Major Geniuses: Celebrities And The Courses They Studied

We’ve all heard more than a few sayings through the years. While each has its own message to convey, it’s safe to say they leave some degree of impact on our lives. Well, one such statement would be “More than meets the eye.”

Life in the spotlight can be quite challenging sometimes. On top of working on a new movie or song, celebrities often have to go through the ever-curious eyes of paparazzi daily. They’d often snap photos of stars living a mundane life, and that can be pretty bothersome —we all deserve some privacy, after all. Despite the fact, there are still some things a paparazzo can’t capture. z

For this article, we’ll be talking about celebrities who’ve finished—or are still taking—a major course in a university. Of course, the course varies from one star to another. Even so, it’s still pretty nice to discover our favorite celebrities also have other interests besides acting or singing. Now then, without further ado, let’s get on with the
list, shall we?

Eva Longoria | Chicano Studies


Eva Longoria didn’t just attend class and study during her high school years– she also had a part-time job at a Wendy’s restaurant. While it may have only been for a brief period, the experience helped her develop a disciplined work ethic. Well, with the gift of retrospect, it’s safe to say all that hard work has since become quite a significant investment for her career in the entertainment industry.

Nowadays, Eva is most known for her performance in The Young and the Restless and Desperate Housewives TV shows, though she’s also starred in films such as Dog Days and Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Along the way, however, the actress also finished her master’s degree course in Chicano Studies. As its name suggests, it’s the study of the Chicano culture and its various aspects, including history and literature. With that in mind, it’s no surprise Eva also works on projects revolving around different kinds of social issues.

Mayim Bialik | Neuroscience


Debuting with an acting credit in the 1988 horror flick Pumpkinhead, Mayim Bialik began her journey in the entertainment industry as a child actress during the 1980s. Other projects she worked on throughout that period include TV shows like Webster, Beauty and the Beast, and films such as Beaches and The Kingdom Chums. With a couple more years of experience, Mayim has become most known for her performance as Amy Farrah Fowler in The Big Bang Theory.

In 2007, Mayim finished her doctorate study in neuroscience, which was also the same course she majored in during her years in university. Since then, it’s safe to say many of the things she learned throughout that time played a significant part in her career. After all, besides landing acting gigs, the Big Bang Theory star also wrote a couple of books, two of which talk about how the human body works and behaves – their titles are Girling Up and its follow-up, Boying Up.

John Legend | English


At this point, many of us have probably heard of at least one song sung by John Legend. Plus, it’s safe to assume that the title of that song is All of Me, the chart-topping single from his 2013 album, Love in the Future.

Even before becoming the successful multi-award-winning artist he is today, John was already making quite a name for himself among his colleagues. During the earlier years of his career, John had the chance to collaborate with big-name figures like Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Alicia Keys. Many fans don’t know, though, that his musical talents were already quite apparent during his years in school. Along with being a very knowledgeable student, graduating college as a magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English, this Voice coach also spent his college years as the musical director of a cappella group known as the Counterparts.

Yara Shahidi | Interdisciplinary Sociology And African American Studies


Born February 10, 2000, Yara Shahidi began her career in the entertainment industry when she was six years old, appearing in commercials and advertisements for Ralph Lauren, Target, McDonald’s, and Disney. Not long after, she finally made her film debut in 2009. It was for that year’s Imagine That, starring Eddie Murphy.

Afterward, Shahidi continued her career with a minor part in the 2010 film Salt, though she landed a more prominent role in TV series The First Family. Nowadays, the actress is most known for her performance in the TV show Black-ish, its spin-off Grown-ish, and the 2019 movie The Sun Is Also a Star. Outside the spotlight, she is also dedicating time to her studies. After years of taking online classes, Shahidi finally finished high school at Dwight Global Online School in 2017. By 2018, she continued her educational journey by enrolling at Harvard University, where she is taking up African American Studies and Interdisciplinary Sociology.

Cole Sprouse | Humanities And Archaeology


At this point, many of us recognize Cole Sprouse as Cody Martin from Disney’s The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and its spin-off, The Suite Life on Deck. He and his twin brother Dylan began their career in the entertainment industry at eight months old. While most of their parts were for shared roles, the two eventually had the chance to take on separate characters. For Cole, two of his notable credits are on Friends, Five Feet Apart, and Riverdale.

