5 Celebrities Who Love Their Hobbies More Than Their Careers
Everyone knows famous people have more going on than just the thing they're famous for. An athlete can dabble in music, an actor may run a restaurant as a side job, and a reality show host might attempt to run for an office for which he is vastly unqualified. But for some celebrities, these seemingly meaningless side projects are actually at least as important as the careers that made them famous. So while we might think that famous movie stars, business moguls, and wrestlers put their main job front and center, their actual lives may actually revolve around surprising bullshit like ...
John Cena Loves Video Games So, So Much
Picture WWE wrestler John Cena. A giant man-mountain made entirely of muscles, hell-bent on punching whatever heel said something about his mom this week. He's been pro wrestling's Superman for the last fifteen years, and whatever you may think of him, it can't be denied that he fits the part. He looks like a jock ate another jock, and has a chin that can break coconuts. Dude's an ubermensch -- a Hulk Hogan with less skullets and racism.
So, anyway, here's John Cena geeking out about video games in a way no other person over 14 has ever even dreamed of doing.
If you dislike Cena for his babyface antics, you owe it to yourself to watch that video. If you like him for his real life good guy deeds like granting more wishes for the Make-A-Wish foundation than any other person in history, the same. However, if you're at work or otherwise can't be bothered, a quick recap: That's John Cena circa 2008, giving an interview which appears to have started as promotion for a movie or match or whatever, but nigh-immediately devolves into a positively gushing monologue about video games. He expertly rattles off his recent system upgrades (yeah, Cena's apparently PC Master Race). He cheerfully notes that the first thing he does after getting home from work is register online and wreck shit. He's so, so excited about gaming in general and the Red Alert series in particular, and he doesn't give a damn who knows it. In his excitement, he even happily admits that he tends to lose more games than he wins, but he doesn't care. He's just so damn happy to play.
It's almost like he's able to laugh at himself or something.
I imagine someone at the WWE headquarters had some stern words with John after that interview, but he still occasionally manages to bring up the subject, like in this 2014 inteview where he recounted his old affinity for the SNES Tecmo Bowl, his subsequent lack of interest in console gaming, and the fact that his tight schedule has forced him to take up Clash Of Clans while on the road.
Still, a man who speaks about video games like Cena does in that video isn't likely to completely abandon his craft. So who knows? Maybe the last guy you beat online was actually the WWE's Franchise Player, determinedly hunching over his monitor at 2 a.m. as his hot girlfriend reminds him in vain that this is his 17th "one last game and then I'll come to bed" tonight.
Marlon Brando Was An Inventor And A Drum Fanatic
Towards the end of his career, Marlon Brando was basically a cartoon character: Even if you could persuade him to wear pants on set, he might randomly start wearing ice buckets on his head and/or start demanding that a dwarf version of his character be present at all times. These antics may have made him seem like some kind of mad inventor, but they actually had a pretty reasonable (well, reasonable for Brando) explanation: It's because he totally was a mad inventor.
Brando may have stopped giving a shit about most anything circa 1979, but two major affinities remained: conga drums and inventions. As a conga drum aficionado and an avid drummer himself, Brando's unique thought processes eventually melded his two fascinations into one, and he started figuring out ways to improve his favorite instrument. In fact, it appears that in his later years he saw himself primarily as an inventor, and flipped his goddamn shit if anyone he dealt with in that capacity brought up his movie stuff, however briefly. If you have difficulty picturing the absurdity of the situation from his business associates' viewpoint, imagine that you open a fast food joint with Brad Pitt, but he keeps punching everyone who associates him with anything but chili dogs.
Though I suspect Brad's chili-dog-makin' evil eye ain't got shit on this.
That's not to say that Brando was a bad inventor. He was apparently a pretty damn good one; sure, he had his share of far-out Gyro Gearloose stuff like friction shoes for walking in the pool, but he also holds four different patents on assorted drum maintenance knick-knackery. Perhaps his most inspired invention was a drum-tuning device that replaced the separate bolts around the head of the conga with a linkage system operated by a single lever, which might not seem like much to you but probably just caused your percussionist friend to gasp and utter some unsavory words under their breath. He was extremely excited about that one, but it never went into production; although it was deemed very capable, it was also costly for the company, and generally more trouble than it was worth.
Which, come to think of it, makes it a pretty fine testament for the man himself, at least provided the only movie you saw with him in it was The Island Of Dr. Moreau.
The Singer From Iron Maiden Flies Fucking Passenger Jets
If you're a terrible person and support terrorism, you may not be familiar with the name Bruce Dickinson, but you damn well know his voice. Dickinson has manned the microphone of power metal giants Iron Maiden for the majority of their career, and he looks exactly like you think he should: A happy-go-lucky dude more defined by the ghost of the mullet he wore until the mid-1990s than what he looks like today. Still, no one can say he's not a pretty successful guy. Dude fronts one of the largest, most respected metal acts in existence. They even tour in their own, massive passenger jet. This sweet, sweet thing is Ed Force One:
See? Old rockers can still get high.
Oh, and Bruce Dickinson just so happens to be the guy who pilots that baby.
