Wherever you're reading this, look around you. Assuming you're not in the bathroom, the people surrounding you all have secret lives you may never know about. And that's not just the case for random schlubs, either. For celebrities, keeping closeted passions out of the limelight can be difficult.
In honor of season 2 of Impastor, TV Land's dark comedy about a con man posing as a man of God, which premieres Sept. 28 at 10:30/9:30c, Cracked rifled through famous people's darkest secrets to find out what kind of alternative lives they've been living under the radar ...
#7. Snoop Dogg Is A Licensed Football Coach Who Operates A Charity Youth League
Snoop Dogg is famous for his string of hip-hop hits, his past run-ins with the law, and, of course, his pioneering use of words ending in "izzle." Combine that with his public fondness of recreational herbs, and it's almost impossible to not see him as the celebrity version of the stereotypical slacker roommate ... which is why the way he really spends his time outside of music is all the more surprising.
Snoop is a licensed football coach who started coaching his son's team, Rowland Heights Raiders, in 2003 and hasn't looked back. Currently, the man is the head coach of the Diamond Valley Steelers, formerly a "ragtag group of 12-year-olds" whom he has turned into one of the better youth teams in the country. What's more, Snoop is way more involved in his mentor role than the usual coach-and-team dynamic requires; he routinely sits down with the kids, talking about their personal lives, grades, and bullying. The evidently emphatic and effective Coach Snoop is so far removed from the cool-and-dangerous image of Snoop Dogg, he has made a point of never, ever rapping to his players. If one of them makes the mistake of even calling him Snoop Dogg, it's push-up time.
But wait, it gets even better. Where some people would consider living out the plot of an inspirational 1990s sports movie a pretty great achievement, Coach Snoop has taken things even further by setting up an entire league for youth teams just like his. Snoop Youth Football League currently hosts 19 teams. The league is entirely nonprofit, and its sole aim is to give inner-city children a healthy environment regardless of race, creed, or economic background.
It looks like this is not just some passing fad like that time he released a reggae album, either. Snoop Youth Football League had its inaugural season in 2005. The Dogg himself describes the venture as a way to teach the kids discipline, self-respect, and teamwork, and he has even said that it's his true calling -- that whole pesky "music" thing is just a means to an end.
#6. Justin Bieber Is An Amazing Hockey Player
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Thanks to the nature of his fame, his millionaire status, and pretty much every headline ever written about him, it's easy and tempting to write Justin Bieber off as a frail and simple man-baby who desperately flexes his nonexistent tough-guy muscles at the world.
That is, unless you're Matt O'Dette, coach of the ECHL ice hockey team the Bakersfield Condors. O'Dette has seen Bieber play hockey, and what he saw was enough for him to offer the then-18-year-old pop star a tryout contract for the 2012-2013 season.
Unfortunately, the Maple Leafs got there first.
It's easy to assume that O'Dette's comments and the contract offer come with copious amounts of salt and rampant air quotes, but the guy's enthusiasm about Hockey-Bieber goes well above and beyond the usual publicity stunt. Having seen video material of Bieber in action, O'Dette rants and raves about the pop star's extraordinary blend of skill, toughness, and shot technique. He even compares Bieber's talents to those of Mike Ribeiro, a renowned center who has been playing in the NHL since 1998.
As absurd as this all sounds, it's good to remember that Bieber is Canadian, and thus has hockey flowing in his veins by birthright. He has played from a pretty young age and very much continues to do so, despite his superstar status.
As evidenced by this pic from last Tuesday.
Man, add that to the fact that Bieber can solve a Rubik's Cube in 83 seconds and is a masterful multi-instrumentalist, and you might even start thinking that the most famous young pop "talent" in the world actually has, you know, talent.
#5. Viggo Mortensen Is The Leonardo Da Vinci Of Indie Art
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If you're really good at reading between the lines, you might be able to read Viggo Mortensen's true passions from the roles he chooses. While Aragorn from The Lord Of The Rings, Man from The Road, and his characters in various David Cronenberg movies tend to be charismatic and hard men, they also share the theme of an outsider-type who nevertheless has gifts and talents that allow him to rise above the rest.
That same theme applies to the actor himself: During his off hours, Mortensen embodies the "genius indie multi-talent" trope so hard that passing struggling artists presumably get sucked into his singularity. Viggo Mortensen is what that annoying screenplay writer hogging the best table in your local Starbucks dreams to become when they grow up: He speaks six languages. He's a photographer. He makes records. He paints and writes poetry. All while being one of the world's most esteemed movie actors.
Nicolas Genin/Wiki Commons
Turns out "Hipster Strider" is a surprisingly solid career move.
At the time of this writing, Mortensen's body of non-movie-related artistry includes around 17 books (mostly various combinations of paintings, photography, and poetry) and 17 music albums. Sometimes his interests also bleed into his movies. He performed and co-composed a song for The Return Of The King, because of course he did. In A Perfect Murder, he played a painter and many of the character's works were his.
Shockingly, he was a bad guy.
Despite his insane prolificness, Mortensen's not hogging all the indie-artist glory for himself. In 2002, fresh off the financial stability brought on by the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, he founded Perceval Press, a publishing house aimed specifically to work with interesting artists and writers whose style would likely be rejected by traditional publishers. While we have no firm idea of the quality of their output, the fact that the site's front page has a "Duck of the day" feature puts Perceval Press firmly in our good books.
#4. Rosario Dawson Is A Huge Star Trek Geek
Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Wizard World
Rosario Dawson's acting chops are many and varied, but her on-screen presence can best be filed under "badass." She's equally commanding when she's verbally smacking down superheroes in Daredevil and Jessica Jones or gunning down bad guys in Sin City. If they remade Aliens today and cast her as Vasquez, the aliens would flee for the next solar system within minutes. And then she would turn in her battle gear, change to her favorite sweatpants, and spend the rest of the day geeking out on Star Trek and practicing her Vulcan nerve pinch on a teddy bear.
What we're saying is that Rosario Dawson is a huge Trekkie. Like so many passionate geeks, she's not particularly shy about her object of affection either; as this poor MTV interviewer finds out, mentioning the words "Star" and "Trek" can and absolutely will derail a casual movie promotion interview with Dawson into a two-and-a-half-minute monologue about the enticing nature of the Star Trek universe, the varying quality of the movies, and the fact that the second someone invents a proper holodeck you'll never see her again.
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Look at her face. We've never been that exited about anything.
Dawson's Trekkie nature has inevitably led to some interesting situations when she's met people actually involved with the franchise, especially as her particular geek flavor is of the "gotta play it cool when meeting your idols" variety. She ran a Twitter petition about getting a role -- any role, though she would have preferred a sexy Vulcan -- in Star Trek: Into Darkness, but when she actually ran into J.J. Abrams on a flight, she ended up choking and discussed politics and T-shirts instead. When she did a movie with Chris "Captain Kirk" Pine, she kept completely mum until Pine found out about her Trekkie-ness during the press tour. At which point she geeked the hell out on him.
Oh, and of course Rosario Dawson also speaks Klingon:
Sure, she claims that she knows only a few words, But come on -- anyone who's comfortable enough with their Klingon to bust it out live on an episode of Conan totally owns several copies of The Klingon Hamlet and keeps a bat'leth by their bedside "just in case." Which, now that we think of it, would only make Rosario Dawson more awesome.