Gwyneth Paltrow has turned her hobby of being a rich, white woman into a cottage industry, condescending to her minions every chance she gets about how freeing the things we can’t afford can be. But some interests and hobbies go beyond the fringe, or at least they play against every type imaginable. Presented for your approval, some of the more bizarre, unexpected hobbies that celebrities spend their time obsessing over.
15. Tom DeLonge – UFOs
The frontman of Blink 182 has recently retired from the band to follow his true passion: tracking aliens. According to Rolling Stone, DeLonge has spent hours searching YouTube investigating something he calls “the phenomenon.”
“Pure, unadulterated antigravity. It would scare people if they knew,” he told the magazine. Seems his obsession has existed for some time, and he’s made several pilgrimages to sighs of famous incidents, from Area 51 to the Bermuda Triangle. He is involved in what he considers a national security issue and nine months of touring a year will just get in the way of searching for the truth.
There were signs of this during his tenure with the band, most notably a song called “Aliens Exist.”
14. Dan Aykroyd – UFOS, Motorcycles, Alcohol
Remember all that psuedoscience sounding jargon in the Ghostbusters films and video game? Those overexcited, adorable rants Ray Stantz would go on about ectoplasmic residue, containment units and boson charges? Turns out Aykroyd firmly believes every word of that. A longtime supporter of MUFON (Mutual UFO Network), Aykroyd has spoken at length about the existence of both aliens and ghosts. He even released a DVD entitled Dan Aykroyd: Unplugged on UFOs.
He has also reported seeing “Men In Black” – figures in the UFOlogy community that may be aliens themselves who appear near sightings – on the set of Crossroads. You heard it here first, aliens might well be tracking Britney Spears. In addition to the otherworldly, Aykroyd has always had a passion for motorcycles and sells his own brand of wine and Crystal Skull vodka.
13. Harrison Ford – Airplanes
If you’ve ever seen Harrison Ford in an interview, his contempt for celebrity and the industry isn’t exactly hidden. Overall, he’s a congenial guy who doesn’t particularly care about acting. That’s not to say he doesn’t like it, just that it’s not his first priority. That would be weed. Weed and airplanes.
For every late show appearance in recent years, he’s certainly seemed a little more than laid back. He began adult life as a carpenter, another passion of is, before acting swept him into the spotlight. These days, Ford loves to fly. There have been two separate incidents of him nearly dying, most recently making an emergency landing on a golf course.
12. Nick Offerman – General Man Stuff
Offerman has created a persona out of being a man and all that entails, but it’s no act. The man loves flannel, fine whiskey and building things. The actor is a professional woodworker and builds boats, canoes and furniture in between roles. He even produced and starred in an instructional DVD about how to craft a canoe. Some might wonder what came first, his Ron Swanson character from Parks & Recreation or the real Offerman. But interestingly, the writers added in Swanson’s love of woodworking after he was cast. It must be nice to have your life and career blend together so perfectly.
11. Tom Hanks – Typewriters
In addition to allegedly being the nicest guy in Hollywood, Tom Hanks is a gigantic nerd. His penchant for vintage manual typewriters is no secret. He uses them regularly to write daily journals and observations, much in the way a millennial uses Twitter. He takes his collection adorably serious.
Fans have been known to send him old typewriters and, being the nice guy that he is, Hanks will write them a letter of thanks on the machine. Hanks has also launched an iPad app, Hanx Writer, that allows you to experience what it’s like to type on a vintage manual.
10. Paris Hilton – Frog Hunting
In the 1972 creature feature Frogs, Ray Milland plays a wheelchair bound plantation owner who orders the fauna around his estate sprayed with pesticides. The frogs, among other reptilian creatures in the swamp retaliate with a deadly vengeance.
We’re not even sure this can be considered a hobby – possibly animal harassment. But Paris Hilton has said she enjoys chasing frogs around, capturing them and imprisoning them in a bucket to watch them like some deranged frog warden. After a while, her mind will wander or she’ll see something shiny, lose interest and release them back into the wild. She insists she does not kill the reptiles, just temporarily detains them.
One can only hope, however, for the Millandian fate of a frog uprising…
9. Brad Pitt & Ice Cube – Architecture
It shouldn’t surprise readers that Brad Pitt is a fairly cultured fellow with an interest in architecture. He also collects metal sculptures and other pretentious things. It’s Ice Cube, however, whose safety net before turning to hip hop full time was studying architectural drafting. He finished his studies in Phoenix, but has yet to actually pick up his certificate.
