While you may not need to be a genius to do well in Hollywood, that doesn’t mean that many of the celebs you see aren’t incredibly intelligent. A respectable percentage are valedictorians and college graduates, sometimes with surprising majors. Others have accomplishments like being published in respected scientific journals or mastering multiple foreign languages.
A list compiled by This is Insider includes some of the smartest celebrities working in Hollywood today. Here are seven of the people who made the cut.
1. Natalie Portman
Along with a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, Portman has numerous other accomplishments. She speaks six languages fluently and has been published in scientific journals twice.
2. James Franco
Aside from once interning for Lockheed Martine, Franco has been acquiring degrees like it’s a hobby. He graduated from UCLA in just two years, headed to NYU to study filmmaking, then made his way to Columbia University and Brooklyn College to study fiction writing. He also attended Warren Wilson College’s poetry program and ultimately earned a Ph.D. in English from Yale.
3. Mayim Bialik
Bialik doesn’t just play a scientist on television as Amy on The Big Bang Theory; she actually has a Ph.D. in neuroscience. She specialized in obsessive-compulsive disorders in adolescents, particularly those with Prader-Willi syndrome.
4. Ken Jeong
Best known as Mr. Chow in The Hangover, Jeong is actually a licensed obstetrician. He earned his MD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed his residency in New Orleans before treating patients at an HMO clinic during the day and moonlighting as a stand-up comedian.
5. Kate Beckinsale
While Beckinsale didn’t complete her studies at Oxford University’s New College, where she focused on French and Russian literature, she does speak four languages fluently, including English, French, German, and Russian.
6. Nolan Gould
During an interview, Gould, who graduated from high school at age 13, revealed he was a Mensa member with an IQ of 150.
7. Geena Davis
Along with a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and an honorary doctorate from Bates College, Davis is also a member of Mensa. She is believed to have an IQ “within the upper two percent of the general population.”