10 male celebs with surprising second acts

In honor of Renaissance Man James Franco's celebrity roast, a look at 10 other men who've changed their jobs SLIDE SHOW

Topics: slideshow, Celebrity, Careers, James Franco, milli vanilli, Hollywood, Al Franken, Kal Penn, ric flair, WWF, Arnold Schwarzenegger, coolio, vanilla ice, tony danza, Kirk Cameron, Joaquin Phoenix, Editor's Picks,

10 male celebs with surprising second acts (Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

“The world is your oyster,” the saying goes. This sounds nice, but it’s not really true — unless you’re rich and famous, in which case, the world is not just your oyster, but the entire damn ocean.

As artist/writer/musician/blogger/painter James Franco, a man with infinite careers, prepares for the broadcast of his Celebrity Roast on Labor Day, here’s a look at other male celebrities who have transitioned to (or at least tested) other jobs:

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    Career changers

    Now known for defending stop-and-frisk, Kal Penn first gained notoriety for his stereotype-breaking-then-reinforcing role as Harold in the "Harold and Kumar" movie franchise. Now Penn waffles between his acting career and serving as associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement. AP/J. Scott Applewhite

    Career changers

    The Terminator, once a bodybuilder, then an actor-turned-politician, has boomeranged back to acting. Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to want to relive the 1980s, planning reboots of films like "Twins" (the sequel is "Triplets," starring Eddie Murphy) and "Conan the Barbarian." Ahn Young-joon

    Career changers

    Perhaps the least surprising career move, former Milli Vanilli member Fab Morvan has found his calling making Electronic Dance Music. Reuters

    Career changers

    Tony Danza, former boxer, BFF of Tupac and actor-extraordinaire, became the boss as a teacher in Philadelphia. In 2010, Danza starred in a reality TV show "Teach: Tony Danza" and in 2012 published a memoir "I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had" about the experience. Reuters/Jim Ruymen

    Career changers

    The success of WWF champion Ric Flair's second career as a businessman is best summarized by Wikipedia, which simply states: "In September 2007, Flair opened a financial business called Ric Flair Finance. In July 2008, Ric Flair Finance filed for bankruptcy." Reuters/Brendan McDermid

    Career changers

    Teen actor Kirk Cameron (right), best known for his role on sitcom "Growing Pains," will be remembered by younger generations as an ultra-conservative, Todd Akin-loving minister. Reuters/Fred Prouser

    Career changers

    Robert Van Winkle, aka Vanilla Ice, has a new gig as an Amish person. He also enjoys renovating houses on reality TV shows. AP

    Career changers

    Coolio the rapper is now Coolio the chef. In fact, the rapper recently auctioned off the rights to all of his music to fund his "ghetto gourmet" cooking series, "Cookin' With Coolio." Reuters

    Career changers

    Before he was Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., America knew him as (among other characters) Stuart Smalley on "SNL." These days, Franken's jokes are few and far between. AP

    Career changers

    Joaquin Phoenix, actor and humanitarian, temporarily quit acting for a budding rap career. But sike! It was actually still an acting gig, for a mockumentary that he and Casey Affleck filmed called "I'm Still Here" in 2010. Andrew Medichini/AP

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Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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