For many famous actors that you see in movies their film careers began at an early age. Their prominence may not have come till later, but they had been hitting the pavement early, often as children. There are other actors that seemingly started their careers at a later stage of their life. And while some of these actors had simply not hit it big until they were older, some had lived completely normal and mundane existences before they caught the Hollywood bug.
Steve Carell was a mail carrier.
But Steve Carell has said that for a brief stint he held a job as a mail carrier. He claims that the job lasted less than a year before he was fired for not having the drive that the postal service required. But it is fun to imagine the type-cast awkward guy showing up at your house to deliver your NetFlix.
Liam Neeson worked at the Guiness Brewery.
After graduating college and with no acting prospects in his mind he applied and was hired to work at the Guiness Brewery in Ireland. Brewery work can be hard labor that surely prepared him for non-nonsense roles where he would need to fight wolves with nothing but a knife.
Mike Farrell (M*A*S*H*) served as a Marine
It isn't really a stretch to imagine the M*A*S*H star as an actual military service man. Although he must have known acting was in his future while attending Hollywood High School, a short stint in the US Marines was in his near future.
Mike Farrell also worked as a private investigator before finally giving in and auditioning for M*A*S*H.
Harvey Keitel was a court reporter
Harvey Keitel started his acting career as Martin Scorsese's go to leading man. Before Robert DeNiro was taking the grittiest roles in Hollywood, Keitel was the struggling loner in many Scorsese pictures. This biased led Keitel to a successful movie career, highlighted by an unforgettable roles working with Quintin Tarentino.
But for several years before being tapped on the shoulder for Mean Streets and Taxi Driver Harvey Keitel worked as a court reporter. This might be the perfect conditioning for the gritty New York realism Scorsese was looking for.
Viggo Mortensen was a truck driver
Chevy Chase was a cab driver
Chevy Chase is one of the most beloved comedians from the eighties. With a start at Saturday Night Live and a string of successful roles in films like Caddyshack and Fletch his quirky humor has made a big impact on Hollywood.
But while struggling to land an acting gig Chase was the king of bouncing around from one crappy job to another. Beyond working as a tax driver he also took jobs driving trucks, construction, produce manager, and selling wine.
Steve Buscemi was a New York firefighter
Steve Buscemi definitely is the opposite of what you'd imagine when thinking of a leading Hollywood man. But from small roles in Adam Sandler movies to serious dramatic films to a leading role in Boardwalk Empire Buscemi has certainly made his mark.
But before Buscemi decided to try his hand at acting he worked for several years as a New York City firefighter. He even suited back up during 9/11 to help with the disaster relief.
Al Pacino was a janitor
Al Pacino had a rough upbringing, including leaving school at the age of 17 to help support his family. During this time he took a handful of odd jobs to put food on the table including work as a janitor.
His troubled life helped fulfill a dominant and rough exterior for roles like playing the devil and justified villain in many of his films.