20 Celebrities With Surprising Hobbies
Many of us have enjoyed being a collector at one time or another in our lives, and whether the object of our obsession was stamps, stickers, toys or other accessories, a lack of expendable finances often means that we’re unable to build our collection into something worth shouting about.
So imagine being a famous celebrity, with a generous income that allows you to indulge a hobby to the point where you may have to devote a whole room, or perhaps even a whole property (Demi Moore, we’re looking at you), into storage space for an ever-expanding range of items.
Below are details of some extremely impressive and extensive collections owned by famous people, some of which will make your jaw drop. Make sure that you think of them next time you recall your paltry collection of Panini stickers, Matchbox cars or My Little Ponies.
20. Johnny Depp: Barbie dolls
Johnny Depp found fame as an 80s teen heartthrob, and later progressed to becoming one of the world’s biggest movie stars.
If we were to ask you to guess what this particular superstar has decided to devote his time and finances to collecting, we suspect that your first guess would not have been Barbie dolls.
And yet…as surprising as it may be, the Pirates of the Caribbean star owns an amazing collection of the popular doll range, which launched in 1959.
Depp’s collection is said to have begun when the actor was playing with the dolls with his daughter, and starting putting on voices for different Barbies.
This reportedly became a way that Depp began developing characters for his movies, prompting him to buy dozens more of the dolls.
19. Tom Hanks: Typewriters
It’s not too uncommon for actors to have a deep love for the printed word, but Tom Hanks takes that to an altogether different level.
The two-time Oscar-winning actor owns a collection of typewriters, which he recently revealed now numbers over 200.
Reportedly this began when Hanks tried to get his old typewriter repaired in 1978, but was instead persuaded to purchase a top-of-the-range model.
Not only does the actor take at least one typewriter with him on his travels whenever he can, but he also keeps his entire collection in pristine condition.
It seems safe to assume Hanks made use of at least one of these when working on Uncommon Type, his first collection of original short stories published in 2017.
18. Phil Collins: Artefacts from The Alamo
British rock star Phil Collins has had a lifelong fascination with a key moment in American history: The Alamo.
The Genesis drummer and singer-songwriter first learned about the event from a TV documentary he saw as a child.
As an adult with a fair few chunks of change to spare, Collins indulged this fascination, purchasing historical artefacts related to the event.
Collins ultimately amassed over 200 items, including Jim Bowie’s knife and Davy Crockett’s leather pouch.
In 2014, Collins generously donated the entire collection – valued at upwards of $100 million – to the Alamo Museum in Texas.
17. Rosie O’Donnell: Happy Meal toys
Actress, comedian and TV personality Rosie O’Donnell has a collection that certainly isn’t confined to the rich and famous.
Rather than collecting one-of-a-kind collector’s items with hefty price tags attached, O’Donnell collects the toys that come free with McDonald’s Happy Meals.
Admittedly, some such items will invariably increase in value due to collector interest with time, but it’s still not what you’d necessarily expect a celebrity to be into.
Reportedly O’Donnell’s collection began with just a couple of items from Happy Meals she’d bought her children, but with time it became a minor obsession.
Once McDonald’s themselves got wind of O’Donnell’s collection they sent her a bunch of rare items for free, taking her collection to upwards of 2,500 items.
16. Lou Ferrigno: Beanie Babies
Let’s be honest now, the last thing you’d expect the Incredible Hulk to be into is cute miniature stuffed toys.
However, famed bodybuilder and 70s TV icon Lou Ferrigno really does own an extensive collection of Beanie Babies.
Ferrigno admits to owning an antique bookcase filled not with books, but with well over 200 of the popular stuffed toys.
Ferrigno’s personal favourite item from the collection is the special commemorative Beanie Baby issued after the death of Princess Diana in 1997.
The former Hulk is also an enthusiastic collector of GI Joe toys and antique air rifles.
15. Janet Jackson: Porcelain pigs
Long-standing pop superstar Janet Jackson may come from a musical family known for their eccentricity, but even so, we didn’t see this one coming.
The multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter has long been an avid collector of porcelain pigs. Yes, really.
Jackson explained in 2006, “I always wanted a hobby, so I decided to collect pigs.”
The Rhythm Nation singer seems as baffled by this as the rest of us, admitting she has “no idea why” she settled on pigs as something to collect.
However, it seems Jackson soon lost the passion for porcine porcelain: “everyone started giving them to me. I had hundreds of pigs. I mean, really, what was I supposed to do with them? So I gave it up!”
