Stars who used to be strippers

We've seen a bunch of celebs strip down to nothing for a role in some of our favorite movies, such as Demi Moore in Striptease and Natalie Portman in Closer. Hollywood seems to be enamored with the world's "second oldest profession," and we think we know why: a lot of stars have actually worked as exotic dancers before, during, and after they made it big. In fact, many big names wear their past profession like a badge of honor. Here's a surprising look at some famous faces who've stripped for cash.

Mark Consuelos got talked into it

Kelly Ripa, the co-host of Live! with Kelly and Ryan, sat down with Vanity Fair to talk about her career as a soap star-turned morning talk show host, but the interview took a surprising turn when her husband's past came up as a topic of conversation.

While discussing the stripper-themed film Magic Mike, the interviewer brought up Mark Consuelos' past as a go-go boy, and Ripa, who's never one to hold back, gladly spilled the tea about her hubby's former profession.

"A lot of hot guys in Hollywood have [stripped]," she said. "He was straight out of college … he's gorgeous, looking to break into show business, so he started off as a roadie to a group of these guys, and then they talked him into stripping."

Her husband even showed her pictures from his stripper days, and she's the proud owner of a calendar featuring Consuelos in all of his go-go boy glory. That lucky girl. 

Courtney Love didn't let her weight stop her

If you were around in the '80s (we know, we know, it was so long ago), you might've ran into Hole frontwoman Courtney Love at a number of Los Angeles strip clubs. Love had a legit reason for wanting to ditch her clothes for a buck: She was desperately trying to make money to fund her alternative rock band.

The strip club that gave her the most work was reportedly the legendary Jumbo's Clown Room in Los Angeles, but she told LA Weekly that she bounced around to different spots: "I didn't just work at Jumbo's, I worked at Nude, Nude, Nude! Century Lounge near the airport. I worked at Seventh Veil." Her résumé was impressive. After her shifts, the grunge rocker would give the band's guitarist, Eric Erlandson, $3 for every $5 she made. "And that's how we bought our van and we bought our backline," she said.

In a 1992 interview with Vanity Fair, Love also admitted she wasn't in the best shape throughout her years as a dancer. In her words: "I was fat then. You can be fat and strip." Good to know!

Amber Rose was 'too young'

Amber Rose grew up with dreams of becoming a marine biologist, but life had other plans in store for her.

At the age of 15, the Philadelphia native tried her hand at stripping as a way to make money, but at the time, her heart just wasn't into it. "I was very, very young," she said of her first stint. "I did it and I was like, 'Oh, h**l no, I cannot do this.' I was a kid," she told Cosmopolitan.

When she turned 18, she gave stripping another try and fell in love with the profession. "That was the best time of my life!" she said. "Oh my god, I had so much fun. I really did." 

Stripping opened the door to modeling gigs, and Rose was even featured in a few music videos, including the Ludacris track, "What Them Girls Like." It was her striking appearance, along with her platinum blonde buzz cut, that caught the eye of her ex, rapper Kanye West, according to the New York Post.

"When I told [West] I was an [exotic] dancer, he was like, 'I don't care if you're a crackhead. I don't care if you're a prostitute. I just want to be with you,'" she told the Post. "That's what made me love him."

Striptease 'empowered' Dita Von Teese

Heather Renée Sweet — better known as Dita Von Teese — is known for her high-profile romance and 2007 divorce to rocker Marilyn Manson, but many also recognize her as one of the world's most popular burlesque dancers. What you may not know is that the raven-haired stunner got her start doing striptease shows.

She was already doing pinup at the age of 19, but one day, she decided to give stripping a shot. "The girls didn't take anything off; they were dancing in bikinis," she told InStyle. "I started working there, a fish out of water, performing in vintage lingerie and corsets and developing my burlesque shows."

The entertainer said doing striptease "empowered" her, and she reveled in the theatrics of her performances. "I would use eccentricity as a weapon, wearing red lipstick, heels, hats, leather gloves, and extreme clothes — kind of like a femme fatale or a villain," she said.

Channing Tatum has no regrets

We've all seen Channing Tatum gyrate like his life depended on it as the star and the producer of the uber successful 2012 film Magic Mike and 2015's Magic Mike XXL. Surprisingly, he didn't have to shadow a real-life stripper to learn how to perfect his lap dance routines. He got all the preparation he needed during his ascent to superstardom.

