[Before Fame] The Jobs They Had Before They Were Famous

As public figures, celebrities have a job to look glamorous, sophisticated, and well-kept. It’s hard to believe that these stars were once mundane humans like the rest of us. What were some of the jobs these stars took before they were famous?

Chinese Stars

Dilireba (迪丽热巴) — salesperson

Before becoming the famous actress and idol we know today, the Eternal Love <三生三世> star worked as a salesperson for a company in Changchun, Jilin. She once earned an award for making the most sales for the company.

Liu Yan (柳岩), also known as Ada Liu — nurse

The Chinese actress is a registered nurse, and was employed at a hospital in Guangzhou before joining the entertainment industry. After her mother had fallen ill and with no money to pay for her medical bills, Ada decided to join an MC contest for its prize money. That eventually kickstarted her entertainment career.

Jiang Wenli (蒋雯丽) — water plant worker

After her high school graduation in Anhui, Jiang Wenli earned a job at a nearby water plant. But she dreamed of working in the big city—when she was 19, she quit her job and moved to Beijing, alone. She eventually passed the entrance exams for the Beijing Film Academy.

Li Bingbing (李冰冰) — music teacher

After her graduation in 1992, Li Bingbing was sent to Wuchang, Heilongjiang to train as a music teacher for elementary school. After getting scouted by actor Gao Qiang (), who strongly encouraged her to study acting, Li Bingbing decided to take the entrance exams for the Shanghai Theatre Academy, and passed successfully.

Sun Nan (孙楠) — stoker

The famous Chinese pop singer worked in a coal mine prior to joining the Beijing music scene. After two months of training, Sun Nan also worked at an ink factory.

Hong Kong Stars

Angelababy — receptionist

The multimillionaire model-actress once worked as a receptionist for a Hong Kong travel company before making big bucks in the entertainment industry. She simultaneously worked as a part-time model, which helped her early rise to fame.

Carman Lee (李若彤) — flight attendant

The “Little Dragon Lady” actress worked briefly as a flight attended before starting her acting career. Carman was known for her beauty while working for the airline. A stranger once broke into her room during her brief stay in France for work. Fortunately, the hotel staff were able to hear her screams.

Maggie Cheung (張曼玉) — sales associate

Before entering Miss Hong Kong Pageant, Maggie worked as a sales associate. She never thought about becoming a celebrity; her Miss Hong Kong Pageant win and subsequent TVB stardom changed her life forever.

Aaron Kwok (郭富城) — AC technician

It’s common knowledge that Aaron started off as a contracted backup dancer for TVB, but not many know that he actually worked as an AC technician prior to joining the Hong Kong station. Having to carry heavy equipment around him all the time, there is no surprise seeing Aaron being known for his sunny, handsome looks and athletic built.

Dave Wang (王傑) — waiter, painter, taxi driver

The Taiwanese-Hong Kong singer-songwriter took up many jobs before landing his first record deal. One of his first jobs was a restaurant waiter. After quitting, he worked as a painter, climbing up at least 20 floors every single day. Nonetheless, the experienced singer said his most favorite job by far was a taxi driver. He enjoyed the night shifts and liked to wait in front of bars, as many workers from the bars tend to tip more.

Kenny Ho (何家勁) — ice cream server and mover

After graduating middle school, Kenny’s parents finally divorced after years of conflict, but that brought more economic troubles to the family. To support himself and his family, Kenny moved to England to study design and worked part-time to pay for his tuition. He earned a job at an ice cream parlor and made ice cream, but when tuition prices increased, Kenny had no choice but to take up a second job at a hospital, moving cadavers.

Louis Koo (古天樂) — gangster

Young and Dangerous <古惑仔> wasn’t the film that got Louis famous, but the A Step into the Past <尋秦記> actor can definitely relate to it. Before joining TVB and becoming an actor, Louis was jobless. He wandered the streets like a gangster and was in youth detention. Now, Louis is a famous blockbuster actor who is also known for donating unbelievable amounts to charity. Who would’ve known?

Source: Sina.cn

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

Related Articles


  1. I don’t think gangster is an occupation. Louis Koo was more like a juvenile delinquent who luckily lucked out.

    Frankly most of these stars who earn so much now and is considered entertainment royalty wouldn’t have succeeded much in life doing menial jobs. But we the rest of the mortals holding so called mundane jobs may have less exposed jobs but we are as interesting. We can idolise them but let’s not worship them. I do applaud them for making it in one of the hardest industry ever, apart from modelling but that’s because these industries value what’s on the surface and frankly it’s very hard to be thin pretty and withstand the criticisms daily . But again they are well compensated, and criticisms are part of the job and pay grade.

    1. It’s funny though. TVB has a former doctor who became an actor to play… doctors.

      1. @pochacco9 Marcus Kwok (Chinese name 郭田葰)…he was an ER doctor in Australia where he lived until he returned to HK in 2009. He participated in the Mr. HK pageant that year and became a TVB artist afterward….to date, he continues to play minor roles in TVB’s series and most of them are of course doctor roles.

        @funnlim LOL…that’s nothing new with TVB though (having an artists play their same professions from real life). They used to always have former cops also play cops in their series (i.e.: Nick Cheung, Bowie Lam, Dominic Lam, Philip Chan, etc), though the difference then was that the roles weren’t usually minor ones, unlike Marcus whose doctor roles were all essentially kelefe roles…

      1. @wm2017 Same. Literally spit out my tea LOL Pretty sure the writer was being cheeky with that one. 😛

  2. I remember while working at a clinic, the receptionist was so very rude and nasty that she had to be fired. What made her appear even meaner is the fact that she was pissing fugly. Let us hope that Angelababy was pleasant, at least.

  3. I have no idea who Dilireba is and she looks mixed so I was being curious what is her other race? I did try to google her but it doesn’t say much about her personal life. About Ada Liu she either looks like Li Bingbing or Tavia sister from the picture above and no idea who she is either maybe I don’t really know much about mainland actors.

      1. @janet72 Lol. Same here. Plus I’m more into Hong Kong movies. Lol. I don’t even remember when was the last time I watched mainland movies.

  4. I do not being a gangster if I end up as rich, famous and successful as Lois Koo.

  5. I remember when Louis Koo’s scandal at the time. He was very young though (like teens) so it’s only fair he was given another chance.
    Very interesting for the other actors, but I also dont know the china actresses except li bing bing.

  6. I remember reading about Aaron Kwok’s one. It’s was one of his customers that he service AC for that recommended him to join TVB. The guy work in TVB’s canteen or something.

Comments are closed.