Models You Didn't Know Had a Secret Talent

Skateboarding, yodeling, figure skating, and...knife-throwing?

models with hidden talents naomi campbell
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Models are already innately cool, thanks to their ad campaigns, magazine covers, runway walks, and trips to exotic locations. But some of our favorite models are more talented than we realize, with hidden gifts and abilities that might not take center stage while they're working but come out in interviews and on their social media. We've got models who are gifted equestrians, cooks, and musicians...and then there are some with even stranger, cooler talents—from wielding knives to performing impressively high kicks and opening beer bottles with their teeth. Chances are, you'll probably learn a few new things about your favorite models. Spoiler: They're even cooler than you thought.

Edie Campbell

model Edie Campbell

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Apparently Edie Campbell can do it all: she's a top model, she has a degree in art history, and she's a competitive athlete. Speaking to Vogue before an equestrian event, "Everything comes back to the horse, which is why I love it,” she explained. “You put your ego aside and you concentrate on getting the best performance out of this creature.”

Natalie Westling

models Natalie westling

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When Natalie Westling booked a Vans sneakers campaign, it was an intuitive fit—she's a pro with a skateboard. "With modeling, movement is such an important skill. Funny enough, skating kind of trained me, without me knowing, of course, to make those shapes and hit those jumps with more of a second nature than I probably wouldn’t have had otherwise," she told Vogue.

Amanda Murphy

models Amanda Murphy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Amanda Murphy has been extremely in demand over her career, most notably by Prada. But somehow—extremely impressively—she also had time to pursue an active career in radiology, inspired by her mom (who was an ICU nurse). And she is also an equestrian.

Molly Bair

models Molly bair

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Molly Bair was scouted young as a model, and—simultaneous to making a name for herself—she was "on the student council, took AP classes, and was a star member of the varsity tennis team." The high school tennis champ says she still loves sports, generally.

Lily Cole

models Lily Cole

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lily Cole is a chess aficionado (including incorporating it as part of her university thesis), but she's also an entrepreneur: she founded, a business incubator, helped develop a sustainable knitwear brand, and co-owns a London bookshop.

Binx Walton

models Binx Walton

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In addition to being a highly sought after top model, Binx Walton is a talented skater, which she incorporates into her personal, off-duty model style. Oh, and no big deal, but she is also an "accomplished performer of African dance and hip hop," which is even cooler.

Bridget Malcolm

models Bridget Malcolm

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former Victoria's Secret model Bridget Malcolm, who's also done work with major brands like Ralph Lauren, happens to be a show jumper and is a professionally trained ballet dancer as well. And! She's an oboist who used to perform with the West Australian Youth Orchestra.

Emma Roberts

models emma roberts

(Image credit: Getty Images)

You're probably more familiar with Emma Roberts in her acting roles, but she's also done some modeling (including a campaign for Abercrombie & Fitch as a teen). Also, in hilariously random news, she apparently does an amazing impression of a crying baby.

Eva Longoria

models Eva Longoria

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fun fact: Eva Longoria is an internationally recognized model (in addition to being an actor, director, and producer, so she's already super-talented). But also, she was a "talented clarinet player throughout her high school and college days" and even played in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel.

Kate Beckinsale

models Kate beckinsale

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This one's not exactly hidden, per se: anyone who follows actor and model Kate Beckinsale on social media already knows she's a fabulous writer. But she also won the WH Smith Young Writers Award—twice! Also, she can do a convincing fake sneeze, which is just fun.

Heidi Klum

models heidi klum

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Heidi Klum is a lot of things—top model, television personality, businesswoman, producer, enthusiastic Halloween costume-wearer—but she can also yodel one song in German. Which she demonstrated in hilarious fashion (with chipmunk autotune) for Jimmy Fallon in an interview.

Nicole Richie

models nicole richie

(Image credit: Getty Images)

You can often see Nicole Richie modeling her own items for her brand House of Harlow, but the designer and actor also has a cool talent you may not realize: she used to be a talented figure skater! "That was a real time for me," she remembered. "I was going to tutorial school, I was figure skating at 5 o'clock in the morning, it was my entire world."

Christina Hendricks

models christina hendricks

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Christina Hendricks actually got to show off her hidden talent while in character on Mad Men: playing the accordion. “I started taking lessons four or five years ago. It is such a rich instrument for one person. You can get so much out of it, like a one-man band," she told the L.A. Times.

Gal Gadot

models Gal gadot

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The titular Wonder Woman can already do a lot (acting, modeling, winning Miss Israel 2004), but apparently her skills at hula hooping are such that (in her own words) she can drink coffee, read books, and FaceTime while doing it—and it's great for the abs.

Jourdan Dunn

models Jourdan Dunn

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Obviously, lots of people are great at cooking, so it's a common talent. But Jourdan Dunn is apparently so good at cooking that she had her own cooking show, appropriately and hilariously called "Well Dunn With Jourdan Dunn." She's also cooked for Vogue!

