Imagine you’re going to the shops, you get your groceries and as you approach the till, Sandra Bullock is sitting behind the cashier desk and asks you for your Smart Shopper card. That would seem mind-blowingly unreal, but in some cases, it is very much true. Before they made a name for themselves in Hollywood, many of today’s celebrities were fighting it out in the normal working world, doing odd jobs that could have you wondering if your local dog whisperer could one day be the next Leonardo DiCaprio.
E! Entertainment’s (DStv 124) new show 10 Things You Don’t Know About is digging into celeb lives for weird and wonderful facts in their pasts that’ll leave you scratching your head. In anticipation of the show, we’ve gone snooping in the lives of celebs who’ll be profiled in the series for some of the weirdest facts that we could find. From playing chicken, to doing the no-pants-dance just for grandma, here they are. Can E! do better?
Brad Pitt: Are you feeling clucky, punk?
Brad Pitt was twice voted sexiest man alive. He was famously married to actress Jennifer Anniston and then left her for actress Angelina Jolie. Between all of that noise, he put up a good few movies that you might have heard of as well, such as The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008), Ocean's Eleven (2001), Fight Club (1999), Megamind (2010) and Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood (2019), for which he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. But before making knees buckle by removing his shirt in movies, Brad donned a chicken mascot suit for fast-food restaurant chain El Pollo Loco. Pitt exclaimed, “Man's gotta eat!” and “felt no shame” in dancing like a chicken to pay the bills.
Jennifer Lopez: Stepping it up
Miss Jennifer Lopez, or Jenny From The Block thanks to her 2002 hit song Jenny From The Block, has widely been regarded as the most influential Latin entertainer in the United States. Dancer, singer, actress, producer, fashion designer – the list goes on and on and still, it cannot do justice to the impact she’s had. The 51-year-old hasn’t stopped now that she’s considered one of the seasoned veterans of Hollywood, and you have to look no further than her Super Bowl LIV halftime show in 2020. She practically out-danced dancers half her age, and managed to sing without missing a beat. But what was the Puerto Rican beauty doing before she stood in the spotlight? She was a back-up babe. That’s right, before making it to the front of the stage, Miss Lopez was one of the ‘Fly Girls’, a dance group on the sketch comedy show In Living Color (1990-2006) until 1993. She got so good at it that she manged to even dance back up for Janet Jackson in one of her music videos.
Tiffany Haddish: Home alone
Comedian Tiffany Haddish hasn’t looked back since she exploded on the scene in the female-led comedy movie Girls Trip (2017). Funny and sharp, she commands your attention in just about every scene she is in. And the role of Shay in The Last OG seems tailor-made for her. But growing up in South Central Los Angeles, California, she never had dreamt that her life would take such an upturn. Tiffany landed in foster care after her mother became mentally unstable following a car accident. Tiffany and her siblings tried to stick together and make a bad situation work. But the 40-year-old actress says, “My sisters were placed together and my brothers were placed together but I was on my own.” Things did get better however, when she and her siblings were reunited with their grandmother.
Will Smith: A no to Neo
Until Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s takeover, Will Smith was the biggest name in Hollywood blockbuster movies. He is still Hollywood royalty and to boot, he is extremely likeable. Before kicking alien butt in Men In Black (1997) and Independence Day (1996), Mr Fresh Prince of Bel Air broke into the industry as an accomplished rapper along with his collaborator, Jazzy Jeff. The duo gained critical acclaim as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, and won their first Grammy award in the Rap category in 1989. But before Keanu Reeves was approached for the role of Neo in The Matrix movie trilogy, Will was offered the role but passed on it. “I totally would have messed up The Matrix,” he explains, as now fans of both the franchise and the actor are left wondering what could’ve been.
Lady Gaga: Pants off for gran
Lady Gaga is a 21st-century icon. Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, she has managed to reinvent herself and keep herself relevant throughout her career, while also being versatile enough to be able to succeed in other parts of the entertainment industry. You might know her for her famous songs, Just Dance and Poker Face, but she’s also managed to do justice in front of the camera as she’s proved with her Oscar nomination for A Star Is Born (2018) and the thrills she gave us in American Horror Story: Hotel (2015). She does, however, have a problem when it comes to covering her legs. Lady Gaga refuses to wear pants… in order for her grandma to see her on TV. The New York-born singer revealed, “My grandmother is basically blind, but she can make out the lighter parts, like my skin and hair. She says, ‘I can see you, because you have no pants on.’ So I’ll continue to wear no pants, even on television, so that my grandma can see me,” says Gaga earnestly.
Keanu Reeves: All about that bass
To come from Canada and eliminate bad guys with ease while looking cool in a suit is super rare. But that’s an average movie role for John Wick star Keanu Reeves – he wasn’t even born in Canada; he moved there as a toddler after he was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Before starring in blockbusters like Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Speed (1994) and The Matrix (1999), Keanu made his name as Theodore Logan – aka Ted – in rock ’n roll comedy movies Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991). Keanu wasn’t just acting, though – he played bass guitar for real between 1991 and 2002 as a member of alt-rock band Dogstar. Reeves recalls, "I guess it would have helped if our band was better. We played Milwaukee Metal Fest. Got killed. I think we played close to [New York hardcore-punk legends] Murphy’s Law. Imagine!”
Watch 10 Things You Don’t Know About S1 from Monday, 17 August on E! Entertainment (DStv 124) at 19:05
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