14. Ben Stiller: Star Trek props
Actor and filmmaker Ben Stiller is known for his comedies, but he has also has a deeply held affection for a classic of small-screen science fiction.
Yes, the Meet the Parents and Zoolander star is a huge fan of the original Star Trek TV series, and has a collection of items to make many a fan green with envy.
The big screen funnyman owns two pairs of screen-worn Spock ears, signed by Leonard Nimoy himself.
Stiller is also known to have spent $27,500 at auction on an original Gorn head mask (that’s a green alien to the rest of us) and is believed to own the model of the Starship Enterprise used in 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Factor in that he named his production company Red Hour Films in reference to an original Star Trek episode, and Stiller is clearly a dyed-in-the-wool Trekkie.
13. Demi Moore: Antique dolls
Demi Moore successfully rose up through the Brat Pack era to become one of the most bankable actresses of the 90s.
In that time, Moore also became a devoted collector of antique dolls, with a hoard that is said to number around the 2,000 mark today.
Reports suggest that Moore even purchased a property solely to house her impressive collection, her favourite of which is said to be a Gene Marshall doll.
The actress says having dolls around her serves as a reminder “not to take your life too seriously and to remember the importance of play.”
However, Moore’s ex-husband Ashton Kutcher has admitted he found it “just weird” having doll faces staring at him from all over the place.
12. Kiefer Sutherland: Guitars
Lost Boys star Kiefer Sutherland has an impressive (and expensive) collection of around 40 Gibson guitars.
The actor recalls taking violin lessons until he was ten years old, at which point his mother gave him his first guitar.
After that, the 24 actor says he never looked back, and he thinks of the stringed instruments as “beautiful works of art.”
Sutherland keeps his guitars in his own personal recording studio, which he created to encourage young people to get into music.
His collection at one point did number in the hundreds, but reportedly Sutherland “got to the point that I had so many guitars I wasn’t able to play them all.”
11. John Travolta: Aeroplanes
After breaking through with Grease and Saturday Night Fever in the late 70s, John Travolta was flying high in Hollywood.
Fitting enough, then, that the superstar actor developed a passion for aviation, getting his pilot’s licence when he was just 22 years old.
As his professional success saw him commanding some very sizeable paydays, Travolta was enabled to indulge his love of planes.
Travolta’s collection isn’t as substantial as others on this list, given it consists of only five items, but considering the price tag on planes you can understand why he can’t afford more.
Travolta also has his very own functioning airport at his lavish Florida home, enabling him to take his collection for a spin whenever he feels like it.
10. Angelina Jolie: Knives
She may now be a well-respected (and Oscar-winning) actress, but Angelina Jolie’s wild past rears its head when it comes to her particular choice of collection.
The former Mrs Brad Pitt owns a large collection of knives, an obsession which began when her mum bought Jolie one when she was just 12 years old.
Jolie had visited renaissance fairs with her mother as a child, and was always intrigued by the bladed weapons on display.
As her career both in film and as a UN ambassador has sent her all around the globe, Jolie has collected rare knives from many different countries.
She explains, “It reminds you of history, and there’s just something beautiful about them and traditional. Each country has different knives and weapons, and that’s why I started collecting them.”
9. Leonardo DiCaprio: Action figures
Now this is right up our particular street here at Eighties Kids, because Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio has an impressive collection of toy action figures.
Like so many of his generation, DiCaprio has a particular passion for figures from Kenner’s Star Wars line.
DiCaprio apparently owns a significant number of rare figures, also including ones from the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe range.
DiCaprio’s collection is reported to have at one time included over 150 Star Wars figures, rare figures from 2001: A Space Odyssey, ET and Planet of the Apes, plus various superheroes and robots.
However, the actor is known to have auctioned off portions of his expensive collection for charity, so it’s uncertain where his collection stands today.
8. Quentin Tarantino: Film and TV-themed board games
Legendary filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is well known for his love of pop culture, something that has bled into his own particular personal collection.
The Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood writer/director has an extensive collection of TV and film-themed board games.
Tarantino says he prefers board games over collectibles like dolls (which are often left in the box to retain value) because “you can actually play (with board games) and have a good time.”
Tarantino says he isn’t sure how many such board games he owns, but his personal favourites are said to include games based on TV show The Dukes of Hazard, and the classic zombie movie Dawn of the Dead.
Famously, when Tarantino first met John Travolta to offer him Pulp Fiction, he surprised the actor by asking if they could play the Grease board game together.
