When you imagine what it would be like to live the lifestyle of a celebrity, you probably think of glamorous parties, designer clothes, huge Beverly Hills mansions, and super-expensive and super-fast supercars. You certainly don’t think of an uncomfortable morning commute on the bus, train or underground rail system.
And yet in many cities around the world, especially such celebrity hotspots as New York, London and Los Angeles, public transport is simply the easiest way for everyone to get around – especially when the alternative is sitting in a traffic jam for hours; which can be an annoying and frustrating waste of time even if you are riding in the back of a chauffeur-driven limousine.
Celebrities seem surprisingly relaxed about taking the New York Subway, the Los Angeles Metro and the London Tube, with few making any effort to disguise their appearance or hide from fans. Which explains why there are so many photos of famous people using public transport around the world. Sometimes, the celebrities even turn the tables, snapping pictures of fans who are trying to sneak a picture of their Hollywood idol riding the train!
So next time you’re riding the bus to work, or taking the train across town, keep your eyes peeled, as you never know which one the celebrities on the following list might be sharing your carriage of sitting in the seat behind you…
23 Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba is another New York resident who is a regular user of the city’s excellent public transit system. While the star of Fantastic Four and Sin City is based in Los Angeles where she does most of her filming, Alba seems to prefer the east coast style, spending a lot of time in New York, and even redecorating her Beverly Hills mansion to look like it belongs in the Hamptons. Alba and husband Cash Warren are certainly regular users of the New York Subway when they are in town, and the former model has even been spotted taking her kids for a ride too.
22 Elizabeth Olson
Elizabeth Olsen may have spent much of her life in the shadow of her child-siblings Mary-Kate and Ashley, but the youngest Olsen is now emerging as a star in her own right, thanks to her recurring role in the Avengers franchise as Wanda Maximoff, otherwise known as the Scarlet Witch. Unlike her two sisters, Elizabeth only got her big acting break once she had graduated from New York University, where she studied theater, including a semester in Moscow. It was in her student days that Elizabeth Olsen first started using the subway to get around the city, and she is a still a regular user of public transport systems today.
21 Paul McCartney
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most famous musicians of all time, and he certainly isn’t short of a bob or two, with a fortune worth an estimated $1 billion. However, fellow travelers were astonished when they spotted the singer sitting in an economy class train carriage on a 2018 journey from London to his home in West Sussex, where he lives with wife Nancy Shevell. This wasn’t the first time the superstar had made this journey by rail, however; although when he was spotted on the train in 2017, he was at least using the first class carriage!
20 Andrew Garfield
British actor Andrew Garfield became something of a household name in 2012, when he appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel, before going on to appear in the drama Hacksaw Ridge, for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination, as well as starring in Broadway plays The Death of a Salesman and Angels in America. While his most famous character Peter Parker – and his alter-ego Spider-Man - would have no trouble getting around New York by swinging from building to building, Garfield himself was photographed traveling across the city on a subway train instead.
19 Emma Watson
Fellow Brit Emma Watson may only be at the beginning of her acting career, but thanks to her starring role in the enormously successful Harry Potter franchise as Hermione Grainger, she is probably even more recognizable than the much more experienced Mirren. Watson took a break from acting to attend Brown University, and subsequently spent a lot of time in New York, as well as back at home in London. In fact, Watson has created her own celebration of public transport, taking time in 2016 and 2017 to leave books hidden around the New York Subway and the London Underground for commuters to find and enjoy.
18 Claire Danes
Now famous for her role in TV drama Homeland, Claire Danes started out as a teen star in the critically-acclaimed My So-Called Life, which also gave Jared Leto his big break. Danes is another Hollywood star who is happy to use the New York Subway, and she has been photographed several times waiting on platforms, as well as riding on a subway train when she was heavily pregnant in August 2018, only a few days, in fact, before she gave birth to her second son. She and her husband, fellow actor Hugh Dancy, live with their children in New York, where the subway really is the only way to get around.
