Celebrities With Surprising Side-Hustles
Nowadays it feels like everybody has a side-hustle. Whether it’s running a YouTube channel, owning an Etsy store or just driving for a food delivery service on the weekend, it’s considered almost crucial in today’s world to have multiple income streams and various job titles. One group of people who don’t really need to be working a side-hustle to support themselves, though, is celebrities – and yet many of them do it anyway. From the normal to the niche, here are the side-hustles your favourite celebrities are working on their days off.
25. Sandra Bullock: Walton’s Fancy and Staple
Sandra Bullock has been a mainstream feature of the movie world since the mid-90s, but acting’s not her only passion.
It didn’t take long for Bullock to invest her new Hollywood wealth into her other big interest: restaurants.
In 2009, Bullock opened Bess’s Bistro, which served high-end but cosy French cuisine all the way up until 2016.
The same year, Bullock purchased a combined deli and bakery that lived across the road from the bistro called Walton’s Fancy and Staple.
The deli also occasionally sold flowers, and allowed customers to pop in and buy a handful of daffodils while they waited for their escargot at the restaurant.
Nowadays, the former bakery and flower shop hosts regular happy hours, while also selling gifts and offering catering services. What a versatile place!
24. Madonna: Children’s books
As well as being one of music’s greatest icons, Madonna is famously hard-working, even compared to other megastars.
So when she’s not touring or releasing new music, she’s usually busy with philanthropy or charity work.
Somewhere in her long and storied career, Madonna also found the time to write and release a series of children’s books.
These books tend to deal with themes of kindness, justice, spirituality and community, themes that Madonna is also personally interested in.
The books – The English Roses, Mr. Peabody’s Apples, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, The Adventures of Abdi, and Lotsa de Casha – are available in a boxset called Books for Children (Even Grown-Up Ones).
Many of the stories are based on myths and stories from various cultures and religions, and written in a way that children can understand.
23. Scarlett Johansson: Yummy Pop popcorn store
Scarlett Johansson is one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors, something that has naturally given her the freedom to pursue other interests and projects.
In 2016, France temporarily became obsessed with American desserts, and they began incorporating popcorn into their own cuisine and patisserie.
Johansson hopped right on this trend, opening the boutique popcorn shop Yummy Pop in Paris in 2016.
Unfortunately, the popcorn trend soon faded away, and Yummy Pop was sold by Johansson two years later.
Not only that, but as a French store, Yummy Pop wasn’t given much press coverage by American journalists and influencers.
Still, up until the 2018 sale, Johansson seemed to have a great time helming the project, and her contribution probably extended the popcorn trend in France by at least a few months.
22. Tom Selleck: Avocado farm
Tom Selleck has been a steadfast presence in Hollywood ever since he rose to fame in the early 80s, after starring in the hit crime drama Magnum, P.I.
However, for as long as Selleck has been making movies, he’s also been pursuing his other great love: farming.
Selleck bought a working avocado farm in the 80s, and he’s still managing it today, all these years later.
Selleck’s California farm only sells the most exclusive and expensive avocadoes. Unfortunately, the property has had the occasional run-in with the law.
Most famously, the farm was fined for using stolen water in a resource-scarce area of California.
In the end, the matter had to be settled out of court. Wonder if Selleck is a fan of avocado toast?
21. Susan Sarandon: SPiN ping-pong clubs
Susan Sarandon’s career has always included more than just her acting work, which by itself is already impressive enough.
Sarandon has been an outspoken campaigner and activist for decades, advocating for progressive causes, publically campaigning against various wars and even backing specific presidential candidates.
However, while Sarandon’s politics have always been relatively well known, you might be less aware of her passion for ping-pong.
Sarandon is such a fan of the niche and kind of comical sport that in 2009 she opened her own ping-pong nightclub in New York.
Far from turning out a flash in the pan fad, there are now nine SPiN locations all across America.
This proves that ping-pong still has a seriously dedicated following… or is at least fun to do when you’ve been drinking.
20. Rob Lowe: Profile, men’s skincare
You might know Rob Lowe from his early films as a member of the Brat Pack, or in his later television work including Parks and Recreation and The West Wing.
