Mark Hamill Works Jack in the Box Drive-Thru After Getting Fired as a Teen: 'I Had So Much Fun'
Jack in the Box
Mark Hamill just fulfilled a life-long career goal of working the drive-thru at Jack in the Box.
Not only is the fast food chain re-launching their classic spicy chicken strips and French toast sticks, but they're also "bringing back Mark Hamill for a limited time!" the actor tells PEOPLE, referring to his new comeback campaign with the brand.
When he attended Los Angeles City College around the age of 18, Hamill, now 70, worked at his local Jack in the Box after school — but his gig in the food business didn't last too long.
"I always aspired to work the window, right? I wanted to be on the speaker, and instead I was always in the back. And when I got my chance at it, I blew it," says the Star Wars actor. When he finally got to take orders through the speaker, which used to project from the chain's clown head mascot, he tried out an exuberant, clown-like voice to say, "Welcome to Jack in the Box. May I take your order?"
"Well, I thought it was clever. The manager thought otherwise," he laughs. "I was probably really irritating. Anyway, he just told me to go home and never come back."
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Hamill adds that there were no hard feelings, the manager just said, "Mark, if you can't take this job seriously, maybe you don't belong here," he recalls. And sure enough, his manager was right.
Whether he was working at a fast food restaurant or a copy boy at the Associated Press, Hamill says he "always [saw] the theatrical aspect of whatever job I was working in."
Jack in the Box
"I wouldn't be just a waiter. In my mind, I would be somebody I'd seen in the movies. It was sort of like using your fantasy imagination to make the job more fun. And that's what I did at Jack in the Box — although it didn't come to a happy end," he says.
It's no surprise his clown impersonations at Jack in the Box ultimately led him down an illustrious acting career path — and back to the very restaurant chain that rejected his goofiness.
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"What are the chances of a former employee who let you go, asking you to come back? It was too good to [pass up]. I said, 'I've got to do this' because it's so personal, and it actually happened," he adds.
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The actor definitely enjoyed his time during his second go-around at the drive-thru window, even if a few fans asked, "Did anyone ever tell you you look like that guy from Star Wars?" he recalls. "I had so much fun."
Clearly he didn't hold a decades-long grudge after getting let go from his formative job. In fact, he's grateful for where it ultimately brought him.
"When there's a setback in your life you have to double down and go right back at it. It wasn't like I was disillusioned like, 'Oh no, I'll never work again.' I just thought, 'Okay, that happened. Now how can I go to the next job and make sure that doesn't happen again?' It's all part of life experience that prepares you for whatever you're aiming for," he says.