Good ol’ Hollyweird. Tinseltown can turn even the most conventional aspiring actor into an insane celebrity with just a little bit of success and money. How often are we bombarded by tabloid covers and viral videos showing off an actor’s personal issues and eccentricities for all to see? The spotlight can do strange things to a person’s personality, and we eat it up.
On the other hand, to be an artist of any sort is to be a bit of an eccentric. It’s no different for the actor. When we look at big-name actors, we tend to assume that their attractiveness and steady high income probably renders them boring and spoiled. However, it’s important to recognize that so many actors started out as outlandish theater kids in high school and many of them still have the aberrant personalities that launched them into acting in the first place.
Some of these actors and actresses seem to have been morphed into their unconventional selves by fame, while others were just sort of born that way. Some are a bit off their rocker in the best possible way, while others could do without public enabling.
Check out these 17 Most Famously Eccentric Actors!
17. Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando is still a household name years after his death in 2004. The Godfather actor was handsome, talented, and also known for being a bit out there in his personal life.
As if having sixteen children isn’t a bit odd (he was rumored to have even more), Brando also bought his own island for fun, used scripts he didn’t like as targets for shotgun practice, and used his On the Waterfront Oscar as a doorstopper. He also wanted Jor-El, his Superman character, to be a green bagel that spoke in Brando’s voice.
Brando was also notorious for his unconventional eating habits, which often involved binge-eating honey buns and milk and then crash-dieting before shooting films. And of course, his very public and misguided (though well-meaning) attempts to bring Native American issues to mainstream light are memorable.
16. Matthew Gray Gubler
Here’s an example of an eccentric actor we never want to change.
Not only is the Criminal Minds actor absolutely hilarious on social media, but Matthew Gray Gubler also has a ton of eccentric hobbies. He makes a lot of Daniel Johnston-style artwork that he sells in clothing and button form, collects kimonos and robes, and is a jump-rope champion. He can also do a stellar chipmunk impression (he’s the voice of Simon from Alvin and the Chipmunks!) and sews his own stuffed animals for fun.
And of course, we can’t forget the fact that he lives in a haunted treehouse like some kind of strange acting fairy. Can we also talk about the fact that he’s actually nearly 40? Clearly his eccentric nature keeps him looking young.
15. Crispin Glover
Cult actor Crispin Glover is a rare breed of weirdo that is very much aware of others’ perception of him as an oddball. Though many may laugh at the Back to the Future actor, we wouldn’t have him any less interesting and eccentric.
Glover is known for his moral issues with Back to the Future‘s ending, he directed a movie in which every actor had Down Syndrome, and he has been permanently banned from The Late Show since 1987. Why?
For his surreal wig-wearing arm-wrestling karate-kicking appearance as Rubin from Rubin & End. The antics made for good television, of course, but some of his martial arts moves got a little to close to making contact with David and the interview was abruptly ended. His middle name is Hellion, after all.
14. Joaquin Phoenix
Total nutjob or great artist? Why not both!
Joaquin Phoenix has always been known as a bit of an oddball, and not just because of a weird red carpet interaction involving a frog. The Walk The Line actor peaked in weirdness in 2009 when he appeared on the Late Show in full scruffy beard, hair, and sunglasses to announce that he had decided to quite acting in favor of the pursuit of a rap career.
Everybody was convinced that Phoenix had lost it, but it was soon revealed that the whole situation was just a ruse to promote the mockumentary he had made with Casey Affleck called I’m Still Here. The film came as more of a surprise than the antics– if Joaquin Phoenix came out with a hip-hop album, would anybody really be that shocked?
13. Shia Labeouf
Who knew that the seemingly average Even Stevens actor would grow up to be so… interesting?
On top of his meme-inducing “DO IT” video, LaBeouf has also done a lot of out-there public art stunts. He went to the Berlin Film Festival with a paper bag covering his head boasting the words “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE”. LaBeouf went on to perform in a week-long gallery performance in the brown paper bag.
He then hosted a livestreamed viewing party of every single movie he’s ever made, lasting three days, which involved a lot of crying, laughing, and sleeping.