Besides acting, Cole is fond of various things. The Riverdale star also has an interest in the humanities and archaeology, along with his love for comics. He studied the two courses at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Before graduating in 2015, Cole spent his summers working in excavations around Europe and Asia. He even had the chance to unearth a mask of Dionysus, the Greek god of festivity and theater.

Meghan Markle | Theater And International Studies


At a young age, Meghan Markle was already introduced to the world of acting and filmmaking. She often visited the sets her father worked on – the director for photography and lighting for Married with Children. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise she eventually finished her studies as a double major in theater and international studies.

Before graduating from Northwestern University, however, Meghan was already making her way into the acting business. Like many of her colleagues, the earlier years of her career were anything but easy. Even so, that didn’t stop her. Since then, she has become most known for her role as Rachel Zane in the show Suits. Nowadays, though, the actress has shifted her investments to more behind-the-scenes work. Among the many projects she and her husband, Prince Harry, landed through the years was a deal with Netflix. It allowed them to produce shows and movies for the streaming service.

Taraji P. Henson | Drama


The art of acting and performing on stage or a film set is undoubtedly an exciting profession to take. Well, Taraji P. Henson thought so, too. For her university years, Henson initially went to North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University, hoping to major in electrical engineering, before ultimately transferring to Howard University. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drama, Henson began her journey into the spotlight.

Starting her career in the 1990s, Henson’s film debut was the 1998 flick Streetwise. Not long after, the actress got her first shot to fame thanks to her 2001 movie Baby Boy performance. Well, from that point onward, Henson has had the chance to work on one hit project after another. Since then, the Karate Kid actress has starred in notable titles such as Boston Legal, Person of Interest, Empire, and of course, Hidden Figures.

Emma Watson | English Literature


The entertainment industry never shies away from spending some investment money on adapting a novel into a film. One such adaptation that continues to garner widespread recognition would be the Harry Potter films starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and of course, Emma Watson.

With her passion for acting realized when she was just six years old, Emma’s first gigs were for stage plays such as The Happy Prince and Arthur: The Young Years. Not long after, she got the attention of producers, who eventually gave Emma one of her most iconic roles today: Hermione Granger. Despite her busy acting schedule, the actress and her co-stars were still given time to study in between filming scenes. Her educational journey doesn’t end there, though. A few years later, Emma made her way to Brown University, where she eventually graduated with a major in English literature.

Lupita Nyong’o | Master Of Fine Arts


For her passion for acting, a good portion of the credit would undoubtedly go to Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, and Ralph Fiennes stars she considers her idols. At age 14, Lupita Nyong’o found her way to the stage and landed her professional acting debut with a role in Romeo and Juliet. She portrayed the latter.

With her love for the arts never showing any signs of stopping, it’s no surprise the aspiring actress eventually finished her studies with a Master of Fine Arts from Yale School of Drama. Lupita’s first stints were mostly for behind-the-scenes work as a production assistant for her start in the entertainment industry. By 2008, she got her on-screen debut with a role in that year’s short film East River. Since then, Lupita’s fame continues to rise to even greater heights, thanks to her performance in subsequent projects like 12 Years a Slave, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Black Panther, and Us.

Ken Jeong | Doctor Of Medicine


Nowadays, most of us know Ken Jeong as a famous comedian. During the earlier years of his career in the business, Ken often performed at open mic nights. Along the way, he competed in the Big Easy Laff-Off and ultimately won the competition. Since then, he has established a more significant name for himself in the entertainment industry, starring in projects such as The Hangover movies, Crazy Rich Asians, and Community.

Besides his knack for making people laugh, Ken is also a licensed physician, a title he maintains to this day. A graduate of Duke University, the actor/comedian finished his studies with a professional graduate degree: a Doctor of Medicine. Although he no longer practices the profession, the knowledge he acquired is still undoubtedly handy. In fact, he has assisted more than a couple of times with medical emergencies taking place during a project’s production.

Natalie Portman | Psychology


The entertainment industry has introduced us to numerous child stars through the years. One such actress who has since maintained a successful career under the spotlight is Natalie Portman. She began her journey into the acting scene at 12 years old, debuting with the 1994 hit film Léon: The Professional.

