Education makes the world go ‘round. While some celebrities, including Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez, found fame at a young age, other stars’ rise to success in Hollywood took a little more time. Hugh Jackman, Jesse Williams and Jon Hamm are just three celebs who pursued another career — teaching — before their tenure in the City of Angels became set in stone.
“When I was a kid there were lots of superheroes that I wanted to be. But I can tell you right now, from where I stand, with all my experience, the real superheroes are teachers,” Jackman gushed in February 2019. “They’re the ones that change the world.”
Williams, for his part, recalls looking like he was a student while he was teaching high school. “I had plenty of students who looked older than me,” he said on The Queen Latifah Show in September 2014. “It was not easy.”
While Hamm is now known as an Emmy winner, he was once regarded by The Office actress Ellie Kemper as her high school acting teacher. “In a room full of freshmen girls, he was definitely just as handsome back then,” she quipped to The A.V. Club in 2010. “Having this grown, tall man teach you theater, it was like having a hunk in the class.”
Kemper and Hamm’s worlds collided again in 2015 when they took on the roles of Kimmy Schmidt and Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, respectively, on the Netflix show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The Legion narrator has previously admitted that he would consider becoming a teacher again if his career as an actor ever fails.
Keep scrolling to see all the celebrities who were teachers before fame!