In 2014, Us Weekly published an exclusive video showing Tatum stripping down to a neon thong (in real life) for a gaggle of screaming patrons. The actor's public relations team was reportedly mortified when the footage surface, but Tatum told GQ, "I had wanted to tell people … I'm not ashamed of it. I don't regret one thing. I'm not a person who hides s**t."

According to GQ, Tatum's backstory goes something like this: He dropped out of the University of South Florida and was working a series of odd jobs. Since he was already a party boy, he decided to ditch the mundane gigs, such as house framing and cleaning cages at "a puppy-kitty nursery," and strip for cash instead. He was hired to dance at a now-defunct all-male revue in Florida under the pseudonym "Chan Crawford." How did he do?

"On a good night, [I made] 150 bucks," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "On a bad night, 70 bucks — even 50 at times." If only young Tatum had known just how lucrative those skills would prove in Hollywood.

Blac Chyna's dance moves brought out the stars

In an interview with Elle, Angela "Blac Chyna" White said she knew from a young age that she never wanted to depend on anyone for money. By the time she finished high school, her parents couldn't afford to pay her college tuition, so she went to classes during the day and stripped at night to pay the bills. When she informed her mom, Tokyo Toni, about her plans to drop out of college to be a full-time exotic dancer, Tokyo Toni was A-okay with her decision because she, too, was once a dancer. "My mom used to be a stripper," Chyna said, "so she was like, 'If this is what you want to do, be the best at it.'"

Chyna took those words to heart and made it clap all the way to the stripper hall of fame. Okay, such a place doesn't really exist, but if it did, she'd be there. While working at Miami's King of Diamonds, Chyna caught the attention of various stars, including her ex and baby daddy Tyga and Drake. On the latter's track "Miss Me," he even gives her a shout-out as he raps, "Call up King of Diamonds and tell Chyna it'd be worth the flight." 

At the height of her stripper career, Chyna was taking home more cash every night than most people make in a month. "The most I've ever made in one night is $15,000," she told Elle. Sign. Us. Up.

Kendra Wilkinson knew it was 'wrong'

Kendra Wilkinson catapulted her way into the public eye as one of the late Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner's girlfriends on E!'s The Girls Next Door, but long before she was wearing bunny ears and living in the lap of luxury in the mansion, Wilkinson described her life as an "uphill battle" in her memoir Sliding Into Home" (via Today).

In her book, she says she grew up as a party girl, experimented with drugs at the age of 13, and even worked as a stripper. "I always knew that was wrong," she told Today (via the New York Daily News). "I kind of lost myself for a little bit."

The Kendra on Top star has since ditched her troubled past to become an author, the wife of former NFL star Hank Baskett, and the doting mother to their adorable kids, Hank IV and Alijah.

Chris Pratt loved getting naked

He may have taken home $12 million to star alongside Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence in the 2016 film Passengers, but there was once a time when Chris Pratt was struggling to make ends meet.

In a revealing interview with BuzzFeed, the Guardians of the Galaxy star said he performed a plethora of odd jobs pre-fame, including cleaning cars, working as a room service waiter, and manning the snack bar at a bingo hall, but since being in the buff was apparently his jam, Pratt decided to make a career out of it. "I was always a very much naked person," he said. "I loved to always get naked. I was very free, so I thought, I may as well get paid.

At the age of 18, Pratt was hired to perform at a bachelorette party, but his most memorable gig was undressing down to his skivvies for a friends' grandmother's birthday party — it paid 40 bucks. Oh, to be a fly on the wall at that shindig!

Pratt even auditioned to dance at an actual strip club, but his sub-par moves may have hindered him. "I don't think I'm a very good dancer," he said.

Cardi B is not ashamed of her past

With successful songs, such as "Bodak Yellow" and "Bartier Cardi," Cardi B has more than enough cash to make it rain at any strip club. However, there was once a time when the rapper was the one being showered with dollar bills.

According to The Fader, she turned to stripping at the age of 19. Her first gig led to more lucrative offers to disrobe, which she happily accepted, while being sure to hide her occupation from her family. "Thoughts of your parents pop up in your head and it's like, 'Yo, this is so disgusting.' And I hid it for like two years from my family, from everybody," she told The Fader. "You know what I told them? I told them I was babysitting for some real rich white people."

