A Dozen Smart Celebrities

30 March 2016
More than just a pretty face, we look at twelve smart celebrities in Hollywood.

This Wicked Wednesday we’re taking a look at twelve Hollywood celebrities who are not only talented and successful, but have brains to boot.

1. Emma Watson

Harry Potter fans will know how obsessively studious and incredibly smart Hermione Granger is, and the actress who played her in the eight movies is no different. Watson earned a bachelor's in English literature from Brown University before continuing her studies, at Oxford. In July 2014 her ambition attained new heights when she was appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, delivering a highly lauded speech on gender equality just a few months later.

2. James Franco

If anyone loves studying more than Hermione, it might just be Franco – he’s like a bee to pollen when it comes to collecting degrees. Amongst his numerous writing accolades are degrees from the University of California, LA and Columbia University in New York. In the latter city he also attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, completing his master’s in filmmaking. The next step was to apply and impart his knowledge: he published a collection of short stories called Palo Alto, and has taught at NYU, USC, UCLA, CalArts, Columbia, and Palo Alto High School.

Watch James Franco in True Story on M-Net Movies Premiere.

3. Allison Williams

Before she became a girl on Girls, Williams studied at Yale, taking classes in English and Archeology.

Watch Allison Williams in Girls Season 5 Express from the U.S. every Tuesday at 02:00 and in prime time every Friday at 21:00, on M-Net Edge.

4. Lisa Kudrow

She may have played a ditz on Friends, but Kudrow is quite the smart cookie. Graduating with a B.S. in biology from Vassar College, she worked with her father for eight years doing research on cluster headaches in left-handed people.

5. Nolan Gould

Another actor who’s dim-witted on screen, but whip-smart off it, is the seventeen-year-old actor who plays Luke Dunphy on Modern Family. He graduated from high school at the age of thirteen and is a member of MENSA – the largest and oldest high IQ society.

Watch Modern Family Season 7 every Wednesday at 19:30 on M-Net.

6. Steve Martin

Another MENSA member, Martin has an IQ of 142 and studied philosophy. He would have become a professor if he hadn’t discovered acting.

Watch Steve Martin in Bringing Down the House and Father of the Bride on M-Net Movies Comedy.

7. James Woods

An actor to blow them all out the brain pool, Woods has an IQ of 180. If you’re not sure how smart that is, just compare him to Stephen Hawking – the latter  has an IQ of 160.

8. Mayim Bialek

Jim Parsons plays a theoretical physicist, Johnny Galeki an experimental physicist, Simon Helberg an aerospace engineer, Kunal Nayyar an astrophysicist, and Melissa Rauch a microbiologist – but they’re all just actors playing geniuses, on The Big Bang Theory. Bialek, who plays neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler, has a Ph.D. in neuroscience in real life. In 2000 she graduated from UCLA, returning in 2007 to complete her Ph.D. She specialised in obsessive-compulsive disorder in adolescents with Prader-Willi Syndrome.

Watch Mayim Bialek in The Big Bang Theory Season 9 every Wednesday at 20:00 on M-Net.

9. Natalie Portman

She’s been acting since her teens, but her burgeoning career didn’t stop her attending Harvard and earning a degree in psychology. As if that weren’t ambitious enough, she also speaks six languages and has been published twice in scientific journals.

10. Quentin Tarantino

The master behind masterpieces such as Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, and his self-proclaimed masterpiece Inglorious Basterds, has an IQ of 160. In case you forgot, that’s the same as Stephen Hawking’s.

Watch the sixth feature film solely directed by Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, on M-Net Movies Action.

11. Matt Damon

While Kudrow and Gould play the fool on screen, Damon does not. Portraying the title character in Good Will Hunting, the genius protagonist is not a far cry from Damon. The actor attended Harvard University, and although he never completed his studies, the script he started during his time there went on to win him and his co-star Ben Affleck Oscars for Best Original Screenplay.

12. Dolph Lundgren

He may have made a lot of B movies, but he’s a straight A student. Lundgren has a degree in Chemistry from Washington State University, one in Chemical Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and earned his master's in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney. He may be embroiled in action on screen, but he clearly has just as much brain as he has brawn!