After a long day at the office, or on the movie set, it is nice to come back to something that ignites a passion within our person. Let’s face it; everybody needs a way to unwind. What most people turn to is a hobby. It may be as mundane as watching reality television or as elaborate as collecting vintage automobiles, the goal is the same. It is something outside the realm of everyday routine that allows us to let go and relax.
Celebrities, once we get passed the padded bank accounts and fame, are regular people. They have the same needs as all of us, but do their hobbies become more elaborate because of their wealth? We have all heard of celebrities like Jay Leno or Jerry Seinfeld with vast car collections, John Travolta’s Boeing 707 and 5 other planes or Harrison Ford’s helicopter. When you look at it from the outside, these are the types of hobbies we would expect stars to enjoy: large expensive items that are beyond the realm of reality for most regular folk. There are stars, however, whose tastes are less expensive and, in some cases, a little strange. They seem to have a childlike fascination with things that most of us would simply ignore. No matter what they pursue they have the funds and connections to maintain top-notch collections.
The best thing about these hobbies and collections is that they allow us to get an insight into the person beyond the image. Hobbies are deeply personal and allowing the public in to share this aspect of their lives the stars are placing themselves in the open for all to see.
10) Ben Stiller: A Trekkie
When we think of Trekkies, our minds fill with images of people dressed as Starfleet crew members standing around conversing in Klingon. The fact is that there are tens of thousands of fans out there. They get together in large conventions, meet the stars, and discuss the television shows and films. Trekkies come from all walks of life; some are doctors, lawyers, professors and general laborers. The reality is that Star Trek has touched many people to the point of fanaticism, even prominent Hollywood stars. Ben Stiller is best known for his comedic writing and acting, but he is also a huge Star Trek fan. In fact, he has even added some Star Trek elements into his movies. In Tropic Thunder his character is seen watching Captain Kirk battle Gorn from the original Star Trek. People have long thought that Trekkies are weird or nerdy; Stiller is neither. It may be time to rethink our opinions of the Starfleet followers.
9) Rod Stewart: Model Trains
Rod Stewart has been making music since the early 60’s. He became one of the best selling artists of the 1970’s beginning with the release in 1971 of the album Every Picture Tells A Story, which went on to sell over 4 million copies. Stewart continued to release hit songs throughout the 70’s up until as recent as last year. Throughout all these years Stewart has had another passion: model trains. I realize that this is in no way a strange hobby. The strangeness comes from the fact that Rod has taken this interest to the extreme. Stewart has dedicated most of the third floor of his mansion to his passion. His set measures 23 feet wide by 124 feet long, with a surrounding 1,500 square foot reproduction of post-war Manhattan. It features over 100 buildings and the details included are mind-boggling. Rod is so obsessed with his trains that he actually brings his modeling tools on tour in seven touring cases. During his down time he builds his models and adds to his impressive layout.
8) Tiger Woods: Spear Fishing
Tiger Woods is responsible for making golf a more mainstream sport. He came onto the scene like a juggernaut winning almost every other week and owning the major tournaments for years. We are all aware of Tiger Woods hobby that got him into hot water, but he has another passion that involves being in the same milieu, but this time by choice. Tiger Woods loves to unwind by diving deep into the ocean, weapon in hand in order to spear some fish. Spear fishing has become a passion for the top ranked golfer, even going as far as to take free diving lessons, (diving without SCUBA gear) in order to improve his time spent underwater to over 4 minutes. If Tiger had only placed a greater focus on spearing fish rather than other prey he might have avoided all of his personal issues.
7) Tom Cruise: Fencing
Tom Cruise is one of Hollywood’s most recognizable stars. Beginning in the early 80’s Cruise quickly became a sought after leading man. He has been in numerous blockbuster movies and his films have made more than $ 7.5 billion worldwide. How does Cruise choose to wind down? His chosen avenue for relief is fencing. Cruise actually has a training room in his home specifically designed for fencing. What makes Cruise’s love of fencing even better is his bringing David Beckham and Will Smith into the fold. The trio of superstars have all given into their love of epee and foil. Whereas most hobbies are a solitary undertaking, Cruise has managed to make fencing instantly cool, not only by his love of the sport but by bringing his friends into the fencing world.
6) Quentin Tarantino: Board Games based on TV shows
What does an accomplished screenwriter and director do to calm down? After a hard day of filming blood filled violent scenes anyone would need a passion to unwind, but very few of us would choose to sit down, roll the dice and play a board game.
This is a rare occurrence if we limit the games to those based on TV shows. Over the years Tarrantino has managed to get his hands on games based on I dream of Jennie, The Dukes of Hazzard and The A-Team among others.
5) Leonardo DiCaprio: Action Figures
Leonardo DiCaprio began his career as a child actor. Although he has grown into a Hollywood star he still keeps a part of his childhood in the form of his vast action figure collection. Focusing mainly on Star Wars figures DiCaprio has some of the most rare in existence.
He does not limit himself purely to the Star Wars universe, as he also has a vintage 1982 He-Man figurine that is extremely rare. In a bizarre twist there have also been figurines made of DiCaprio himself for his characters in Django and Inception. Perhaps one day these will have a place of honor in his collection. Not as obsessed as certain collectors, DiCaprio actually sold off a portion of his collection for charity.
4) Johnny Depp: Plays with Barbies
Johnny Depp has always been known to walk to a beat of a different drum. He has taken on strange roles and managed to bring reality to the most obscure characters. Whether it be Willy Wonka, the Mad Hatter or Captain Jack Sparrow, Depp creates memorable characters that are at once whimsical and somewhat disturbing. You would expect an eccentric actor to have a strange hobby and Depp does not disappoint. Depp has an extensive Barbie collection. He says that he got into collecting these dolls while playing with his daughter. He now has dozens of different dolls, including a Beyonce and a Lindsay Lohan Barbie. Depp even goes as far as to accessorize the dolls with the current Hollywood trends. Who can say that guys who play with dolls are not cool now?
3) Angelina Jolie: Antique Daggers
Angelina Jolie’s mother presented her with a dagger when she was 12 years old. The gift may seem a little strange, but it ignited a passion in the young Jolie and she has been collecting the knives ever since. Although her past is littered with strange behaviors, like wearing her ex, Billy Bob Thornton’s, blood around her neck. This collection is purely for show. The fact is that daggers used to be popular items in the past and there are some of the antique models that are works of art. They are to be showcased as pieces of art and not potential weapons.
2) Tom Hanks: Typewriters
In the days before the advent of computers, office buildings hummed with the sounds of the keystrokes, bells and carriage trays being reset. The typewriter was one of the most important pieces of equipment in the corporate world from the 1860’s until the early 1990’s when computers began to replace them as viable document producing instruments. As with most pieces of the past some people collect them and no collector is as famous as Tom Hanks. Hanks is the highest grossing movie star of all time and has a passion for vintage manual typewriters. Over the years he has amassed a large collection and even uses them to write letters to his friends.
1) George Lucas: Squirrels
George Lucas is the mastermind behind the hugely popular Star Wars empire. What does the man who invented the force do as a hobby, well it might shock you. Lucas has a strange affinity for squirrels.
He has always been fascinated by the furry rodents and takes it as a challenge to ensure that all of the neighbourhood squirrels are well fed. The next time you see a strange bearded man feeding peanuts to squirrels in the park, take a closer look: it may just be a billionaire film maker indulging himself in his hobby.