17 Katie Holmes
Katie Holmes is another actress who got her first starring role in a teen drama, the hugely popular Dawson’s Creek, which ran for six seasons between 1998 and 2003. Holmes is perhaps more famous these days for her ill-fated and slightly bizarre marriage to Hollywood star and Scientologist Tom Cruise. When the couple separated, Holmes moved to a New York apartment with their daughter, Suri, but there was an end to the chauffeur-driven limousines and the high-level security teams; instead, Katie and Suri do most of their traveling on the subway. She was even snapped dozing off on a subway train in 2017!
16 Tom Hiddleston
Hollywood heartthrob Tom Hiddleston has something of a reputation for playing villainous characters; a problem which afflicts many British actors working in the US! He is undoubtedly best known for his role in the Avengers films as Loki, brother and enemy of Thor, but has also starred in the big screen adaptation of War Horse, as well as several theatrical productions in London. Despite his cinema success, Hiddleston still spends most of his time in London, and is a regular traveler on the Tube, with several fans having excitedly shared their photographs of the star riding the Underground alongside mere mortals.
15 Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris is the exception to the rule that all child stars will end up going off the rails at some point. Having made his name as teenage doctor Doogie Howser M.D. Harris did take a break from acting for a few years, before returning in the sitcom How I Met Your Mother and Netflix’s successful adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events, as well as iconic theater roles including a spell on Broadway as Emcee in Cabaret. Lots of actors playing Broadway use the New York Subway to get around, and Harris is, on this occasion, no exception to that particular rule.
14 Nicole Scherzinger
Former Pussycat Doll, singer, actress and model Nicole Scherzinger is probably used to the New York Subway and the Los Angeles Metro, but she has also spent a lot of time in London, thanks to her relationship with ex-boyfriend Lewis Hamilton and her role as a judge on TV singing competition, X-Factor. When Scherzinger took her first trip on the London Tube in 2015, she couldn’t resist documenting the event with a few photographs – and only she could look so stylish and sophisticated while traveling on a hot, sweaty public transport carriage a dozen feet underneath the streets of London!
13 Olivia Wilde
Actress Olivia Wilde is a native New Yorker who grew up using the subway to get around the city, and nothing has changed even though she is now a famous Hollywood celebrity. Her breakthrough role was as Dr. Remy Hadley, nicknamed “Thirteen,” on medical drama House, and she has gone to appear in films including Cowboys and Aliens and Life Itself. While heavily pregnant with her second child with fiancé Jason Sudeikis in 2016, Wilde took to Twitter to very publicly shame fellow travelers on the New York Subway system who had failed to offer her a seat, despite the fact that she was obviously about to give birth any day.
12 Keanu Reeves
Once upon a time, Keanu Reeves would probably have struggled to get anywhere near a public transport system without being mobbed by fans. Around the time when The Matrix trilogy was being made, Reeves was more likely to travel by limousine than by subway, but times have changed, and in recent years, his career has taken suffered something of a setback. Reeves regularly rides the New York Subway, and unlike the passengers who earned Olivia Wilde’s anger, he was spotted by fans giving up his seat to a woman who was standing in a busy carriage. Who says chivalry is dead?
11 Tyra Banks
Supermodels are infamous for refusing to get out of bed for anything less than $10,000, but Tyra Banks is obviously a little more down-to-earth than that; the supermodel-turned-TV presenter doesn’t even demand limousines to get her from A to B, but is quite happy to ride the New York Subway when she needs to get across the city. The current presenter and executive producer of America’s Next Top Model has been snapped on a number of occasions taking a ride on the subway, and has even done a few photo shoots on the public transport system – including one where she wore a skin-tight pink catsuit, which must have been uncomfortable on the notoriously hot subway.
10 Hugh Jackman
Aussie actor Hugh Jackman has enjoyed some incredible successes since he made the move to Hollywood, starring as Wolverine/Logan in the X-Men franchise, as well as receiving an Oscar nomination for his role in Les Miserables. Jackman is also a successful musical theater actor, and if you want to star in the best musical theater, there is only one place to be: New York. Jackman is a regular on the New York Subway, which is easily the best way to get around the city while avoiding the traffic, and often takes his kids Oscar and Ava for a ride on the underground trains too.
9 Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks may be one of the most successful actors of recent years, but he also well-known for his down-to-earth attitude to life. The double Oscar-winner – for Philadelphia in 1993 and Forrest Gump in 1994 – collects antique typewriters, supports the English soccer team Aston Villa, and has invested in companies which are developing new electric car technologies. Given his environmental credentials, Hanks is obviously going to be a big fan of public transport, and he was snapped in 2015 taking a ride on the New York Subway’s 1 train, caught committing the cardinal subway sin of taking up two seats!
