What’s the Strangest Job in Hollywood?

We’ve all heard stories about bizarre jobs in show business: Seat fillers! Spokesmodels! Whatever it is that Andy Dick does! So we decided to round up a few of our favorite stranger-than-fiction real Hollywood jobs. Which do you think is the weirdest?

Food Stylist for Hannibal

hannibalsteakDelicious or disgusting? The correct answer is “Yes.”

Styling food for film or photography is its own art form. But when the food actually has to look good AND be edible for the actors in the scene, it’s even more complicated. Top this off with the fact that the food being served is supposed to be made of humans but the people eating aren’t supposed to know that, along with the fact that the chef is an evil genius drama queen, and you’ve got one of the strangest jobs in Hollywood. Luckily Hannibal’s food stylist, Janice Poon, is brilliant at her job, and very good at documenting her process via her fascinating blog.

Body Double

Megan Fox allegedly used a hand double for this Motorola Superbowl ad

Sometimes the use of a body double is obvious, especially when it involves a nude scene and a celebrity clearly not keen on doffing their wardrobe. But body or body part doubles are used all the time, sometimes in unexpected places. Did you know, for example, that Arrow has employed a female Hand Double over a dozen times? I’ve always wondered why Oliver Queen’s wrists look so dainty in close-up…

Bug Wrangler

Mealworms? You’re soaking in it!

Shows like Fear Factor and Killer Karaoke that feature insects need to have someone to “wrangle” those bugs. Think of this job as sort of like a kindergarten teacher who goes to work knowing that most of his students will be stepped on or eaten by the end of the day.

Human Alarm Clock for Howard Stern


Actor-Director-Brah Eli Roth (Hostel, Inglourious Basterds) has said that he wrote his first film, Cabin Fever, while working as Howard Stern’s “human alarm clock” on the set of Stern’s Private Parts. No word on who acted as Stern’s human tie rack, human electric toothbrush, or human Norelco Shaver.

Stand-In for Orphan Black

We all know by this point that the fabulous Tatiana Maslany plays like 453 characters on Orphan Black. But there’s another woman (or women) who plays just as many – only her face is never seen on the screen. That would be the double for Maslany who stands in for her when two or more of the clones are in the same shot – multiple shots are then combined to remove the stand-in(s). Thanks for coming to work today, ladies!


See those plants in Hannah McKay’s greenhouse? Somebody had to put them there…

Some shows employ a full-time greensman to handle all plants on the set (Dexter, for example). This is the perfect job for someone who loves plants but doesn’t like to see them in any one place for very long.

Foley Artist for Wipeout


No, not Scott Foley – the Foley Artist is the person who does all the re-recorded sound effects for a movie or television show (i.e., walking on gravel, creaky stairs, doors closing). It’s a very common job, but the people who do the sound effects for Wipeout must have a hell of a good time adding all the bloops and bongs as people get pummeled on the course.

Re-enactment Killer for Whodunnit?

Walker Haynes

Did you know that Walker Haynes played the masked killer in all the reenactments of the murder scenes of Whodunnit? Even though the killer was revealed to be a lady?

Modesty Sock and/or Merkin Costumer for True Blood


We all know by now that True Blood loves spending as little money as possible on its gorgeous stars’ wardrobes – they’d much prefer to have the cast naked all the time. But this can be a bit uncomfortable for some performers, so the show employs the aid of pickle-hiding “modesty socks” (word on the street is the show refers to these as “the sock of destiny”) and merkins (fake pubic fur) for the sake of the cast’s privacy. Stephen Moyer memorably auctioned his pickle pouch for charity, and Ryan Kwanten signed his and gave it to Jimmy Kimmel. And of course, as we all saw for ourselves, Alexander Skarsgard doesn’t use one. Europeans!

In 2003, Brian launched the world's first website devoted to horror film from a gay perspective (CampBlood.org), mining an untapped (and occasionally unintentional) source of entertainment and bringing together a huge and colorful population of gay horror fans and filmmakers. When he's not pulling skeletons out of closets, Brian writes reviews for horror megasite Bloody-Disgusting.com, general film site Freezedriedmovies.com, and can be found on the ever-informative RottenTomatoes.com. Brian is also a filmmaker, having produced, written, and directed two shorts (the dark romantic comedy An Apple a Day and the eerie suspense piece Two Story House) that have played at film festivals worldwide and left audiences generally uneasy. A born-and-bred Midwesterner, Brian studied Mass Media and Film at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (I know – crazy, right?) before fleeing the district for the warm and occasionally stinky shores of NYC. Brian is a proud member of the Online Film Critics Society, loving husband to illustrator Andy Swist, and benevolent overlord of their two cats.