I don't know about you, but I like reading unusual facts about celebrities. There's just something about seeing that your favorite singer has the same phobia you do or that your favorite actor has a similar past that makes them seem more relatable, a little less “distant”. Personally, I love the stories about the “softer sides” we normally wouldn't see. Given all the negativity in the world around us, it's nice to read something positive for a change. I had a really hard time picking the best ones, but here are a few of my favorite facts about celebrities. You've probably heard some of them before, but I still think they're interesting. Since I got most of them from multiple celebrity and magazine websites, I'm assuming they're true. If not, feel free to correct me in the comments.
This is one of the strangest (and yet least surprising) facts about celebrities I found. Buzzfeed.com says that Nicholas Cage once bought a pet octopus because he thought it would help him with acting. I haven't seen many of his movies lately so I don't know how effective it's been. I'll let you be the judge.
2 The Tap-dancing Lion Tamer
As Fatboy Slim-video fans have seen, Christopher Walken can tap-dance his ass off and tries to incorporate it into his movies whenever he can. IMDb also says that he toured with a circus as a lion tamer when he was 15. I guess that makes him a “cat person” (bah-dum-bum ching!). Seriously-check out his dancing chops here -songfacts.com
3 Which Whalberg?
Even though I didn't normally listen to pop music, I remember having a massive crush on Donnie Wahlberg when he was in New Kids On The Block. What I didn't know was that Donnie actually wasn't the only Wahlberg brother in that group; according to funtrivia.com and IMDb, it was actually Mark (you know, the hot half-naked guy in the Calvin Klein ads?) who was in the group first. He didn't like the “squeaky-clean” image the producers were going for, so he left and Donnie took his place.
4 Jack Nicholson's Parentage
According to Snopes and many other sources, Jack Nicholson was raised by his grandparents. This may not sound unusual but I'm mentioning it here because he didn't know they were his grandparents. His mother was only 17 when he was born so her parents decided that they would raise him as their child and his “mother” as his sister. Confused yet? What I find particularly interesting is that the exact same thing happened to a childhood friend of mine, although she learned the truth much earlier in life than Nicholson did. Here's the story - snopes.com.
5 David Bowie's Eyes
It might not look like it, but David Bowie's eyes are actually the same color. According to bowiewonderworld.com, it only looks this way because his left pupil is permanently dilated; he was punched in the eye during a fight when he was a teenager.
6 Buzz Aldrin Raps!
Buzz Aldrin made a rap song with Snoop Dogg. He did it to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his legendary moon walk and to boost interest in the space program.
7 Weird Celebrity Phobias
Do commercials showing talking food creep you out? If so, you're not alone; Kyra Sedgewick can't even be in the room when they come on TV. Also, Orlando Bloom is scared of pigs, Cameron Diaz won't touch doorknobs and Adele can't stand seagulls. As someone who has been “pooped on” by one, I don't blame her.
8 Steve Buscemi's Firefighting Days
While you probably won't find him on any hot-fireman calendars, Steve Buscemi was a firefighter in the 80s. Buzzfeed.com says he went back to his old firehouse after 9/11 to help search for survivors.
9 Lady Gaga's Inspiration
According to Glamourmagazine.co.uk, the Lady Gaga song “Born This Way” was written in only 10 minutes. She refers to it as “a completely magical message song” that brought on her other songs like a flood. I can see that.
10 Joaquin's Cultish Childhood
Joaquin Phoenix's parents were part of the Children Of God sect in his early childhood. He says that it wasn't a full-fledged cult at the time, but he's been able to use the experience in his 2012 movie “The Master”. Since the film got him an Oscar Nomination for “Best Actor”, I'd say it worked out well.
According to the Buzzfeed.com link in #8, Tom Hanks is related to Abraham Lincoln. They're third cousins, four generations removed. I have no idea what “removed” means, but their common ancestor is named John Hanks.
12 Now That *has* to Be a Misprint...
Jack Nicholson has slept with over 2,000 women. I'm not sure I even know 2,000 men, and I'm probably twice your age. For more “celebrity man-whores”, visit divinecaroline.com.
13 Stephen Hawking's TV Appearances
Stephen Hawking has played himself on television several times, the most recent being a cameo on “Big Bang Theory” in which he corrects Sheldon's work and makes him faint. He's the only person to play himself on a “Star Trek” episode and has even done his own voice-overs on “The Simpsons”. I love it! I also found a video of him “rapping” against Albert Einstein, but don't listen to it at work!
14 Not a “fact” so Much as a Funny
These guys aren't really famous (yet!), but the people they lampoon are. Epic Rap Battles of History, the site I found #13 from, originally started out as an improv act in California but was later made into a YouTube channel. Like the name suggests, each segment pits various characters and famous people “against” each other in rap contests that are pretty funny, but not safe for work. I think my favorite is Dr. Seuss vs. William Shakespeare, but that's mostly because my nephews dressed as Thing #1 and Thing #2 for Halloween. Imagining them “rapping” is hysterical, especially since the oldest is pretty good at it.
15 Extended Family
According to z100.com, Dennis Rodman has 28 brothers and sisters. Damn, and I thought my house got crowded at Christmas...
16 Ryan Gosling's “almost”
According to Yahoo! Music, “Notebook” star and all-around hottie Ryan Gosling was almost a Backstreet Boy. He got an offer from founding-member A.J. McLean in the 1990s, but turned it down because he didn't think another “boy band” could succeed. He was wrong, but it doesn't seem to have slowed him down any. He has an indie band of his own called Dead Man's Bones, which you can see here: pitchfork.com.
On the “boy band” tip, Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake were practically brothers when they were on the Mickey Mouse Club. According to buzzfeed.com, Gosling lived with the Timberlakes while his mom went back to Canada to work. Just look at those adorable baby faces! s3-ec.buzzfed.com
18 Pretty Polydactyl
According to Glamour UK, actress Gemma Arterton was born with six fingers on each hand. I think this is cool because my best friend from college had the exact same condition, cool scars and all.
19 Jennifer Lawrence's Hidden Talent
Apparently Jennifer Lawrence is a good person to get lost in the woods with; when she was filming the movie “Winter's Bone”, she learned how to skin a squirrel. Yummy.
20 Han Solo's Day Job
According to Cracked.com (stop laughing - they check their facts pretty well) and Glamour UK, Harrison Ford got the role of Han Solo without auditioning. In his day job as a carpenter, he was building some cabinets in George Lucas' house when he was asked to help with “Star Wars” auditions by reading some of the “extra” lines in the scenes the actors were working with. Instead of choosing any of the actors, Lucas gave the role to him instead. Given how popular the “Star Wars” franchise is, I'd say that decision paid off.
21 R. Kelly and Reading
According to AllHipHop.com and z100.com, R&B star R. Kelly is illiterate. He revealed this at a 2009 music festival by saying that the only reason he got through school was because he had a great jump shot.
I'd give you more “celebrity trivia” websites to read, but there are so many that it would probably take you all week just to get past the first few pages. What are some of your favorite little-known facts about celebrities? Were there any on my list that surprised you, or made you think of the person differently? Like I said before, feel free to correct me if I got anything wrong.