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Before they were Emmy contenders, TV’s top drama actresses had jobs that weren’t exactly red-carpet glamorous.
In a roundtable discussion with The Hollywood Reporter, six stars shared (sometimes less-than-flattering) stories from their worst jobs.
Monica Potter (NBC’s Parenthood) recalled working on a game show, filmed in Lima, Peru.
“It was called Nubeluz. I had to sing and dance,” Potter said. “It was like You Can’t Do That on Television, except the FCC wouldn’t let us into Mexico because we were holding kids’ heads under water.”
Connie Britton (ABC’s Nashville) said she did a stint in retail, but soon learned she didn’t quite have the necessary skills.
“I worked at The Gap and discovered I am not a good folder,” Britton said. ”That was when I was really pounding the pavement in New York for acting work. I also did murder-mystery dinner theater in the Poconos.”
Elisabeth Moss (AMC’s Mad Men, Sundance’s Top of the Lake) worked at a silent movie theater in Los Angeles, an experience she said she enjoyed — for the most part.
“I didn’t like cleaning the bathrooms as much. People are really messy in movie theaters,” Moss said. You’d expect it to be a respectful experience, not popcorn all over the floor, and Coke, and … sticky.”
Kerry Washington (ABC’s Scandal) had the job she described as perfect for auditioning.
“It wasn’t one of my worst jobs, but I used to be a substitute teacher for New York City schools. It was great and hard, and I even did it after I started working in films,” she said. “But I had to stop after I did Save the Last Dance because the students were like, ‘Chenille is substituting!’ ”
Anna Gunn (AMC’s Breaking Bad) said she was hopeless when it came to waitressing or temping, so she was left with few options.
“The only job I could get that would let me off to audition was for a cleaning service called Merry Maids,” Gunn said. “We were doing cleanouts for apartments after leases were up in huge towers downtown. Humid, 110-degree weather and the A/C was off. I thought, ‘I have to make this acting thing work or I’m going to be scrubbing toilets.’”
The roundtable conversation was moderated by THR executive editor Matthew Belloni and senior editor Stacey Wilson.
See the full, uncensored interview here.
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