America scooped poop, Nicki served up lobster and 13 other surprising celebrity jobs

By Lydia Price
Updated February 22, 2016 04:00 PM
Nino Mu oz

Even Oscar nominees and Sexiest Men Alive have to start somewhere …

Nicki Minaj: Red Lobster
“I got fired from, like, every Red Lobster you could think of: The Bronx, Long Island, Queens, everywhere.”
– to Atlanta’s Hot 107.9.

Alicia Vikander: Flower shop
“I worked at a flower shop and at a Levi’s [store] with my friends. It helped being able to be creative with my friends. We kind of wrote together and did some short films, and that kind of kept my steam going.”

Kanye West: Gap
“When I was working at the Gap at 15, I don’t think I had any desire to actually make clothes, but I always felt like that’s what I wanted to be around. I loved the fabrics, I loved the colors, I loved the proportions. Abercrombie was too expensive for me, and the Gap was too expensive for me. Even though I worked at the Gap, I didn’t get enough hours to get a discount because I was a part-time employee, because I went to high school.”
– in an essay for Paper Mag

America Ferrera: Pig maid
“I first got paid to clean up after my neighbor’s pet pig. And it wasn’t the cutest or friendliest pig. It was big and had wiry hair. It wasn’t Babe … I was never too proud to make a buck.”

Rachel McAdams: McDonald’s
“My sister and brother worked there. My sister was my manager! It was a great place to work, but I had a little bit of an OCD thing with hand-washing and just didn’t have time. They were like, ‘Hey, the drive-thru’s backing up. Stop washing your hands!’ I was not a great employee; I broke the orange juice machine one day.”
– to Glamour

Eva Mendes: Pizza place
“I was one of those kids who couldn’t wait to get my work permit. Because at 15, you get your work permit in California, and I couldn’t wait to legally work. I worked at this pizza/pasta place in the mall, and it was great … Getting the pizza part was the worst because that was called ‘doing the oven,’ and you had to put the pizza in and out of the oven and it was super hot like a sauna.”
– to the Wall Street Journal

Johnny Depp: Pen salesman
“Me and a couple of the other guys in the band sold ink pens over the telephone. You’d guarantee them a grandfather clock or a trip to Greece. Oddly, that’s kind of my first experience with acting. You’re reading a whole spiel. There was a character on the soap opera General Hospital – the name stuck in my head – so I would call people up and say, ‘How do you do, this is Edward Quartermaine.’ The couple of times that I actually got people to buy the pens, they only agreed because they wanted the grandfather clock. And 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.'”
– to Rolling Stone

Amy Adams: Hooters
“It was a great job out of high school and I was a hostess at first, and then I waited tables for a while, and they were great. It was a great way to earn money for a car.”
– to ET

Hugh Jackman: Party clown
“I am really bad at magic. I, in fact, used to be a clown at kids’ parties. I was Coco the Clown and 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’ – and he was right.”
– to In the News

George Clooney: Shoe salesman
“[It] was a terrible job. It was in a department store, so it wasn’t like I was selling to young, hot, attractive [people].”
– to Newsweek

Whoopi Goldberg: Morgue beautician
“Here’s the story of my first day making up the dead: I got a call saying I was wanted in the boss’s office. Which just happened to be where the bodies were kept in drawers. I went down, and there was no one there. So I sat down and waited. A few minutes later, I heard sort of creaking. I turned round and one of the drawers was slowly opening. Then someone sat up and waved at me. Someone who should have been dead.”

“Turns out it was the boss. He jumped out and said, ‘That’s the worst thing that could ever happen to you here, and it won’t. So there’s nothing to be scared of. Just think of the bodies as big dolls whose face and hair you are going to fix.’ I was fine after that.”
– to The Telegraph.

Evangeline Lilly: Flight attendant
“That job has no redeeming qualities. I didn’t like the people. I didn’t like the destinations. I didn’t like the recycled air, the crappy food, the fact that they tell you, before you start your job, to buy your shoes two sizes too big because your feet swell.”
– on the Late Show With David Letterman

Emma Stone: Baker for dogs
“I think three people called my specific cookies inedible to their dogs. I’m not a super-talented dog baker.”
to Vanity Fair

Bradley Cooper: Hotel doorman
“I worked as a doorman all through grad school. I remember taking Leonardo DiCaprio up to his room, and I was in the elevator with him and, like, seven of his friends. It was around the time of Titanic. And I remember this guy who looked like a kid, even though we’re about the same age, he looked like a little boy. I remember thinking how I was three feet away from this guy, and we were worlds apart.”
– to ShortList

Megan Fox: Smoothie shop
“My only real job that I ever had was working at a smoothie shop in Florida. I mostly worked behind the register, but once a week, usually on Fridays, someone had to dress up as a piece of fruit and stand out on the highway. I was a banana, a giant banana.”
– on The Ellen DeGeneres Show