On her 23rd birthday, having become a social media star, Cardi B left exotic dancing behind. She secured a spot on the VH1 series, Love & Hip Hop New York, but she wasn't too happy when producers attempted to typecast her. "They just wanted to make me look as the stripper, a struggling stripper," she told The Fader

With her music career going strong, her dancing days are now behind her, but Cardi B will never forget her humble roots. "People want me to be so full of shame that I used to dance," she told The Guardian. "I would never be ashamed of it."

Jake Pavelka went from The Bachelor to Chippendales

Jake Pavelka has been featured on a bevy of reality shows, including The Bachelorette and Dancing with the Stars. In 2010, he starred on The Bachelor and gave his final rose to contestant Vienna Girardi, but marriage wasn't in the cards for them.

In 2012, Pavelka took a break from living his life on the small screen to become a Chippendales dancer in Las Vegas. According to TMZ, the reality star was hired to host the all-male revue at the Rio hotel. Although the event is known for showcasing beefy men who strip down to almost nothing, Pavelka wasn't required to drop trou. 

Speaking about his gig as the revue's celebrity MC, Pavelka told RadarOnline, "I'm intimidated to shake it on stage." He also claimed he didn't know how to dance, which is somewhat of a requirement for a group known for its fun, choreographed dance sequences. 

It takes guts to agree to join such an iconic troupe, but we wonder if Pavelka's inability to get jiggy with it harmed his stripping career. He has not returned as the host of the male striptease — so take that as you will. 

Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino shimmied in a patriotic thong

Long before Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino was showing off his washboard abs on MTV's Jersey Shore and Jersey Shore Family Vacation, he was disrobing for an entirely different reason. TMZ released photos that dated back to 2004, exposing the beefed-up hunk's stripper past. In the picture, he posed alongside his "All American Male" dance crew members at a bachelorette party.

Since the gossip site had already outed him, The Situation decided to come clean about his gyrating history on an episode of Jersey Shore (via E! News) and during a 2010 interview with The Jay Leno Show (via Access Online). "There's actually strippers and then there's dudes that walk around with their shirt off and serve drinks, so I was the dude with the shirt off," he told the former talk show host.

But he finally fessed up: "You want me to be honest? You know I did try it once. I really didn't like it though." He added, "I really didn't like the costume. You know? The outfit… my birthday is on the Fourth of July so they had some like, I don't know if I was Uncle Sam, but it was some sort of Uncle Sam with a thong and I wasn't really feeling it." 

God bless Jersey!

Eve was the 'laziest stripper'

Rapper Eve has never hidden her past as a dancer, but she finally got candid about the experience after landing a gig on The Talk. During a discussion with her co-hosts, Eve said she always dreamed of becoming a rapper, but when her music career didn't take off after she finished high school, she needed a backup plan to make some cash.

But her dancing career hit a snafu, and the Grammy award-winning artist described herself as "the laziest stripper you could ever meet." She said she'd often ignore her dancing duties to rap inside the strip club instead. 

Fate was on her side when former Bad Boy Records rapper Mase walked into her club. "He looked at me one day and he said to me, 'Come here. You're not supposed to be here,'" she recalled. "That night he drove me around and we rapped all night back and forth until the sun came up."

After that night, she decided to hang up her stilettos for good. "I never talked to those [strippers] again. I never went back into the club and I knew that was a message because I wasn't like those other girls," she told her co-hosts. "And no disrespect to anyone… I just knew it wasn't my path and I knew that that was a sign." 

Joey Lawrence danced for 'drunk, crazy women'

Joey Lawrence has worked in the entertainment industry since he was knee high to a grasshopper, and in 2012, he expanded his resumé when he joined the legendary Las Vegas Chippendales dance troupe. Extra caught up with the former Blossom star during his limited-engagement show and asked what prompted him to don the male revue's iconic black bow tie… and not much else. 

"They called me and they were passionate about me coming over here and joining them for a month," he said. "Honestly, I just said, 'What the hell? Let's do it.'" After swiveling his hips for "a bunch of drunk, crazy women," Lawrence returned to the set of the sitcom Melissa & Joey. 