LaBeouf also chased down a homeless man for his McDonalds and went around a theater performance of Cabaret bopping people on the rear ends and spitting at people. All in the same day.
12. Tilda Swinton
On top of having a notoriously androgynous and strangely ethereal look about her, Academy Award-winner and We Need To Talk About Kevin actress Tilda Swinton is known for being a bit… different.
She famously told the Guardian in an interview that as a four-year-old child, she was contemplating the murder of her baby brother in a fit of jealousy. She also pulled an interesting performance art stunt at MoMA back in 2013 where she randomly shut herself into a giant glass box and slept. Seven different times.
Plus, there was that whole kind of weird situation where she emailed Margaret Cho for guidance on racial issues.
If you told us that this Twitter account poking fun at Swinton’s oddness was really her, nobody would be shocked.
11. Helena Bonham Carter
It is no secret that Helena Bonham Carter, the spooky Academy Award-nominated actress and regular muse (and ex-partner) to Tim Burton, is a bit of an eccentric.
While she’s known for taking out-there roles of ghastly characters like Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter franchise, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland, Carter’s weirdness doesn’t end with her work. Her sense of fashion is notoriously unique (and awesome).
She also got a little out there during an interview back in 2010 in which she was supposed to promote Alice in Wonderland, but decided that promoting Avatar (which she was not in) and showing off some weird coffee mugs would be much more interesting.
10. Faye Dunaway
Faye Dunaway’s most iconic role has to be her portrayal of abusive mother and famous screen queen Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest. The actress has won a slew of awards for her work, from Academy Awards to Golden Globes to Emmys.
Even though Dunaway tends to keep out of the spotlight, she ends up finding her way into tabloids for her treatment of service workers who provide her with less than platinum-grade service.
She’s also known for refusing to relinquish any control when it comes to her interviews– she quite famously left some pretty interesting voicemails for her biographer who asked too many questions about Mommie Dearest. She also famously threw a cup of urine in Roman Polanski’s face for bossing her around too much. Honestly? Good.
9. Angelina Jolie
Outside of being constantly hailed as one of the most beautiful actresses alive, Angelina Jolie is also one of the most successful living actresses today. The Girl, Interrupted actress is also known for being quite the eccentric. The blood vial-wearing kind, to be specific.
Outside of collecting lovers’ blood, multiple award winner Jolie has also admitted to trying almost every known drug, ranted about loving the sadomasochistic sexual lifestyle, kissed her brother in a way one usually doesn’t kiss their brother, and has a huge brood of children, half of which she adopted alone.
While working on Gia, she went the method route and stayed in character as the young gay drug-addicted model throughout filming and between takes.
8. Charlie Sheen
You can’t make a list of eccentric celebrities without including one of the most iconic crazy dudes in acting history. Charlie Sheen (aka Carlos Estevez) is known for his many very public antics– alcohol and drug binges, cheating on his partners with escorts, damaging hotel suites, domestic violence, death threats, and openly talking about being a 9/11 Truther and anti-vaccination advocate.
And who could forget the his many strange interviews where he gave us such gems as “I got tiger blood, man. Dying’s for fools, dying’s for amateurs.” and “Duh, winning!”
Not only is Sheen a walking talking meme that’s still referenced in pop culture today, but he managed to land himself a semi-successful comeback after losing one of the best acting opportunities ever when he was fired from Two and a Half Men. Some guys just get lucky.
7. Wesley Snipes
Who could forget the man behind our favorite modern vampire-hunting badass Blade?
Martial arts pro turned actor Wesley Snipes is known for being a little on the eccentric side. There was that whole Twitter taxes thing, sure, but the hilarious weirdness of Mr. Snipes goes much deeper than that.
According to Patton Oswalt, while filming Blade: Trinity Snipes allegedly had beef with director David Goyer and argued with him often. Whenever the actor decided to exit his smoke-pluming trailor for close-ups and the occasional moment of you know, acting, Snipes would put on a completely emotionless performance that allowed costar Ryan Reynolds to shine. Snipes also made it a point to be in character 100% of the time, going as far as attacking Goyer and frightening him to the point of hiring bodyguards.
