Strange Facts You Never Knew About Former World Leaders

They've led millions through good times and bad, but these former world leaders were also kind of weird. From kidnappings to an Olsen twins link, check out some pretty quirky facts you never knew about some of the world's most iconic political figures.

Kim Jong Il once kinapped a director

As the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il became infamous for a lot of shady behavior. Among his strangest moves: that time he kidnapped a South Korean director and his actress wife and forced them to make a whole bunch of movies for him. According to Vanity Fair, the whole thing went down after Kim, a huge movie buff, took over the North Korean film industry. Unhappy with the quality of the industry, Kim managed to lure South Korean director Shin Sang Ok into his country through an elaborate plan that involved kidnapping Shin and his wife, Choi Eun Hee. Held captive for years, Shin and Choi were eventually forced to pretend to play nice with Kim and proceeded to film a number of movies together. Included on the list: their seventh and final collaboration, Pulgasari, a bizarre, ridiculous knock-off of the monster-movie Godzila. Kim was so pleased with what he felt was a masterpiece, he allowed Shin and Choi to take a business trip to Vienna. Naturally, they fled to the U.S. Embassy shortly after their arrival.

Mikhail Gorbachev won a Grammy

Remember that time when President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize and a lot of people threw a fit because he had only just been elected? Well, that was nothing compared to the time when former Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev took home the most coveted award in the music industry in 2004. Yep, that year, Gorbachev took home a Grammy in the category of Best Spoken World Album for Children for his voice work on a recording of the Russian folk tale Peter and the Wolf. If that wasn't funny enough: Gorbachev—who provided the opening narration and epilogue for the album—shared the prize with former President Bill Clinton and Oscar-winner Sophia Loren, who also participated in the project. Interestingly, Gorbachev did not actually attend the ceremony. Instead, he donated his fees to his environmental project, Green Cross International, according to the BBC.

Nicolas Sarkozy's sister-in-law is an Olsen twin

The Sarkozy family made a name for itself among American millennials when Olivier Sarkozy, the brother of the former President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, began dating former Full House star Mary-Kate Olsen in 2012. The relationship was bizarre from the get-go. He was French, she was American; he was 42, she was—ugh—25. But apparently, the whole thing worked out in the end. About three years after they began dating, Sarkozy and Olsen married in a lavish, if bizarre, ceremony in New York City. According to a hilarious report from Page Six, guests were treated to "bowls and bowls filled with cigarettes," which is just about the Frenchiest thing we've ever heard. A separate report from US Weekly claimed that both families get along very well with each other, adding that even Sarkozy's ex-wife, Charlotte, is a fan of Mary-Kate. If somehow, some way, the Olsen twins help lead to world peace, we're officially giving up.

Nelson Mandela appeared in a Spike Lee joint

Two years after he was released from a 27-year stay in prison, anti-apartheid legend Nelson Mandela made an important cameo in Spike Lee's 1992 biopic, Malcolm X. Mandela, who would go on to become the first black president of South Africa in 1994, appears toward the very end of the film, during which he recites lines from Malcolm X's now-famous 1964 speech at the founding rally of the Organization of Afro-American Unity in New York. According to TIME magazine, Nelson requested not to recite the most famous words from Malcolm X's speech, "by any means necessary," because he didn't want the South African government to think Mandela was making a call to violence. As a solution, Lee ultimately wound up cutting to Malcolm X saying the lines, instead. Because, duh, why would you ever not listen to Nelson Mandela?

Napoleon Bonaparte wrote a romance novel

French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte may be the most iconic figure of the French Revolutionary Wars, but did you know he was once a budding writer? According to reports, Napoleon actually wrote a manuscript for a romantic novella back when he was a 26-year-old soldier. The novella, titled Clisson et Eugénie, was said to be inspired by Napoleon's affair with Bernardine Eugénie Désirée Clary—or, more importantly, his brother Joseph's wife. If you aren't laughing quite yet, check out this hilarious, melodramatic excerpt obtained by the U.K.'s Telegraph: "I am worried and unhappy," Napoleon writes. "I feel numb. Come to me without delay. Only the sight of you will cure me." The Telegraph adds that the manuscript for the novella was found in Napoleon's possessions after he died. The pages were pieced together and first published in France in 2008. The first page of the manuscript sold at a 2007 auction for just under $25,000.

Margaret Thatcher maybe helped invent soft-serve ice cream

For decades, it was believed that former Prime Minister of England Margaret Thatcher helped invent what the world now knows and loves to call soft-serve ice cream. According to many, many reports, Thatcher helped lay the ground work for the soft-serve formula while working at Britain's J. Lyons & Company, where she and a team of researchers found a way to reduce the costs of making ice cream by simply adding more air to it. Even Britian's famous ice cream truck, Mr. Whippy, gives Thatcher a special shout-out on their website. So, what's the problem, then? Well, very shortly after Thatcher's death in 2013, those smarty pants writers at The New Yorker published a piece that claimed Thatcher's involvement in inventing soft-serve ice cream was more of a myth that lies "between simplification and legend." The piece goes on to source a number of facts and articles that contradict the soft-serve myth, like, you know, that soft-serve was apparently a thing in the United States 10 years prior to its arrival in Britain. Whatever the case, it's pretty cool to think about, no?

Queen Elizabeth I loved gingerbread men

Speaking of powerful British leaders and food: it has long been believed that Queen Elizabeth I was a huge fan of gingerbread men, and actually set the tone for what they now look like today. According to an article published by PBS, Elizabeth I is actually the one who allegedly started decorating gingerbread men in the first place. Apparently, she used to decorate them—or, let's be honest, she used to make her staff decorate them—to look like people who would come visit her. A legendary royal queen with a sweet tooth? Suddenly we don't feel so bad about cheating on our diet this week.