Whatever you know him from, there’s no denying that part of Lowe’s appeal has always been his chiselled good looks.
With that in mind, it makes sense that when Lowe was trying to develop a secondary income stream, he came up with one that aligns with his own unique brand.
Ever since 2015, Lowe has managed a men’s skincare line called Profile, which includes cleansers, toners, scrubs and shaving creams.
The line is geared towards younger men, but in 2019 Lowe also released a complimentary Cobalt line.
The Cobalt line features anti-ageing products geared towards older men, with an emphasis on the power and attractiveness of the silver fox.
19. George Clooney: Casamigos tequila
Throughout history, it has often fallen to the world’s wealthiest to try and help solve the scientific problems of the day.
Whether it’s Elon Musk developing hyperspeed tunnels or Thomas Edison bringing electricity to the masses, influential people often champion big ideas.
George Clooney has continued in that great tradition, by using his considerable wealth and influence to try and develop hangover-free alcohol.
In 2013, Clooney and his friends were sitting around a table when they decided that creating a tequila that wouldn’t give you a hangover would be their next big goal.
Four years later, Casamigos tequila was sold off to an unnamed UK buyer for one billion dollars.
Unfortunately, it’s not entirely clear if Casamigos has fulfilled its promise of being a consequence-free drink.
18. Carmen Electra: PEEKABOO dance poles
Carmen Electra has had a pretty unusual career trajectory for the decades she has been in the public eye.
Depending on who you ask, Electra could be best known for starring in parody films like Epic Movie and Scary Movie or for being a frequent contributor for Playboy magazine.
However, she could just as easily be known for having an album produced by Prince, or for dating Jane’s Addiction guitarist and Ink Master host Dave Navarro.
Electra added another appropriate string to her bow when she began selling stripper poles and partnered with dance company PEEKABOO to distribute them.
Unfortunately, it was soon revealed that the poles were of low quality and were even dangerous to dance on.
This led to a premature end to Electra’s side-hustle, and she hasn’t engaged in any new business ventures since.
17. Lenny Kravitz: Kravitz Interior Design
Lenny Kravitz is one of the coolest people in rock and roll. This has long been an undisputed fact.
Through his musical career, Kravitz has incorporated elements of blues, funk, soul, reggae, hard rock, jazz and psychedelia into his music, and has done it all with ease.
Not satisfied with being a pioneer in the music world, though, in 2003 Kravitz launched the interior design firm Kravitz Design.
Kravitz Design primarily does commercial interior design, lending office spaces and other large scale buildings a little rockstar flair.
However, Kravitz Design also does residential interior design, even if it takes a pretty penny to employ its services.
So for the right price, you could channel some of Lenny Kravitz’s innately cool energy into your own home.
16. Nick Offerman: The Offerman Workshop
Nick Offerman’s most famous role is undoubtedly Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson, the surly but lovable Pawnee local government employee.
Though Offerman is much sweeter, more mild-mannered and more prone to laughter than Swanson, they do have one thing in common.
Swanson and Offerman both have a real love for woodworking. (In fact, Offerman incorporated his own long-standing hobby into his characterisation of Swanson.)
Though Offerman has dabbled in carpentry and woodworking for years as a way of relieving stress, he has also set up an official Offerman Workshop.
Offerman employs a small team to design and create custom boutique pieces, all of them made of locally sourced and sustainable wood.
The actor has also done several interviews about the benefits of learning practical skills like woodworking, another opinion he shares with Swanson.
15. Jessica Alba: The Honest Company
For a time, Jessica Alba was one of the most in-demand actresses in Hollywood, with starring roles in Honey, Fantastic Four and Sin City.
However, in 2011 she decided to pivot away from her signature blend of action flicks and romantic comedies.
That year, Alba created The Honest Company to offer a variety of lifestyle products to busy families like her own.
The goal of The Honest Company was to create necessary products like suncream, laundry detergents and dish soap, which were also formulated to be eco friendly and cruelty-free.
