Karen Belz
May 06, 2013 6:00 am

Yeah, we’ve all heard about Justin Bieber’s collection of cars. We’ve seen numerous celebrity homes of MTV’s Cribs and fainted in jealousy over the multiple rooms of hot tubs and home theaters. But honestly, is that supposed to impress us? Sometimes the best celebrity luxuries are the quirky ones – the odd collections and privileged behaviors that show us more about what they’re actually like when the camera stops rolling. Below I’ve listed a few of my favorite celebrity tidbits.

1. Tom Hanks Collects Typewriters.

His collection of well over 100 manual and portable typewriters is more than just a fact – he also has an amazing sense of humor about it. One very lucky member of his collection went on a world tour with him during a press junket, and was the subject of a few twitter snapshots taken by Hanks himself. Tom’s even admitted that sometimes the most expensive part of the collection is paying for them to be shipped to him from around the world.

Chris Hardwick, host of The Nerdist podcast, decided to lure Tom into appearing on his show back in 2012 by sending him a 1934 Smith Corona portable. Tom’s response, typed on his new gift, read as follows (typos courtesy of the lucky Corona, and picture courtesy of The Nerdist.)

2. James Franco Decided To Teach A Course – About Himself.

It must be a luxury to decide to get in front of a group of fresh young minds, talk about how great you are, and then give out grades based how well your audience paid attention to what you said. I can picture it now –  “I said my favorite color was Green, not Purple, Jenny! You fail!”

Okay, so it didn’t really turn out like that. The class, called  “Master Class: Editing James Franco… with James Franco” was actually co-taught by Franco (and his collaborator, Tyler Danna)  using Skype and occasional in-person appearances. Students had to edit clips of Franco into a documentary. The class was offered at Columbia College Hollywood for only 12 of the school’s most promising film editors.

More recently, Franco also decided to teach a screenwriting class at UCLA. According to one student’s interview (yes, he was interviewed because he took the class!) “Occasionally somebody opens the door mid-class and interrupts our class just because it’s him.” Tuition dollars, hard at work.

3. Mariah Carey’s Bedroom Is Pretty Much A Steam Room.

… But she sure can hit those high notes, so I can’t blame her. As a girl who created her own dance routine to the VHS copy of her music video of “Someday”, I never would have dreamed that sleeping in a room with (literally) a dozen humidifiers – as Carey does – was what would have changed my voice from “Dying Cat” to “Heavenly Angel”. I guess I have to rip out my ceiling fan tonight.

The singer told V magazine that “The bed is all terry-cloth, the ceiling is pitched so the water can’t fall on my head, and it drips down to my side, and the TV is behind glass.” Reportedly the singer learned of this steamy tip from the late great Luther Vandross.

3B. Mariah Carey Has The Luxury Of An Awesome Husband Who’ll Put Up With The Humidifiers.

Bless you, Nick Cannon.

4. Nick Offerman Makes His Own Luxuries Through Woodworking.

I had to include him, because I’m fascinated by this man. When he’s not playing one of the greatest characters on television, Offerman – much like Ron Swanson – makes tables, boats, beds, and everything else. And unlike my personal woodworking, his creations are actually functional.

Over at the Offerman Woodshop, Nick, his brother Matt (who could easily be cast as his twin on any show that would create that plotline), and a team of professionals have made a bunch of luxuries for sale for us common folk – from birdhouses, to wooden kazoos, to a Walnut desk that you could buy for just a little over $5,000. According to his bio, Nick learned the trick of the trade from his father, and did a lot of work building sceneries and props for plays before collecting enough tools to open his own shop.

5. Steve Martin Stars In Average Films To Purchase Above Average Art.

That might sound kind of mean, but comparing The Jerk to The Pink Panther 2 is like comparing Goldschläger to Faygo. Both are special in their own way.

It’s without a doubt that Martin is one of the most talented men out there – who also has a great eye for visual beauty. He started his art collection in 1968 with a print by LA Artist Ed Ruscha, and in 2001, made his growing collection available for the public to view through a five-month exhibit. In 2011 he was actually involved in an art-related scandal when a painting that was once part of his collection, the 1915 “Landscape with Horses” by Heinrich Campendonk, was revealed to be a fake. As we all know, Martin was innocent – he had no clue the painting wasn’t legitimate.

6. Morgan Freeman Has A Thing For Pirates.

It’s been reported that when the amazing Morgan Freeman is off screen, he’s sporting some gold on his earlobe. The reason for the earring? Why, because Morgan thinks pirates are sexy, of course. He’s also known for having a passion for sailing. While on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to promote his TV series Through The Wormhole back in 2011, Freeman – wearing the famous gold hoop –  stated that he spent his Christmas and New Years on a boat, and that his longest sailing adventure was from Bermuda to New York – an 11 day venture. (He also appointed Jimmy as “the cook”, if the two were to sail together. Unfortunately for Jimmy, the boat wouldn’t come equipped with a microwave.)

Here’s a fun fact: Pirates sport metal in their ears so that they’d be able to pay for a funeral if they died in a foreign land. While I have no clue of the money Freeman earns, I’m sure he’d be fine if faced with tragedy outside of the United States. (But let’s not think about that.)

7.  Nicolas Cage – Comics and Steak Knives.

Back in 2000, someone broke into Nic Cage’s mansion and stole something pretty significant. A comic book.

Let me elaborate on that – it was a first edition Superman comic, from 1938. The comic was so rare that it was in a security frame (which must have been faulty) on the wall of his home.  Cage was reunited with the comic in 2011, when it was found in an abandoned storage locker in California.

He must have then decided to celebrate the find, because that same year, Nicolas purchased a Mammoth Ivory knife for $2,000. While the knife was said to be used for a decoration for men’s formal attire, Nic reportedly said he bought the knife to cut steak with.

Because he’s Nic Cage. Of course he would.

Image Credits: Shutterstock (Mariah ,Art MuseumNicolas Cage), USA Today, Robert Hanashiro (Morgan Freeman)

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