Since then, she has garnered more widespread recognition thanks to her acting credit in titles like Marvel’s Thor films, Annihilation, and the Star Wars prequel trilogy. In between the latter film series production, the actress also made it a point to finish her studies. Thanks to her determination, Natalie graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. Well, it’s safe to say her time studying the subject played a big part in her preparation for 2010’s psychological feature, Black Swan – she won an Oscar for her performance, after all. Along the way, she also studied neurobiology and advanced Hebrew literature.

Adam Sandler | Acting


Among his many childhood hobbies, it’s safe to say Adam Sandler always had a special place for acting and comedy in his life. After graduating from Manchester Central High School, Adam proceeded to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He had the chance to learn the ins and outs of acting and overall filmmaking throughout that period.

Before finishing his studies in 1988, Sandler had already made his way into the acting scene. One of his earlier roles was back in 1987 when he portrayed Smitty in The Cosby Show. Along the way, he also landed a stint on Saturday Night Live. Since then, his fame has soared to even greater degrees thanks to his work on comedies such as Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, and Click. Besides making people laugh, however, the actor also knows his way around more dramatic stories, which is most apparent with his performances in Punch-Drunk Love and Uncut Gems.

Lionel Richie | Economics


The music industry is undoubtedly filled with talented figures. Of course, one of them is Lionel Richie. Born on June 20, 1949, Richie proved to be quite a skilled fellow even in his younger years. Throughout high school, he established himself as a star tennis player. Thanks to that, he eventually went to Tuskegee Institute under a tennis scholarship – he finished his studies with a major in economics.

For his start, Richie played with The Commodores. As the band’s saxophonist and singer, The Commodores eventually gained the public’s attention with hit records like Brick House and Machine Gun. The singer parted ways with the band a few years later and continued his career as a solo artist. Since then, he has had numerous achievements to his credit. Along with collaborating with singers like Kenny Rogers and Diana Ross, Richie also had the chance to co-write with Michael Jackson one of music’s timeless hits. We Are the World.

2 Chainz | Psychology

American songwriter, rapper, basketball player, and media personality 2 Chainz initially gained prestige for being the other half of the Southern hip hop duo Playaz Circle with his longtime friend and fellow rapper, Earl “Dolla Boy” Conyers. The duo is best known for their debut single, Duffle Bag Boy, featuring Lil Wayne. Eventually, Chainz went on venturing a solo career in 2012 after signing a record deal with Def Jam Recordings, an imprint of Universal Music Group, subsequently releasing multiple albums that spawned commercially successful singles like No Lie, Birthday Song, I’m Different, and Feds Watching, among many, in collaboration with different famous rappers and music artists such as Pharell Williams, Drake, and Kanye West, to mention a few.

Chainz attended North Clayton High School, where he played basketball and graduated second in his class. Later on, at college, he went to Alabama State University on a basketball scholarship and played for their team from 1995 to 1997. Ultimately, Chainz transferred to Virginia State University, where he obtained a degree in psychology.

Wanda Sykes | Marketing

Wanda Sykes gained recognition for her work on the television late-night talk show The Chris Rock Show as a writerfor which she was credited with a Primetime Emmy Award in 1999. Sykes is also known for her roles on sitcoms and comedy series such as The New Adventures of Old Christine on the CBS network, Curb Your Enthusiasm on the HBO network, and Black-ish on ABC network. At present, Sykes stars in the original series on Netflix, The Upshaws, which premiered in May 2021. The comedian actress is one of the 25 funniest people in America by Entertainment Weekly.

Besides her television appearances, Sykes also starred in several big-screen movies in the mid-2000s until recent years. This includes Monster-in-Law, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Evan Almighty, License to Wed, Over the Hedge, Barnyard, Brother Bear, and Rio. Early on in her life, Sykes attended Arundel High School. After graduating, she went to Hampton University and obtained a bachelor’s degreein marketing.

