What is the first movie that comes to your mind when you think of the word ‘Ping Pong’- C’mon it has to be Forrest Gump!
Tom Hanks immortalized the sport forever in the history of cinema and bringing the game in main spotlight. Although the movie wasn’t purely about Table Tennis, but it will probably be the best feature movie to truly showcase Table Tennis and what the game truly stands for.
Come 2019, more than two decades later, and the sport is catching up to the craze among Hollywood A-listers. From ping pong themed parties to ping pong themed clubs, the game is making up its mark in every nook and corner of Hollywood.
Ping Pong has long been thought of a geek, or nerdy sport played in high-adrenaline startups in Silicon Valley. Well, that’s definitely true, but the celebs are not far behind. You will be surprised to know many of the top Hollywood stars are die-hard fans of this sport and some of them even play competitively.
In this post, we’ll look at the top seven Hollywood celebs, who play Ping Pong better than an average Joe.
1) Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel may have left the wizarding world, but he plays Ping Pong no less than a pro. His first tryst with the sport was while filming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. His co-start and a dear friend Rupert Grint brought a ping pong table in the set, and they made a point to play Ping Pong religiously between breaks.
Seeing Daniel’s enthusiasm, his girlfriend Erin Darke threw a surprise Table tennis theme party to celebrate his 25th birthday. When one of Vogue reporter asked him, what’s the best thing to do on the first date. He replied, “Play ping pong.”
2) Emma Watson
Next in our list is none another than Hermione Granger or Emma Watson, another wizard from Harry Potter franchise. And let me tell you, she is so good at the game, that her co-stars are frightened to play her. If rumors are to be believed, Daniel and Rubert avoid playing the queen of Ping Pong.
More power to your Emma!
3) Bob Marley
It’s well-known that the reggae star Bob Marley loved table tennis. While soccer was always his first preference but he has a special place and regards for table tennis. He has been photographed several times playing the sport along with his band members.
As per his personal photographer Dennis Morris – “Bob was really good at the game and quite competitive as well. You simply couldn’t defeat the guy“.
4) Justin Bieber
The Canadian pop sensation and world-renowned singer – Justin Bieber loves playing table tennis. His obsession with the sport is to the point that he makes it mandatory for concert organizers to provide a ping pong table during the show. He was recently seen practicing with former Texas Wesleyan national champion Anastasia Rybka at Gilbert table tennis center.
Even hulk is bitten with the craze of the sport. Edward Norton took the sport a tad bit more seriously and actually trained competitively in China. And as you would have already guessed, if the guy has trained in china, he ought to be good at the game.
Susan Sarandon, founder of SPiN a sports parlor based in NY approves this. Ed is a frequent visitor to her parlor and often seen grooving with the serious players at the club.
6) Damien Lewis
Once upon a time in Hollywood co-star, Damian Lewis is a self-proclaimed ping pong champion. And he truly is way better than Hollywood standards. Once the British actor was asked what would he be if not an actor. He replied – “Professional table tennis player.”
The list would not be complete without the mention of the award-winning Oscar actress Susan Sarandon. First introduced to the sport by her teenage son, the academy-award winning actress went ahead and started SPiN – a first of its kind exclusive ping pong parlor in 2009 with her then-boyfriend Jonathan Bricklin. The idea was to develop beautifully crafted places to play Ping Pong and at the same time enjoy drinks and food with friends, family and work colleagues.
She actually made ping pong cooler and introduced the sport to Hollywood. Her parlor is commonly visited by top Hollywood celebs like Jimmy Buffet, Owen Wilson, 50 Cent and Salman Rushdie and the list goes on.
So as you can see, the sport is already making its mark in Hollywood. The reason for the wide-spread popularity of Ping Pong is because its relatively easier to pick up the sport and play. Not to forget how much fun it brings on the table.
So what’re you waiting for, pick your paddle and Ping Pong!