Yes, really. Dickinson's bread, butter, and Bahamas Islands condos might come from hitting high notes for sold-out stadiums, but the man's true passion is flying. In fact, the unassuming singer of Iron Maiden leads a double life as Captain B. Dickinson, lifelong diehard aviator and a licensed airline pilot. While the utmost testament of his skills and professionalism is the fact that his bandmates actually trust him to fly them around (compare that to, say, any other large band ever allowing their lead singer to even touch the steering wheel of the tour bus), piloting Ed Force One is far from his only flying accolade. He also used to have a second job as a commercial pilot for Astraeus Airlines, and currently acts as a chairman for Cardiff Aviation. He's licensed to fly pretty much anything from huge passenger jets to ancient Fokker (tee-hee) triplanes, and recently completed his training for the "Queen Of The Skies," Boeing 747. Which he now flies.
Here he is, just in case you were confused about the scale.
Oh, and there's also this:
At this point, it seems almost unfair to mention that Dickinson is also an expert fencer who in that video spars with a fucking Olympic medal winner a full head taller than him, but I digress.
Jeff Beck Builds Awesome Cars From Scratch
Old school guitar masters rely on their hands much like Usain Bolt kind of needs his legs: They're the epicenter of their craft, the tool these people are primarily known for. So you'd imagine they pay quite a lot of attention to these tools of their trade, lest they wreck them up and have to take up Supreme Sorcery on the side, Doctor Strange -style.
Which is when Jeff Beck, one of the most revered guitar gods in history, will poke his head out of the huge machine he's been gleefully banging with a hammer, and scoff at your puny opinion.
See, Jeff Beck is at least as into cars as he is into music. His passion is such that the off-the-shelf Maybaches and high-end sports cars most celebrities prefer don't do anything for him. So he builds his own.
From scratch, just like his licks.
That there, friends, is a hot rod. Beck's been building and collecting the things for years, and frequents hot rod gatherings all over America to expand on the contents of his garage. Among his most prized possessions is a replica of the 1932 Ford Deuce Coupe from American Graffiti, but he also likes to tinker with stuff most purists frown upon, like "resto-rods" where you take old school bodies and combine them with modern running gear.
Beck attributes his lifelong fascination with hot rods to his parents, who once gave him a car magazine to keep him quiet during a long train trip. This resulted in an epiphany, and today, he describes his car-building as "a ray of hope" and "heaven." You'll notice you're hard pressed to find him describing playing music with such terms. Hell, even when someone points out the obvious hazards his blow-torches and huge mallets present to his golden guitar hands, he just shrugs and says: "I use gloves."
Then again, it's hard to argue with a man who can roll any number of these out of his garage in retaliation.
Perhaps most awesomely, he's even dragging his fellow guitar masters in the car-building thing with him. Eric Clapton once tried to impress Beck with a couple of Ferraris, only for the latter to respond: "Anyone can buy those. These you make." (When you have guitar god money in your bank account, financial realities tend to get blurry.)
Clapton promptly took up hot rodding, and now the two keep running into each other at events and trying to outbid each other.
Bob Dylan Just Wants To Make Steampunk Art, Man
I don't know if you've heard, but there's this guy who was recently the first musician/lyricist in history to win the Nobel Prize for literature. What's more, this guy also doesn't appear to give a flying fuck about the cash prize and some medal with the name of the guy who invented dynamite stamped on it, as at the time of this writing, he has completely ignored any and all attempts to reach him by the Nobel committee.
I'm not saying that I'm in the know with what's really going on in the Dylan household right now. I'm just saying it might be that old Bob hasn't even noticed what's going on, because he's too damn carried away with building steampunk gates.
What, you thought I was kidding?
Here's a thing that people sometimes forget about artists: They're rarely satisfied with their art. That's why Picasso made tons of bullshit pottery (that's still super valuable, because Picasso) instead of just painting masterpieces. Likewise, music may be the medium where Dylan made his big break and grafted a legacy, but that hasn't stopped him from dabbling in virtually every visual art form on the side, starting from painting a number of his album covers and ending with ... who knows? At this point, he's at the "let's just sculpt huge metal gates and see what happens" stage, and although what happens is getting the same lukewarm reviews as all his non-musical art tends to get, the guy keeps pushing on.
And you have to admit, his work doesn't look half bad.
I'm going to be honest, here: I don't really like Dylan's music. His songs just don't do anything for me, and even die-hard fans shouldn't be too hard-pressed to admit that the man sounds like someone rubbing an alcoholic kitten on a cheese grater. But that doesn't mean that I don't respect him. It takes a very specific person to write themselves into history books with one art form, only to work with half a dozen others on the side -- and get fucking scoffed at by critics. He doesn't have to do any of the non-musical art that he does. After all, he'll never really find out how good he actually is, because every single work he produces is going to go through the "famous musician's side project" filter in the eyes of critics, and get butchered. I like those damn gates. I like the grit that went into making them. I feel like there almost should be a prize for the kind of person who is willing to push through his success and enter unfamiliar territory like some kind of pioneer ...
... Oh, right. Well played, Nobel dudes.
Pauli Poisuo is a Cracked weekly columnist and freelance editor. Here he is on Facebook and Twitter.
For some great inventions that should have come far before their time check out 6 Good Ideas It Took Humanity Way Too Long To Come Up With and 5 Simple Things You Won't Believe Are Recent Inventions.
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