Writing a resume is one of life's necessary evils. But if you're superstar Sharon Stone, there's plenty of work experience to put on the list. Ford Modeling Agency, star of Total Recall, star of Basic Instinct, and counter girl at McDonald's. Huh? Yes, Sharon Stone worked part-time at McDonald's long before her fame.
Sharon told USA Today that she learned many lessons from her time at Mickey D's:
"Some really good lessons - hard work, showing up, being there on time and paying your dues. And I was doing this in the '70s. There weren't job-place rules protecting young girls. I learned a lot about self-defense and how to take care of myself while keeping a job. That has served me well. How to have a really big sense of humor, how to be one of the guys and disarm those situations before they happen."
Many celebrities list McDonald's as a job they held at some point on their way to stardom. Could any one of the smiling faces you see at your local McDonald's be the next the Sharon Stone or Olympian Carl Lewis? Could this quiet guy sweeping up my daughter's fries be on his way to Washington DC like Paul Ryan?
Getty Images have plenty of glammed up photos of today's celebrities in hair and makeup, but there are no photos of the hard work they put in at the fast food chain's drive-thru or fry station.
McDonald's was all about opportunity and hard work for many celebrities. Even if they couldn't get out of Mickey D's fast enough, most agreed it was a valuable experience, like Sharon Stone did. Many other household names have changed the CO2 cartridge on the soda machine and mopped up spilled mayonnaise in a walk-in.
Sharon Stone's McDonald's Co-Stars
The sexy English singer confessed to The Guardian that he absolutely despised his time at McDonald's.
"The worst job I ever had was in McDonald's in Kentish Town," he recalled. "I was 16, and they gave me a brown uniform that was two sizes too small. I stayed for two weeks until I got my first paycheck, then I was outta there."
Keenen Ivory Wayans
The actor, director, writer, and comedian first became famous for In Living Color but he was also a manager of McDonald's before graduating high school. He'd put in 70 hour weeks sometimes to help his parents and his nine siblings who also went on to be celebrities.
Star of the romantic movie The Notebook, Rachel McAdams lacked the speed and concentration to really excel at her McDonald's career of three years. She found her niche as a greeter, using her friendly voice and face.
She told The New York Times,
"I worked at the local McDonald's for three years. I'm not sure why they kept me: I am something of a daydreamer and a dawdler, so they would only let me be the 'friendly voice' that greeted you when you entered the restaurant. I was slow—I would be organizing the sweet-and-sour packets in the customer's takeout bag while the line snaked out the door."
This actor, director, and writer wrote a heart wrenching confessional for the Washington Post about his time working at McDonald's back when was still a struggling actor.
"I was given the late shift drive-thru position. I wore a purple visor and purple polo shirt and took orders over a headset. I refrained from reading on the job, but soon started putting on fake accents with the customers to practice for my scenes in acting class. All I know is that when I needed McDonald's, McDonald's was there for me. When no one else was."
Before he invented Amazon, Jeff Bezos lived a simpler life working the morning shift at Mickey D's. Sure, he's a kazillionaire now, but his true value comes from learning how to crack 300 eggs using just one hand during his favorite Saturday breakfast shift.
"One of the great gifts I got from that job is that I can crack eggs with one hand. My favorite shift was Saturday morning," he told to Fast Company about his job at a Miami McDonald's when he was 16. "I would get a big bowl and crack 300 eggs in it."
The country/pop singer worked at a McDonald's in Ontario, Canada during her high school years. In a Us Weekly weekly article disclosing surprising facts about this singing beauty, she confessed to working in McDonald's, as well as wanting to meet Brad Pitt, speaking French, and being a vegetarian.
If you wanted to explain the theory of karma, Pharrell Williams' McDonald's experience would sum it up. The singer was fired from three different McDonald's locations. He admitted on Late Night With Seth Meyers that his favorite part of the job was the chicken nuggets. In a twist of karmic fate, the Mickey D's jingle we all know, "I'm Lovin' It", was written by Pharrell years later.
Actress Andie MacDowell worked part-time at the all-American fast-food chain while growing up in South Carolina. She said she enjoyed the coworkers and teamwork aspect of restaurant. That's the difference between a celeb like Andie and me. I would've just enjoyed the cheeseburgers.
The comic who took over for Johnny Carson as host of the Tonight Show never forgot his days of working at a Massachusetts McDonald's growing up. Hard work pays off and he went from fry grease to car grease as the owner of one of the most valuable collections of classic cars in the world. When Sharon Stone was a guest on the Tonight Show, I wonder if she and Jay talked about their old gigs?
James D'Arcy of Homeland fame worked at McDonald's and experienced every fast food night shift worker's nightmare. He was robbed at gunpoint working the register at a McDonald's in England. That was enough action for him and he quit soon after.
This lawyer and former co-host of The View worked as a fry girl when she was a teenager. She credits that job with teaching her responsibility. Monitoring fries is a lot of responsibility! If I were her co-worker, Star would've been slapping my hands out of the fries all day long. Star was promoted to cashier eventually for her excellent work at the fry station.
The former republican speaker of the house talked about what he learned at 16 as a fry cook in a 2012 campaign rally. This politician celebrity also worked at McDonald's. He told the crowd:
"When I was flipping burgers at McDonald's, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I thought to myself, I'm the American dream on a path and journey so that I can find happiness however I can find it myself."
Macy Gray started working at McDonald's when she was just 14! That actually led to her first big break doing a commercial for the golden arches.
"I worked as a McDonald's crew person, and there is so much more to working at McDonald's than people know," she said in a 2005 McDonald's press release. "The action, the fun, the people, the sense of accomplishment—it truly was my first big break!"
It doesn't hurt to have the speed of an Olympic runner with how busy the restaurant can get. So it makes sense that Carl Lewis' first job was at McDonald's. He even appeared in a commercial saying working at McDonald's was his "first race against the clock."
"Time is very important ... you couldn't let the fries get cold," Lewis said to Fox News. "If I was 10 seconds off, I'd have no gold medal." Considering Carl won ten Olympic gold medals, he certainly knows what he's talking about.
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