Spike Lee | Master of Fine Arts

The 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks production company, Spike Lee owned, has produced more than thirty-five films since 1983, with the comedy-drama She’s Gotta Have It as his directorial debut in 1986. Since then, Lee has written and directed multiple films such as Do the Right Thing, Mo’s Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, Crooklyn, Clockers, and Inside Man. Lee also got credited with several awards, including an Academy Award, Student Academy Award, BAFTA Award, two Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, and Cannes Grand Prix Award, to name a few.

Lee studied at John Dewey High School in the Gravesend neighborhood in Brooklyn. After graduating, he attended a historically black college in Atlanta, Morehouse College, where he made his first student film, Last Hustle in Brooklyn. He graduated with a degree in mass communication. Later on, Lee obtained his masters in fine arts from Tisch School of Arts in New York University.

Bradley Cooper | Master of Fine Arts

American filmmaker and actor Bradley Cooper made his film debut in the comedy film Wet Hot American Summer in 2001 and eventually gained recognition in the spy-action television series Alias. In 2009, Cooper got his breakthrough role in the 2009 comedy film The Hangover, which earned success commercially and was followed by two sequels. The actor received praises from critics for his performances in Limitless and The Place Beyond the Pines. Other movies in which Cooper starred include Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, American Sniper, and A Star Is born, among others. His films have grossed $11 billion globally, making him one of the highest-paid actors in the industry. Cooper was awarded eight Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, Tony Award, and BAFTA Award throughout his career.

After graduating high school in 1993, Cooper attended Villanova University for a year before transferring to Georgetown University and graduated with an English degree and later on obtained his master’s in fine arts from The New School.

Sigourney Weaver | Master of Fine Arts

Sigourney Weaver is widely considered a pioneer of action heroines in sci-fi films and notable for playing the character of Ellen Ripley in the Alien franchise, in which she was credited with an Academy Award nomination. Weaver is also regarded as one of the most significant female protagonists in cinema history. In 1988, she became the first person to win two Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress that same year for her performance in the films Working Girl and Gorillas in the Mist. Other films which Weaver starred in include The Ice Storm, Ghostbusters, Galaxy Queen, Avatar, Paul, and A Monster Calls, among many.

In 1971, the Alien star graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in Literature. While studying at Stanford, Weaver realized her passion for acting and later attended a well-known drama program at Yale University, eventually obtaining her masters in acting.

Meryl Streep | Master of Fine Arts

Often described as the best actress in her generation, Meryl Streep is mainly known for her acting versatility. She made her stage debut in Trelawny of the Wells. Later on, she was credited with a Tony Award nomination for her performances in A Memory of Two Mondays and 27 Wagons Full of Cotton in 1976. The following year, Meryl made her film debut in the American period drama film Julia. In 1978, the actress won a Primetime Emmy Award with a leading role in the television miniseries Holocaust. In years to come, Meryl’s career continued to flourish, starring in multiple films and television shows.

Meryl attended Oak Street School in high school and later went to Vassar College and graduated with a degree in drama and costume design in 1971. She furthered her studies at Yale University, where she received her master’s degree in acting.

Michael Shulman | Art History

Michael Shulman began his career in theatre and appeared in several musicals and plays, including Broadway’s Les Miserables, which ran for two years, Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, and two plays by John Guare. Shulman also was a cast in the television animated series Recess, in which he portrayed the character of the Hustler Kid. During that time, he started his recording career and eventually released five albums. Other television shows and big-screen films Shulman starred in were Little Man Tate, Wide Awake, and Party of Five. He was creditedwith a nomination for CableAce Award for his performance in HBO special’s Some Had to Be Benny in 1996, for which he became the youngest in the award’s history to be nominated.

As an avid supporter of arts, Shulman serves at The Public Theater as a board member of the Young Partners and a volunteer in a special access program for people with dementia, Meet Me at MoMA. He graduated from Yale University with a degree in art history.

Bridgit Mendler | Anthropology

Bridgit Mendler began her career in the animated Indian film The Legend of Buddha. Later on, she starred in films Alice Upside Down, The Clique, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, and Labor Pains. The actress then signed with Disney Channel and portrayed the character of Juliet van Heusen on Wizards of Waverly Place. Mendler landed a role in Disney’s Good Luck Charlie series following the favorable reception of her character. In 2015, she played the role of Candace in the television sitcom Undateable and Nashville as Ashley Willerman.

