Down before flying high

Down before flying high
Christopher Walken
Cinema still: Seven Psychopaths starring Christopher Walken

SINGAPORE -Simon Cowell

 Before his sardonic quips and acid tongue helped him build an entertainment empire, one of his first ventures was dressing up as a dog.

In 1982, Cowell acquired the rights to a dance track - Ruff Mix - made up of dog barks.

To promote it, he went on various UK TV shows dressed as doggy superhero, Wonderdog.

The song was not a big hit.

Jon Hamm

The star of hit US TV series Mad Men struggled to make ends meet as an actor in Los Angeles.

In his 20s, Hamm became a set-dresser - arranging objects before filming - for soft-porn movies.

In 2012, he told CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper that there was nothing tasteful about the experience and that it was "depressing".

Amy Adams

One of the five-time Oscar nominee's early jobs was as a Hooters girl.

Adams worked at the restaurant chain, known for its bosomy waitresses, to buy a car soon after leaving high school.

Christopher Walken

He won an Oscar for his role in The Deer Hunter, but one of the US actor's early forays into the entertainment world was as a lion tamer.

Only in his teens, Walken joined a circus and taming lions was just one of his tasks.

He claimed that the act was not that dangerous as the lion was so old, it was "more like a dog".

Brad Pitt

Pitt got his break as the hard-bodied scam artist in Thelma and Louise, but his start on the road to fame was fully covered.

The star, whom People magazine named Sexiest Man Alive twice, used to don a chicken suit and hit the streets to tout a fast-food restaurant, El Pollo Loco.

Channing Tatum

Tatum put his early career to good use.

He used to be a male stripper, though he did not go fully nude.

The experience served him well when it became the basis for the hit film, Magic Mike, in which Tatum starred as a stripper with a heart of gold.

This article was published on April 20 in The New Paper.

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