That series was canceled in 2015, and he and his wife, Chandie, filed for bankruptcy in July 2017, so we wouldn't be surprised if he returned to the stage to shake his money maker for some easy cash in the future.

Introducing NeNe 'Silk' Leakes

Before she was hobnobbing with Georgia's elite, The Real Housewives of Atlanta's NeNe Leakes was struggling to support herself after splitting from her eldest son's father. "[My roommate and I] couldn't pay our rent one month and we were like, 'Oh my gosh, what are we going to do?' " Leakes told TV One's Uncensored (via People). "And there were these free papers that you can pick up and you would sift through the paper and it would say, 'Nude modeling.' And I thought, 'Okay, girl. We could do nude modeling."

The "modeling" gig wound up being Atlanta's Gold Club — one of the city's most well-known strip venues. Leakes adopted the stage name "Silk," and in her 2009 memoir, Never Make the Same Mistake Twice: Lessons on Love and Life Learned the Hard Way, she wrote: "I felt powerful in front of those men… They were obviously there to see what I had, and I quickly realized that those men weren't there to make me feel bad about myself. Quite the contrary. They were there to make me feel good."

After meeting her husband, Gregg, he convinced her to finally bid the strip club adieu.

Azealia Banks' A-cups slowed down her money train

Prior to stirring up controversy with almost everyone in the entertainment industry, Azealia Banks worked as an exotic dancer in Queens, N.Y. "Strippers make way more f*****g money than a lot of people working desk jobs. They're walking out of there with $1,200 a night," she told the Daily Beast in 2014. However, the "Ice Princess" rapper said she wasn't getting showered with as many dollar bills as her bustier counterparts. "Now me, with my little butt and my little A-cups, it wasn't happening like that," she said.

She called that period a "low point" and a time when she was too fixated on making quick money. "I was such a chicken in the strip club," she said. "It was not my thing at all. I was there for just two weekends, and then I quit because [the song '212'] blew up." 

Javier Bardem stripped for his mum and sis

Husband, father, Academy award-winning actor, and stripper? Say what? Yes, you read that right. No Country for Old Men star Javier Bardem told Marie Claire UK in 2008 that he worked as a male stripper prior to making it big in Hollywood. 

Unlike other stars who worked in dimly-lit clubs for months or even years, Bardem's tenure on stage only lasted one day. "It was a disaster," he told the magazine. "And you know who was there watching? My mum and my sister!" 

"It was kind of a thing — you go there and dance, they pay you some money. It wasn't like a Full Monty thing," he added, as if that makes stripping in front of your family any less awkward. For those who are concerned that he potentially scarred his mum and sister for life, there's no need to worry. "I think I have a good relation with my family, thank God! We are very tight!" Whew! 

Lady Gaga's act was 'pretty wild'

When she turned 18, Stefani "Lady Gaga" Germanotta began working in strip clubs, she told Fabulous magazine (via NBC). Apparently, Lady Gaga went all out when it came to shaking her stuff. "My act was pretty wild. I'd wear black leather and dance to Black Sabbath, Guns N' Roses and Faith No More. Very rock 'n' roll," she said, adding, "I don't want to talk about it too much but there were drugs, serious drugs. I wouldn't want to inspire other people to do the same."

Despite the dark and seedy aspects of the job, the "Poker Face" artist has no regrets about her previous work history. "I discovered a real personal freedom through it … I have a strong sense of my own sexuality. I love the naked human body and I have huge body confidence," she said.

Farrah Abraham stripped in the name of 'research'

After transitioning from a reality star on MTV's Teen Mom to becoming an adult film star, Farrah Abraham accepted a gig with an Austin, Texas establishment called Palazio Gentlemen's Club in 2014, according to E! News. Although a source said Abraham was initially hired as a cocktail waitress, the spitfire TV personality "wanted to make more money dancing, so they moved her up to the stage."

The insider claimed Abraham's presence really got the men riled up. "She was definitely not shy and looked like she knew what she was doing," the source said. 

In response to her new booty-shaking gig, Abraham claimed she was taking it all off for "research" purposes. "I've been trying out all the roles that make up a gentleman's club, including cocktailing and dancing… It's job shadowing that I hope pays off," she said. We'll take her word for it.