Last time I wrote about actors before they were famous, we looked at the professions that big names such as Liam Neeson, Angelina Jolie, and Tom Cruise had before they got bitten by the acting bug. Keeping with the trend, here are some more big names that started off headed down entirely different career paths.
Pierce Brosnan – Fire Eater
While studying at London’s Oval House Theatre, Brosnan came across a fire-eating workshop. Rumor has it that upon seeing topless women helping during the routine, Brosnan signed up immediately. He later did the trick on a 1996 episode of Muppets Tonight.
Before performing live, he was reportedly given alternate fuel that burnt the inside of his mouth. Brosnan performed the trick despite blisters coating his tongue and cheeks.
Christopher Walken – Lion Tamer/Clown
At 15, Walken found the position advertised in the “Help Wanted” section and applied because he liked cats. During his work in the circus, Walken came to realise that cats were “more like big dogs than anything else.” Walken also worked as a clown.
Bob Ross – Drill Sergeant
Over 20 distinguished years of service in the Air Force, Ross reached the rank of Master Sergeant. He disliked having to be the tough guy and promised to change as soon as he left. During his downtime in the service, he would speed-paint the Alaskan wilderness around him.
Johnny Depp – Pen Salesman
Before being turned on to the acting path by Nicolas Cage, Depp would phone up companies and attempt to sell them ballpoint pens. Depp would put on his best fake voice to convince people to buy personalised pens from him.
Patrick Dempsey – Champion Juggler
Dempsey participated in juggling competitions, dropped out of high school to tour as a juggler and magician before eventually finding his calling in acting. Admire a clip of him juggling on Rachel Ray.
Charlize Theron – Ballerina
Theron spent some time training for the ballet with Joffrey Ballet in New York. After suffering a knee injury that meant she couldn’t dance anymore, she won a one-year modelling contract and gave acting a try.