When you think of welders, the image that may instantly come to mind is one of a person in heavy-duty protective gear. They wear a big steel helmet to protect their face from sparks, making them not easily recognizable. You wouldn’t necessarily think the person behind the goggles is someone you might know. Whether it’s as a hobby or an alternative career option, we’ve found a fun list of celebrities, who besides being talented in the entertainment industry, also are proficient welders.
Nathan Fillion is famous for portraying lead roles in popular TV series Firefly, Castle, and The Rookie, as well as popping up in a variety of movies, television, and even video games. But When Nathan isn’t working in front of the camera, he is a self-proclaimed handyman. He learned how to weld in case of a zombie apocalypse where welding might be a useful tool for survival, and to help build elaborate Halloween costumes. In Nathan’s own words: “It’s amazing. It’s quite cool.”
Sean Bean is a household name in the entertainment industry. The prolific actor of The Lord of the Rings, National Treasure, and Game of Thrones fame was working on the movie Outlaw when one day, he disappeared from set. The film crew managed to track him down to a local metal workshop, where Sean was found welding. Local welder Chris was quoted saying: “He just walked in and said he fancied getting back into welding. He asked if he could have a go.” Sean, originally a welding apprentice before he broke through in movies, left a nice memorabilia in a piece of metal with his name and three kisses welded on it.
Hailed as one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time, Scottish Sir Billy Connolly is also a successful BAFTA Fellowship-winning actor, musician, and artist. Before starting a thriving career in entertainment and arts, Sir Billy earned a living by welding in the Glasgow shipyards, specifically working on boilers. Welding is still important to Sir Billy, having recently created an art sculpture celebrating his past as a welder. He shares, “I loved calling myself a welder. Being part of something bigger than me, it was comforting. Especially when you’re young, still trying yourself out for size and finding your voice.”
Aaron Tippin is no stranger to hard work and getting his hands dirty. He grew up on a farm in South Carolina and helped out plowing the fields and baling hay. Besides that, Aaron has had jobs as a factory worker, truck driver, pilot, and welder. These days, Aaron is a successful country musician – with nine studio albums and two compilations released – but still finds time to do what he loves. Aaron shared a photo of a beautifully welded farm stable on Twitter, with the caption: “Mission accomplished. I love welding aluminum.”
Robin Williams stole the hearts of millions with both comedic roles and dramatic roles in movies such as Good Will Hunting, Aladdin, Patch Adams, and Mrs. Doubtfire. While in college, the comedian enrolled in a welding class to appease his father’s wishes, who told him to have a backup profession like welding, besides acting. Although not making it past his first day, it makes for a fun anecdote about the famous actor’s life.
As you can see, welding is not just a job. It’s also a versatile hobby and a profession one can fall in love with. Many famous people who started out as welders still look back fondly on their time handling metals and a welding torch. So don’t be surprised next time you see a welder and it turns out to be a celebrity under the helmet.