In 2011, when the Getty wanted to celebrate local L.A. architecture, they turned to native Cube to become their resident expert on Hollywood design pioneers Charles and Ray Eames. Cube says that he can “draw you up a house. I’m not sure it will be liveable.” He has a great appreciation for architecture, and credits his studies and his understanding that “everything has a plan” to much of his success as an artist.
8. Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and Patrick Dempsey – Racing
The city of Montreal hosts one of the most popular F1 races every summer, and lost an icon in Newman when he passed away in 2008. The world lost a great actor, but the crowded streets of tourists flocking to Montreal felt a little emptier. Newman had been a racing champion, competing well into his 80s.
His onscreen counterpart in The Towering Inferno, Steve McQueen was equally enamoured with the sport – which shouldn’t be a surprise considering the actor is known for a film featuring some of the best car chases of all time. Grey’s Anatomy star and real-life Benjamin Button, Patrick Dempsey seems to have taken up their mantle, competing in auto races at prestigious events around the world.
7. Daniel Craig – Cooking, Halo
Forget shaken Martinis – Craig used to work in the kitchen of his local pub when he was up and coming, and continues his love of the culinary arts whenever he can. “I love to cook,” he said, “but because I used to work in the hostelry industry, I can’t cook for a few, because I’m used to cooking for 20 or more at a time. There are always a lot of leftovers.”
Craig has also become so enamoured with Halo that it caused problems in his relationship with now ex-girlfriend Satsuki Mitchell. So when you’re blasting aliens in multiplayer, be aware that your teammate on the other end of the mic may well be James Bond.
6. Michael Caine – Ambient House DJ
In Children of Men, Caine plays marijuana loving hippie with a shocking taste in hardcore electronic metal. This might well be the closest to his cockney, working class history a role has come. The man himself grew to fame shortly after the swinging 60s in England, and it certainly shows.
One of the most beloved English actors of our time has been known to get behind the local turntables and has even released an album entitled Cained. His encyclopedic knowledge of music even impressed Elton John.
5. Michael Gambon – Gun Collector
With how many villainous roles he’s taken on over the years, Gambon being an avid gun collector in real life shouldn’t be much of a shock. Gambon has a vast array of vintage firearms that he has painstakingly restored to working order. Though he’s less a second amendment nut, more an Antiques Roadshow contestant. He has also restored a number of clocks and watches with the same care.
Like other names on this list, Gambon also suffers from a love of automobiles, appearing on Top Gear in 2002. He was driving so fast he rounded the last corner of his lap on only two wheels.
4. Bob Barker – Karate
Perhaps that infamous scene in Happy Gilmore, in which Bob Barker fulfills our collective lifelong dream of beating the living hell out of Adam Sandler, isn’t that far removed from reality.
The former Price Is Right host and pet castration enthusiast has been a long-time practitioner of martial arts. He even received training in Karate by none other than Chuck Norris. As of press time, he holds a black belt. So perhaps that spay or neuter plea at the end of each show wasn’t a request so much as an outright threat to pet owners everywhere.
3. Vin Diesel – Dungeons and Dragons
Vin Diesel has made no secret that he’s a huge nerd at heart. Before voicing anthropomorphic tree creature Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, he actively campaigned via twitter and other venues for Marvel to produce a movie based on The Inhumans comic series, starring none other than himself. Since then, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ran through the Inhuman plotline thoroughly in its second season. That hasn’t stopped Diesel from desperately wanting more than just Groot from Marvel.
He’s also a champion dungeon master in the aforementioned game and has written a forward to a book celebrating the game’s 30th
2. Nicolas Cage – Superman Comics
How much does Nicolas Cage love Superman? Enough to name his first born son Kal-El, the Kryptonian name of the Man of Steel. Of the many spending sprees the actor has gone on in his career, from castles to sharks, he will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for original comics and memorabilia.
So it must have seemed like a dream come true when Tim Burton selected Cage to star as his hero in the mid-90s. Unfortunately, the film – scripted by Kevin Smith – fell into development hell and came out the other end as an intensely boring Brian Singer film.
1. Kiefer Sutherland – Rodeo, Band Management
If you believe tabloids from the mid-90s, Kiefer Sutherland was living life like a Flatliner, though rather than experiencing near-death under medical supervision, he just lived like it was a good day to die.
It makes sense that Sutherland enjoys the rodeo. His career has its fair share of westerns – from Young Guns to Forsaken – the first film in which he shares scenes with his father, Donald. And his personal lifestyle – which involves managing bands and tackling Christmas trees – is rowdy enough that the life of a cowboy outlaw suits him just fine. He spent years on the circuit after living on a ranch in Montana, during which he competed in, and won, several competitions.