Apart from her acting, Mendler also released her debut studio album, Hello My Name Is…. It peaked at number thirty on the Billboard Hot 100. She stated that her biggest musical influence is Bob Dylan. Despite her success at a young age, she took a break from Hollywood to attend the University of Southern California and obtain a degreein anthropology.

Jamie Foxx | Classical Music and Composition

Widely acclaimed for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the 2004 biographical film Ray, Jamie Foxx became the second actor to attain all five major lead actor awards in the same performance. These were the Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, and Critic’s Choice Movie Award. That same year, he was credited with a nomination for Best Supporting Actor on the Academy Award for his performance in the film Collateral. In recent years, the multi-awarded actor has been the host and executive producer of the game show Beat Shazam on the Fox network.

Other films in which Foxx starred were Jarhead, Dreamgirls, Miami Vice, Django Unchained, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Baby Driver, and Annie. Previously, Foxx attended Terrel High School, where he received top grades and subsequently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the United States International Studies.

Shaquille O’Neal | Doctor of Education

American retired professional basketball player Shaquille O’Neal is regarded as among the greatest basketball players and centers of all time. The 7-foot-tall hoopster played a 19-year career in six different teams in the National Basketball Association and won four championships. In his college years, O’Neal played for the LSU Tigers before getting selected by the Orlando Magic at the 1992 NBA Draft as the first overall pick. He played with the Magic for four years, then signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers. And from then onward, O’Neal achieved a considerable degree of success in his professional basketball career.

Toward the end of his career, O’Neal worked on his doctorate in education at Barry University. In 2012, he received his Ed.D. degree in Human Resource Development. He then became a basketball analyst for the TNT network on its NBA games after his retirement in 2011. joining Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson.

Carrie Underwood | Mass Communication

Carrie Underwood rose to prominence after winning the singing competition in television, American Idol, in its fourth season in 2005. Later on, she became the only country artist to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with her debut single, Inside Your Heaven. The crossover single, Jesus, Take The Wheel furthered her debut album, Some Hearts, that same year. Underwood became the best-selling solo female artist in country music history, with her album becoming the fastest-selling debut album in Nielsen SoundScan’s history. Throughout her career, she was credited with three Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist.

Member of Honor Society played softball and basketball, and a cheerleader, Underwood attended Checotah High School and graduated as a salutatorian. Later on, she went to Northeastern State University in Oklahoma, graduating as magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication.

Aziz Ansari | Marketing

Widely known for his performance in the television series Parks and Recreation as Tom Haverford on NBC network, Aziz Ansari began performing comedy while studying at New York University in 2000. He later co-created and starred in the comedy sketch show Human Giant on MTV. As a stand-up comedian, Ansari made his first comedy special on Comedy Central Records in 2010, Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening. In the following years, he created and starred in the television series Master of None on Netflix since 2015. He was credited with two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award, becoming the first Asian American actor to receive such honors for acting on television. Ansari was included in Time’s 100 Most Influential People list in 2016.

In 2004, the comedian-actor graduated from the Stern School of Business of New York University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

Chris Martin | Greek and Latin

Chris Martin is widely known as the frontman of the alternative rock band Coldplay, as well as the co-founder. The band gained worldwide fame for the song Yellow in 2000, for which they received their first Grammy Award nomination. Coldplay sold more than 100 million albums, including A Rush of Blood to the Head and Viva la Vida, winning a Brit Award and a Grammy Award. Martin went on with his solo career and collaborated with several music artists such as Nelly Furtado, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, and DJ Avicii.

Apart from singing, Martin also made cameo appearances in a couple of television shows and big-screen films such as The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, Shaun of the Dead, and Bruno, to name a few. Back in college, Martin attended the University College London and graduated with a degree in Greek and Latin.

Rashida Jones | Religion and Philosophy

Best recognized for her roles in the quirky television comedies Parks and Recreation and The Office, Rashida Jones made her professional acting debut in the miniseries and subsequently starred in East of A, Myth America, and If These Walls Could Talk 2. In 2000, she landed a role in the drama series Boston Public, in which she appeared for twenty-six episodes. Jones went on starring in several television shows, including Death of a Dynasty, Little Black Book, Stella, Wanted, and Chapelle’s Show, to name a few.