8 Karlie Kloss
Karlie Kloss started her career as a model and was one of the famous Victoria’s Secret Angels between 2011 and 2015. At that point, however, Kloss decided to put her career on hold and enrolled at New York University, where she was regularly spotted taking the subway to class. Kloss, who is a keen computer programmer and who has even set up her own coding scholarship for girls, has now made the move into television work and is lined up to replace Heidi Klum as the presenter of Project Runway.
7 Niall Horan
One Direction band member Niall Horan is another music star who has no qualms about using public transport to get around. The Irish singer, who launched a solo career after the group announced that they would be taking a break, is one the few famous faces who took a photo of himself on the London Underground, rather than being photographed by a fan or papped by the press. Horan shared a photo of himself on a Tube train in 2014, but despite being a member of the most famous band of the time, he was being completely ignored by the other passengers.
6 Helen Mirren
Famous for playing Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 film The Queen, and Queen Elizabeth I in a miniseries of the same name the year before, Helen Mirren has enjoyed a long and successful career on the silver screen, the stage and on television. She is almost as famous for her stunning looks, even in her 70s, as she is for her acting, which made it all the more surprising that Mirren wasn’t recognized by more people when she took a ride on the New York subway in 2015. She later admitted in an interview that she and her friends once stopped a London Underground train when she got her hand stuck in the door – but that a fellow male passenger gallantly took the blame.
5 Jake Gyllenhaal
Fellow actor Jake Gyllenhaal is a regular traveler on the New York Subway, and there is plenty of photographic evidence that he gets around the city just like any regular New Yorker. The Donnie Darko star likes to travel as incognito as possible, using wearing beanie hats, and occasionally even a pair of dark glasses – but that doesn’t stop fans from recognizing him and taking his photograph! Gyllenhaal was spotted wearing his usual get-up, as well as a very padded winter coat, on the subway in January 2015, when he was appearing in Broadway Constellations with British actress, Ruth Wilson.
4 Michael Sheen and Rachel McAdams
Underworld actor Michael Sheen and Rachel McAdams, star of romantic drama The Notebook, were a couple for two years, before splitting in 2013. In 2011, in the early days of their relationship, the two were spotted riding the subway together Toronto, in McAdams’ native Canada, where Sheen was busy filming the remake of Total Recall. According to fans who were taking photos, the couple looked like they only had eyes for each other during the trip across town. Sheen now spends more time on social and environmental activism than acting, and public transport is a much greener option than gas-guzzling limousines.
3 Peter Dinklage
Game of Thrones is arguably the biggest television hit of the 21st century. The series, an adaptation of the fantasy books by George R.R. Martin, is famous for its violence and adult scenes and has made stars of its cast members, including Peter Dinklage, who has one of the juiciest roles on the show as Tyrion Lannister. In 2016, a fan spotted the actor riding the New York Subway, and couldn’t resist getting a sneaky photograph. Public transport isn’t the only way that he gets around the city, however; Dinklage has also been snapped by the paparazzi riding his scooter along the city streets.
2 Matthew Broderick
Fans of 80s movies will know Matthew Broderick from his most iconic role as the eponymous character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In fact, Broderick’s appearance has barely changed despite the thirty years which have passed since he got his first movie role in the 1983 film, War Games. Broderick and his wife, Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker live in Manhattan, which makes rides on the New York Subway an essential part of everyday life. He is regularly spotted at stations and on trains, sometimes alone and occasionally with his wife and kids in tow as well.
1 Tom Daley
Olympic medallist Tom Daley has been diving in international competitions since he was just 13-years-old, eventually winning a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics in the 10-meter platform, an event in which he is also a double world champion. Daley came out as gay in 2013, and married US film director and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black in 2017, with the couple sharing their time between Los Angeles and London. In his native London, Daley obviously thinks nothing of getting the Tube across the city, and has been spotted by fans and photographed several times while taking the underground train system.
Sources: E Online, Daily Mail, The Sun, Fortune, Just Jared