When we think of celebrities in their downtime, we probably imagine them at glitzy parties, or sitting courtside like Drake at the Toronto Raptors or Spike Lee at Madison Square Garden for the New York Knicks. But it’s not all about seeing and being seen. When the cameras stop rolling and the flash bulbs stop shining, many celebs have private passions that folks wouldn’t necessarily expect away from the limelight. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at six starry side-hustles.
Jimmy Butler – Coffee
The six-time NBA All-Star is famous for playing like a man who’s always on a mission. Part of that is fueled by his determination and will to win, and part of it may be aided and abetted by caffeine. Off court, Butler is a coffee geek. The keen amateur barista famously took his espresso machine and French presses to Walt Disney World for the 2020 NBA ‘bubble’ play-offs and charged fellow professionals $20 per cup. In 2021, he went one further, launching his own label, Big Face Coffee. It was reported in March this year that Butler will be brewing at the 2022 ATP Miami Open, although whether his pricing scale will be friendlier to tennis pros than basketball opponents has yet to be confirmed.
Sir Rod Stewart – Model railways
While we’re probably familiar with Rod the Mod’s soccer obsession – he has a 5 a side pitch at his Los Angeles mansion and famously attends games at his beloved Celtic any time he can – he also indulges heavily in a pursuit perhaps more suited to men his age; model railways. TheGuardian.com reports that he has a 1,500 sq ft layout based on 1940s Chicago and New York, that’s taken him “23 years to build”. The Maggie May singer even graced the cover of hobbyist bible Railway Modeller for their December 2019 edition.
Kate Winslet – Cleaning
Staying in the domestic sphere, Kate Winslet has confessed to a love of cleaning, explaining that it kept her both sane and occupied during quarantine periods over the pandemic. There’s a saying in her native England that “where there’s muck there’s brass” – meaning where there’s dirt there’s money – but with 7 Academy Awards, it’s unlikely that the Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind star will need to turn her passion for spotless floors into a profession any time soon.
Snoop Dogg – Cookery
While many celebrities have gone into the restaurant business itself – Robert De Niro famously founded the now-global chain Nobu – Snoop took inspiration from his TV show and subsequent BFF-ship with Martha Stewart to get himself into the kitchen. In 2018, Snoop published his own cookbook ‘From Crook To Cook’ with 50 recipes from lobster thermidor to soul food to mac and cheese for the little ones. After all, he’s a grandpa himself these days.
Tom Cruise – Fencing
The star of The Last Samurai is renowned for doing his own stunts, so it follows that Tom Cruise should know his way around a sword for his professional life. He reputedly practiced 5 hours a day for a year in the lead up to shooting the 2003 blockbuster. Cruise put this training to good use, when according to a Poker.org piece on unexpected celebrity hobbies, he started a fencing fight club with fellow A-listers Will Smith and David Beckham. The trio aren’t alone in superstar swordplay appreciation; Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson once ranked as the UK’s number 8 in the foil category of the sport.
Matt Damon – Poker
In another example of life imitating art and becoming life, the Good Will Hunting star is also something of the card shark. Fresh from Oscar success in 1997, Damon starred in 1998’s Rounders – widely regarded as one of the best poker movies ever made and entered that year’s World Series Of Poker to research the part. While he was unsuccessful in that attempt (and he lost with no shame; he was knocked out by legendary poker pro Doyle Brunson), Damon returned to Vegas for the Finals in 2008 and 2010.
Hobbies are essential to having a well-rounded life. For those in the spotlight, they’re an important tool to take time off from the celebrity carousel, much the same as for us they’re relief from day to day pressures. Sometimes if you don’t indulge yourself, no one else will!
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