Before she was offered the part in the television sitcom The Office, Jones considered leaving the entertainment industry to pursue a graduate degreein public policy. Jones did push through with her pursuit of education and graduated from Harvard University in 1997 with a degree in religion and philosophy. She joined the ensemble in 2006 and played the role of Karen Filippelli eventually.

Will Ferrell | Sports Information

American comedian, writer, producer, and actor Will Ferrell established himself in the mid-1990s as a cast of the sketch comedy Saturday Night Live on NBC network and subsequently starred in films such as Elf, Kicking & Screaming, Semi-Pro, and Land of the Lost, among others. In 2007, Ferrell founded the comedy website Funny or Die with his writing partner, Adam McKay. Other notable films Ferrell starred in were The Other Guys, The Campaign, Get Hard, Holmes & Watson, Curious George, and Megamind. Considered as a member of the Frat Pack and other actors such as Jack Black, Steve Carell, Vince Vaughn, and Ben Stiller, Ferell belongs to a generation of leading Hollywood comic actors that emerged in the late 1990s and 2000s.

After graduating from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in sports information, Ferrell decided not to do broadcasting, so he took jobs like a hotel valet and a Wells Fargo teller. Credit to his mother, he was encouraged to pursue something he liked and eventually became successful in the entertainment industry.

Rebel Wilson | Theatre and Performance Studies

Born as Rebel Melanie Elizabeth Wilson, Rebel Wilson made us laugh our butts off with her slapstick and witty acting in movies and TV series such as Bachelorette and Super Fun Night. A native of New South Wales, Australia, she had quite a unique childhood being the daughter of parents who are dog handlers. Wilson grew up with two sisters, Liberty and Annachi, and a brother named Ryot—they seem to have had rather notable names. Growing up, she stated that she was aloof as a child; this distance from other people had allowed her to observe them deeply, which developed her skills as a comedian.

If she failed as an actress, Wilson had a backup plan: practice law. Before she became a full-time comedian, she had been poring over law books and cases, a sight quite unusual to visualize. On top of her law degree, she also finished taking up Theatre and Performance Studies.

Lisa Kudrow | Biology

Compared to the role she played in Friends, Phoebe Buffay, who Lisa Kudrow plays, might just be the smartest among their bunch; before this role which fans will forever remember, Lisa had her earliest success in the film industry when she starred in Mad About You. Fuelled by her success in Friends, Lisa continued to grace her fans’ screens by appearing in Michele’s High School Reunion, The Opposite of Sex and Analyze This.

Having a physician as a father specializing in headaches has greatly influenced the actress to acquire a degree in Biology during her college days. In the next couple of years, Lisa has been busy reading journals and analyzing data as she worked for her father. It is worth noting that she was credited for their research that focused on left-handed people having a high probability of experiencing cluster headaches.

David Duchovny | English Literature

Born David William Duchovny, David Duchovny is perhaps more than what meets the eye of most people. In 1996, the X-Files actor credited a spot in the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World. He is also best known for starring in Californication. It is worth noting that the actor has earned Golden Globes from his roles on the shows mentioned above.

Aside from his piercing looks that can incite insecurity, the actor is also an academic beast (and was part of his college’s basketball and baseball varsity team!). David left Princeton University with a degree in English Literature, and he often spent his time writing poetry. In 1982, one of his works was recognized by the Academy of American Poets. However, a bachelor’s degree did not seem to be enough for David. He continued with his postgraduate studies at Yale University, where he became a Master’s degree holder.

Kourtney Kardashian | Theatre Arts

Born as Kourtney Mary Kardashian from a prominent family, Kourtney and her family have been subject to the scrutiny of American television viewers in that reality television series Keeping Up With The Kardashians. After the show’s success, Kourtney has appeared in several more shows, such as The Simple Life and Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive.

The Kardashians are not your typical American family. Despite their loads of money and large networks of connections and influences, Kourtney continued to push through college and acquired a degree in Theater Arts and a minor in Spanish. However, Kourtney found more success as a successful entrepreneur. Together with her sisters, they open DASH, which has clothes as their products. The reality TV star also runs Smooch, a children’s boutique also kept afloat by her mother and sister Kylie, who owns a cosmetics line.

