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mayim bialik

While we tend to think of celebrities as those who have dedicated their all to the pursuit of what made them famous, in truth, a great many of them are not quite so single-minded.

Sometimes these jobs were first sought before they got famous. Other times these celebs pursued side-projects despite success in whatever made them famous.

Whatever the case, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some celebrities who would have had very different careers if their first plans hadn’t worked out.

Terry Crews

Originally finding success in professional football, retirement left this lovable giant at a loss of what to do with the rest of his working life.

Far from being the cliché jock, Terry showed immense talent in painting.

Sometimes working for commission from his former teammates, and at other times holding a variety of jobs like his brief stint as a courtroom sketch artist, Crews showed that he has a lot more to offer than just his charisma and undeniable handsomeness.

Mayim Bialik

Many of our older readers might recognise her as the lead character in Blossom, though more recently she has seen immense success in The Big Bang Theory sitcom.

Apparently not happy to being relegated to intellectualism on the screen, Mayim spent no short amount of time as a celeb seeking a degree and life of scientific pursuit.

Now having earned a PhD in neuroscience, Mayim stands as one of the few actors who doesn’t just mirror the intelligence of one of her most famous characters, she exceeds it.

Nick Offerman

Best known as the libertarian hard-ass with the heart of gold in the sitcom Parks and Recreation, his character’s affinity for woodworking was more than just theatrical.

A highly skilled and successful carpenter in his own right, Nick still finds work crafting in his own time, finding it helps him balance and give him another creative outlet.

While he commonly builds furniture, his speciality is wooden canoes, which as we all know, is the most outdoorsy thing to build since a stone tied to a stick.

Source: Shutterstock

Christopher Lee

This is one of the most famous vampire actors of all time, and a modern household name as Saruman in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

Not just a badass in the magical or bloodsucking sense, the late Lee also served his country during the Second World War.

Tasked with tracking down war criminals, Lee was notoriously tight-lipped about his time in the Special Forces, though occasionally his experience would pay off in his later acting career.

While filming Lord of the Rings, Lee was being directed by Peter Jackson in how to act following being stabbed in the back.

Lee famously responded with “Have you any idea what kind of noise happens when somebody’s stabbed in the back? Because I do.”

We could write a book on the wide range of interesting careers which celebrities have held in the past and who knows, we just might.

Who are your favourite celebrities with surprising former careers and backstories of their own? Let us know below.


Earlier this week, Big Bang Theory star, Mayim Bialik, found herself the subject of intense criticism after an op-ed she penned for The New York Times appeared to suggest survivors of sexual assault were in some way responsible for the crimes committed against them.

While the 41-year-old actress did acknowledge the inherent misogyny and sexism within the entertainment industry, she suggested women could challenge it by behaving and addressing in certain ways.

"I still make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise," she wrote. "I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with. I dress modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy."

Unsurprisingly, the public were quick to point out the flaws with such an argument  – criticism which appeared to strike a chord with the actress.

Taking to Twitter yesterday, she issued an apology, and attempted to clarify her original points.

"I want to addess my op-ed in the NY Times, and the reaction to it. Let me say clearly and explivitly that I am very sorry," she wrote.

"What you wear and how you behave does not provide any protection from assault, nor does the way you dress or act in any way make you responsible for being assaulted."

Turning her attention to the women who have recently shared their own stories of assault and harrassment, Mayim wrote: "I appluad the bravery of the women who have come forward."

"I support these women as we seek out and demand accountability from the only ones responsible for assault and rape; the people who perpretrate these heinous crimes. I am motivated and driven to work hard to empower women."

Concluding her statement with a sincere apology, she added: "I am truly sorry for causing so much pain, and I hope you can all forgive me."

The post has been met with a mixed response from Twitter users – some of whom felt an apology wasn't necessary and others who thanked the star for taking the time to consider the impact of her words.

"Much respect to you for acknowledging a mistake and apologising. None of us will get it right all the time," wrote one while another asked: "Why are you apologizing for people taking ur words out of context? I read it, u did nothing wrong." (sic)

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It's highly likely that for every report you've read on the acts allegedly carried out by Harvey Weinstein, you've read as many statements from Hollywood heavy-hitters condemning his conduct.

However, while the likes of Emma Thompson provided a reasoned assessment of Hollywood and the wider world's mistreatment of women, many would argue that  actresses like Mayim Bialik did not.

The Big Bang Theory star has been the subject of intense criticism since penning an op-ed for The New York Times entitled Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein's World.

Mayim begins her piece with a reflection on her first impression of the entertainment industry as a 'prominent-nosed, awkward, geeky, Jewish 11-year-old' and admits that she found herself consumed by the notion of self-improvement.

From longing for a smaller nose to wishing for more curves, Mayim was quick to identify that the aesthetic played as big, if not bigger, a role as talent in Hollywood, especially when it came to adolescent girls and young women.

Few can argue with such an assessment, but it's Mayim's next set of points which have raised considerable controversy.

In a move which has seen the actress accused of victim-blaming, Mayim outlines her approach to navigating the entertainment industry, and used both her choice of clothes and conduct as examples.

"I still make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise," she said. "I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with. I dress modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy."

While actively condemning the misuse of power in Hollywood along with alleged actions of Harvey Weinstein, the actress appears to place responsibility at the feet of women who are trying to navigate an industry known for its misogyny.

"In a perfect world, women should be free to act however they want. But our world isn’t perfect. Nothing — absolutely nothing — excuses men for assaulting or abusing women. But we can’t be naïve about the culture we live in."

Unsurprisingly, the article has come in for massive criticism online, with Twitter uesrs slating the actress for her supposedly feminist take on sexual assault.

Mayim has responded to the backlash on her own Twitter page and insisted that the accusations levelled at her are 'absurd'.

"It's so sad how vicious people are being when I basially live to make things better for women," she wrote.

Mayim's article comes just days after Donna Karan suggested women were 'asking for it' on account of the clothes they choose to wear.



Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik has spoken out about her problem with the portrayal of young female stars in a blog post, using Ariana Grande as a prime example.

In the post, entitled 'The Problem With That Giant Billboard of Ariana Grande', Mayim writes:

"There is one [a billboard] for Ariana Grande, and I will go ahead and admit I have no idea who she is or what she does.

"Based on the billboard, she sells lingerie. Or stiletto heels. Or plastic surgery because every woman over 22 wishes she has that body, I'm sure. Why is she in her underwear on this billboard though? And if she has a talent (is she a singer?), then why does she have to sell herself in lingerie? I mean, I know that society is patriarchal and women are expected to be sexy and sexually available no matter what we do in society, but I guess now I need to explain that to my sons?"

The offending billboard

She's got a point! Though we're not sure things are going to change any time soon, unfortunately. And judging from Ariana's recent diva behaviour, we are expecting some kind of angry reply aaany minute now…!