Celebrities don’t get any time off. No matter how secluded they may think they are, there’s almost always someone with a camera or a phone waiting to sell a story on them. With such little privacy – and the immediacy of modern media – most stars are conscious of constantly looking their best to protect “the brand.” As a result, some celebs seem to exist in a photoshopped bubble, stumbling out of bed with perfect makeup and a perma-smile.
Riding a roller coaster, however, presents a whole new set of fun face-saving challenges. Here we look at 20 celebrities letting their hair down, literally, as they hurtle back down to Earth and pull goofy faces like big kids on, well, roller coasters.
20. Katy Perry
In 2011 pop superstar Katy Perry re-lived her own teenage dreams when she visited Six Flags Great America in Chicago. The “Dark Horse” singer took a day off from her grueling California Dreams Tour to ride the park’s Raging Bull, SUPERMAN: Ultimate Flight and THE DARK KNIGHT coasters with her entourage.
Image: Twitter/Kim Kardashian via E! Online
19. Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Kendall Jenner
Famous-for-being-famous mega celeb Kim Kardashian and her rapper-with-a-messiah-complex husband Kanye West – then her boyfriend – look like they’re on different planets in this photo, which was snapped at California’s Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2012. Despite her self-described “ugly… cry face,” Kim tweeted the shot with the caption, “Kendall [Jenner] screaming, Kanye laughing & me crying!” Still, it couldn’t have been all bad…
Image: YouTube/Hollywood Life
18. Kris and Bruce Jenner
In 2013 Kim Kardashian returned to Six Flags Magic Mountain to celebrate her sister Kendall Jenner’s 18th birthday. Perhaps sensing that it would make for, ahem, great reality TV, dysfunctional Keeping Up With the Kardashians parents Kris and now-former husband Bruce Jenner tagged along for the ride. And midway through an argument with Bruce, Kris suddenly let out a terrified-sounding mini yelp as the roller coaster kicked into gear. Bruce, on the other hand, remained deadpan and kept arguing.
Here, Beyoncé braces herself for the drop while riding Brooklyn’s classic Coney Island Cyclone in 2013. “Queen Bey” braved the 87-year-old roller coaster for her “XO” music video, which was directed by acclaimed fashion shutterbug Terry Richardson. And when she wasn’t burying her face in her hands, the superstar pulled faces of pure, unadulterated excitement and thrill.
16. Usher and Ellen DeGeneres
In 2010 talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and R&B star Usher screamed around The Incredible Hulk Coaster in Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure. As a coaster veteran – The Ellen DeGeneres Show set up camp here for a time in 2007 – DeGeneres seemed at ease. For honey-voiced Usher, however, the ride wasn’t always as smooth. Incidentally, the show has returned to Universal Orlando several times, with DeGeneres subjecting blindfolded audience members to roller-coaster feats of bravery.
15. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus has been on quite a roller-coaster ride of her own since killing off Disney second self Hannah Montana for good with her infamous 2013 MTV Video Music Awards twerking routine. But here, in a snap from 2008, we see a more innocent-looking, 15-year-old Cyrus riding the West Coaster at Santa Monica Pier’s Pacific Park while taking time out from filming Hannah Montana: The Movie.
Image: Twitter/Taylor Swift via Celebuzz!
14. Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran
In this photo from April 2013, pop star Taylor Swift and dancer buddies Mallauri Esquibel and Scott Myrick scream with their eyes closed, while singer Ed Sheeran plays it cool, on Walt Disney World Florida’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. At the time, Sheeran was the relatively new kid on the block, supporting the U.S. leg of Swift’s The Red Tour, so he had to look good. Swift dubbed it the “best day EVER.”
Image: YouTube/Splash News
13. Bruce Willis and Emma Heming
Turns out all those failed bad guys in the Die Hard series had to do to get the better of John McClane was stick him on a roller coaster. Indeed, action star Bruce Willis didn’t look too comfortable while whizzing around Disneyland, California’s California Screamin’ roller coaster with his wife Emma Heming in April 2013. “Yippee-ki-yay, mothertrucker!” (It’s a family joint).