Unfortunately for Alba, The Honest Company proved to be a bit of a misnomer, as it wasn’t long before the brand landed in hot water over a few misleading claims.
Not only was Alba’s suncream disavowed as ineffective by customers who said that their children had gotten sunburned while wearing it, but the company eventually had to pay out $1.55 million in a lawsuit over misleading customers about the ingredients in their dish soaps. Not the best start for Alba’s side-hustle.
14. Rupert Grint: Ice cream man
If any actor isn’t desperately in need of a side-hustle, other than appearing in lookalike musician Ed Sheeran’s music videos, it’s Rupert Grint.
After playing the loveable Ron Weasley in one of the biggest film franchises in the world, Grint was pretty much set for life after the final Harry Potter movie hit theatres in 2011.
Like Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson before him, Grint was often plied with questions about how he would spend his wizarding fortune, and he only had three words for journalists: ice cream van.
As strange as it may sound, Grint’s first big financial decision was to buy an ice cream van with working freezers, an ice cream machine, and enough ice lolly stock to last a full summer. Unfortunately, Grint’s plans to become an ice cream man fell through when he found out that you needed a specific licence to sell the treats, so he instead opted to drive around every summer handing out free lollies and ice creams!
As wholesome as Grint’s adventures in frozen treats are, it obviously isn’t a very financially viable side hustle, which might be why he has also opted to become a landlord.
Over the years, Grint has collated a property portfolio worth over £12 million, which he rents out commercially under the ominous name Eevil Plan Properties.
13. Keanu Reeves: Arch Motorcycles
Although he has done his fair share of goofy comedies over the years, Keanu Reeves has long since cemented his reputation as one of the coolest people in Hollywood.
This is mostly thanks to his work on the Matrix movies and the John Wick series, rather than his recent return to the Bill and Ted universe.
Given Reeves’ image as a real-life action star who can really shoot, drive and fight like a master assassin, it makes sense that his side-hustle is similarly awe-inspiring.
When he’s not training to master new forms of martial arts or hitting the gym, Keanu Reeves spends a lot of time with motorcycles.
He loves riding them and has spent time learning how to fix, maintain and even improve the vehicles in order to ensure they can keep up with him.
Reeves’ passion resulted in the creation of Arch Motorcycle, a motorcycle store that he co-owns and which sells custom motorbikes with specific add-ons and improvements.
12. Will Ferrell: Funny or Die
If Will Ferrell has one purpose in life, it’s to make everyone laugh, from children to adults.
For decades, Ferrell’s roles in beloved comedies like Elf, Anchorman and Talladega Nights have captured audiences’ hearts and funnybones, with skilful slapstick and quotable lines.
Not content with spreading the joy and hilarity through his day job alone, however, Ferrell also has a side-hustle that aims to bring laughter to even more people, specifically by harnessing the power of the internet.
In 2007, Ferrell was one of three people to come up with the concept for Funny or Die during a brainstorming session. The idea was to create a video website where people could upload their own comedy content, which would be supplemented with original content that was more suited to a short-form or online audience.
Funny or Die went on to become a cultural touchstone that shaped the early internet, especially in regards to sketch comedy which later found a home on YouTube.
Nowadays, their famous series Drunk History is still going strong, and the company has been acquired by AMC and WarnerMedia for an undisclosed amount of money.
11. Ryan Gosling: Tagine Beverly Hills
Even when they’re born out of a genuine passion or interest, a lot of side-hustles are just a way for celebrities to diversify their income streams and investment portfolios.
However, the story of how Ryan Gosling came to own a Morrocan restaurant in Los Angeles is actually pretty sweet.
The story goes that Gosling met the future Chef Benameur when he was still working as a caterer in LA.
Gosling immediately fell in love with Benameur’s food, telling the gifted cook that his Morrocan cuisine was “food that I could eat every day, for the rest of my life”.
Wanting to help him realise his dream of creating a restaurant that would showcase his family recipes and allow him to share his heritage, Gosling went into business with Benameur, resulting in the restaurant Tagine Beverly Hills.
Since then, Tagine has become one of the most in-demand restaurants in LA, with celebrity guests like Eva Mendez, Meryl Streep and Richard Gere showing up from time to time.