James Franco | English (Major in Creative Writing)

If you have been an avid viewer of NBC, then James Franco would perhaps be a familiar face in 1999 where he starred in Freaks and Geeks—this role would be propelling him further into the world of acting. A few months after, he starred in his first film, Never Been Kissed and Whatever It Takes, in the following year. He was becoming better in his craft that in 2001, he won a Golden Globe for best actor for his role in TNT’s James Dean. Subsequently, he received an Academy Award Nomination for best actor for his performance in 127 Hours and a Golden Globe for The Disaster Artist.

Aside from loads of recognition he got from acting, Franco is also known for his eagerness to educate himself. He had enrolled in various colleges and held a few degrees to his name. In 2006, Franco obtained a degree in English major in creative writing from UCLA. Two years later, he sent himself to school again, taking up a Master of Fine Art in creative writing.

Ashton Kutcher | Biochemical Engineering

One of Hollywood’s most renowned, Ashton Kutcher, first permeated the screens when he starred in That 70s Show, where fans were compelled by his charming humor, handsome looks, and witty lines. It is worth noting that the actor is now estimated to have a net worth of $140 million which he earned from acting and investments in technology such as Skype, Foursquare, and Airbnb. He also became part of Twitter’s history after being the first user to gain a million followers. He also secured a spot in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

Ashton acquired a degree in biochemical engineering at the University of Iowa to help his brother, who had a heart condition. However, Ashton seemed to lean on the social side of student life. This sudden change eventually got him to join a modeling contest that would change the trajectory of his life.

Rowan Atkinson | Electrical Engineering

Society wouldn’t probably be this efficient if it wasn’t for the engineers such as Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell, who have taken large strides for society. However, history has also been graced with engineers who have contributed another way. Most notable is actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson.

His early days in show business started on both sides of the screen in Not the Nine O’Clock News, where he acted and wrote for the show simultaneously. In 1990, while taking up his Master’s degree in Oxford, Atkinson created Mr. Bean, who he believes to be, a child trapped in a man’s body. He eventually starred as Mr. Bean when it was developed as a TV series. It was successful that seven years after its release, the series was adapted into a film.

Hugh Laurie | Social Anthropology

Born James Hugh Laurie, his role as the exceptional Dr. Gregory House has propelled him to stardom. As the son of a general practitioner, this has perhaps helped him internalize his role effectively as a physician in the top medical series House. He excellently shadowed his British accent with his American accent convincing people that the latter was his natural accent. This ultimate feat in the show secured him two Golden Globes.

The famous Dr. House studied archeology and anthropology in Cambridge, where he garnered third-class honors. Laurie was also involved with the university’s rowing team, a sport he had in common with his father credited with an Olympic gold medal back in 1948. Not only that, but he is also a brilliant musician; he eventually had a prowess for percussive instruments and became a member of a celebrity band.

Freddie Highmore | Majors in Spanish and Arabic

While some of our favorite celebrities have become good actors through the test of time, Freddie Highmore has already been acting since he was seven years old. He is often recognized for his exemplary roles in two well-known series Bates Motel and The Good Doctor, in which he played more mature roles. Earlier movies that got recognized were Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. His acting skills did not go unnoticed. The child actor has been credited as Best Young Performer in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. He also had been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by a Television Actor.

Highmore has always prioritized his education. During the filming of Bates Motel, he was taking up Spanish and Arabic Major in Cambridge. It is worth noting that the actor received first-class honors for his academic efforts.

Mara Wilson | Arts

Mara Elizabeth Wilson, commonly known as Mara Wilson, is one of the industry’s self-made actresses—her desire for acting has been inherent since she was a child, but her parents were quite unsupportive. This did not hold her back. Mara tried her luck in commercials; eventually, she auditioned for Mrs. Doubtfire. Years after her debut, the actress had lead roles in Matilda and Thomas and the Magic Railroad. After retiring from acting, the actress found herself immersed in writing. In 2013, she wrote Sheeple which was produced for the New York International Fringe Festival. She has also written Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame, published in 2016.

When Wilson relocated to New York City, she pursued an Arts degree at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and graduated in 2009. It is worth noting that despite her university schedule, she still found time to star in her show Weren’t You That Girl?

