Our biggest celebrities are more exposed than ever before. We're constantly updated by media sites, Twitter, etc. whenever there's any news regarding their careers. And sometimes, the excitement of an upcoming project—a new album release, movie role, and so on—equals that of the actual project's release!
For this reason it can be surprising, and interesting, when we hear about our favorite celebrities outside the context of what they're best known for. It can take a reminder to remember that they're ordinary people, too, with their own interests and hobbies that are sometimes as much a part of their lives as the careers they're famous for. So just for fun, here's a look at some A-list celebrities with active side hobbies and careers.
Jay Z's business endeavors in recent years have made it so that he absolutely has to be the first celebrity listed in terms of those with busy side careers. Best known, of course, as arguably the biggest rapper of a generation, Jay seems to have focused more on becoming a successful businessman away from the studio. It started with his purchase of (part of) the Brooklyn Nets (back when they were the New Jersey Nets), and the iconic rapper is certainly one reason the franchise ultimately moved to Brooklyn, where he's from. But it's the venture that followed that really puts Jay in interesting territory.
The rapper ultimately sold his stake in the Nets, specifically to pursue a career in sports agency. He promptly signed some of the biggest names in sports, including Robinson Cano (formerly of the New York Yankees) and Kevin Durant (of the Oklahoma City Thunder). Jay already ushered Cano out of New York to chase a massive 10-year contract in Seattle and according to Business Insider, he scored a huge personal triumph in landing Durant his lucrative Nike contract renewal.
Ben Affleck is another popular celebrity who has a busy side career/hobby, and we're not talking about his forays into the field of directing. Rather, we're talking about Affleck's rather impressive background as a high-stakes poker champion. Known as a fan of the game who's participated in numerous high buy-in games in California and elsewhere, Affleck was named in a blog associated with the popular Betfair Poker site as having won the California State Poker Championship back in 2004. And in the process, he apparently netted over $350,000! Not bad for a weekend hobby.
Somewhat-less impressively, NY Daily News reported in the spring of 2014 that Affleck has also been caught allegedly counting cards at a blackjack table in Vegas!
David Beckham is known for two illustrious careers already: 1) being one of the world's greatest football (soccer) players, at least in his prime; and 2) being a steadily working model for a number of companies and products. But now that he's essentially retired from football, Beckham appears to be looking to parlay his interest in the sport into yet another venture as he looks to create an MLS expansion team in Miami, Fla.
In October 2014, doubts arose as to whether this team could become a reality, at least in Miami, because of concerns over the stadium they were attempting to build. But just over a month ago, MLS Soccer reported that a Beckham spokesman said things were progressing well and that Miami "is still David's number one choice and it will happen." That's a pretty strong sign that Beckham will indeed soon own a professional soccer team here in the States. While it's not technically a side career given that he no longer plays professionally, it's an incredible achievement for someone who's focused most of his life on playing the game.
And then there's George Clooney, who seems more and more like the de facto King of Hollywood. Recently honored at the Golden Globes for career contributions, Clooney has starred in countless great films. But his good looks and classy persona are what make him one of the most revered stars in show business. Clooney has no other paying career that we know about, but he's used his considerable clout to involve himself in humanitarian efforts around the world, and it certainly seems as if this takes up as much or more of his time than the movies.
Most notably, Clooney helped found Not On Our Watch (along with pals Matt Damon and Brad Pitt and other Hollywood stars) to advocate for awareness of global atrocities. He's also done extensive work in Darfur to prevent the militant violence in Sudan, including but not limited to launching his own satellite to track activities of the oppressive armies. That's quite a lot of "side" effort for Hollywood's greatest A-lister.