10. Dan Aykroyd: Crystal Skull Vodka
In the past, it may have been fragrancies or clothing lines, but nowadays alcohol is one of the chicest things that a celebrity can put their name to.
That’s why it makes sense that David Beckham has his own line of scotch whisky, or that Justin Timberlake has experimented with branded tequila.
However, funnyman Dan Aykroyd‘s participation in the celeb alcohol game might be a bit more surprising. The Ghostbusters and Saturday Night Live star created Crystal Head Vodka in 2008, alongside American painter John Alexander.
As for what sets the brand apart, aside from their distinctive skull-shaped glass bottles, Crystal Head Vodka is also quadruple distilled and filtered seven times, in order to ensure a clean taste.
The final three filtrations are done with Herkimer diamonds, a kind of quartz, which is where Crystal Head Vodka got the crystal part of the name.
As for how the vodka itself actually tastes, the brand’s Onyx vodka won three Sip Awards in 2021 alone, as well as the World Vodka Award for Best Canadian Varietal. High praise indeed.
9. Jeremy Renner: House flipping
As part of the original Avengers line-up of 2012, Jeremy Renner probably didn’t need to pick up a side-hustle in order to pay the bills and get by.
That didn’t stop Rebber from following the dream of everyone who has ever watched one too many interior decorating or house sale shows.
It turns out that for the past 15 years, whenever he has gotten a break from working on film sets, Jeremy Renner has spent his time buying, renovating and then reselling houses.
Renner’s current total stands at 20 houses, which he has successfully sold due to his sound advice for potential renovators.
Renner’s advice includes a refusal to use trendy colours that will quickly become dated, and to focus on creating entertainment spaces in every house that would work for a variety of social occasions, ensuring people have a place to gather.
So if you’ve ever wanted to know how to style your space like an Avenger, now you do: stick to classic colours, and get a conversation pit.
8. Maisie Williams: The Daisie app
Maisie Williams is a pretty incredible person, having started her acting career when she was just 14 years old.
Her first acting job was playing Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, a huge role in a massively influential show that has had a lingering impact on pop culture.
As if that wasn’t enough, Williams began her journey towards becoming an entrepreneur at the age of just 22, when she created the Daisie app.
Daisie is an app where creators of all kinds can post about the types of work they are interested in doing and meet others working in other disciplines whom they could possibly collaborate with.
The app also provides a supportive community where people can share the projects they’re working on and get feedback from others.
Not bad for the actress’ first foray into entrepreneurship. Who knows how many ideas Williams will have brought into existence in a few years’ time?
7. Drake: Virginia Black Whisky
We’ve already established that celebrities lending their name to an alcohol range is the new hot thing to do.
So the fact that Drake worked with a professional to create his own blend of libation isn’t all that surprising.
With that said, fans of Drake may be surprised to know that his passion lies with whisky, specifically Virginia Black.
Virginia Black Whisky might have been Drake’s brainchild, but he worked with Brent Hocking to bring it to life. Hocking is an established figure in the world of artisan alcohol blends; he’s also responsible for the DeLeón Tequila range.
According to experts and aficionados alike, Drake’s whisky blend, made from a range of two, three and four-year-old bourbon, is pretty good, but the best thing about it might be the beautiful decorative bottle.
If you’re interested, the whisky boasts notes of honey and black pepper, perfect for pairing with your favourite Drake album.
6. Gwyneth Paltrow: Goop
If any celebrity has come to be defined by their side-hustle almost as much as their day job, then it’s Gwyneth Paltrow.
After making a name for herself in the mid-90s with films like Emma, Seven and Sliding Doors, Paltrow began branching out into other ventures.
Paltrow spent time voicing children’s audiobooks and releasing her own clothing line. However, her biggest endeavour began in 2008.
In 2008, Paltrow started Goop, a weekly newsletter that chatted about all things lifestyle. The newsletter soon became a dedicated website, with blog posts featuring Paltrow’s own musings on wellness, as well as product recommendations.
Nowadays, Goop has expanded into a podcast, a print magazine, a dedicated conference and a documentary series on Netflix.