Heddy Lamarr

models Heddy lamarr

(Image credit: Getty Images)

You can file this one under "coolest lives ever": Heddy Lamarr, actor in the '30s and '40s, was also an exceptional inventor: she was the co-inventor of a radio guidance system that used frequency-hopping (developed but not implemented during World War II) to prevent signal-jamming. We still use the principles she developed in Bluetooth and WiFi!

Natalie Portman

models Natalie Portman

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you were to ask the average person what they thought Natalie Portman's "hidden" talent was, they would likely say it's her ability to rap (see also: this Saturday Night Live clip). But more recently she shared that her real hidden talent is tap-dancing.

Julia Roberts

models Julia Roberts

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Julia Roberts apparently learned to knit more than three decades ago on a film set, and has been an avid knitter ever since. "We called it our lonely meters: 'How lonely were you last night?' And we'd, like, pull out this much knitting. 'Look how lonely I was!'"

Geena Davis

models geena davis

(Image credit: Getty Images)

I'm sorry, this is iconic: Geena Davis is an incredibly talented archer. She took the sport up later in life and "it became my life for a couple of years.” She almost made the Olympic Team in her 40s! She apparently still does it, “but just for fun. I haven’t been competing lately.”

Keira Knightley

models Keira knightley

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A party trick that actor and model Keira Knightley likes to break out in interviews? She can "perform" songs by tapping her fingers against her teeth. That's right: she can play her teeth. (Interviewers generally wonder if her dentist is enthused about her hobby.)

Cara Delevingne

models Cara Delevingne

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cara Delevingne is actually way more accomplished, musically, than you might realize (especially since you probably know her for her modeling and acting). Amongst her skills: She can beatbox, play the drums, and play the guitar so well that she can do it behind her head.

Charlize Theron

models Charlize Theron

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Did you know that model and actor Charlize Theron trained as a ballet dancer, to the point that it's part of the reason she moved to New York (to attend the Joffrey School)? A knee injury apparently ended that career path, and it was on to acting and a continuation of her modeling career.

Gisele Bündchen

models Gisele Bündchen

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Model Gisele Bündchen is actually multitalented—she can also act, she's got a knack for wellness and yoga, and she's a media presence—but one you may not know about is her dancing ability. Oh, and she can play guitar and sing. Is there anything she can't do??

Halle Berry

models halle berry

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Joining the ranks of other celebs with the same talent (including Lizzo and Tina Fey): this one's probably more of a hobby than anything else, but actor and model Halle Berry explained that she played the flute. "I played in high school," she explained.

Karlie Kloss

models Karlie kloss

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In 2015, model Karlie Kloss took a coding class at the Flatiron School—and apparently is quite talented at it—noting that as a woman, this career path was never open to her. The following year, she took her talents to others: you can now Kode with Klossy (which is a free camp for interested kids)!

Audrey Hepburn

models Audrey Hepburn

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Before she became an internationally acclaimed actor, Audrey Hepburn originally trained as a ballet dancer (and also did some modeling work simultaneously). She began focusing on acting after being told she'd never obtain prima ballerina status, and the rest is history.

Hailey Bieber

models Hailey Bieber

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This one might be the most random on this list: Hailey Bieber can open a beer bottle with her teeth. Apparently she realized she could do it at an event that was missing a bottle opener (ack), and it was part of the reason now-husband Justin Bieber asked her out (lol).

Kendall Jenner

models kendall jenner

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When you're a model, you probably have really long legs—and Kendall Jenner has used hers to great effect for her hidden talent. Yes, apparently she can do a high kick that's so high she can knock a bottle off a person's head (aided, she explained, with some tequila).

Kate Moss

models Kate moss

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate Moss has admitted that her hidden talent/most fun hobby is cooking. "I did get really into cooking at one point," she told British Vogue. "I can do a good roast with my eyes closed. I'm amazing with gravy. That's my speciality, even other people ask me to do gravy at their house. I'm very proud of my gravy."


models Twiggy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While Twiggy's short modeling career is what most people know her for, she was actually a prolific and successful singer as well as actor (so this talent isn't hidden, per se, just less well-known over time). She even performed on The Muppet Show and appeared in The Blues Brothers!

Naomi Campbell

models Naomi Campbell

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Naomi Campbell might be known for her distinctive runway walk (as well as, you know, being an iconic supermodel who helped define the '90s), but she also has a talent she shared with Jimmy Fallon: tap dancing. You'll be surprised how amazing she is.

Angelina Jolie

models Angelina Jolie

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In addition to having her pilot's license, former model Angelina Jolie has another hidden talent that, for my money, is probably the coolest one yet. She's always been fascinated by weapons (and showed off her impressive butterfly knife skills for Conan O'Brien) and learned knife-throwing on the set of the first Lara Croft movie.

Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.