10 Actors Who Passed Up Corporate Careers In Order To Perform

The glamour of celebrities is such that most fans want to know every little detail of their lives. Especially when it comes to famous actors, people want to know about their past relationships, previous jobs and even any previous notoriety that they may have garnered.

But it is a special kind of pleasure to know good things about an actor that you love and adore. Good things such as an impressive IQ maybe, superlative educational achievements perhaps, or even enviable jobs that they may have had to pass up on to become actors.

There are several actors out there who have been ballet dancers, fashion models, navy or army recruits or even police officers, body builders and servers at restaurants. But very few have actually been in corporate environments, playing the hard game of business. Believe it or not, there are even actors out there who are actually qualified physicians, take Ken Jeong of The Hangover fame for instance. The funny man is indeed a doctor by profession! Without further ado, here are ten Hollywood actors who have previously tasted corporate careers before they shifted to full time acting.

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10 Jennifer Lopez

One cannot even imagine Jennifer Lopez, the pop singing sensation and diva, to be anything but who she is. But before Jennifer sang, danced and acted her way to her currently phenomenal fame, Jennifer was just like any of us trying to earn a living while pursuing a distant dream. After high school, Jennifer briefly studied law and while she was looking for dancing career breakthroughs, she briefly worked for a law firm as a paralegal. The woman has been voted ‘sexiest woman’ so many times, we think she might have been great in her law career, what with every opponent stuttering and stammering in her presence. Not that she’s any less successful now, mind you. Seems as though JLo got her dream and it doesn’t seem like she even gives her old probable career a second thought in life.

9 Demi Moore

8 Brit Marling

(8) Brit-Marling - Former Investment Banker (Via www.bellasugar.com)
Via www.bellasugar.com

Now Brit Marling has a pretty face as we all know, but did you know that she had the brains to boot too? While the beautiful writer and actress loves playing strong, intriguing and gritty roles on screen, she is all that and much more off screen too! After majoring in economics at Georgetown University, Brit did a six months internship at the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs. Having interned there already, she was completely on track, looking at a golden career as an investment banker with the same prestigious firm. But Brit chose to decline the opportunity and pursue acting, writing and producing instead. Not that it was a bad decision, as no one is complaining.

7 Rick Ross


Famous American rapper Rick Ross may not have had the most glamorous of past jobs, but he certainly seems to have had the most dangerous and indeed, one of the most well paid ones. After numerous denials and drama, Rick Ross admitted in 2008, that he had done an 18 month stint as a correctional officer at the South Florida Reception Centre. For those who don’t know, correctional officers are responsible for overseeing arrested individuals who have been waiting for their trials, or individuals who have been sentenced some jail term. As one can imagine, the job is not just stressful, but it is also dangerous, considering that inmate confrontations are common. Though Rick did not seem all too well pleased to accept this history in public, he claims that if he ever had to support his family without any other means again, he would certainly take the same job up again. Not bad, figures in 2012 suggested that the job does pay approximately $19 per hour!

6 Evangeline Lilly

One of the beautiful Evangeline Lilly’s previous jobs, that is before she became an actress of the Lost and Real Steel fame, was that of a flight attendant. All that is history and thankfully so, since Evangeline was a really bad stewardess! On a Jay Leno Monday night show, Evangeline gave the big scoop on her work as a flight attendant for Royal Airlines. She claims that it is the ‘worst job ever’ and has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. What is more hilarious is that she confessed to have once farted in a passenger’s face just because he pissed her off! Gasp! Really, it’s true by her own admission. In any case, Evangeline’s taste of a general working class career did not really go down well, and the next time you’re on board an aircraft, you better remember it and think twice about annoying an air stewardess!

5 Helen Mirren


Before Helen Mirren became a larger than life name on the big screen, the award winning actress started off on a job as an amusement park promoter for an amusement park in Southend on Sea. The job was neither regal nor glamorous but at least, it made ends meet. The job may have been simple, just amounting to attracting people to use the park’s rides, but it is certain Helen would have killed it, had it been tougher as well! Helen could have continued with the job and easily got into marketing and promotions, in a white collar position sooner or later. But thank goodness she didn’t, or we would have missed out on the force that she is on screen.

4 Laz Alonso

When Laz Alonso went from Howard University Graduate to Hollywood’s leading man, he really passed up on an enviable six figure income and a job at one of the most prestigious financial institutions in the world. While working at Merrill Lynch as an investment banker, the fit hunk Laz Alonso landed the lead role in A&E’s hit show, Breakout Kings. Once he had tasted stardom, there was no looking back, however, for Laz gave up Wall Street and its glitz and glamour and traded it in for cameras, lights and make up instead. His success means that he certainly has no regrets about what he had to pass up on.

3 John Legend


Singer, songwriter and actor John Legend hasn't always been crooning his heart out. The University of Pennsylvania graduate used to work as a management consultant for the most prestigious Boston Consulting Group. Of course, he went by the name of John Stephens then, but co-workers at the time know him to be an Excel whiz who was simply brilliant. Seems like John would have really hit it big with the high incomes and the penthouses had he stuck around. Oh wait, he didn't stick around and he’s still in the high incomes and penthouses league. Some people just have all the luck (and talent)!

2 Edward Norton


If you thought celebrities weren't exceptionally bright and only acted because they couldn't find decent jobs, Edward Norton’s history will make you think otherwise. This two time Oscar nominee, screenwriter, director and producer used to consult on behalf of his grandfather’s not-for-profit organization called, The Enterprise Foundation. The actor is known to make hefty donations to the same and also remains on the organization’s Board of Trustees. The Yale graduate is also a skilled rower and an equally talented martial artist. All that aside, it seems that Edward passed up a great corporate career in the same organization, as an analyst and consultant, to become what he is today. Considering how good he is at what he does, it’s great that he had the guts to make the crucial decision to switch careers.

1 Jerry Springer


Prior to becoming America’s beloved talk show host, television presenter, actor and musician, Jerry Springer had been the campaign advisor for Robert F. Kennedy, had worked for the Cincinnati law firm of Frost & Jacobs (now Frost Brown Todd), and had been the former democratic mayor of Cincinnati Ohio. If you thought his resume was impressive already, you should know that you are only taking a glimpse of it in a concise format. Jerry has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tulane University and a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University. It was after dabbling in his short corporate career that he got into broadcasting and then went from journalist to commentator, to show host. One can easily see that whatever Jerry seems to have touched has turned to gold for him, but yes, Jerry did pass up on a normal career as a campaign advisor, a law firm employee or even as a full time journalist to do all the million things that he has done to date.

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