Poker players, like anyone who does a hobby for a living, are an eccentric bunch. We often hear of famous poker players taking up other games like chess or bridge. Sometimes they obsess over the cryptocurrency market or play video games professionally. Fascinating hobbies abound.
But poker players aren’t the only celebrities to take up interesting, cool, or downright weird hobbies.
From frog hunting to woodworking, here are some of the most fascinating things movie stars have tried instead of poker.
Vin Diesel plays Dungeons & Dragons
Vin Diesel may look like a muscle-bound jock, but Mark Sinclair — Diesel’s off-stage name — is an enormous nerd.
He loves Dungeons & Dragons. So much so, in fact, that he made a movie based on one of his D&D characters. Kaulder, the titular character in The Last Witchhunter, was Diesel’s alter-ego long before either of them appeared on the big screen.
There are even stories from the production of Chronicles of Riddick of an on-set game of D&D that involved Diesel, Thandie Newton, Karl Urban, and Dame Judie Dench, suggesting that this movie star side hobby has spread to other stars.
Brad Pitt makes pottery
Brad Pitt has a more classical hobby. He works makes pottery. Pitt even has his own pottery room and a kiln in his Hollywood mansion.
Pitt claims that, during the production of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, he managed to get co-star Leonardo DiCaprio to join in. They would go back to Pitt’s for a boys’ night in at the pottery wheel.
Pitt also knits, which is pretty wild.
Will Smith and Tom Cruise fence
Speaking of old-fashioned hobbies. Will Smith, Tom Cruise, and David Beckham started a fight club, with swords. The celebrity trio took up fencing together.
Smith described the process of getting started. He said that fencing served as a way for the threesome to hang out.
“We don’t get enough time, just us three guys,” Smith said. “So this is our way of getting together and bonding. It’s a lot of fun. We wanted an activity that was strenuous, but we’re getting older—we have to think about slowing down. We’ve got to watch our joints. Especially my knee.”
Nick Offerman works in wood
Fans of Parks and Recreation might be surprised to find out just how little acting Nick Offerman had to do. Many of Offerman’s traits made it into Ron Swanson.
In particular, the writers gave Swanson a love of woodworking that was right out of Offerman’s home life.
You can buy his (Offerman’s, not Swanson’s) woodworkings from the Offerman Workshop.
Paris Hilton hunts frogs
Some movie stars take up a side hobby that already exists, others make them up for themselves. Paris Hilton — star of The Hottie & The Nottie as well as, you know, that movie — likes to catch frogs.
“I love frog hunting,” she said. “I go at my ranches. I have one near Oakland, California, and another in Nevada, and I own an island.”
It’s all perfectly humane. Once she’s caught them she just puts “them in a bucket and then lets them go.”
Quentin Tarantino plays board games
Tarantino is a collector’s collector. His encyclopedic library of film fuels his screenwriting and directorial choices. His record collection is the source of many of his movie’s soundtracks.
When he was looking for something else to collect, he settled on something a little different. He was seeking a side hobby that was a little outside his usual wheelhouse. And he chose in an oddly rational way.
“At first I chose lunch boxes,” he told Rolling Stone. “But they really rape you on lunch boxes. They’re just too f**king expensive. And as for dolls, well, you can’t have much fun with them. You have to keep them in the box. So, I started with board games.”
Tom Hanks collects typewriters
Tom Hanks is America’s dad, and he has a suitably dad-like hobby. He collects typewriters.
He’s generous with it too. When Hanks received a letter from a typewriter repairman thanking the actor for advocating on behalf of the ageing technology, Hanks sent the repairman a 1940s Remington Noiseless.
Though this isn’t the only typewriter he’s given away, his collection still contains around 120 examples.
Harrison Ford flies aircraft
Han Solo might be able to do the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs, but the actor Harrison Ford is a somewhat less talented pilot. He took flying lessons out of college but found it an expensive hobby. Especially as a carpenter.
Once he went from fixing George Lucas’s house to acting in Lucasfilm’s movies the star was able to take flying up again, with mixed success. He has crash-landed a WWII-era monoplane on a golf course, crashed a helicopter on a riverbed, and almost lost his license for landing a light aircraft on an airport taxiway instead of the runway.
It’s not all been bad though. He also saved a 13-year-old boy from a forest fire. Ford volunteered to fly his helicopter as part of a rescue search and spotted the kid out the window.
Featured image source: Flickr