5. Demi Moore
She may have been a member of the Brat Pack in the 1980s, but did Demi Moore also pack a punch in her former career? Leaving school at 16, she wanted to pursue her acting dream, but while she waited for her big break (a role in General Hospital), she worked as a debt collector. There’s no evidence that Demi was the part of the operation that actually did the punching, and kneecap breaking but it’s entertaining to think she did, given how slight and ladylike she is. In all likelihood, she probably collected debts peacefully and never even wielded a baseball bat…but why let reality mess with a good story?
4. Tom Cruise
I know it’s hard to believe, now that Tom is a staunch believer in the ultra-logical and sane Church of Scientology, but in his pre-fame days, Tom Cruise flirted with a little-known cult known as Catholicism. In fact, he was so taken with the Catholic Church that he spent some time in a Franciscan seminary, with the intention of becoming a priest. In retrospect, he’d have been a good fit. Persistent rumors if homosexuality? Check. Ability to deliver a sermon? Just watch Magnolia to to see how well he can handle a speech (although the subject matter might have to be toned down a little for the congregation). Sadly for the Catholics, Cruise turned out more Reacher than preacher and now it’s a different church that has his loyalty.
3. Sean Connery
And talking of the ability to deliver a speech, here’s heroic Scotsman and epic actor Sean Connery who was destined to charm audiences with his unique style…..but he could have so easily ended up as a milkman. It’s strange to think of those silky tones being wasted on asking housewives whether they wanted “full fat or shemi shkimmed?” but the young Mr Connery had a number of pre-fame jobs, including artist’s model and coffin polisher. I wonder whether he and Whoopi ever sit together at awards ceremonies reminiscing over the fun days and nights they spent at their respective funeral parlors? I’d like to think so. Sean also held jobs as a laborer, bodybuilder and lorry driver before joining the Royal Navy and eventually got round to doing some acting too!
2. Jon Hamm
The star of Mad Men got his first break in the movie industry by being a set designer. That’s nothing terribly unusual, but his job was designing sets for adult movies. I know what you may be thinking – when people watch these movies, who on earth is looking at the sets? But there are some, apparently (I don’t speak from experience) and it’s someone’s job to design them. In the early 2000s, that someone was Jon Hamm. He says there was “nothing tasteful about it. It was depressing” and that it was just carrying furniture around while the stars were….busy. Fortunately, he managed to break out of his Skin-e-max niche and into the slightly more mainstream world before he got on to the other side of the cameras!
1. Rod Stewart
The ageing British musician may nowadays be chiefly known for his taste in younger women, but he’s also known for his pop career, reeling in the fans with hits such as “Maggie May” and “Sailing”. What a loss it would have been to music then, had young Rod pursued his first love of soccer. In 1960, aspiring to become a professional soccer player he had try-outs for the 3rd Division club Brentford FC, and sadly the club didn’t take him on. It was a longstanding fan belief that Stewart had been signed up for them, but in reality they never even called him back….and so he chose music instead. Stewart spoke of this, saying “Well, a musician’s life is a lot easier and I can also get drunk and make music, and I can’t do that and play football. I plumped for music … They’re the only two things I can do actually: play football and sing”
Luckily for us, Rod Stewart also had a plethora of other careers before he hit the big time – silk screen printer, gravedigger and a worker at a North Finchley funeral home. Seems like undertaking is the new celebrity pre-fame job of choice!