Unless you’re a dedicated lifestyle fanatic, you’re most likely to have heard of Goop in the context of the Jade eggs they sell, which understandably have made the headlines numerous times.
5. Clint Eastwood: Golf club owner
Clint Eastwood is a legendary actor, with a filmography that includes the Dollars films, Unforgiven and the Dirty Harry movies.
With a legacy already cemented and with more iconic movies under his belt than you can shake a stick at, you might be wondering how Clint has been spending his twilight years between jobs.
The answer is that he has two projects that keep him occupied: Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant, and Tehama Golf Club.
Eastwood purchased the ranch in 1986, in order to save it from development. It now has 31 hotel rooms and a whopping 22 acres, with each building having been restored to a different era from throughout history.
As for the golf club, it’s also accompanied by an 18-hole golf course, which Eastwood is very proud of. Speaking about the area where he decided to build the club, Eastwood said: “The beauty of the land is what drew me here years ago.
“Unquestionably one of the best places to live on the west coast. Tehama is an extraordinary community with its awe-inspiring surroundings and exclusive homesites.”
4. Tom Hanks: Hanx typewriter app
When you try to imagine possible side hustles for Tom Hanks, an app probably isn’t at the top of your list.
After all, Hanks’ main passion in life outside of acting is collecting and restoring vintage typewriters, which is an adorably anachronistic hobby to have in an age of smartphones and tablets.
However, it was Hanks’ love of typewriters that actually inspired him to venture into the world of app creation.
So what does Hanks’ Hanx app do? It transforms your ordinary typing experience on an iPad into a pseudo-analogue experience. It adds the sounds of clacking keys and hammers, as well as the delightful ping that greets you at the end of every line. It even changes the feel of the key presses themselves!
Thankfully, the app doesn’t get rid of the modern conveniences you need, such as the ability to jump back into text you’ve already written to delete words or correct spelling mistakes.
So you can emulate Tom Hanks’ own favourite hobby, whether you’re typing up an essay for school or just a new shopping list.
3. Kevin Smith: Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash
Lots of actors have side-hustles, though most of them try to distance their characters and performances from their other ventures.
That’s not the case for Kevin Smith, who often returns to the same characters again and again on film, and even embraces those characters in his real life.
After playing Silent Bob, first in Clerks and then in numerous other films, video games, comics and television shows, Smith decided to bring the character into the real world.
In 1997, Smith opened Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash in New Jersey, to sell comics to those discerning enough to stop by.
The building was actually the first place that Kevin Smith ever bought comics from, and he took over the store following the success of Clerks.
As well as serving customers, the store now also hosts the reality show Comic Book Men. It’s also here where the podcasts Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave and I Sell Comics are recorded.
2. Kevin Costner: Ocean Therapy Solutions
Kevin Costner is best known as the actor behind Dances with Wolves, Field of Dreams and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
However, he also has another interest that rivals his passion for playing characters and attending premieres: the planet.
Costner has been a lifelong advocate for the planet in the face of climate change, and his advocacy extends far beyond simply attending protests or going vegan.
In 1995, Costner began developing oil separation machines, which were designed to separate oil from water on an industrial scale.
This became Ocean Therapy Solutions, which was already worth $24 million when it was appraised in 2010.
BP even borrowed 32 of the machines after a successful test run, and they have also been rented out by the US government.
1. Akon: Diamond mining
When looking to start a business or engage in a new side-hustle, there are a few different things you can focus on.
You can focus on profit and what will make you the most money; you can find a niche that will no doubt be necessary for a long time; or you can focus on ethics and eco-friendliness.
When Akon decided to invest in diamond mining, it was a decision 100% based on how long he thought the diamond trade would be around for.
Speaking in an interview in 2005, the famous rapper said: “I always felt like if you get to a point where you’ve got enough money to invest in something real, you gotta invest in anything that’s related to a natural resource because that’s gonna be here forever.”
He went on to say: “so you might as well invest in something that’s gonna be here, rather than invest in something that’s gonna wear out. I know for a fact that these are going to be selling forever.”