Before They Were Stars: 2014 Oscars Edition

86th Academy Awards Nominations Announcement

Stars… they’re just like the rest of us, right? As much as we admire (and oftentimes envy) celebrities, it’s important to remember that, at one point in time, they were among us civilians, working a 9-to-5 and trying to make a living while pursuing their dreams. Imagine your first job, or even worst job, ever – it probably wasn’t a far cry from the likes of, say Julia Roberts, who worked at an ice cream shop. Here’s what 10 Oscar nominees were up to before they were stars:

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66th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards - Show

Sandra Bullock

As a struggling actress, America’s sweetheart Sandra Bullock served drinks as a bartender to pay rent. While on the job, she would learn accents and imitated the girls she served.

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20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Press Room

Jennifer Lawrence

The lovable Jennifer Lawrence was more than just a pretty face as an Abercrombie and Fitch model pre-“Hunger Games.”

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20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Red Carpet

Barkhad Abdi

“Captain Phillips” star Barkhad Abdi worked as a limousine driver and part time in his brother’s cellphone store before he was offered the break of a lifetime.

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"Monument Men" New York Premiere - Arrivals

Cate Blanchett

“Blue Jasmine” actress Cate Blanchett was the “original Tim-Tam girl” and did several commercials for the Australian chocolate candy.

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"Dallas Buyers Club" - UK Premiere - Red Carpet Arrivals

Matthew McConaughey

Before he amazed us all with his great physique and entertaining films, Matthew McConaughey was a young rotary student in Australia cleaning up chicken coops. Yikes!

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56th GRAMMY Awards - Roaming Show

Julia Roberts

It was more like ‘pretty-deep-in-ice-cream’ than “Pretty Woman” for Julia Roberts in the good old days. The megawatt smiler scooped ice cream at Baskin Robbins ice cream parlor before getting her big break.

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66th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards - Show

Bradley Cooper

Before he walked on red carpets and stood under the bright lights, “American Hustle” star Bradley Cooper was the doorman at the Morgans Hotel in New York. He recalls: “I remember taking Leonardo DiCaprio up to his hotel room. I was 24, and we’re the same age. He was friendly.” He remembers thinking that they were “world’s apart” – and now the two are good friends!

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20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Red Carpet

Amy Adams

Donning the signature white tank and orange short shorts uniform, Amy Adams was a Hooters girl back in her day – and it wasn’t because she adored their famous chicken wings. “I did it because I needed to buy a car,” she confesses. After earning $900 she left Hooters and was able to buy a used Chevrolet.

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29th Santa Barbara International Film Festival -  Virtuosos Award to Daniel Bruhl, Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jared Leto and June Squibb

Jared Leto

Before he starred as the hunky Jordan Catalano on “My So-Called Life,” Jared Leto had his first job at age 12, washing dishes at a barbecue stand in Virginia. At 16 he became a doorman.

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25th Annual Producers Guild Of America Awards - Show

Lupita Nyong’o

Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o started off as a production assistant for the film “The Constant Gardener” with Ralph Fiennes. She was home for the holidays when she heard the movie would be filming in her neighborhood in Kenya. Her first piece of acting advice came from Fiennes: “When I told him that I wanted to be an actor, he sighed heavily and said ‘Lupita, if there is anything else you want to do in your life, do that. Only act if you can’t live without it.” Not bad advice… but an even better result!


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