Will Ferrell is a true sports fan. You would know that simply by watching every single one of his movies. From a professional ice-skater in Blades of Glory to a Nascar racer in Talladega Nights, a basketball player in Semi-Pro, and a dad soccer coach in Kicking and Screaming, it seems as if Will Ferrel may have been gunning for a different career all these years.
With that said, it’s not surprising that Ferell was an avid soccer player throughout high school. The actor now even owns the soccer team, Los Angeles FC. He may not have become a professional athlete, but he certainly tried to be in his movies.
Hollywood humbled this NFL athlete. Terry Crews said he left pro football with a cocky attitude as if the industry owed him a movie career. Instead, he found his new competition running circles around him. Other actors had been taking drama classes for years while he was blocking plays and tackling dudes. From a full ride to play football at Western Michigan University to being drafted in 1991 by the Los Angeles Rams, Crews’ life was all about football. In 1996 he flipped it to film.
He hit it big with Everybody Hates Chris and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and, latest, Brooklyn Nine-Nine on television. He’s also celebrated for his advocacy toward women and against sexism. Staying athletic, Crews trains in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It gives him the physique to be the body of Old Spice, “The man your man could smell like.”
Lisa Kudrow? Really? The woman behind Smelly Cat was blazing up tennis courts before she landed on Friends. Once again, funny women and tennis courts. We're starting to wonder if there are some closet comedians in the women's tennis league right now.
During her time at Taft High School in Los Angeles (when she was a brunette), Kudrow was playing varsity level tennis. To this day, she sometimes hits the courts to whack around a few balls with friends and family.
Before Jason Statham played the bad guy in a string of action flicks, he was one of the world’s top high divers competing in the British National Diving squad for 12 years. He did some male modeling to make ends meet. And then he ran into Guy Ritchie. Fortune struck. When Ritchie met Statham, he was inspired to write the role that launched the career of the strapping Brit to the stars—Bacon, in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Statham maintains his strength training in martial arts.
His athleticism allows him to perform many of his own stunts. One practically killed him. While filming Expendables 3, the brakes on the truck, he was driving failed. He plunged into the Black Sea and nearly drowned.
Here’s someone for whom fortune knocked twice. Chuck Norris, a martial arts champion, was a karate instructor for Steve McQueen before hitting the big screen. In fact, it was McQueen who talked him into a Hollywood career. Norris picked up karate in Korea while serving the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s. The point is, he does not only play a fighter on TV, but he is also an undefeated martial arts champion since 1968.
Check out this skill set: Norris holds a black belt in Tang Soo Do, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Judo. That makes three black belts. Plus, he developed his own fighting method called Chun Kuk Do. In the film, those self-defense moves have venerated the man into a mythological legend. Perhaps you’ve seen him in action in Good Guys Wear Black, Code of Silence, or The Delta Force?