7. Penélope Cruz: Coat hangers
Spanish Oscar-winner Penélope Cruz may be one of the most glamorous actresses around, yet she has a passion that seems bizarrely down-to-earth.
The Vicky Cristina Barcelona actress has an extensive collection of coat hangers, reportedly numbering over 500 today.
By all accounts Cruz has hangers of every variety from around the world – but, being a lady of standards, Cruz doesn’t count wire hangers among her collection.
Whether the actress owns these specifically to hold items of clothing, or just to have them as artefacts in their own right isn’t entirely clear.
Still, though it might seem a rather quirky thing to collect, it’s worth keeping in mind that as well as being an actress Cruz is also a model and fashion designer.
6. Dan Aykroyd: Police badges
Comedy legend Dan Aykroyd’s many credits include the 1987 movie version of TV cop show Dragnet, but you might not have known just how fascinated Aykroyd has always been by law enforcement in real life.
The Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters star has built a large collection of real police badges over the years.
Aykroyd explained to his social media followers in 2012, “I have been given badges for years.”
He says, “my favourite ones are the pre-1950s California Sheriffs’ Rose Gold Stars with the separate metal plate bear bolted to the front.”
So great is Aykroyd’s passion for the police, he serves as a Reserve Deputy of the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department in Mississippi.
5. Amanda Seyfried: Taxidermied animals
Amanda Seyfried may have a sweet girl-next-door image off the back of her roles in the Mamma Mia! films and Dear John.
However, the actress has a real-life hobby which may strike some as a bit less wholesome: taxidermy.
That’s right, Seyfried is an avid collector of preserved dead animals, which she keeps at her New York home.
The actress’ favourite pieces are said to include a miniature zebra given as a gift from her Ted 2 director Seth MacFarlane.
Seyfried is quoted as saying, “Of course I have a stuffed raccoon – who doesn’t?” and “animals are very easy to look after when they’re dead.”
4. Guillermo del Toro: Horror memorabilia
It shouldn’t be too great a surprise that the Oscar-winning director of The Shape of Water has had a lifelong fascination with all things strange and spooky.
What is perhaps a bit more unexpected is that Guillermo del Toro literally has his own personal museum dedicated to his macabre fascinations.
The building, which the filmmaker calls Bleak House, is jam-packed with over 10,000 items related to fantasy, horror and the dark side of the imagination.
This includes all manner of memorabilia including books, artwork, used film props, and puppets, both from del Toro’s own films and from his personal favourite movies and TV shows.
Perhaps most strikingly, the collection includes life-size waxworks of notable figures from horror history including authors Edgar Allen Poe and HP Lovecraft.
3. Rod Stewart: Model trains
He once asked “do you think I’m sexy?” – but if Rod Stewart’s nerdy collection is anything to go by, then we’re afraid that the answer has to be “no.”
It turns out the famous rocker has an impressive collection of model trains, which is the last thing we expected him to be collecting.
Stewart told BBC Radio London, “My dad bought me a train set and it has stayed with me for ever and ever. Trains are my life – not just model trains but real steam trains as well.”
The singer says, “I’ve looked into buying a real one and it’s closer than you think. I’d love to own a steam engine and just sit on one.”
Reportedly Stewart’s home sports a model train set larger than a tennis court, and whilst touring he routinely books second hotel rooms in which to put his train sets up.
2. John Lennon: Stamps
He may be one of the greatest songwriters ever, but the late John Lennon’s particular collection was far from glamorous.
The Beatle left behind a valuable collection of stamps that he collected as a child, starting when he was just ten years old.
Lennon first started collecting when given a stamp collector’s album by a cousin, and never stopped.
The fame and fortune he accrued as an adult enabled Lennon to get his hands on many extremely rare stamps.
In the years since his death, Lennon’s stamp collection has been put on display in a wide variety of museums around the world, and the musician himself has also appeared on stamps.
1. Nicolas Cage: Castles and dinosaur skulls
The financial woes of Nicolas Cage have been well-publicised in recent years, with the Hollywood star having made – and lost – a substantial fortune in his time.
A big part of why the Leaving Las Vegas Oscar-winner wound up so far in the red was his taste for very indulgent purchases.
Cage at one point owned numerous properties, including two castles in Europe on which he spent more than $10 million apiece.
Perhaps most notoriously, Cage spent $276,000 on the fossilised skull of a Tyrannosaurus Rex – which it later transpired was stolen from Mongolia.
Cage, who had outbid Leonardo DiCaprio for the skull, later voluntarily handed the artefact back to the Mongolian government (without a refund, of course).