To be a celebrity, you usually have to possess some sort of crowd-pleasing talent – acting, athletic ability and so on. But quite a lot of celebrities happen to have more than one noteworthy skill. These 20 have hidden talents that the general public don’t necessarily know about. And some of those gifts are seriously unusual.
20. Pierce Brosnan – Fire-eating
The former 007 has a secret skill that often leaves people shaken, not stirred. He’s a practitioner of the very dangerous art of fire-eating. He started doing it in 1969 and was subsequently employed by a circus for several years. Brosnan later showed off his hidden talents during the first season of Remington Steele. And yes, he has badly burnt his mouth before, during an episode of The Muppets no less – so don’t try this at home.
19. Jack White – Upholstery
Long before The White Stripes existed, Jack White made his living from upholstery. Indeed, he even briefly had a band called The Upholsterers. And he soon found a way of combining his two passions. White hid vinyl copies of The Upholsterers’ second single, “Your Furniture Was Always Dead… I Was Just Afraid To Tell You,” inside the items that he worked on! So if you own furniture from Detroit, it may be worth checking inside your chairs.
18. Angelina Jolie – Piloting
Is there anything Angelina Jolie can’t do? She’s an actress, an activist, a mother of six – and a pilot. Jolie earned her license in 2004, and she did so for her kids by all accounts, especially her son Maddox. “When Maddox was one-and-a-half, we used to go to the airfield, have lunch and watch the planes,” she told Vanity Fair in 2010. “And it dawned on me: I could fly. So I promised him I would fly by his second birthday.” Now that’s dedication.
17. Matthew Perry – Tennis
Matthew Perry started playing tennis at the age of four and proved to be very good at it indeed. By the time he turned 13, in fact, he’d become the second-best junior player in Ottawa. But when he tried to go pro in the U.S., Perry decided he wasn’t good enough. “I realized I wouldn’t be playing tennis for a living, so I went for acting,” he told Men’s Health in 2012. “Are tennis and acting alike? I don’t know. They’re both very mental games.”
16. Justin Bieber – Rubik’s Cube Solving
You could be forgiven for thinking Justin Bieber is little more than a nice voice and a pretty face. But he has an impressive skill that not many people can master: Bieber can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under two minutes! He even does it for the cameras sometimes – on MTV in 2009, for instance, and again on The Late Late Show With James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke segment in 2015.
15. Christina Hendricks – Accordion
As if a woman once voted “sexiest in the world” didn’t have enough going for her already, Christina Hendricks can play the accordion as well. “I started taking lessons four or five years ago. It is such a rich instrument for one person,” she told the L.A. Times in 2010. “You can get so much out of it, like a one-man band.” So when Joan played the accordion in Mad Men, that was all Hendricks.
14. Geena Davis – Archery
Not many people know that Geena Davis is an accomplished archer. The Oscar-winning actress started training back in 1997, mentored by Olympic gold medal-winner Justin Huish, and it took off from there. Davis even tried out for the U.S. Olympic archery team a couple of years later but unfortunately didn’t qualify. Nonetheless, she thoroughly enjoyed the process. “It was the most out-of-body experience I’ve ever had,” Davis told ET in 2016. “It was fabulous. I will never forget about it.”
13. Chloe Grace Moretz – Knife handling
Chloe Grace Moretz played the tiny assassin Hit-Girl in the 2010 film Kick-Ass, so it makes sense that she’d know how to handle weapons. However, it’s still a little unnerving to see just how good she is with blades. Appearing on Conan at the age of 16, Moretz demonstrated her skills with a butterfly knife. She apparently began honing her technique when she was only 11 years old.
12. Jim Carrey – Art
Jim Carrey has spent most of his career as a Hollywood funnyman, but he began drawing at a very tender age. And his artwork certainly shows another side to him. Ever wondered why he hasn’t been appearing in movies much recently? Well, he’s been concentrating on his art, which includes sculptures, paintings – and political cartoons. The latter have caused plenty of controversy for Carrey, but he’s clearly doing something he loves.
