Big Stars With Even Bigger Brains


These stars are much more than a pretty face–or a well-toned six-pack! Not only are they talented entertainers, but they’re secretly really smart, too.

Mayim Bialik

The Big Bang Theory star is just as brainy off-screen. In between her early fame on Blossom in the ’90s and her return to acting, Bialik earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

Dolph Lundgren

Yes, we’re talking about the shirtless Russian guy from Rocky IV. The action star is secretly a genius with advanced degrees in chemical engineering. In fact, he attended MIT on a Fulbright Scholarship–they don’t hand those out for chiseled abs.

Allison Williams

The Girls and Get Out actress has many hidden depths. Not only can she sing and dance–as she proved in the live broadcast of Peter Pan–but she’s also really smart! Williams graduated from Yale with a degree in English and archaeology.

Lupita Nyong’o

Speaking of Yale alumni, let’s talk about Lupita Nyong’o. She moved to America to study filmmaking at Hampshire College, then graduated from the prestigious master’s program at the Yale School of Drama.

Rowan Atkinson

Remember Mr. Bean? Rowan Atkinson’s brand of goofy physical comedy might make you think he’s not the brightest bulb in real life. But Atkinson holds a master’s degree from Oxford in electrical engineering.

Geena Davis

Geena Davis is a woman of many talents. Sure, she’s a great actress. But she’s also a member of Mensa, plays multiple musical instruments, and was a semi-finalist for the US Olympic archery team in 2000.

Gerard Butler

Did you know that Gerard Butler was almost an attorney? He graduated from the University of Glasgow’s School of Law and chaired the student law society. When his father passed away suddenly, Butler’s life went off the rails. He turned his back on law and decided to become an actor instead.

Natalie Portman

When she’s not winning Oscars, Natalie Portman is racking up academic achievements. She graduated from Harvard and has had her work published in scientific journals.

David Duchovny

Before he was Fox Mulder, David Duchovny was a serious academic. He did his undergrad work in English lit at Princeton before earning a master’s degree from Yale. If he hadn’t been bitten by the acting bug, Duchovny planned to pursue a doctorate at Yale.


I’m not going to lie–this one shocked me! Kesha cultivated an image as a party girl with her music, but in real life, she’d rather hit the library than the club. Kesha earned a near-perfect score on her SATs and intended to study psychology at Barnard College before her music career took off.