7 Hollywood Superstars Who Are Also Artists
These Hollywood superstars have been entertaining audiences in blockbuster films and beloved TV shows for ages – but what fans may not know is that they are also talented artists. For some it has been a creative outlet, for others it has been an alternate career, and some even view it as their true passion.
7 Terry Crews
Terry Crews is known for a lot of things, from being a pro football player to starring in blockbuster films and beloved TV shows, to hosting game shows – so maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s also a talented artist. Crews has a wide portfolio of photorealistic sports paintings and sketches, reminiscent of the work of Daniel A. Moore.
This is not a hobby for Crews. He first got into college with an art scholarship, and has relied on his artistic skills for income more than once. Crews has stated that his first job related to entertainment was doing courtroom sketches, and that even after he became a professional football player, he often had to fall back on drawing to support his family:
“I would get cut from a team—I played on six teams in seven years, so that happened a lot—so I would go back into the locker room and ask the players if they wanted their portraits painted. That’s how I survived…” Crews explained, “It would literally take me about two months to do a painting, and they would give me like $5,000 and I would survive off that, my whole family survived off that.”
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6 Johnny Depp
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Johnny Depp has a passion for art. In 2016, the actor made headlines by auctioning off his multi-million-dollar art collection (which included nine works by the Jean Michel Basquiat.) Johnny Depp is not only a collector, however – he is also a painter.
Depp’s style is said to be influenced by Bassquiat, and is even quoted in the 2000 “Jean Michel Basquiat book,” saying, “The beautiful and disturbing music of his paintings, the cacophony of his silence that attacks our senses, will live far beyond our breath.”
Depp has painted portraits of multiple big names, including Jack Kerouac and Marlon Brando. Recently, Depp shared a painting of a wine bottle that it has taken him fourteen years to finish. The actor said of his creative process:”It’s odd, the things that we once gave such pure, intense focus and devotion to for months on end. Then suddenly the wind shifts and off we go on a new tack.”
5 James Franco
Many have seen James Franco’s films, but less know about his art, including everything from depictions of fat corgis, actors in sexual poses, and dollhouses being smashed. Franco has been perusing a career in the art world alongside his acting career for a long time – as well as being a published author and attending multiple colleges, including Yale for a Ph.D. in literature. He has said that when he only had acting, he “felt trapped.”
Franco had his first solo show at New York’s Clocktower Gallery in 2019, seeking to explore themes of traditional masculinity, sexuality, and celebrity. The show included film, photographs, drawings, and sculptures.
4 Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey is known for his work in films like “Ace Ventura,” “Dumb and Dumber,” and “The Truman Show,” but he also creates visual art that is, “as expressive and emotive as his work as an actor.”
When not working on films, Carrey spends much of his time in his art studio in New York. He has created a wide variety of drawings, paintings, sculptures, and even puppets. His work is on display at Wyland Galleries Beachwalk – Waikiki, Hawaii and Wyland Galleries Lake Tahoe, California.
Carrey has been releasing passionate political cartoons (which have been compared to Mad Magazine) that have gained a lot of attention on social media.
3 Lucy Liu
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Actress Lucy Liu made headlines back in 2019 with her first ever museum show. She and fellow artist Shubigi Raoat had a show at the National Museum of Singapore called “Unhomed Belongings,” which hints at the way that Liu creates her work.
Liu collects garbage that she finds on the street and fixes them into books. The books themselves are elegantly bound and made of high-quality paper, but they are also “unhomed” – reclaimed from an Italian printing house.
2 Sylvester Stallone
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Although many think of Stallone as “Rocky and “Rambo” his first passion was painting.
“I think I’m a much better painter than an actor. It’s much more personal and I’m allowed to just do what I want to do. Quite often in acting you have to play a certain part, you cannot speak as much as you want to speak. I suppose the heroes don’t talk much, you have to be very stoic.”
1 Anthony Hopkins
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Actor Anthony Hopkins is best known for playing intense roles like the terrifying Hannibal Lector or the ominous Dr. Ford in Westworld, but recently went viral on TikTok dancing to Drake’s “Toosie Slide.” Many viewers noticed the unique artwork in the background – a semi-abstract self-portrait.
Hopkins hadn’t seriously painted since he was young, but then his then-fiancée Stella noticed that the blank pages of his scripts were full of drawings. “They’re drawings in multicolored ink pens, like Sharpie’s, that I managed to dig up,” Hopkins explained, “I’d paint landscapes and faces. They’re really weird drawings.”
Stella pushed him to begin painting again. For awhile, Hopkins resisted, but then she insisted that he paint about seventy-five paintings – one for each of their wedding guests. It worked – Hopkins has been painting ever since.
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Sources: Artnet, Jim Carrey online, Insider, Vulture, ARTnews, Stallone art, Entertainment Weekly
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