10 Unexpected Side Gigs of Famous People

  • February 15, 2014
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Believe it or not, celebrities tend to have a lot of downtime when they aren’t recording an album or shooting a movie. Sure, it can be grueling to work on a TV show for several months in a row, but what happens when you don’t have another gig lined up? You work on hobbies and, if necessary, you find a second job to occupy your time. Some second jobs are a little more surprising than others, of course.


Lana Del Rey is a Babysitter

Lana Del Rey is a pop singer, musician, and occasional model who shot to fame thanks largely to YouTube, after she created a video for one of her songs and released it on the behemoth website, with the song becoming a smash sensation. However, whenever she’s not recording or touring and returns to her hometown of New York City, she goes back to her old job that she held before she became famous. What’s that job? Babysitting. Yeah, a world famous singer babysits a little kid twice per week in her downtime.


Kal Penn Worked for Obama

It’s kind of amazing to consider that the guy who most famously portrayed stoner slacker Kumar in the Harold and Kumar movies would be political at all, let alone political enough to find himself working directly for Barack Obama. Beginning in 2009, Penn took a job as Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement. Since then he’s been bouncing back and forth between acting and working for the president.


Idris Elba is a Club DJ

It almost seems unfair that a guy as cool as Idris Elba could add a side gig that makes him even cooler, doesn’t it? Elba, who has risen to prominence as an actor for shows like The Wire and Luther, and more recently movies like Pacific Rim and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, spends his downtime as a highly successful and popular DJ, spinning in clubs in his native London. Come on, Idris, save some of the cool for the rest of us, please?


Clint Eastwood Used to be a Mayor

For the most part, actors will avoid running for political office while their careers are going strong. If we told you that Clint Eastwood, with his acting and directing career starting to wind down, decided to run for mayor of a California town you’d think it might make sense, and wonder when the election is. However, for Eastwood the election was in 1986, and he served as the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California for a couple of years right at the height of his success.


Vanilla Ice is a Successful Contractor

These days, Rob Van Winkle, better known as Vanilla Ice, is probably as famous for his numerous appearances on reality TV shows as he is for being a one hit wonder. He made it huge with the song Ice Ice Baby and then pretty much fell off the map, reinventing himself over time as a motocross racer, a punk rocker, and most recently, a contractor. Yeah, that’s right, Ice spends his time working on houses and is so successful at it that he actually had a TV show called The Vanilla Ice Project in the DIY Network.