11. Demi Lovato – Double joints
In 2013 the Huffington Post asked Demi Lovato what her hidden talent was, and she answered, “I’m double-jointed and can twist my arm all the way around.” That condition, also called “hypermobility,” possibly affects as many as a quarter of all people. And naturally it’s a huge help to those who want to become contortionists. So if Demi ever wants to pull some different moves on stage, or take up a new career…
10. Bob Dylan – Sculpture
Bob Dylan has another talent beyond singing and songwriting. He makes iron sculptures, and they’ve received plenty of acclaim. During 2013 some of them went on display at London’s Halcyon Gallery. “I’ve been around iron all my life, ever since I was a kid,” Dylan told the BBC at the time. “I was born and raised in iron ore country – where you could breathe it and smell it every day. And I’ve always worked with it in one form or another.”
9. Mike Tyson – Pigeon racing
Mike Tyson has had a deep love of pigeons since childhood. And according to Tyson, he started his first ever fight when a bully killed one of the birds in front of him. As an adult he has 60 of them at his house in Henderson, Nevada. His 2011 Animal Planet series Taking on Tyson showed him training them for pigeon racing – and he’s even posted images on Twitter of himself kissing the birds.
8. Jason Statham – Diving
Believe it or not, Hollywood hardman Jason Statham was a Commonwealth Games diver before he turned to acting. He was a member of the U.K.’s national swimming squad for over a decade, in fact. What’s more, his sporting career actually led him to his current profession. Firstly, he was scouted as a sports model and subsequently met film director Guy Ritchie while working for French Connection. Ritchie then cast him in Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, and the rest is history.
7. Michael Jackson – Art
Michael Jackson was a man of multiple talents, but one of his lesser-known skills was drawing. His subjects ranged from public figures to himself, and after he passed away in 2009 some of his works ended up being auctioned off. Nonetheless, many of them are available to view online, which offers people a fascinating insight into Jackson’s psyche.
6. Taylor Lautner – Martial arts
One question often asked about the Twilight film saga: how did Taylor Lautner get that smokin’ hot body? Turns out the answer may lie in his love of karate. He started doing it when he was only six, and a couple of years later he’d already been made a black belt. Lautner even went on to become the Junior World Forms & Weapons champion of the World Karate Association before he reached his teens. Now that’s very impressive indeed.
5. Rupert Grint – Didgeridoo
Harry Potter star Rupert Grint is noted for being a little eccentric when it comes to purchases. He owns a hovercraft, an ice cream van, a swan-shaped pedalo… and a didgeridoo. “I can play the didgeridoo fairly well. I’ve tried a variety of instruments in the past – accordion, sax, guitar, and never really clicked with any of them,” he told Empire in 2014. “But the didgeridoo, I can make a pretty decent noise.”
4. Johnny Depp – Art
World-famous actor Johnny Depp loves collecting art, and he also really enjoys making it. “What I love to do is paint people’s faces, y’know, their eyes,” he told Vanity Fair in 2009. “Because you want to find the emotion, see what’s going on behind their eyes.” He’s painted portraits of many people he admires, including Marlon Brando, Tim Burton and Keith Richards. And he’s contributed works for charity events, too.
3. Aaron Paul – Dog Detecting
In September 2013, while appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul revealed an extremely odd talent. He can work out the gender of a dog just by stroking the animal. It sounds silly, but when Kimmel brought out four dogs, Paul guessed the correct gender for every single one of them, which left the audience awestruck.
2. Neil Patrick Harris – Magic
As well as being an accomplished actor, Neil Patrick Harris was once the President of the Board of Directors of the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. Basically, he knows all sorts of magic trickery forbidden to mere muggles, and he loves to show it off whenever possible. Indeed, his characters on How I Met Your Mother, Glee and American Horror Story: Freak Show were also magicians or fans of magic. Watch closely next time you see him do a trick…
1. Christopher Walken – Lion taming
Christopher Walken is often labelled an eccentric. And to be fair, he possessed a very eccentric talent at one point in his life. He was a lion tamer! Or at least, assistant to a lion tamer. At the end of the act only one lion would be left, and it was Walken’s job to make her sit up at his command. Her name was Sheba, Walken told IndieWire in 2015. “She’d come and bump your leg. Like a house cat,” he added. Awww.