Ireland at the Killarney Golf Club, which I can only imagine is beautiful. He has since moved to London and been nominated for 2 Academy Awards for his roles in Steve Jobs and 12 Years a Slave. You can expect to see  him on the big screen in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed. 


13. Viola Davis

Davis got her start working as a bingo card flipper and with her lovable and spunky personality I’m sure she was amazing at it. She has had quite a trailblazing career since then. Davis was the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama for her stunning (and cunning) role in How to Get Away With Murder. She also took home a Golden Globe on Sunday for her supporting role in Fences. Keep an eye out for in the recently announced upcoming Harriet Tumban Project. 


14. Casey Affleck

So while his brother was inside ripping movie tickets, Casey Affleck was outside shoveling snow as his first job. He walked home on Sunday with a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for Manchester by the Sea. You can catch him in the upcoming HBO series Lewis and Clark in which he will be playing Meriwether Lewis.


15. Bryan Cranston

The “One Who Knocks” got his start ‘loading trucks on a cold loading dock.’ Safe to say he has come a long way with quite an entertaining career in Hollywood. He showed off his hilarious comedy chops on Malcolm in the Middle and then took a complete 180 as meth-dealing Walter White on Breaking Bad, a role that scored him critical acclaim and many many awards.


16. Chris Pratt

Throughout the montage Pratt keeps popping in saying that he has always been an actor, but for the sake of the piece he offers to “make something up.” So he makes up a job saying that he was a “g….golf boy. Is that even a job?”

You can catch Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 in 2017 and for a good throwback check him out in Everwood and Parks and Recreation. 


17. Robert De Niro

The sketch concludes with Robert De Niro saying his first job was a “golf boy,” playing on Chris Pratt’s joke about how he just made up a job. Not sure which came first but it was a hilarious way to end the clip.

All images courtesy of Getty Images.

There isn’t an official video of the segment but you can watch this version found on YouTube:


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