famous flair | 

Nine celebs who have surprising hidden talents

They may have made it big in the world of showbiz – but these famous-faces could have been contenders in other areas too.

Tom Hardy at the Open Jiu Jitsu Championship

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Margot Robbie works as a tattoo artist

Geena Davis© ??  `??_/O??

Caitlyn Jenner© ??  `??_/O??

Steve Martin playing the banjo© ??  `??_/O??

Michael Fassbender racing© ??  `??_/O??

Barry Keoghan is a fan of boxing

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CPS Hidden talents August 28 Esther McCarthy copy Barry Keoghan boxing

Esther McCarthySunday World

Martial arts fans at a sports event could be forgiven for doing a double take when a familiar-looking figure took part last week.

It’s not every day a Marvel star competes for gold in a local jiu-jitsu championship - but there was top British actor Tom Hardy taking to the floor to show his martial-arts prowess.

Hardy - who also trains others in the skill as part of his work with the REORG charity - was quite the competitor, taking gold in all his matches.

But the Peaky Blinders star isn’t the only A-lister who has other hidden talents. From Olympians to tennis to professional music, your favourite big names are adept at more than the skills they’re best known for.

Michael Fassbender racing© ??  `??_/O??

Take Killarney’s own Michael Fassbender, who stormed through a big-screen career with roles as Steve Jobs and in the X-Men movies. If you’re wondering why you haven’t seen as much of him on screen lately, that’s because the actor has turned his hand to motor racing.

Fassbender has spent recent years pursuing his racing dream - and this summer ticked off a big one on his bucket list when he competed in Le Mans in France. Driving for Porsche, he took part in the famous 24-hour race with fellow teammates. In an interview, he said racing was not like his acting career, where getting a role is make or break.

“I’m never going to be a professional racing driver, but I’m super passionate about it, it means so much to me. And I want to reach my full potential. So it’s a different type of nervousness, it’s a different type of stress.”

Barry Keoghan is a fan of boxing

Barry Keoghan has been notching up huge screen roles in recent years, but behind the cameras he harbours another big ambition - to box competitively. He trains regularly in pursuit of that very goal.

“I still train and if the chance arises for me to step in and do a tournament I would. I’d love to,” he recently told Off the Ball. “I’d love to get in the ring and fight, man. I really would. I have a massive love for boxing. It is beautiful to watch as well.”

Steve Martin playing the banjo© ??  `??_/O??

Veteran actor Steve Martin is beloved for comic roles like Only Murders in the Building and Father of the Bride, but he could well have pursued a career as a professional musician. The star is a top banjo player who has performed since his teens and even won a Grammy in 2002. He has since won other Grammys for his bluegrass-style music and released his first album in 2009.

Margot Robbie works as a tattoo artist

Margot Robbie also has a nifty side hustle when she’s not starring in movies like I, Tonya. She’s a fan of tattoos and bought a tattoo gun to carry them out on friends. The star reckons she’s done over 100 in all and even opened a ‘Harley’s Tattoo Parlour’ for fun on the set of the first Suicide Squad movie, named after her character.

However, last year she jokingly revealed she hung up her gun after tattooing her friend on the night before her wedding, much to the ire of the mother of the bride.

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Geena Davis is an Oscar-winning star of the screen, but did you know she was also a highly skilled archer? In fact, she is so good that she almost made the US Olympic archery team after taking up the sport. She was inspired to give it a try after watching it at the Olympics on TV. “It’s very dramatic and beautiful and just thought casually, ‘I wonder if I’d be good at that?’” she said in an interview.

She was. In fact she came 24th in a competition of 300 female archers to represent the US at the 2000 Olympics.

She still frequently uses her bow and arrows, she said. “But just for fun. I haven’t been competing lately.”

When Neil Patrick Harris isn’t cheering us up onscreen he pursues another career - as a professional magician. Neil takes his other passion very seriously and was president of the board of Hollywood’s Magic Castle, one of the world’s most-prestigious homes for illusionists.

“I grew up at a time when Doug Henning was still doing yearly magic specials and David Copperfield, who would make the Statue of Liberty disappear and walk through the Great Wall of China,” he said of his lifelong passion since childhood.

Had Matthew Perry not pursued an acting career, he might well have found himself on the professional tennis circuit. A highly competitive player in his teens, he was one of the top nationally ranked players in his native Canada. But on moving to LA he found competition tough and instead the Friends star focused on acting. “Are tennis and acting alike? I don’t know. They’re both very mental games,” he said, adding that he’s still a huge fan of the sport and plays regularly.

Caitlyn Jenner© ??  `??_/O??

Younger Keeping Up with the Kardashians fans will know of Caitlyn Jenner as a reality TV star rather than an Olympic athlete. But long before Caitlyn became a star of the small screen, she had a career as a decathlete which culminated in the ultimate accolade.

Years of preparation and training paid off when Caitlyn, then identifying as William Bruce Jenner, took the gold medal for USA at the Montreal Games. Already hugely proud of this achievement, Caitlyn came out as transgender in 2015. “I would have to put my identity as higher,” she later said of her achievements in a radio interview. “It was tougher to do. I trained 12 years for the Olympic Games. I trained 65 years to transition in 2015.”


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