Actors, musicians, athletes and other popular personalities of today’s popular culture are best known for what they do in the spotlight. After all, we love our favorite actors for their on-screen roles, the athletes for their performance in the field, and the musicians for the way they speak to our souls. Yet behind these famous faces and “brands” there are people that do more than just perform and play. And some of them are even engaged in activities you might not believe they are.
Shannon Elizabeth, born Shannon Elizabeth Fadal, is best known for her roles in American Pie and Scary Movie. Aside from being a successful movie and TV actress, Shannon Elizabeth has been featured in various publications as a model – she was Maxim’s cover girl in 2008. Yet aside from her acting and modeling career, she has a second one – poker. And not even at minimum deposit casinos – she was called one of the leading celebrity poker players in 2006.
Shannon Elizabeth Fadal has scored 12 tournament cashes between 2006 and 2010. She played the Main Event of the 2005 World Series of Poker, she cashed four times in the tournament in the following years and advanced to the semi-finals of NBC’s National Heads-Up Poker Championship in 2007.
Brad Pitt is perhaps one of the most iconic actors of our time. During his career, he starred in a series of highly appreciated movies, has pocketed quite a few Oscar nominations, and has been nominated to and won several other prestigious awards (one of his most awarded appearances was Jeffrey Goines, a mental patient slash eco-terrorist in Terry Gilliam’s cult classic, 12 Monkeys. And he’s a trained architect.
A few years ago, he took time away from acting to study computer-aided design at the LA offices of architect Frank Gehry, he narrated a PBS series focused on sustainable architecture, and founded the Make It Right Foundation to construct 150 sustainable homes in New Orleans after Katrina.
Kobe Bryant was one of the most successful basketball players of our time before he retired from the LA Lakers in 2016. His accolades include five NBA championships with the Lakers, becoming an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and a 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. He holds the NBA record for the most seasons playing with one franchise for an entire career. And he loves soccer.
Bryant was quoted saying that if it wasn’t for basketball, he would have probably become a soccer player. When his father – a pro basketball player himself – moved to Italy, 6-year-old Kobe was introduced to soccer culture (Italy is famous for its love for soccer). He started out as a goalkeeper, he told the Chicago Tribune, then he was advanced to the midfield as he became more accustomed to the sport. Upon moving back to the US, he gave up soccer in favor of basketball but he credited it for helping him better handle the footwork in the court.