Before donning polka dots, pencil skirts, plaid and stylish retro hairstyles on Mad Men, Alison Brie was sporting a far less glamorous look.

She worked the children’s birthday party circuit as a clown.

“We always had to drive to Compton first to pick up our suit and do our makeup in this warehouse, and then go get gas, like at the nearest gas station, dressed fully as Sunny the Clown,” Brie recalls. “People were cool about it. They were just like, ‘Sup girl?’ And I was like, 'Sup?’ ”

Seven years later, when Brie auditioned for Mad Men, she had no idea how big that break would be. At the time, the AMC network didn’t have any original programming.

“The role I auditioned for was a one-episode guest star on this show,” she says. “So at the time, it also was not like, 'When I get this job it will change my career trajectory entirely. It was more like, 'Maybe no one will ever see this show but at least I would have good material for my reel,’ or whatever.”

Alison Brie’s Breakout Role On 'Mad Men’ Looked Like A Bit Part

Photo credit: Carin Baer/AMC