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12 Times Actors Worked Weird Flexes Into Their Own Movies

October 8, 2020 373 votes 60 voters 3.7k views12 items

List RulesVote up the self-serving actor flexes that are still pretty impressive.

As highly as they tend to think of themselves, successful actors aren’t always the smartest or the most capable humanity has to offer. Yet a few of them do indeed have skills and abilities outside the realm of make-believe and would very much like you to know it. So, occasionally, they will take the opportunity to make weird flexes in the films they appear in, whether or not it’s in the best interests of the plot or the film overall.

Below are some memorable times movie stars couldn’t help but show off the real-life things they could do on screen - or otherwise give themselves a little shoutout. Vote up the weirdest celebrity flexes that you think are actually pretty impressive.

  • In addition to being a handsome movie star, Steve McQueen was also proficient at flying planes as well as racing (and crashing) cars and motorcycles. His skill on a 2-wheeler was enough to where he could offer to do his own stunts, and thus, he was responsible for the famous sequence in the 1963 POW film The Great Escape. In fact, he insisted on adding the motorcycle chase finale, and director John Sturges obliged.

    It was mostly him who can be seen eluding the Nazis by careening around both town and country in a Triumph T6 (it was famed cyclist Bud Ekins who did the famous jump over the bard wire fence, however). He was actually a much better rider than many of the stunt performers playing his German pursuers, so for some shots, McQueen put on a Wehrmacht uniform and actually chased himself.

    Weirdly impressive flex?

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  • Some would consider Nicolas Cage a multi-talented performer, in that whenever he’s on screen, he has the ability to act both bonkers and deranged. And among his many areas of expertise is the art of the written word. Specifically, he writes poetry - or, at least, a fictionalized version of Nic Cage does. His character reads aloud from a book of poemsMemories, by Nicolas Cage - mid-coitus, during a scene in the 2018 surreal thriller Between Worlds.

    The director, Maria Pulera, was quite enthusiastic about his methods: "I LOVE it. We have a lot of sex scenes in the film, and to keep the tone consistent, it really works well. It's wacky, it's insane. We love it. I love everything he does."

    Weirdly impressive flex?

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  • Photo: Five Dollars a Day / Image Entertainment

    It’s a little hard to wrap one's head around, considering he’s a respected actor known for his intensity, but Christopher Walken is a professionally trained dancer who began tripping the light fantastic at the tender age of 3. It all started to make sense, however, when you look back at his body of film work and come to realize he does a lot of dancing.

    In fact, over the course of his long career, he’s cut the rug over 50 times at times both expected (like in the musical Hairspray) and unexpected (when he's a tap-dancing janitor in Joe Dirt). Even if it’s just a momentary flash of soft shoe-ing, Walken has explained how he’s liable to “throw in a little step” any time the opportunity presents itself.

    Weirdly impressive flex?

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  • Edward Norton is smart enough to have graduated from Yale, so perhaps it’s not surprising that he speaks multiple languages. In addition to being fluent in Japanese (he worked there after college) and French, he's decent enough at speaking Spanish to believably use it to deliver lines in movies. Which he did in the 2000 rom-com Keeping the Faith during a scene in which his priest character is speaking (fluently!) to some Spanish-speaking kids.

    And the best part? Nobody could tell him not to do it, since Norton was also the movie’s director.

    Weirdly impressive flex?

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