Celebrities — they’re just like us! So goes the old saying, and it’s true that in many ways celebrities are, indeed, just regular people. They eat, they see friends, they work, and they have hobbies. Along with the typical ones like exercising, cooking, and playing music, a surprising number of celebrities enjoy collecting things. While this could seem quite a mundane pastime for the rich and famous, who would generally be accustomed to fast-paced lifestyles, it also makes sense that the less conventionally exciting world of collectables would be an appropriate escape during leisure time. Of course, the fact that money tends to be no object amongst celebrities means that they’re pretty much unlimited in the scope of their collections, and in terms of how much or how many of a certain item they can choose to accumulate.
In the world of the common people, a few collections stand out as easily being the most popular. According to one report, collections of baseball cards, coins, stamps and action figures are some of the most common around the world. However, in the case of celebrities, who are unencumbered by factors such as price and availability, collections are far more specialised and varied. While many celebrities collect fairly conventional items, such as Elton John‘s and Bill Gates‘ famous art collections and Jerry Seinfeld‘s and Ralph Lauren‘s collections of cars, plenty more collect the strange, the grotesque or the downright bizarre. This list counts down ten of the most unusual celebrity collections.
10. Angelina Jolie — Knives
At number ten is Angelina Jolie with her collection of knives. The actress has had an obsession with the items for many years, which began at the age of fourteen. As a teenager, her interest in them veered towards self-destruction; she would use the knives she’d collected to self-harm, and has also been known to involve them while having sex. Her collection today is purely and probably more healthily for aesthetic purposes, and she has gone on record as saying that she thinks once a person has children their self-destructive tendencies must out of necessity take a back seat. Jolie’s collection consists only of “antique beautiful knives from other countries”, as opposed to more common or shop-bought ones.
9. Tom Hanks — Typewriters
Tom Hanks‘ typewriter collection is at number nine. He is obsessive about the kind of typewriters he acquires, and his interest in them is rooted in the sound they make. He claims to use a different typewriter for writing, making his choice depending on the mood he’s in and the mood he wishes to convey in his material. Hanks says that he uses a vintage manual typewriter almost every day, and his collection is one of the best-known facts about the actor. Hanks was even persuaded into an interview with the present of a typewriter for his collection; host of Nerdist Podcast Chris Hardwick wanted to book Hanks for his show, and in order to entice him to partake in the rather low-profile interview sent him a bribe of a 1934 Smith Corona typewriter along with a typed invitation.
8. Demi Moore — Antique Dolls
At number eight is Demi Moore‘s vast collection of antique dolls, dubbed “creepy” by ex-husband Ashton Kutcher. While there is nothing too unusual about collecting dolls, Moore stands out in terms of sheer scale — she owns hundreds of china and antique dolls, which reportedly are even kept in their own house, separate to Moore’s. Moore has gone on record as saying that she plans to use her collection in opening a doll museum to the general public, but this has yet to be realised.
7. Rod Stewart — Model Trains
Rod Stewart‘s unusual liking for model trains and railways puts his collection at number seven. Stewart is well-respected in the model railway collector community for his impressive 1:87 scale model of New York Grand Central Station, circa 1940. Stewart constructed the 1,500 feet marvel while on tour, and wrote to publication Model Railroader after its completetion, “as an avid reader”, to see if they might be interested in publishing a photo of his layout.
6. Quentin Tarantino — TV Show-themed Board Games
World-famous director Quention Tarantino is at number six with his collection of TV show-themed board games. The very exacting specification of theme sets him apart from collectors of generic boardgames, and means that Tarantino qualifies for a place on the list of most bizarre celebrity collectors. He names amongst his collection games based on the 1979 The Dukes of Hazzard and the 1983 The A-Team.
5. Reese Witherspoon — antique linen
At number five is the truly unusual collection belonging to Reese Witherspoon, which consists of antique linen. As well as linens, Witherspoon is a fan and collector of old embroidery. She claims to greatly enjoy “coming home to what’s real” after working and enjoys more traditional hobbies such as cooking and reading, which would seem to correspond with her penchant for needlework and tapestries.
4. Johnny Depp — Pig Skeletons
Johnny Depp is at number four, with one of the stranger of his many collections. Depp is a notorious hoarder; amongst others he boasts collections of hats, guns, bugs, fake moustaches, and first edition books, specifically those pertaining to the Beat Poets. On top of these collections of varying degrees of bizarre, Depp also collects pig skeletons, for reasons that remain undisclosed (which is probably for the best).
3. Claudia Schiffer — Bugs
At number three is Claudia Schiffer, with her rather grotesque collection of insects. The model is allegedly obsessed with bugs of all shapes and sizes, to such an extent that she collects them to adorn her house. She collects them in order to mount them on her walls, and lives her day-to-day life surrounded by them. Schiffer’s interest in insects isn’t just limited to decoration; even the design of the logo for her knitwear label is bug-inspired, taking the shape of the doodle of a spider, from the webs of which she is said to take a lot of her inspiration.
2. Jack White — Stuffed Animals
Jack White‘s macabre collection is at number two. Not stuffed animals in the cuddly toy sense, but stuffed and mounted real animals are where White’s true passion lies. In accordance with his public image as a slightly offbeat, wacky musician, White’s collection is both inspiring and unsettling. He has an extensive collection of animals to his name, including a zebra head, a kudu, an eland, two gazelles and a giant white elk. Two years ago The History Channel was granted permission to film the collection as part of their programme “American Pickers.”
1. Nicolas Cage — Shrunken Heads
At number one is surely one of the most bizarre celebrity collections of them all — Nicolas Cage‘s collection of shrunken heads. Cage, as a notorious big spender, went on an enormous spending spree over a period of years, which eventually concluded in his losing virtually all of his fortune at one point. Amongst the items he spent his money on were an octopus, two king cobras, a sixty-seven million year old dinosaur skull, two private islands and, of course, his collection of shrunken heads. What would inspire someone to begin such a strange collection remains to be seen, but the phrase “more money than sense” does spring to mind.