5 Pleasant Surprises About Famous People You Had All Wrong

#2. Sylvester Stallone Is an Anti-Gun Activist

Lionsgate

If violence had a face, then surely it would be the meaty-lipped grimace of Sylvester Stallone. Of the two characters he's best known for, Rocky and Rambo, one punches people in the face for a living, and the other has a body count to rival some Third World dictators. If there's a problem that can't be solved by filling something with bullets, Stallone hasn't come across it yet.

United Artists
And if that doesn't work, montage, montage, montage.

But Actually ...

If we asked you to come up with a list of the most liberal celebrities in Hollywood, you'd probably think of people like Sean Penn and Jane Fonda first while putting the collective cast of The Expendables somewhere down around 7,000th place. But while Sylvester Stallone, who recently starred in a movie called Bullet to the Head, obviously owes a great deal of his career to high-powered weaponry, he's actually a rabid anti-gun crusader.

Universal Studios
Rumor has it he specifically made this movie to make handguns appear less cool.

And we don't mean one of those celebrities who passively condemns gun violence to avoid getting crucified by a blame-seeking media -- Stallone frequently attends gun control rallies and was an ardent supporter of a proposed bill to ban assault weapons. Sly first came to prominence as a gun control crusader after the shooting death of comedian Phil Hartman by his wife in 1998. Stallone went so far as to propose the repeal of the Second Amendment, saying that "Until America, door to door, takes every handgun, this is what you're gonna have."

Later, he made his feelings known after the Sandy Hook school shooting, calling for a ban on assault weapons in his own unique rhetorical style, demanding "Who ... needs an assault weapon? ... Who's going to attack your house, a fuckin' army?" All things considered, our safest option is probably to take all the guns and give them to Stallone.

Warner Bros.
We're guessing his next move would be making hygiene safer with the three seashell thing.

#1. Tupac Got His Start in Ballet

rap.wikia.com

Tupac Shakur is the original gangsta rapper, the most influential badass in hip-hop history, and the man that 50 Cent and Kanye West only wish they could be. The man who brazenly mixed raps about social injustice with blowing the heads off his enemies' children with a .44 single-handedly popularized no-holds-barred gangsta rap while making a generation of white people sleep with the lights on.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
And later reinforced the habit when they thought he returned as a ghost.

But Actually ...

The fans will tell you that the reason why Tupac stood alone from the rest was because he wasn't just a rapper, but an artist. He quoted Shakespeare and even compared Romeo and Juliet to a Crips and Bloods story. Shakur denied that he was a gangster and hated the reputation (even if openly rapping murder threats about rivals certainly didn't help). And if you previously thought he was somebody who made the successful transition from gangsta to gangsta rapper, well ...

In 1986, a 15-year-old Tupac moved with his family to the gritty streets of Baltimore. After finishing eighth grade, Tupac moved to the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he studied acting, poetry, jazz ... and ballet. Before he was the world's most known and feared badass, the future Public Enemy No. 1 played the Mouse King in The Nutcracker. He also performed in Shakespearean plays and was a regular assistant to Broadway shows during those days.


He didn't choose performance theater, perform- Oh, wait. Yes, yes, he did.

Now, if you were building the mental image of a rebellious Tupac waiting to leave the lame patrol and deny any part of his ballet past, think again. Tupac said, "I loved going to school. It taught me a lot. I was starting to feel like I really wanted to be an artist."

So there you go: Tupac Shakur worked his way up to his murderous reputation from dancing around in tights to the girliest art form short of synchronized swimming. He probably only hated Biggie Smalls for his lack of poise.

Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty
"Can't do a pirouette into a leap and you and I are gonna have beef, just sayin'."


Amanda would like to thank Devan Thayer Lund for the suggestion of Carroll O'Connor. You can read more from Amanda at Mannafesto or follow her on Twitter. Javier Yepes' friends are organizing a Film Festival in Guatemala, you can donate here.


Related Reading: Not all celebrity surprises are this satisfying. Did you know John Lennon was an abusive asshole who hit women? Or that Sean Penn tied up and beat Madonna? You're probably feeling rather disillusioned right now. But hey, Bill O'Reilly is actually a well-educated Harvard man. So, uh. That's something.

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