It is easy to think celebrities just wandered magically onto our screens. They have glitzy lives, on-screen personas, rub shoulders with plenty of other celebrities, and in other words, are living the life most of us dream of. They have perfect faces and perfect bodies. I don’t even remember how many hours I’ve clocked trying to emulate Chris Hemsworth’s “Thor” workout off the internet just to feel some of that glory secondhand. Of course, if it weren’t for Spectrum internet prices and their unlimited internet data, I would be eating ramen all month. But regardless, we all obsess over getting where our favorite celebrities are.
But it can be also very easy to forget that celebrities are, believe it or not, just like the rest of us humans (except maybe prettier). Sure, many have different paths that brought them to stardom. Some were born to wealthy families with the resources to let them comfortably pursue an uncertain career in acting or music. But many other of the biggest celebrity names you know today came from humble beginnings. Such as the ones below:
You may not see much of him now, but in the 80s, Dolph Lundgren was an action movie icon. With his rugged looks, imposing size, and strong acting prowess, he seemed like he was born for such iconic roles as He-Man, The Punisher, Ivan Drago, and many others. But believe it or not, Lundgren was well on his way to becoming a chemical engineer. So the man essentially doesn’t just gave great physical genese, but a very high IQ as well. He has a degree in chemical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology, as well as a master’s from the University of Sydney.
It would surprise many to know that Lundgren’s earliest occupation was as bodyguard to Jamaican singing sensation Grace Jones. They were also lovers, and after a time, she convinced him to drop his MIT scholarship and move to NYC with her. Dolph would work as a model and bouncer for a while before his first role as a mean-looking KGB agent in James Bond: A View To Kill. Just a few years later he would be one of the most iconic names in action entertainment, in particular is role as the intimidating Ukrainian boxing machine, Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.
Of course, one can’t talk about Rocky or indeed the action genre without mentioning one of the most iconic action heroes of all time, Sylvester Stallone. Sly has starred in numerous action franchises, from Rambo to The Expendables. But Rocky is by far his biggest success, with the boxing-centred franchise still minting money from new releases Creed and Creed II.
Of course, if you thought Rocky was a movie about overcoming struggles, it may be because Stallone had been through his fair share of it. The now-iconic movie star was once a struggling and unemployed writer, trying to sell his script for Rocky with a stipulation to play the lead character himself. Along the way, Stallone did numerous gigs to survive, including starring in a softcore porn feature. Right before Rocky finally got sold per his terms, Sly was sleeping on park benches and was even forced to sell his beloved dog. Of course, as soon as he got his first paycheck, he went right back and bought the dog again. Today, he is among the all-time action greats, alongside the likes of Schwarzenegger and Van Damme.
Madonna is one of the greatest musical icons of all time. She rose to solo fame in the 80s and has had a successful career spanning decades. Her drop-dead gorgeous looks coupled with a strong stage presence and powerful vocals cemented her place among the music greats of the 80s, 90s, and early 00s. However, our career didn’t magically appear out of nowhere. While she put in the hours and effort into her music, she got by as a server at Dunkin’ Donuts. Imagine, in the 80s, you could have gotten a box of glazed donuts from a person who was destined for musical greatness despite her circumstances.
George Clooney is easily one of the most recognizable and bankable faces in Hollywood. His classical good looks, perfect enunciation and delivery, and ability to mature like very fine wine have endeared him to generations of movie fans. Clooney undoubtedly holds a lofty place in Hollywood, one without the unusual scandals and sensationalism that seems to surround other careers. Of course, part of that could be the fact that George Clooney never forgot what life was like before he became a Hollywood movie star. He had a mix of odd jobs while waiting for his big break, from sell