Celebrities are primarily associated with excellent physical shape, especially those starring in action-packed movies. Therefore, actors like The Rock or Jason Statham look dangerous and capable of violence. Additionally, Keanu Reeves is literally a firearms expert because he trained with pros for John Wick. Finally, don't forget legit martial artists who turned into actors, like Bas Rutten and Georges Saint Pierre. However, there are other celebrities who don't look very dangerous but are trained and capable of doing some severe damage. Therefore, this top ten list is all about them. Notice that this is a male-only version, with the female one coming soon.
10. James Blunt
James Blunt honestly doesn't look like a badass at all. This tall, seemingly fragile bloke is known for his romantic songs, which some consider whiney. Regardless, he turned pretty popular, and his songs became great hits. Thus, it's hard to imagine James Blunt was more shot at than 50 Cent!
The thing is, Blunt is a former soldier. Not only that, he was deployed as an armored reconnaissance officer in the NATO deployment in Kosovo. At the time, it was the most dangerous and unstable place on Earth. Along with a military career, Blunt is also a lifelong martial artist. So, calling him whiny in his face might not be a good idea.
9. David Lee Roth
Okay, we admit this one is not so unassuming. Everyone who has seen any Van Halen's music video could notice the amazing kicking ability of their frontman, David Lee Roth. Much like Elvis Presley, he has taken his martial arts prowess to the stage. The only difference is, David didn't take himself seriously, so we could see some hilarious outbursts of physical fitness.
David is kind of a renaissance man when it comes to martial arts. He started practicing Kenjutsu when he was 12 and hasn't stopped since. Later, David added Kenpo and kickboxing to his resume. The musician even dedicated a song to the grand champion Benny The Jet Urquidez.
8. Robert Downey Jr.
Today, Robert Downey Jr. is one of the biggest movie stars, thanks to his role as Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. However, before hitting the gold with Marvel, his career was a total roller coaster of acting brilliance and bad decisions regarding drugs and alcohol. Therefore, studios didn't want to hire Downey at the start of the century. Yet, in 2003, he discovered a new way to improve his life. It was Wing Chun.
This ancient but innovative martial art was made for weaker and lighter people, so they could have a chance to defend against bigger opponents. You could see Downey Jr. use Wing Chun in "Sherlock Holmes" movies, where he combined it with the famous detective's brilliant deduction. Not long after discovering the discipline, the actor straightened up and revived his career to the current level.
7. Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson is a country legend, known for his rebellious attitude and inhuman capability to endure any substance taken. Despite being 88, he doesn't show any signs of stopping. While he might look like a peaceful and relaxed hippie-type of a guy, don't be fooled. Good old Willie is a lifelong martial artist!
The musician started training kung fu while a young aspiring artist and even taught kids at his home in Nashville. His idols at the time were Charles Atlas and a fearsome warrior Bruce Lee. Later, he turned to Korean martial arts, learning Tae Kwon Do and Gong Kwon Yu Sul. The latter is a modern martial art similar to Hapkido. Willie apparently stuck to it, and in 2014 he received a fifth-degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul. And it wasn't an honorary black belt; he had to earn it the hard way.
6. Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher is known worldwide for his role in "That 70s Show." This role of pretty but airheaded Kelso defined Kutcher's future career. Hence, he mainly acted in romantic comedies without showing a lot of physical abilities. Little did we know, he's also a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt!
Kutcher was a wrestler in high school, an excellent base for any grappling art. His martial arts journey began in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, where he filmed a campaign. Furthermore, Kutcher's personal trainer was Rigan Machado, one of the few coral belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. To earn it, someone needs to train for more than 45 years! With Machado as a trainer, Kutcher rolled with some of the biggest names in the world of BJJ.
5. Wiz Khalifa
The famous rapper and producer called himself "a skinny little n-word" for a long time because of his slim build. However, that changed around 2015, when he started training several martial arts, crowning it with MMA. The reason was simple - he got tired of getting his butt kicked by his cousins that trained in combat sports.
Being already famous, Wiz could learn from the best people in the MMA. Therefore, he worked with Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Kyle Long- all-out MMA, and boxing legends. Consequently, the musician quickly went from 140 to 175 pounds and became chiseled, almost unrecognizable. If he wasn't raking in cash as a rapper, he could turn pro-MMA fighter. We guess his cousins have second thoughts about beating him now.
4. Yayan Ruhian
Even though he is famous for his martial arts movies, Yayan Ruhian's appearance doesn't radiate with intimidation. On the contrary, he looks harmless and is usually very polite and charming in his interviews. Seeing him with the rest of his fellow actors wouldn't indicate that he's the most dangerous person among them.
Yayan started training in the traditional Indonesian martial art Pencak Silat when he was 13. His martial arts voyage took him worldwide, and he taught Pencak Silat for more than 30 years. During his travels around Europe, he met Garreth Evans. The Welsh director was the one who made Ruhian a star, thanks to his "Merantau" and "The Raid" movies. Still, as Ruhian says, nothing lights the fire inside him as martial arts do.
3. Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker is not that unassuming, considering he won an Oscar for the brilliant portrayal of the absolutely intimidating dictator Idi Amin in the "Last King of Scotland." Though he is not famous for his action-based roles, he appeared in some of the genre's classics, such as "Bloodsport." There's a rumor that Jim Jarmush got scared of Forest's skills with knives and swords during the shooting of "Ghost Dog."
Not only is he a great actor and a great person, but Forest Whitaker is also a highly trained martial artist. He is a black belt in Kenpo Karate and has trained with legendary Dan Inosanto. Additionally, he learned in-depth the skill of Kali, which includes stick fighting, knives, and hand-to-hand combat. We definitely wouldn't want to mess with this guy!
2. John Cusack
John Cusack is very mysterious for an actor. There's not much about his private life in media, and he rarely gives interviews. Yet, he acted in some quite famous movies, commercial and artistic alike. At first glance, Cusack looks like an average guy who could be easily taken on. However, that would be a terrible mistake since he's one of the most skilled guys among the actors.
Cusack has trained in Ukidokan kickboxing for 23 years. His teacher is none other than Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, legendary kickboxing champion and full-contact pioneer. Furthermore, you can see two of them sharing the screen in "Grosse Pointe Blank." In the short but effective fighting scene, Cusack demonstrated some pretty impressive fighting skills. Also, we could see him fighting Jackie Chan himself in "Dragon Blade" and holding up pretty well.
1. Ed O'Neill
We all know Ed O'Neill as the father Bundy in the TV sitcom "Married With Children. " His character was famous for his laziness, lack of will, and banters he shot toward his wife. Turns out this actor is skillful at hurting people as much as he is at insulting them. O'Neill started to learn Brazilian jiu-jitsu in 1991, under the guidance of legendary UFC founder Rorion Gracie. The Gracie family is closest to the founding fathers of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Rorion is one of the most prominent members, having a 9th-degree black belt.
After 16 years of training, Ed O'Neill earned his black belt in 2007. In his interviews, he mentions that this is his proudest achievement, aside from his children. When O'Neill is not shooting "Modern Family," he still trains, keeping his skills sharp. Additionally, the actor attracted the public's eye in 2015 when he challenged CM Punk to a fight. Considering two of them are training together, we're sure O'Neill was confident in his abilities.
Despite being in the spotlight, each celebrity has a hidden side. Some famous people are undercover badasses behind the usual stories about affairs and addictions. It goes by even bigger surprise if they don't look the part. Yet, that's why it's so rewarding following them.
What's your favorite secret celebrity badass? Who would you add to this top ten list?