The Avengers Assemble actress lent her husky voice to an album of covers – taking the songs by grumpy blues legend Tom Waits and turning them into mysterious, bizarre lo-fi songs. She’s also favoured by quirky film director, Woody Allen, and her breakout film, Girl With A Pearl Earring, was all about a painting by Dutch master Vermeer!
The QPR footballer decided to clean up his ways after a 74-day stint in prison for assault. He now uses Twitter in a lot of different ways to comment on everything from England’s football matches to quoting novelist George Orwell and German philosopher Nietzsche and giving reviews of his trips to art galleries.
Before getting paid to be a popstar, Hackney-born Paloma Faith had a bunch of eclectic jobs – one as a burlesque singer in a cabaret, one as a nude life model , another as a magician’s assistant, and perhaps least weirdly, a sales assistant at posh knicker shop Agent Provocateur. She also appeared in Heath Ledger’s last film, Monty Python director Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. She played Sally, who went out with the Devil. Of course. We haven’t even mentioned her wacky outfits!
The macrobiotic-obsessive actress annoyed a lot of people when she said: “I would rather die than let my kid eat a Cup-a-Soup”, and shocked some when she appeared at a film premiere in 2004 with lots of marks on her back. Turns out some sorts of cups are acceptable – the glass ones you fill with hot air and stick to your back as part of alternative therapy. She also does yoga and pilates and writes a blog, Goop, full of healthy recipes and recommendations on being a good mum (i.e. be a millionaire and have loads of nannies).
The hit producer and rapper not only loves to make really long, arty videos for his songs, but in 2011’s Runaway, a 35-minute-long epic, he really takes the pretentious biscuit (what IS the most pretentious biscuit – garibaldi?) Stylistically inspired by Hollywood legend Stanley Kubrick, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and modern artists Picasso and Matisse, he tells the story of a man who falls in love with a half phoenix-half woman all with the assistance of some ballet dancers. Hmm...
As well as looking up to David Bowie, Freddie Mercury and Madonna, Born This Way singer Lady Gaga takes inspiration from other, less likely places such as Indian motivational speaker Deepak Chopra, and the German writer Rainer Maria Rilke – she’s got a quote of his, all about his “philosophy of solitude” tattooed on her arm. She also treats all of her shows as performance art, and likes to wear ridiculous outfits designed by her own couture team – Haus of Gaga - that make a statement on the inequalities of the modern world.
Not content with his status as a Twilight teen heartthrob, Robert Pattinson has tried his hand at more serious roles, such as playing surreal artist Salvador Dali, starring in Bel Ami, the adaptation of a 1885 French novel, and being the major character in cult director David Cronenberg’s film Cosmopolis – a movie where all the action takes place in one cab, and half of the dialogue is about the financial meltdown…
In the early 80s, Madonna was mostly about having fun. But the more famous she became, the more control she could have over her image. That’s why her controversial antics – burning crosses in the Like A Prayer video, putting out her SEX book in 1992 – soon turned down a more spiritual path. That, and having her first child and finding Kabbalah made Ray of Light an incredible, but slightly pretentious album. She sang about enlightenment, “Zephyr in the sky at night” and dropped in some lyrics in Sanskrit.
This actor is more than a pretty face – after getting a degree from UCLA, he went on to study at three more universities: Columbia, the Tisch School of Art and Brooklyn College – all at the same time! He then became a PhD student at Yale, and on top of this, he also produces and directs documentaries, appeared in soap opera General Hospital and put an entire art exhibition together based on his experiences, published a selection of short stories and now teaches a class at New York University about transferring poetry to film. Phew!
The former art student sings about fairytales and tweets photos of books she’s about to read. The Spectrum singer will perform with her shoes on or off, depending on her mood, has a tattoo of a birdcage on her finger and prefers not to own a mobile phone She also loves to dress eccentrically, in pyjamas, fedoras and 70s-style jumpsuits and even makes some of her own garb, for example: “a waistcoat – a frock style coat in a thick black brocade, with a thin lapel and paisley burgundy lining”.