Celebrities and Their Secret Passions
We previously mentioned how Vanilla Ice turned his hobby for home renovation into a full-time career. He's got his own home show on the DIY Network called "The Vanilla Ice Project," and he's soon to have another called "Vanilla Ice Goes Amish" where he'll learn construction techniques from the Pennsylvania Dutch themselves.
That's great news for the rapper-turned-renovator, as he's already found success in two of his favorite hobbies (he's still rapping for Psychopathic Records, too). And, unbeknownst to him, Vanilla Ice is probably giving hope to several celebrities who dream of secondary careers in alternative fields.
READ: Celebs Known to Knit
As it turns out, plenty of famous figures have little-known hobbies that fill their time when they're not in the spotlight, such as:
Blake Lively: Baking
Blake Lively has a special section of her kitchen devoted to the baking cupcakes. The "Gossip Girl" actress also cites celebrity chefs Nigella Lawson and Paula Deen as her idols, and hopes to follow in their footsteps by opening an eatery (or several) of her own. “I want to have a brunch place, a bakery and a Southern restaurant — because my family’s from Georgia — and then I want a place that is all-over-the-world cuisine," she told Allure magazine.
Geena Davis: Archery
Despite starring in "A League of Their Own," Geena Davis is more interested in archery than baseball. ''My archery hadn't become public knowledge until now,'' she once said in a 1999 interview with The New York Times, which is the same year she became a finalist for the U.S Olympic team.
Waka Flocka Flame: Professional Wrestling
Rapper Waka Flocka Flame said that his current hip-hop career is just a job. “That s*** picked me,” he told Vibe magazine in 2010. “I ain’t pick this. I’m trying to tell you, I woulda been a wrestler before rapping. Real talk. I woulda been another Steve Austin. Rapping? Nah.”
Neil Patrick Harris: Magic
He occasionally showcases his magic skills on episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" or guest appearances on "Glee," but Neil Patrick Harris' love for magic goes much deeper than that. He's also directed a play on the subject called "Nothing to Hide", hosted the 2008 World Magic Awards, and serves as the current president of the board of directors for The Academy of Magical Arts.
Daniel Day-Lewis: Woodworking, Cobbling Shoes
Daniel Day-Lewis tends to take long sabbaticals between acting gigs, and it's in those stretches where he practices his two other passions: woodworking and cobbling. He became skilled in carpentry at a young age, even fashioning a dining room table and chairs for his mother during his school years, and once moved his family to Florence in the late '90s to take an apprenticeship at a bespoke shoe shop.
Jason Lee: Skateboarding
"Chipmunks" father-figure and "My Name is Earl" star Jason Lee is better known for his acting nowadays, but he was once a sponsored, professional skateboarder. He and Tony Hawk both released their own signature Airwalk skateboarding shoes in 1995, which is around the same time Lee appeared in his first major role in "Mallrats." He's also the co-owner of the Stereo skateboarding brand, which he co-founded in 1992.
Jake Gyllenhaal: Cooking
"If I wasn’t acting I’d be a cook, or working on the line in a kitchen, which is actually a dream of mine," said Jake Gyllenhaal during a recent BBC interview. "I don’t have anything I like to cook especially, but I like to go down to the farmers’ market and then cook with what’s in season," he continued. "I like to go back to the old school, Beastie-Boys style with my cooking. It’s all about the fresh produce!"
Seth Meyers, Bill Hader: Comic Books
"Saturday Night Live" regulars Seth Meyers and Bill Hader bonded over a mutual love of comic books when they first started working together — the first thing they did was take a trip to NYC's Midtown Comics. During the writer's strike of 2009, Meyers and Hader took the opportunity to become writers for Marvel, penning a one-shot Spider-Man comic called "Spider-Man: The Short Halloween."
Kal Penn: Politics
Kal Penn (Kumar of "Harold and Kumar" fame) left Hollywood in 2009 to take a job as a the associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. "It felt worth trying to be part of such a pivotal moment in history,” he told Deadline about his career path. ”And let’s face it, people don’t go into acting for the career stability. You do it because you’re passionate. I found the same true about public service."