6. Tom Cruise
This entry isn’t that much of a shocker. It’s very likely that Tom Cruise may still be famous for his television and off-camera antics for years to come.
Who could forget about the time he went on Oprah and hopped around on her couch, screaming his love for Katie Holmes? There’s also that whole messy divorce thing in which Holmes fled their marriage to protect their daughter Suri from Cruise’ excessive devotion to Scientology. And then there was that time when Cruise pretty much told Brooke Shields that postpartum depression isn’t real and that antidepressants are an irresponsible choice. Yikes.
While Cruise did apologize for the latter, it’s hard to see him as anything less than obsessively devoted to the often criticized religious group.
5. Randy Quaid
Dennis Quaid’s brother and Academy Award-nominee Randy Quaid hasn’t been in a film since 2009. This is likely because he’s too busy trying to convince the media that an evil group in Hollywood is trying to murder him and his wife Evi.
The Vacation actor claimed back in 2006 that the Illuminati-like organization called the “Star Whackers” was behind the deaths of Heath Ledger and David Carradine and that the group has stolen millions of dollars from him.
While more paranoid that eccentric, it’s difficult to place just what happened to Dennis Quaid that turned him into a sad, self-destructive paranoid man. Was it his relationship with model Evi, whom he proposed to the day he met her in 1988? Or was it an underlying mental illness, or perhaps the ever-present drug abuse that often plagues celebrities? We may never know.
4. Gary Busey
Good ol’ Gary. “Eccentric” is one word you could use to describe this legendary actor.
While the Point Break actor has stayed out of the spotlight in recent years (aside from his sort of avant garde Twitter account), anyone who was conscious during the nineties and early 2000s likely remembers the exquisite wackiness of Gary Busey.
It’s not just his wild-eyed look, either. Busey’s known for taking any opportunity he can to talk about quantum theory and nonsensical subject matter (particularly in interviews) and loves telling that story about when he snorted coke off his dog.
Plus there’s the whole physically assaulting people over insane things and his insane motivational speeches. His stint on Celebrity Big Brother was a whole mess of madness as well.
3. John Malkovich
John Malkovich is quite the filmmaking and acting powerhouse. On top of being a director and producer for many films, the Being John Malkovich and Con Air star has also acted in over seventy films and received several Academy Award nominations for his work in the film industry. One look at Malkovich could tell anybody that he’s a bit more on the odd side than most.
He’s a wine connoisseur, openly talks about his love for the occasional joint, and only ate Jello for several months in order to lose seventy pounds. He’s also a fashion designer and is always involved in the costume design and fitting of his characters.
He also once said he would like to “shoot” journalist Robert Fisk and George Galloway at a union debate.
2. Drew Barrymore
Any fan of Drew Barrymore knows that she had quite the interesting life as a young child.
The far too young Barrymore was exposed to drug and alcohol abuse and took several trips to rehab before she even entered her teens. It’s a wonderful miracle that Barrymore has survived and grown into such an eccentric actress.
She was the youngest person to ever host Saturday Night Live (at seven years old), hopped around dance clubs at the age of ten, and was married to a bar owner by a psychic private detective turned minister at the age of nineteen. Who could forget that whole boob flash she gave David Letterman in 1995? Or the fact that her production company she started has produced cult films like Donnie Darko and Never Been Kissed?
1. Bill Murray
Love him or hate him, Bill Murray is still one of the most eccentric actors alive.
The Ghostbusters actor once famously crashed a White House Press Conference to talk about baseball and crashed a couple of random strangers’ engagement photos as well. He has been spotted hopping around parties around SXSW and even bartended during the festival for kicks. He also once broke a man’s nose (by accident) by throwing a bottle (for no reason, of course).
If you watched British television show Banzai back in the early 2000’s, you may have caught Murray’s segment of “Mr. Shake Hands Man” where an interviewer approaches random celebrities and shakes their hand for an uncomfortably long time. Murray is, of course, one of the few to last a really long time.
Do think these stars’ eccentricities are charming? Or do they take it too far? Let us know in the comments!
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