Image: via Fanpop
12. Rita Ora
Here, pop star and The Voice U.K. coach Rita Ora wears a look of utter terror while riding the Coney Island Cyclone in Brooklyn in 2012. Despite her near-visible palpitations, though, Ora is actually quite the daredevil. In 2013 she skydived over Dubai, describing the experience as “the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Image: Twitter/Chris BrownRCA via 97.3 Coast FM
11. Chris Brown
In this 2013 shot, controversial singer Chris Brown clutches on-again-off-again girlfriend Karrueche Tran’s hand – but it’s not clear who’s supporting whom. The troubled hit maker and the model-turned-actress were photographed riding Universal Studios Hollywood’s Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride roller coaster at the theme park’s yearly Halloween Horror Nights event.
Image: Six Flags Great America
10. Jennifer Hudson and David Otunga
In May 2012 Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson and her fiancé, WWE star David Otunga, hit Six Flags Great America in Illinois – and did so merely 24 hours after Hudson’s former brother-in-law was convicted of taking the lives of three members of her family. Still, Hudson and Otunga clearly at least temporarily felt the re-energizing pull of gravity while riding the park’s X Flight roller coaster.
Image: via wmj.ru
9. Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis and Emma Heming
During his marriage to ex-wife Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher was occasionally snapped while hanging out with the actress and her previous ex-husband Bruce Willis. Kutcher appears to come out on top in this 2008 shot of the unconventional posse of Moore, Willis and Willis’ current wife Emma Heming all riding the Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California.
8. Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio often makes the ladies swoon, but in this 2007 shot Israeli model and now ex-girlfriend Bar Refaeli appears ready to pass out. To be fair, though, it looks like DiCaprio may have himself needed a change of underwear as they rode Knott’s Berry Farm’s Xcelerator in Buena Park, California. Meanwhile, actor buddy Lukas Haas is much more relaxed in the next row – unlike the friend sitting next to him.
Image: via Heroes of Mariah
7. Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey looks like she’s having a much better time than her estranged husband Nick Cannon in this hilarious 2008 shot. The photo was taken on Universal Studios Hollywood’s Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster, and rapper Cannon no doubt had some serious street cred to regain after its publication – particularly as the pair also checked out tame-looking The Simpsons Ride.
Image: via Facebook/James Harrison
6. James Harrison
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison hilariously surely fakes it for the cameras in this May 2014 photo of him riding Walt Disney World Epcot’s Test Track attraction in Florida. His two sons are there, too: that’s a subdued James Harrison III on his right, while the tiny arm in the air beside Harrison Sr.’s head belongs to younger son Henry.
5. Spencer and Heidi Pratt
In 2007 reality TV duo Spencer and Heidi Pratt – then Montag – enjoyed a day out at Pacific Park on Santa Monica Pier. This shot of “Speidi” on the Pacific Plunge – her wide-eyed and -mouthed, him eyes shut and scared – suggests that Spencer might buckle first if the couple were ever to sign up for Fear Factor.
Image: via Hello Magazine
4. Liam Payne
One Direction’s Liam Payne looks like he may have bitten off more than he could chew in this 2013 shot of him and ex-girlfriend Danielle Peazer riding Thorpe Park’s Stealth roller coaster in the U.K. On another go the following year, however, the tables were turned with Payne the one consoling a distraught-looking Peazer.
Image: via YouTube/Robyn Schneider
Here’s a celebrity roller-coaster face with a difference. In 1999 former romance novel cover boy Fabio was involved in a shocking collision during a promotional ride of Busch Gardens, Williamsburg’s then brand-new attraction Apollo’s Chariot. Don’t worry, though: the Italian only ended up needing three stitches – but unfortunately the goose that hit him in the nose after flipping off the cart did not survive the incident.
Image: via Buzznet
2. Zac Efron
From his well-publicized stint in rehab to his decision to take on more “adult” film roles, actor Zac Efron has done a lot to distance himself from his squeaky-clean, Disney teen-heartthrob past. That includes this post-High School Musical snap of him looking mock-terrified while on Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Tatsu roller coaster in California in 2007.
1. Kevin Hart and Jimmy Fallon
In 2014 terrified comedian Kevin Hart clenched his way around every twist and turn of Universal Studios Florida’s Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster. Hart surmounted his fear of such coasters to ride alongside The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon, who looked less in mortal peril. Of course, Fallon used footage of Hart’s nightmare ride – done twice – to accompany his appearance on the show.