If you’re a famous actor, musician or TV personality, you unfortunately fall into the stereotype of being rather feeble-minded. This quick-to-judge assumption may be true some of the time, but for the most part, it’s more than likely the result of jealousy. A lot of people tend to use this stereotype as a defense mechanism to make them feel better about themselves. The problem here is the fact that it’s completely unfair for the misjudged celebrity; in most cases, it’s also untrue. Just because you’re good looking or in a rock band doesn’t mean you can’t also have a good head on your shoulders.
Although this stereotype may be unfair for the most part, it’s hard to rid it completely when people like Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian walk the planet. With that being said, there are many other celebrities out there with real talent that can also hold an educated conversation. To back this up, we have put together a list containing ten celebrities with a shockingly high IQ. Find out which famous faces had you fooled over the years. Remember: don’t judge a book by its cover.
10. James Franco – 130
When you think of James Franco, PhD student at Yale University probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, this American actor and filmmaker, best known for his stoner comedies, has a lot more brains than one would expect. Not only is he a PhD student, he has also graduated from UCLA, Columbia University, where he took 62 credits in one semester, while the normal limit is only 19! Franco didn’t always want to become an actor; at one time, the idea of becoming a marine zoologist interested him. As we all know he chose the path to becoming an actor and has been pretty successful thus far. Although Franco is known for playing a jesting stoner, he has proven his acting skills in films like True Story, 127 Hours and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
9. Emma Watson – 138
This British actress got her start in the Harry Potter movies where she played the brainy know-it-all Hermione Granger. It seems her character in the movies wasn’t t0o far from reality after all; Watson was just as confident graduating from Brown University as she was when attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
From a young age, Emma knew she wanted to pursue a career in acting; at the age of ten, Watson had performed in various Stagecoach productions and school plays, including Arthur: The Young Years and The Happy Prince. She never let her acting get in the way of her studies; Watson has always been an A student despite her busy schedule.
8. Jim Morrison – 149
Who would have guessed someone known as the “Lizard King” had a genius level IQ. Jim Morrison’s eccentric and rebellious personality helped his rock band The Doors reach a high level of fame in a short period of time. Unfortunately, Morrison died at the age of 27 in Paris, of a supposed accidental overdose, leaving The Doors without a front man. Despite being short lived, The Doors are still seen as one of the most influential rock acts of the 1960s. Morrison was known to read non-stop and was a considerable writer – not just musically but academically. Morrison completed his undergraduate degree at UCLA’s film school in 1965, during which he made several short films.
7. Ashton Kutcher – 160
Ashton Kutcher started off his acting career portraying the all brawn and no brains Michael Kelso on That ’70s Show. He then went on to play another character of a similar nature in the box office hit Dude, Where’s My Car? If that doesn’t create enough of a stigma for the actor, he then created, produced and hosted the TV show Punk’d – this show doesn’t strike you as something a person with the same IQ as the smartest scientists in the world would come up with. Nevertheless, Kutcher does have a shockingly high IQ; he even enrolled at the University of Iowa, where he planned to major in biochemical engineering, motivated by the desire to find a cure for his brother’s heart ailment.
6. Mayim Bialik – 150-163
Although most people recognize Mayim Bialik from the hit TV series The Big Bang Theory, she was a child star on NBC’s Blossom. What some may find interesting is that Bialik and her character on The Big Bang Theory (Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler) share something in common: they’re both neuroscientists. Despite being accepted at both Harvard and Yale, Bialik chose to attend UCLA instead as she would be closer to her family this way. She earned a B.S. degree in neuroscience, Hebrew studies, and Jewish studies and went on to study for a doctorate in neuroscience. She took a break from her studies in 2005 due to her wanting to get back into the acting world. Bialik went on to earn her PhD in 2007.
5. Conan O’Brien – 160
Before Conan and his famous hairdo graced us on late-night talk shows, he was a writer for both Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons. Conan’s school years were quite impressive, being the managing editor of the school newspaper in his first year, followed up by interning for Congressman Robert Drinan in his second. In his senior year, he won the National Council of Teachers of English writing contest with his short story, “To Bury the Living”; naturally he graduated as valedictorian. Shortly after, Conan attended Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude – meaning “with great honor”. This American television host, comedian, writer, producer and musician may not strike you as a genius at first, but behind all the jokes and hair lies an IQ that would put yours to shame.
4. Matt Damon – 160
That’s right, the botanist from the recently released film The Martian is a lot smarter than you think. Matt Damon attended Harvard University in 1988, where he appeared in a number of plays, although he dropped out just 12 credits shy of completion of his Bachelor of Arts degree. Shortly after, Damon revised an early screenplay he wrote as an exercise for an English class, titled – you guessed it – Good Will Hunting. Damon went on to receive an Academy Award for the screenplay in 1998, and later was awarded the Harvard Arts Medal in 2013. On top of being a genius, Damon is also a philanthropist, having founded the H2O Africa Foundation and co-founded “Not On Our Watch Project”, which is an organization that focuses global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities.
3. Quentin Tarantino – 160
It’s hard to believe that the same guy who dropped out of school at the age of 16, only to get a job ushering at an adult theater called the Pussycat Theatre, has the same IQ as Albert Einstein. Sure, Tarantino is known for being a little bit “out there”, but you can’t argue the fact that he’s an artistic genius. Not only does he write all his own scripts, he directs and acts in all his movies as well. Tarantino has brought us many great films such as Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Bastards, and Django Unchained. His works have won him many awards including two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and two BAFTA Awards – not bad for a high school dropout.
2. Brian May – 170-180
For those of you who don’t know, Brian May is the “Isaac Newton” looking guitar player from the rock band Queen. I say Isaac Newton because the two share something in common – besides being from England: they both excel in mathematics and physics. From 1970 to 1974, May studied reflected light from interplanetary dust and the velocity of dust in the plane of the Solar System at Imperial College London. Before he could get his PhD, Queen’s fame rose to staggering heights, forcing him to put a hold on his studies for some time. In October 2006, May re-registered for his PhD at Imperial College; he graduated May 14, 2008. Although May has never taken an IQ test, one can only assume it would be somewhere around 170 to 180 considering the quality of his papers in Astrophysics.
1. Stanley Kubrick – 190-200
Before we start to talk about Kubrick, take this into consideration for a moment: having an IQ of 200 puts you in the same league as people like Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton and James Maxwell. Now, saying that may make Kubrick look like a fool, but take into consideration the time period and how impactful his films were for the time. Kubrick is probably the most meticulous and insightful director of all time. Kubrick’s films are considered by film historian Michel Ciment to be “among the most important contributions to world cinema in the twentieth century”. The fact that Kubrick gave us 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968 and it still looks great today proves just how great he is. Surprisingly, Kubrick was a mediocre student, with a meager 67 grade average. Later in life, Kubrick spoke disdainfully concerning education in schools, especially American schooling as a whole, maintaining that schools were ineffective in stimulating critical thinking and student interest. Clearly some people are just born gifted and need no help in blossoming to their full potential.