It’s well known that when people are trying to get their big break in Hollywood, they take on multiple jobs just to get by. They work as servers, bartenders, bellhops and any other flexible job, that’ll allow them to attend auditions during the day and still provide enough money to have a place to sleep at night. Sometimes, young dream chasers will even take on unfamiliar jobs in order to keep them afloat, while they are patiently waiting for their big break. Hollywood is exposed with stars that took on some jobs in unconventional clubs. Here are 10 Hollywood celebrities that started their careers by taking on work in strip clubs.
10. Renee Zellwegger
Before making it big in Hollywood and becoming an A-list actress starring in films like, Jerry Maguire, Bridget Jones Diary and Chicago, Renee Zellwegger worked in a Texas strip club. Although she never hit the pole, Renee did work as a cocktail waitress and has commented about her previous employment stating, “It was a classier club where the waitresses kept their clothes on.” Renee was asked if she wanted to dance topless, but the aspiring actress declined. She’s now worth an estimated $60 million.
Before Eve was signed to Ruff Ryders, she was an 18-year-old woman in platform heels, stripping to make a living. Photos of Eve during her stripper days surfaced on the internet years ago and showcased her all-inclusive strip shows, which appeared to border along the lines of live sex shows. She has commented on her past work as an exotic dancer, stating, “Come on. That was a hustle, too. There’s a song about it on my album, ‘Heaven Only Knows.’ But I don’t regret it—I was 18 and confused, going through personal problems. I did it for about a month, and I was glad I did it. It helped me find Eve, helped me get serious. It was depressing.” It looks like it did help her, because the 35-year-old rapper, singer and actress is a Hollywood star.
8. NeNe Leakes
Rumors circulated for a longtime, that the Real Housewives of Atlanta star, NeNe Leakes, had once been a stripper. NeNe denied the allegations until 2009, when she finally came clean about about her past in her autobiography, Never Make the Same Mistake Twice. Leakes wrote, “Yes, I was a stripper – let the judgments ensue. I’m not ashamed.” She added, “[I stripped] for the sake of my son, and to restore my confidence in myself. My son was in private school, his father wasn’t chipping in for pull-ups or food, I had no job and no money coming in, the rent was past due, and the super told me and my roommate that our condo owner was about to put us out. It was about survival.” NeNe Leakes who once went by her stripper name, Silk, is now worth an estimated $9 million.
7. Kendra Wilkinson
Kendra Wilkinson got her break in Hollywood, when she began dating Playboy founder, Hugh Hefner in 2004. So, it should come as a surprise that Wilkinson used to work in a strip club as a stripper. Kendra has admitted that she was actually discovered by Hugh Hefner while stripping. She was personally invited to a Playboy mansion party by Hefner afterwards, and the rest is history. Kendra is now married to former NFL player, Hank Baskett and the couple have two children together.
6. Chris Pratt
Chris Pratt, who is best known for his role as Andy Dwyer on the hit television show, Parks and Recreation, was once a “very, very low-rent Magic Mike stripper,” as he puts it. Chris confessed to Ellen Degeneres back in 2013, that he was only making $40 every time he took off his clothes. Before getting his big break, Pratt would strip for bachelorette parties in his hometown in Virginia and even for his friend’s grandmas. Chris Pratt is married to actress, Anna Faris.
5. Javier Bardem
Oscar winner, Javier Bardem best known for his roles in No Country For Old Men, Biutiful and Skyfall, was a stripper for one night, while struggling to become an actor. Bardem admits, he stripped for only ten minutes, before giving up. Javier has said that he got his family to come to his ‘performance’ and that it was so bad that he had to get his mother and sister to cheer for him. Thankfully, Javier quit his ‘night’ job, because the 45-year-old actor is now worth an estimated $20 million.
4. Catherine Zeta-Jones
Before Catherine Zeta-Jones became a household name, she had a stripper name. Most famous people who admit to being a former stripper, say they did it to survive, but not Catherine Zeta-Jones. Catherine has admitted to being a stripper in order to pay for a nose job. After she earned enough money, Zeta-Jones got her rhinoplasty and moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in acting. Well, clearly the the stripper funded nose job paid off, because the 44-year-old actress is now worth an estimated $45 million.
3. Channing Tatum
Magic Mike was actually written by Channing Tatum and actually based on his experiences as a male stripper. Prior to becoming a Hollywood star, Tatum danced under the name Chan Crawford in the all male stripping troupe, ‘Male Encounter’ in Miami, Florida. After he was discovered by a modeling agent while walking down the street, Channing quit stripping and pursued a modeling and acting career. His career change definitely worked out, because the 34-year old actor is now worth an estimated $14 million.
2. Lady Gaga
Before Lady Gaga became one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, she was a stripper with a bizarre act. Gaga has admitted to using props and strange tricks to draw attention to her strip shows. Speaking of her past as a stripper, Gaga stated, “I was working in strip clubs when I was 18. My act was pretty wild. I’d wear black leather and dance to Black Sabbath, Guns N’ Roses and Faith No More. Very rock ‘n’ roll. I don’t like to talk about it too much, but there were drugs, serious drugs.” Although, she doesn’t like to talk about it, clearly her stripper past didn’t stand in the way of her dreams. Lady Gaga is a five time Grammy winner and is now worth an estimated $190 million.
1. Brad Pitt
Before Brad Pitt broke into the entertainment industry and became one of Hollywood’s best actors, he was a stripper. While in college at the University of Missouri, Brad Pitt was a member of the all-male amateur strip group, ‘The Dancing Bares’. Two weeks before Pitt was supposed to graduate college, he dropped out, packed up his car and moved to LA, leaving his degree and stripper career behind him. Although what would appear to have been an awful decision, ended up paying off – big time. The 50-year-old actor is now worth an estimated $240 million.