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12 Times Actors Worked Weird Flexes Into Their Own Movies

October 8, 2020 188 votes 33 voters 2.0k 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.

  • 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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  • 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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  • William Shatner is nearly as famous for his ego-fueled orneriness as he is for being a captain of the USS Enterprise. So, when he pushed the producers of Star Trek Generations to include horseback riding in the movie, they were wise to concede - if for no other reason than to avoid the inevitable drama.

    The reason why Shatner wanted a scene of him atop a steed (his own, by the way) was because it’s a skill that he’s especially proud of, much like his impressive collection of (somewhat less than critically impressive) sci-fi novels.

    Weirdly impressive flex?
  • The scene at the end of Django Unchained in which Jamie Foxx’s title character is performing tricks with a horse to impress his beloved Broomhilda was touching, but a little out of left field. That’s because the moment had little to do with director Quentin Tarantino but instead came from Foxx’s request to use his own horse, “Cheetah,” to play Django's mount, “Tony.” 

    Apparently, Cheetah was a natural performer, as when the cameras started rolling she began improvising her own stunts, prompting Foxx to remark, “She’s cheesing now! She’s really trying to get in the magazines.”

    Weirdly impressive flex?

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