Celebrities lead lives that often seem glamorous and picture perfect. But even the rich and famous have their quirks and unusual stories. Read on for a collection of fun trivia and facts about some of the world’s biggest stars and pop culture icons. You may be surprised by what you discover!
Movies & TV
- Tom Cruise is dyslexic and struggled in school before being diagnosed at age 7. He focuses intensely on memorizing his lines to overcome this challenge.
- He performed his own stunts for the entire Burj Khalifa tower climbing sequence in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. This included being suspended 1,700 feet in the air!
- During filming of The Outsiders in 1982, Cruise and co-stars Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, and Patrick Swayze often engaged in prank wars between takes.
- Jennifer Lawrence missed her chance to play Bella Swan in Twilight because she was deemed too old at the time. She was only 16 years old when auditioning.
- She manages to stay clumsy and accident prone despite being a major movie star. Jennifer has frequently tripped at awards ceremonies and premieres over the years.
- She gave a drunken rendition of Adele’s “Someone Like You” on late night TV with Seth Meyers that went viral. Jennifer later admitted she was very intoxicated.
- Tom Hanks is distantly related to Abraham Lincoln through Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks. Their lineage connects back in the 1600s.
- He got his start in acting by interning at a community theater company where he had to build sets and perform other odd jobs.
- Hanks collects vintage typewriters and uses one to write the first drafts of all his scripts. As of 2022, he had over 150 typewriters.
- Although known for Wolverine’s ripped physique, Hugh Jackman was a skinny kid. He was teased for his lanky appearance and dubbed “Sticks” in school.
- His dream job as a child was to become a chef on a plane. Jackman went to hotel management school and worked at restaurants before getting into acting.
- He holds the Guinness World Record for playing Wolverine more times than any actor has portrayed a comic book character, totaling over 1,700 minutes on screen.
- Beyonce’s first job was sweeping up hair at her mother’s hair salon. She later worked the front desk and as a shampoo girl.
- She is ambidextrous and can write just as well with both her left and right hands.
- Beyonce and Jay-Z were already secretly married when they had their headline-making nuptials publicly in 2008. She later revealed they tied the knot in a small private ceremony in 2007.
- Taylor Swift’s family moved from their Pennsylvania farm to Nashville so she could pursue music as a teenager. She began writing songs and performing at age 10.
- She keeps an extensive collection of over 30 cats at her various homes. Swift’s favorite breed is Scottish Fold.
- In 2020, Swift became the first solo female artist to win Album of the Year at the Grammys three times, a feat only achieved by three other acts in history.
- Ed Sheeran’s best friend growing up was UK singer Passenger. The two pals used to gig together and sleep on couches while trying to make it big as musicians.
- He has a Heinz tomato ketchup logo tattoo on his left arm to signify his love of the condiment. Sheeran puts ketchup on everything!
- His thinking spot for songwriting inspiration is on the treadmill. Sheeran keeps a pad to jot down lyrics while he’s running.
- Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, she gets her middle name from her dad Ronald. She started going by Rihanna as a stage name.
- She acted in a high school production of Guys and Dolls before finding fame as a pop star. Rihanna played the role of Miss Adelaide.
- She has stated Beyonce and Mariah Carey as major influences. Rihanna was inspired by listening to their albums on repeat as a kid in Barbados.
Athletes & Sports Stars
- Serena Williams started playing tennis at age 3 when her dad began coaching her and sister Venus on public courts in Compton, California.
- She runs her own fashion brand called S by Serena featuring bold activewear. Williams debuted her first NYFW show in 2019.
- She has her own venture capital firm that focuses on investing in start-up companies founded by diverse women.
- David Beckham suffers from OCD and always feels compelled to count clothes or arrange items in pairs.
- He admits he can be a bit of a “neat freak” at home. Beckham organizes cans in the pantry with all labels facing out.
- While playing for Manchester United, Beckham would get McDonald’s takeout delivered to the stadium after full games because he didn’t like the food served in the player’s lounge.
- LeBron James averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in his first season playing high school basketball as a freshman at age 14.
- He was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as “The Chosen One” in 2002 while still a junior in high school, which created massive hype.
- James spends roughly $1.5 million per year taking care of his body with treatments like cryotherapy, massages, float tanks, and acupuncture.
- Simone Biles began gymnastics on a daycare field trip and was immediately a standout, replicating the older kids’ moves with ease.
- She got three new skills named after her upon debuting them in competition, a rare feat – the Biles on beam, the Biles II on floor, and the tucked double double on vault.
- Biles has an Instagram following over 3 million strong, full of fans inspired by her elite skills and bubbly personality. Brands like Athleta and Visa sponsor her.
- Oprah Winfrey gave birth at age 14 and lost her child, saying it was “her second chance” to turn her life around and focus on education.
- She became the first African American billionaire in 2003 and the wealthiest Black person in North America for over a decade.
- Winfrey purchased a 10,000 sq. foot home in California nicknamed “The Promised Land” at age 43 that included its own movie theater.
- As founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk hopes to one day facilitate space tourism trips around the moon and eventually colonize Mars through interplanetary travel.
- He taught himself computer programming at age 12 and sold his first software – a video game called Blastar – by age 14.
- Musk has been married three times and has seven children, including a son named X Æ A-12, whose unusual name sparked headlines.
- A young Michelle Obama dreamed of becoming an attorney while idolizing characters from her favorite TV show The Brady Bunch.
- She met Barack Obama at a Chicago law firm in 1989 when he was assigned to mentor her over the summer. Michelle initially declined a date request.
- She launched the Becoming book tour in 2018, selling out arenas for her inspirational talks, and eventually selling over 17 million copies of her memoir.
- Dwayne Johnson first rose to fame in the WWE under the show name The Rock. He won over fans with his charisma on the mic and champion wrestling skills.
- He played college football at the University of Miami, where coaches nicknamed him “Dewey” in reference to the missing front teeth he lost to injury.
- Johnson wakes up before dawn every morning at 4 AM to fit in an intense workout at his home gym before filming movie and TV projects.
- Generous with his wealth, Keanu Reeves has been known to give away millions to unsung crew members of his movie projects anonymously over the years.
- He enjoys a simple lifestyle outside of work and frequently rides the NYC subway. Reeves said the public commute keeps him “connected to people.”
Whether big or small, famous facts help humanize celebrities we put on pedestals. While their lives seem glitzy on the outside, stars are passionate, generous, flawed, and funny people just like the rest of us. Learning celebrity trivia provides fascinating insights into the personalities behind the public image. Next time you see a famous face, remember they are only human too!