From tattoo artistry to piloting planes
Ever wondered what musicians and actors get up to in their spare time? This selection of celebrities’ secret skills is full of surprises:
1. Margot Robbie – tattoo artist
On the set of Suicide Squad, the Australian actor tattooed her co-star Cara Delevingne with a ‘toe-moji’, and in the below clip admits to having given about 100 tattoos over the years. One particularly keen member of The Graham Norton Show‘s production staff got a matching toe-moji on the show, which you can see below.
2. Christopher Walken – lion-tamer
Speaking to IndieWire in 2015, the actor said that the lion he tamed aged 16 was “really more like a dog. It wasn’t really lion taming.” He added: “She was very sweet. Sheba. Old girl. Very nice. She’d come and bump your leg. Like a house cat.”
3. Jack White – upholsterer
Before The White Stripes, Jack White worked as a furniture upholsterer. Once he’d started his music career, he formed a band with another upholsterer called Brian Muldoon – unsurprisingly they called themselves The Upholsterers. And White has since admitted to having snuck their music inside furniture he upholstered – one of which was recently found, after years hidden inside a sofa.
4. Angelina Jolie – pilot
Jolie has held a private pilot licence since 2004 and flies a Cirrus SR22.
5. Pierce Brosnan – fire-eater
In 2003 Brosnan recalled: “At the Oval House – this was in 1969 – there was a workshop and one night I came in to rehearse. I looked in and some guy was teaching people to fire-eat. There was a big group of people in there but I noticed that there were women and they had their tops off. So I thought I’d join in. This guy was a street performer and he was teaching us how to put the flames across the chest and the young ladies had to take their bras off – there were no bras then anyway. So I went to the workshop and I learnt how to fire-eat. It’s still [on my CV], absolutely.”
6. Aaron Paul – dog-whisperer
Aaron Paul can tell whether a dog is male or female simply by patting its back. Seriously – see him in action below:
7. Geena Davis – pro archer
Two years after taking up archery aged 41 in 1997, Davis tried out for the USA’s Sydney 2000 Olympics team. She came 24th out of 300 women and didn’t qualify, but did take part in the Sydney International Golden Arrow competition. See her make fun of her participation in the below video.
8. Bob Dylan – ironwork
Dylan has completed many projects as a visual artist, but perhaps most unusual is his ironwork. In 2013, London’s Halcyon Gallery exhibited seven wrought-iron gates the legendary musician had made; he said: “I’ve been around iron all my life ever since I was a kid. I was born and raised in iron ore country, where you could breathe it and smell it every day. Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference.”
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9. Sandra Bullock – linguist
Sandra Bullock speaks fluent German – her mother is German, and she visited Germany a lot as a kid. At the 2012 Oscars she surprised everyone by zipping fluently between English and Deutsch.
10. Ellen Page – juggler
11. Creed Bratton – guitarist for The Grass Roots
In the US version of The Office, Creed Bratton plays himself, a bit like Adam West did in Family Guy. The real Creed actually used to be in The Grass Roots, a band that’s sold 20 million records over the years. Hence, Creed is also a pretty solid guitarist and singer.
12. Justin Bieber – Rubik’s Cube maestro
Always an impressive skill.
13. Mike Tyson – pigeon racer
Aged 11, Tyson got into his first fight after a bully killed one of his pet pigeons. In 2011, following a life-time of pigeon patronage, the boxer made a documentary about competitive pigeon-racing called Taking on Tyson.
14. James McAvoy & Mark Ruffalo – unicyclists
Look at them go!
15. Neil Patrick Harris – magician
Like his How I Met Your Mother character, Barney Stinson, NPH is a pretty decent magician in real life:
16. Taylor Lautner – karate
The Twilight star started karate aged 6 and won many junior world championships before becoming an actor.