Up in the Air, Ocean’s 11, ER)
• Previous jobs: Men’s suit salesman, construction worker, theater cleaner
• Payoff: Of course Clooney sold men’s suits! He’s still a salesman on the screen, only his inventory has changed. Whether he’s pitching a scheme to rip off a casino, a swordfishing trip in bad weather, or a politically risky newscast in Good Night and Good Luck, there’s no doubt the guy could sell ice to Eskimos. In Up in the Air, it’s pretty clear what he’s selling in that bar scene. But what you may not have known is that when he moved in with Aunt Rosemary Clooney in L.A. after dropping out of college, he paid for acting lessons by working construction and cleaning a theater (before that, he tried out for the Cincinnati Reds but didn’t make it past the first round). Perseverance pays off: Nowadays, Clooney vacations in a villa in Italy that he reportedly bought for $10 million.