Hobbies are a fantastic way to escape from career and personal life stresses for both Hollywood Royalty, and the rest of us. They help a person focus on something they love and are passionate about, connect them to others, enrich perspectives and make them more interesting. Most celebrities ooze star power out of every pore, and don’t need assistance from a strange or unique hobby to make them even more fascinating to their peers or to the world off of the red carpet.
Life in the fast lane of Hollywood can make it hard to stay grounded. Prolonged stress over success, portraying the right image, and a very public persona can take a toll on new and veteran celebs. Some stars cope by embracing a “work hard, party hard” attitude, leading a lifestyle filled and fueled with extravagant luxury; expensive cars, lavish parties, designer drugs, and an epic entourage. Others are more introspective and selective with how they spend their rare and highly needed free time.
Production schedules can be grueling, filled with early mornings and late nights. This leaves many big shots with very little free time to kick-back, but ample wallets to fund their extracurricular activities. It’s no wonder so many VIPs take up eccentric collections and unusual pastimes to help them cope with high demands and a near constant paparazzi on their tail.
Taking a deep dive into the waters of celebrity pastimes can be an interesting way to find out a little more about the real person behind the silver screen.
10. Kate Moss – Synchronized Swimming
Kate Moss became iconic in the 1990s for launching the waif look. Previously known for her hard-partying lifestyle, Moss lost a number of high profile modelling contracts and opportunities with H&M, Rimmel and Burberry in 2005 when photographs surfaced of the featherweight model snorting cocaine. It appears that since 2005 she’s traded in some of her vices for other, rather unusual ways to pass the time. Moss swapped her Calvin Klein underwear for a swim suit, and travelled to Phuket, Thailand for a week of synchronized swimming training; that’s right, elaborate swimming, gymnastics, and dance moves set to music. Although Moss is said to have turned over a new leaf, apparently some old habits still die hard. One evening while away, after a number of drinks, Moss attempted to jump into a pool to perform a midnight one-woman show of her newfound synchro skills. Fortunately her boyfriend managed to keep her safe on dry land.
9. Kristen Stewart – Juggling
This leading lady is almost as famous for her tumultuous relationships, both on and off screen, as she is for her portrayal of vampire loving Bella Swan. While she wasn’t able to juggle both a relationship with co-star and boyfriend Robert Pattinson and marriage to Snow White and the Hunstman director Rupert Sanders without getting caught, the starlet is not a stranger to the act of juggling. Stewart has many talents, including juggling. Although admitting that she was a little rusty, Stewart showed off her juggling skills on Lopez Tonight in 2011, admitting that she and Robert Pattinson had a plan involving props at the upcoming MTV Movie Awards should they win best kiss again.
8. Johnny Depp – Barbie Dolls
Johnny Depp plays peculiar and outlandish, yet incredibly charming characters, with an unparalleled ease. This talent is enough to make anyone wonder what he’s really like off-screen. It isn’t surprising that one of his hobbies is also outside of the box, quite literally. In his case the box is produced by Mattel. Mr. Depp boasts an extensive collection of Barbie Dolls, a hobby said to have stemmed from playing with the dolls with his own kids. He owns a number of speciality Barbies and is known to update clothing and accessories of the dolls to reflect current show business news and celebrity gossip. His collection includes: a Lindsay Lohan doll (complete with an ankle tag bracelet), the stars of High School Musical, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn.
7. Neil Patrick Harris – Magic
Most diehard How I Met Your Mother fans know that a lot of the backstories, hobbies and talents of the series stars pay homage to the stars who play them. Cobie Smulders, who played Robin Scherbatsky is really Canadian, eh. It shouldn’t be surprising that Barney Stinson’s love of magic stems from Neil Patrick Harris’s real life magic hobby. Harris has loved magic since he was a child. He would frequent magic stores, showing off new tricks to friends and family as he learned them. He is a former president of the member’s only Hollywood club, the Magic Castle, which is hosted at a residential mansion that was built in 1909.
6. Susan Sarandon – Ping Pong
Susan Sarandon is best known as an elite and adaptable actor who routinely tackles a wide range of challenging roles, from Thelma and Louise, to Rocky Horror Picture Show to Dead Man Walking. The numerous awards she’s taken home over the years reflect this. Perhaps some of her flexibility could be credited to her favorite hobby, as a ping pong enthusiast and entrepreneur. Sarandon is a co-founder of the global “ping pong social club” SPiN. Originating in New York in 2009 the ping pong club has locations in Toronto, Hollywood, Dubai, Milwaukee, San Francisco and has most recently added a location in Chicago.
5. Flea – Chess
Flea (aka Michael Peter Balzary) is one of the most famous bassists in the entire world. His signature sound has supported The Red Hot Chilli Peppers since its formation in 1983, over 30 years ago. With a lot of time spent on the road, it’s no wonder that Flea has a portable hobby that can be played virtually anywhere. Flea reportedly loves playing chess nearly as much as he enjoys slapping the bass. While the band was playing in Rio he decided to challenge the world chess champion, Magnus Carlsen to a game. Although Flea was able to “stay in the game” longer than other challengers, he ultimately lost the match.
4. Mila Kunis – World of Warcraft
Guys everywhere have been talking for years about how hot Mila Kunis is. She’s been a consistently high ranking contender on sexy women of the year lists in publications including Maxim, GQ, and Esquire for nearly a decade. Nerds everywhere will agree that Mila’s approachability is one of the key elements of her appeal. It doesn’t hurt that she also shares a hobby with fan boys and fan girls everywhere. She has regularly spoken about her love of the popular fantasy themed video game World of Warcraft. Mila took a self-imposed break from the game in 2008 because she says that she was playing way too much and it was getting in the way of her career and life!
3. Steve Vai – Beekeeping
Steve Vai is a guitar virtuoso and multiple award-winning musician who has played alongside David Lee Roth, Whitesnake, Mary J. Blige, and Ozzy Osbourne. Despite his hard rocking metal roots, Vai has a hobby based in nature. Steve spends his spare time beekeeping. He often harvests the honey of his bees as gifts for friends and for charitable donations. He learned about his hobby online, found himself a local beekeeper and eventually got a swarm of his own. He involves his entire family in the harvesting process, producing nearly a thousand pounds of his famous Fire Garden Honey.
2. Kiefer Sutherland – Knitting
To most he’s known as Jack Bauer, the badass vampire from The Lost Boys or even as Donald Sutherland’s son. In tangles of knitters, he’s known as a fellow wool enthusiast. Knitting is known to have benefits similar to meditation, alleviates stress and depression, helps improve fine motor function, and can help prevent conditions such as arthritis. It’s no wonder that everyone’s favorite FBI agent likes to unwind by unrolling a ball of yarn. Knitting is a fantastic hobby for professionals, like actors, who spend a long time on set, with lengthy waits between scenes. Other Hollywood knitters include: David Arquette, Ashton Kutcher, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Christina Hendriks.
1. Paris Hilton – Frog Hunting
Paris Hilton may have a flashy celebrity persona, having built her career on her socialite life, but she insists that she’s actually quite down to earth and could even be considered a tomboy. Despite being known as a public critic of hunting animals for sport, the hotel heiress and reality TV star Paris has a dirty, muddy little secret. The beautiful blonde loves to catch frogs on her ranches. The starlet says that her hobby is humane as she catches the little leapers in a bucket, and then lets them go back into the wild when she’s done.