Plenty of Hollywood celebrities grew up poor, and had to work hard before getting a chance to follow their dreams. While waiting tables is the cliche for aspiring actors, plenty of singers have also taken a job in the restaurant industry.
Discover 10 celebrities who waited tables, and find out more about their struggles to jump-start their careers. From Chris Pratt to Amanda Seyfried, here are the celebs who worked as waiters and waitresses on their way to the top.
The “Guardians of the Galaxy” star has been open about his financial struggles, and also told David Letterman about a year he spent in Hawaii basically homeless, while living in a van with a friend.
Pratt is set to play key roles in the “Jurassic Park” and “Indiana Jones” movie franchises, but before he got his first acting break, he was a waiter at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in Maui.
Many celebrities who waited tables were happy with their job at the time, but Nicki Minaj was not one of them. The singer worked as a waitress at Red Lobster, but she didn’t stick around for long. “I like dealing with people, but I don’t really like a lot of bulls***, so maybe customer service wasn’t the best job for me,” Minaj told GQ.
While his role in “Mad Men” has earned his plenty of Awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Series Drama, Jon Hamm struggled for 5 years in Los Angeles before getting his first big role. The actor worked as a waiter between 1995 and 2000, when he was cast in NBC’s “Providence” and could finally quit.
See also: Celebrities Who Grew Up Poor
Unlike other celebrities who waited tables for a living, while trying to pursue their dreams, Lady Gaga did it for a Gucci bag while she was still in high school. All the money she saved by working at a diner went to the bag she needed to keep up with the girls at school. “I was so excited because all the girls at Sacred Heart always had their fancy purses, and I always had whatever. My mom and dad were not buying me a $600 purse,” she told NYMag.
The Academy Award nominee also had to get a job waiting tables, in order to afford a car when she was just 18. Amy Adams briefly worked as a Hooters waitress, but as soon as she saved enough money for a used Chevrolet, she quit. “There was definitely an innocence to my interpretation of what Hooters was about. Though I did learn, quickly, that short shorts and beer don’t mix!” Adams told Vanity Fair.
For plenty of celebrities who waited tables, the job wasn’t bad, at least compared to other employment opportunities. “I always enjoyed where I was working. I loved being a waitress,” Jennifer Aniston told Us Weekly, before admitting that she did have one job she really hated, selling time-shares.
She found work on TV and on the stage before the movie offers started coming, but Julianne Moore also had to take a job as a waitress to support herself after graduating Boston University with a BFA in Theatre and moving to New York. “I’m a worker. I was a good waitress, because if you ask me to do a job, I’ll do it, no matter what it is,” Moore told the Daily Mail.
The singer is also one of the celebrities who waited tables. Mariah Carey was working as a waitress/coat-checker in New York when she met Sony Music mogul Tommy Mottola, who loved her demo tape and jump-started her career.
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After moving from New Zealand to Australia to follow his dreams of acting, Russell Crowe worked as a waiter in a Sydney diner, before getting fired for… being rude to the customers. Despite his reputation for being difficult, Crowe didn’t forget his short-lived stint waiting tables, and he’s a generous tipper, according to WaiterRant.net.
Even though she started her modeling career at the age of 11, Amanda Seyfried is also one of the celebrities who waited tables. She told Jay Leno that she worked as a waitress in a retirement home when she was just 17. Seyfried had to take the job after she decided to stop modeling, take voice lesson and pursue her dreams of acting.