Famous athletes, actors, and other celebrities take pains to cultivate their public image, and for most, staying within one’s lane is usually the safest way to go.
After all, Hollywood stars have a vested interest in maintaining their air of sophistication, and sporting pros know that the pursuit of physical extremes could only be of benefit to their already dazzling careers. There, deviating from the norm, at least publicly, isn’t something that most celebrities feel all that comfortable about doing – unless of course you are actor Lance Reddick, who is happy to talk about his.
Even so, a few famous individuals show no fear when it comes to revealing their more unusual passions. The five celebrities profiled below are known around the world for achieving success in their chosen careers. But if you were to guess what each one of them, chances are you won’t get it at all. But who are they and what exactly do they like to do?
As the star of seven action-packed, testosterone-fueled Fast and Furious films, along with other macho hits like the Pitch Black and Riddick series, Knockaround Guys and XXX, actor Vin Diesel has been a musclebound man’s man to filmgoers for more than two decades. And all that time, Diesel – who was born Mark Vincent before adopting the more intense moniker as a nightclub bouncer – has relished any opportunity to play his favorite game, Wizard of the Coast’s legendary Dungeons and Dragons.
This tabletop role-playing game based on fantasy storytelling elements has been a big part of Diesel’s life since early childhood. In 2004, he was even invited to write the foreword to “,” a book commemorating the game’s milestone anniversary. In an interview with Wired magazine, Diesel even revealed that he taught actress Dame Judi Dench to play Dungeons and Dragons on the set of The Chronicles of Riddick.
Among the tattoos adorning Diesel’s action hero frame is one simply reading “Melkor” – which is, of course, the name of a J.R.R. Tolkien character that Diesel used for his favorite Dungeons and Dragons character.
Ronaldo (Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima)
Known simply as “the phenomenon” to soccer fans both in his homeland of Brazil and around the world, Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, the man the world knows by his first name, has achieved iconic status as perhaps the greatest soccer player to ever live. Named by FIFA as World Player of the Year three times, Ronaldo also won the Ballon d’Or as Europe’s greatest player on two occasions. Ronaldo led Brazil’s national team to World Cup titles in 1998 and 2002, and his 77 goals during international play puts him in second place on Brazil’s all-time goal scoring list, trailing only Pelé.
Since his retirement from professional soccer in 2011, Ronaldo has transferred his intense competitive spirit to an entirely different game. He has become a tournament poker player. Ronaldo regularly competes alongside top-level professionals and even managed to make a deep run in last year’s PCA – the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. After buying in to the main event for $10,600, Ronaldo outlasted nearly 800 opponents to finish in 26th place – good for $42,180 in winnings. Ronaldo’s passion for poker eventually resulted in a sponsorship deal with a major online poker provider, and the soccer star has been a major contributor to poker’s explosive growth in his native Brazil.
Mila Kunis managed to land the role of a lifetime in 1997, playing Jackie Burqhardt in the FOX sitcom That 70’s Show. The comedy proved to be an immediate hit, vaulting Kunis into the realm of Hollywood stardom as she branched out into film and voice-acting roles. Since 1999, Kunis has given voice to Meg on Family Guy, and her movie credits include cult classics like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Extract, along with her breakout role in the ballet psychodrama Black Swan.
Between roles, however, Kunis enjoys nothing more than loading up her mage character “CaptianPicard” (yes, that’s not a typo!) in World of Warcraft, the standard-bearer for massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). Typically thought to be the realm of geeky men living out their fantasies of wielding magical powers from their parents’ basement, World of Warcraft was one of the first computer games to integrate the social experience.
Kunis attributes her early interest in World of Warcraft to this interactive appeal, and during an interview with Dan Amrich for the One of Swords podcast in 2014, she enthused about “questing” on all-day sessions with a close-knit “guild” – as a group of in-game friends and game buddies is called in video gamer lingo. Celebrities are sometimes accused of feigning interest in niche activities like video games to help broaden their appeal, but based the deep knowledge of World of Warcraft lore that Kunis displayed in the interview, it’s more than clear she is the real deal.
During the peak of his powers, no golfer on Earth struck fear into the hearts of opponents quite like Tiger Woods. His 79 wins on the PGA Tour put Woods in second place on the all-time leaderboard, and between 1997 and 2007 he managed to win an astounding 14 major championships. And while injuries and personal issues have led to a downswing in terms of results on the course, Woods continues to serve as the game’s greatest ambassador, opening new courses and representing golf to a global audience.
As he enters the sunset phase of a stellar career, the infamously competitive Woods has sought alternative outlets for his passion for sport – and this officially does not include NASCAR. Already an avid bass fisherman, Woods has also explored a more extreme method of landing his catch: spearfishing.
“I’ve got into free-diving a bit,” Woods revealed during an interview titled “Real Men Don’t Use Scuba Tanks” with the magazine Men’s Journal. “I thoroughly enjoy shooting fish and catching lobster on the free-dives. But I want to go after yellowfin tuna. So I need to stay down a little longer.” Photos of a grinning Woods holding massive tuna fish after a successful spearfishing adventure emerge on a regular basis, showing that Woods is still capable of delivering a hole-in-one when the occasion calls.
When she’s not writing her latest chart-topping hit song, running a worldwide social media empire or inspiring our boundless adoration, Taylor Swift enjoys a humble, holiday-themed hobby.
Swift posted to her Facebook account encouraging fans to make their own homemade snow globes, along with her personalized instructions. Apparently, Swift finds designing and crafting her own snow globes to be a nice change of pace from the rigors of road life, and her process is actually quite easy for beginners to grasp. Using just a mason jar, some waterproof glue, holiday ornaments and glitter, Swift fashions unique snow globes that reflect her current mood, nostalgia for childhood Christmas days and other personalized themes. The finished products are actually quite artisanal in appearance and even if it wasn’t an award-winning singer and songwriter doing the work, Swift’s snow globe line may just be destined for a department store near you.
Never has there been a better set of examples of why not to judge a book by its cover. In today’s media-saturated world – one which is very carefully edited – it is only too easy to form an opinion about those who grace the covers of magazines and the silver screen. Even though it seems that their schedules could not possibly allow them the time to do more than their news feed reveals they’re doing already, it’s somewhat reassuring to know that they, like anyone else, sometimes like to kick back with a good game from time to time or heck, even some arts and crafts.