From Red Lobster employees and Hooters waitresses to ice cream scoopers and janitors, these celebrities paid their dues to get where they are now.
These days, Jennifer Lopez is one of the biggest stars in the world. But there was a time when Jenny from the block had to sleep on the floor.
"When I moved out to L.A. for the first time to do In Living Color, my grandmother and my aunt all came to visit me in the first week. And I thought, ‘This is really weird.’ But they just wanted to see that I was living in a nice place. At that time it was like, ‘Why are they visiting me already? I'm not even settled in.’ I didn't have furniture or anything. We all slept on the floor. Now that I think back, it was great.”
The homes of Catherine Zeta-Jones and her husband Michael Douglas are decorated with family mementos—including their twin Academy Awards. But Catherine will be the first to tell you she didn’t grow up in the lap of luxury. She started working at a very young age.
“I didn’t even think about movies where I came from. I wanted to be on the stage. When I was 10, I did Annie in the West End. I did Bugsy Malone when I was 11 and 12. And then at 16, David Merrick saw me in 42nd Street. I took over the lead and he cast me. I was there for two and a half years. Right now, these young kids are going crazy. I never had that because I had a work ethic. I had to turn up and be there six nights a week.”
Queen Latifah earns big money now, raking it in with records, movies, cosmetics and an endorsement deal with Jenny Craig. But she says her very first check was a rude awakening.
“I remember getting my first check. I couldn’t believe how much taxes were taken out. I think the check was, like, $88 bucks. I was like, ‘Oh, my god. All that work for $88 bucks.’ But I was happy. I think I gave some to my mom. And then I probably went shopping with the rest of it.”
Comedian Chris Rock recalls his days working for Red Lobster.
"The thing about Red Lobster is that if you work there, you can't afford to eat there," he once told Jay Leno. "You're making minimum wage. A shrimp costs minimum wage. I cleaned up after the kids. Kids don't eat. I used to zero in on a kid. 'Don't touch that scallop. Please don't touch that scallop.'"
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All success to both ladies. We really want to know what you really did BEFORE you made it in Hollywood. What kind of work? What got you there? Not when you got there.
Come on now-curious.
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