What makes a "nerd"? Is it being picked on as a teenager, having hobbies that are stigmatized, or finding time to excel academically while making a living otherwise? One of the biggest determinants of whether you're a "nerd" is whether you identify as such; whether you say, out loud, that you are a proud dork, nerd, dweeb, or geek. Bullying is a part of it, but some very cool and non-geeky people allegedly dealt with bullying as kids before they grew into their now chiseled and popular forms; it's the continuing to do that thing that you took flak for growing up or pursuing esoteric intellectual interests to the highest level of education just because, that makes a true nerd.
The non-identifying nerds, like published psychologist Natalie Portman, are not on this list despite being queens among dweebs. The actors, models, and correspondents listed here are all intelligent too, some with impressive academic credentials, but more importantly, they are all über fans of some pretty unpopular shows, games or hobbies. Whether it's Power Rangers, Dungeons & Dragons, computer coding, or teaching mathematics, these sexy geeks are all outspokenly passionate about otherwise stigmatized pursuits.
Of course we can't forget the entertainers who were models first and cosplaying, fanboy-distracting, convention goers second, or the paid dweebs who double as eye candy on any number of nerd-friendly media outlets cropping up through G4tv and the ever-expanding Nerdist Industries. They also found a place on the list. Here are the 12 Sexiest Self-Proclaimed Nerds In Entertainment…and only one natural blonde in the bunch. Coincidence? Probably.
12 Asia Carrera
Asia Carrera, born Jessica Steinhauser to a Japanese mother and German father, is the only entertainer on this list who is either an adult film star (starring in over 400 erotic movies) or a Mensa member (with an IQ of 156) let alone both a porns**r and a genius. Before the age of 15, Steinhauser had performed (on piano) twice at NYC’s Carnegie Hall. Before entering the adult film industry, the actress was enrolled on a full academic scholarship as a dual Japanese and Business major at Rutgers University. She never capitalized on her musical ability or finished college, but it’s actually her outspoken love of LAN parties and the original Unreal 1st person tournament-style shooter that earns Asia Carrera the title of sexy nerd.
11 Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel’s been playing Dungeons & Dragons sine he was a kid! If ever there was a sport, hobby, or game that had to be played in secret for fear of humiliation (unless you are an intimidating mountain of muscle like the two-franchise action star), it’s this board-based RPG. From the beginning, Dungeonmaster’s Guides and 20-sided die have struck fear into the hearts of overprotective parents, coming to a head with the 1982, made-for-TV movie, Mazes and Monsters, starring Tom Hanks as a gamer who has a psychotic break.
10 Mila Kunis
9 9. Katee Sackhoff
Katee Sackhoff is a darling of the sci-fi panel circuit because she’s played several bada** leading ladies in cult nerd mainstays like the reboot of TV’s Battlestar Galactica or alongside Vin Diesel in 2013’s installment of the Chronicles of Riddick franchise. On top of that, she’s voiced some kicka** females for hit video games like Halo 3 and for extended-universe series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
8 Kari Byron
7 Danica McKellar
Before there was That '70s Show, there was another show that took place in the 70s and followed the lives of a dysfunctional family including a grouch Dad, horrible older siblings, burnout friends, and an on again-off again romance between two incredibly awkward, geeky teenagers; this other show was called The Wonder Years and the children of baby boomers better know Danica McKellar as Winnie Cooper, the protagonist's hopelessly nerdy best friend and love interest on this show.
6 Olivia Munn
Comedians are a different breed of geek entirely as are nerds who stay in good enough shape to be cast as energy blade wielding, bad girl mutants (like Psylocke in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse movie) and land puff pieces in Men’s Health.
5 5. Megan Fox
4 Cindy Crawford
3 Adrianne Curry
2 Jessica Chobot
Coming out of what fanboys and fans of Nerdist Industries already knew was her sexy shell in a spread for Maxim magazine, Jessica Chobot is an IGN employee, former host of an X-box (360) Live show, newscaster for the Nerdist, and Dungeons & Dragons player. She can be seen in glorious geeky action playing a round of D&Diesel as The Headmistress alongside the Fast and Furious star for Geek & Sundry's Tabletop.
1 Janina Gavankar
Yet another nerd with a Maxim shoot to her credit, Janina Gavankar is best known to the masses as shapeshifting Luna Garza on True Blood and to tech-savvy entertainment insiders as a css/html coder and designer of a popular Posterous.com template for entertainers who need more of an online presence than IMDb or personal homepages can provide. This silver screen star and social media guru has been cast in a long list of comic book and sci-fi/fantasy-inspired projects besides True Blood including: Stargate: Atlantis, The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, The Gates and Dollhouse.
Personality-wise the stunning actress also seems to have a goofy streak, having acted in comedies like Barbershop and Barbershop 2 and alongside comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates (2014). But the real cherry on this dork sundae is the fact that Gavankar is so cutting-edge, she is allegedly the first actor to ever use Twitter.
Sources: complex.com, dorkly.com, ew.com, forbes.com, vanityfair.com
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