While we might already be familiar with an actor's onscreen work, sometimes their extracurricular activities may surprise! Take a look at these seven actors I was surprised to learn all excelled at sport as well as acting:
1. Jason Statham - Diving
He might be a huge action star these days, but when he younger Jason Statham was actually an elite diver! The Furious 7 actor was a member of Britain's National Diving Squad for 12 years, and even represented England at the 1990 Commonwealth Games.
2. John Matuszak - NFL
John Matuszak will be remembered by many as Sloth from The Goonies. But before he appeared in the Richard Donner classic, he had an entirely different career as an NFL player. Matuszak played for the Houston Oilers, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders during his career before retiring in 1982 with two Super Bowl championship wins under his belt. Matuszak sadly died of an overdose in 1989.
3. Vinnie Jones - Soccer
Tough man Vinnie Jones has appeared in films such as Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and X-Men: The Last Stand, but back home in his native England he's probably better known for playing soccer. Jones played professional soccer from 1984 until 1999, including playing nine games for the Welsh national team.
4. Megan Fox - Swimming
Far from being a pretty face, it turns out Megan Fox was also a sports star as a youngster! Fox's mother, Gloria, revealed that her over-achieving daughter smashed the under-8 record time for individual medley during a swim meet in Tennessee as a kid. And, in addition to swimming, Fox also studied ballet and tap, and specialized in performance jump rope!
5. Geena Davis - Archery
This Academy Award-winning actress may be incredibly well known for her onscreen sporting accomplishments, but in the late '90s she also proved she had impressive athletic skills as well! After picking up archery in 1997, Davis was one of 300 women who tried out for a semifinals place in the US archery team to participate in the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics. While she ultimately missed out on a spot, she finished 24 out of 300, and participated as a wild-card entry in the Sydney International Golden Arrow competition.
6. Caitlyn Jenner - Decathlon
Before she was a reality TV superstar, Caitlyn Jenner (then known as Bruce Jenner) was an olympic gold medal winning athlete. Jenner represented the US at the Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics in the decathlon, winning the gold medal and the tradition (though unofficial) title of "World's Greatest Athlete."
7. Scott Patterson - Baseball
Scott Patterson wore a blue baseball cap throughout his entire stint on Gilmore Girls, and it turns out he'd earned the right to wear that cap more than most! Long before he turned to acting, Patterson played as a professional pitcher in minor league baseball. Over his seven year career, Patterson played for seven different teams, evening reaching Triple-A level (the highest before major league baseball).