There are some celebrities that leap to mind when you think about famous geeks. Kevin Smith, the man who made a living out of being a giant comic book nerd. Wil Wheaton, the Star Trek child star who now plays board games for an audience of thousands. But these big names in nerddom aren’t the only ones that are sneaky geeks behind the scenes. There are some surprising stars who have nerdy hobbies and aren’t afraid to admit it! From board games to video games, these big names are proving that anyone can be a geek in their spare time.
[TV still from Breaking Bad, AMC]
Krysten Ritter (Knitting)
Krysten Ritter has made a name for herself as the quirky girl, from her starring role in Don’t Trust The B to dozens of supporting roles as an eccentric and fun friend. Now, she’s shot to stardom in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Jessica Jones, but don’t let that new tough-girl role fool you. She’s still just as adorably quirky in real life as she is on screen. Ritter is known for her love of knitting, and happily admits that she’s always got her latest project with her and knits whenever she has a moment to spare, including on set. She describes the hobby as part of the self-care routine that keeps her sane during tough shooting schedules, and often posts her projects to Instagram. She even designed a pattern for an infinity scarf similar to the one that Jessica Jones wears and taught Charlie Cox (Daredevil) to knit on the set of Defenders!
[Movie still from Live Free or Die Hard, 20th Century Fox]
Vin Diesel and Judy Dench (D&D)
Vin Diesel is probably the opposite of the stereotypical nerd in terms of physical appearance; huge, muscular, and tattooed. However, he’s a devoted Dungeons and Dragons player and has been for years. Some of those intimidating tattoos are even devoted to his D&D character, Melkor. Melkor was also the inspiration for his recent film The Last Witch Hunter. He’s become so well known for his love of the role-playing game that he has also appeared on nerdy series like Geek & Sundry’s Critical Role, and he wrote the introduction to the book 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons. As if that’s not enough, he’s even taught the game to his co-stars on set, including Judy Dench, who acted opposite Diesel in the Riddick franchise.
[Movie still from Black Swan, Fox Searchlight Pictures]
Mila Kunis (WoW)
This gorgeous girl got her first major break on That '70s Show, and since then has done anything and everything from Family Guy to Black Swan to Bad Moms. She also got really, really into the massive multiplayer online game World of Warcraft. She actually become so into the game that she ended up deleting it from her computer in 2012, joking in interviews that it had become like a drug to her. However, she made it very clear that her account still stands, and that she would have loved to be a part of the Warcraft movie based on the franchise. She also still plays other video games, just some with a little less intensity.
[TV still from The Last Show with Stephen Colbert, Spartina Productions & CBS Television Studios]
Stephen Colbert (Tolkien)
This one may not come as too much of a surprise for fans of the late night talk show host and comedian, but Stephen Colbert (of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert) is one of the biggest fans of J.R.R Tolkien in the world. The word fan barely does it justice. Colbert is essentially a Lord of the Rings scholar! He has hosted trivia, cosplayed as the characters for EW, he has had a cameo in the Hobbit franchise, and he’ll bring up the franchise on his shows as often as he can legitimately get away with it. Peter Jackson has even commented on how much of a fan Colbert is. He’s probably the most famous Tokien fan in TV or film.
[Movie still from Inception, Warner Bros. Pictures]
Leonardo DiCaprio (Star Wars)
Leonardo DiCaprio is famous for plenty of his off-screen activities, especially his work as an environmental activist as well as with a range of other charitable activities. However, the Oscar-winning actor is also an avid collector of action figures, a truly geeky hobby! DiCaprio now has a massive collection of figurines, with the majority from Star Wars, but other items in the collection from different vintage toy lines. He has a rare He-Man figure from the 1980s, as well as multiple pristine Star Wars figures. His love of the sci-fi franchise makes it even more surprising that the actor turned down a major role in the Star Wars prequels. He was originally approached to play Anakin, but decided that it just didn’t feel right (which, given the negative reaction to the trilogy, may not be a bad thing!).