Before They Were Famous: Oscar Noms’ First Jobs

January 26, 2013 By:
Before They Were Famous: Oscar Noms’ First Jobs
Image By: PR Photos

You know the saying: “It’s the journey, not the destination.”

Well, when the destination is “Academy Award Nominee” and the journey sucks, that saying doesn’t exactly apply, does it?

Here is a breakdown of some of our favorite nominees this year and what they did before they were famous:

Hugh Jackman: In the days before wooing you with performances like that of Les Mis, Hugh Jackman spent his time pumping your gas. Yes, Jean Valjean’s first gig was a gas station attendant.

Jennifer Lawrence: Her first job was actually in Hollywood. After earning some small roles in films and commercials as a 14-year-old in New York City, Jennifer earned a role in the sitcom, “The Bill Engvall Show,” where she stayed for three seasons.

Tommy Lee Jones: The stone-faced star didn’t have to work to support his way through four years of college. He was on scholarship for his football skills. We’re not sure, but he probably developed his now-famous Golden Globes “look” while staring down the other team on the field.

Quvenzhané Wallis: The nine-year-old’s first job will be attending the Oscars as a nominee. Hell, maybe even a winner.

Jessica Chastain: The head-turn inspiring actress got her start in “the biz” as a dancer, working in a San Francisco-based theater company. She also joined the debate team at college. Nerd!

Amy Adams: The scarlet-haired stunner worked as a server at Hooters. She apparently quit after a few weeks because she, “wasn’t cut out to be a waitress.”

Bradley Cooper: Growing up with a stockbroker father, Bradley chose to pursue a different path. Before acting, he reportedly interned at the Philadelphia Daily News.

Denzel Washington: The decorated star began working at the young age of 11, sweeping up hair from a barbershop floor. He has said of the experience: “The best liars are in the barbershop.”

Daniel Day-Lewis: Before realizing his love for the stage and the screen, Daniel pursued a career in woodworking as a teenager. Nowadays, he settles for holding golden trophies in his hands. 

Anne Hathaway: An actress all her life, Anne performed in her high school and middle school plays. She earned a Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award nomination for Best Performance by a High School Actress and was on her way. 

Naomi Watts: The actress reportedly started career life off with small jobs that ranged from being a papergirl to a film negative cutter. She also apparently managed a delicacies store (whatever that is) in Sydney, too.