Gabrielle Union | Sociology

Gabrielle Union’s radiance cannot be contained: she has the features of a goddess, and she is the personification of star quality. However, she did not originally plan to be an actress. During her college years, she was involved in a modeling agency, not as a model but as an intern in the office. After she graduated, Union was encouraged to try her luck in front of the cam, and luckily, the screens loved her. From modeling, she transitioned into acting and was cast in major movies such as Bring It On, That Game, and Breakin’ All the Rules. The actress has also become the face of Neutrogena in 2004 and has been with them ever since.

Union initially studied at the University of Nebraska, where she was a varsity athlete for the university’s summer team. She eventually transferred to UCLA and acquired a degree in Sociology.

Arnold Schwarzenegger | Business Administration and Marketing

There is no other person who can easily lift the weight of the state of California as easily as lifting heavy dumbbells; this person is none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is most recognized as a former professional bodybuilder, actor, and politician, among others. He was also inaugurated as the 38th Governor of California, a feat that he achieved because he did not listen to his critics. In fact, prior to his career in politics, he was a Hollywood action star. Schwarzenegger became known for starring in the films The Terminator, Conan the Barbarian, Commando, and Predator.

Schwarzenegger, in his early days, dedicated most of his time to weightlifting and bodybuilding. He even studied anatomy and physiology to have a better understanding of how his body works. The bodybuilder applied the same discipline and determination in acquiring his degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin.

Rooney Mara | Psychology, International Social Policy, and Nonprofits

Patricia Rooney Mara, commonly known as Rooney Mara, is one of Hollywood’s most underrated actresses. Mara had her first film in 2005 and had been in several more films, including Nightmare on Elm Street and The Social Network. The actress is also cast in Stieg Larsson’s film adaption of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

As a student, Mara was always the curious and adventurous one. After she finished high school, Mara flew to Peru and Bolivia for four months to participate in Travelling School. When she returned, the actress acquired a degree in psychology and international social policy and nonprofits from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Aside from acting, Mara is known to take part in humanitarian work. Her charity is mainly focused on Kibera, Nairobi. She primarily works with orphans from the slums of Nairobi.

Gerard Butler | Law

Gerard Butler is most renowned for playing King Leonidas of Sparta in the movie 300. As a teenager, the 300 actors loved theater and film, but he was too anxious that acting might not be the most realistic career. In recognizing this, Butler enrolled in the University of Glasgow to study law. He was an outstanding student who became president of the law society and was credited with a handful of honors. After finishing college, Butler decided to take a break and travel for a year.

After his relatively short break, Butler got employed at one of Edinburgh’s top law firms only to despise the job and hate it in the long run. His yearning to be an actor was triggered when he went to the Edinburgh Film Festival and watched a stage production of Trainspotting. From there, the course of the actor’s life changed drastically.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson | Criminology and Physiology

Dwayne Johnson, commonly known as “The Rock,” is one of the celebrated wrestlers in the US. Dwayne started as a football player, but an injury quickly ended his college career; this significant moment in his life would lead him into what he was presently famous for—a WWE wrestler. Aside from wrestling, The Rock channeled his fame to acting, where he appeared in movies such as The Mummy Returns, Tooth Fairy, The Fast and the Furious, and Jumanji.

During his college days, he dedicated most of his time to playing football. His efforts paid out when the University of Miami, Dwayne’s university, won a national championship. The Rock signed up for college football while acquiring a degree in Criminology and Physiology. He aimed to be a professional football player. Unfortunately, Dwayne was cut off from the Canadian team because of his extensive injuries.

Brooke Shields | Romance Languages

Initially a child model, Brooke Shields gained critical acclaim when she was just 12 years old. She has played several roles in different movies. In the 1980s, Shields took part in movies like Endless Love and Blue Lagoon. While acting, she continued her modeling gig late into her teenage years.

In 1983, Shields realized she wanted to finish school, and so she attended Princeton University and graduated with a degree in Romance Languages. This course focuses on a comprehensive survey and study of Italian, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Spanish, including its linguistics, literature, and culture. What does this tell us? Shields has a profound understanding of the cultures of other nations, something that is not common in some monolingual nations. After graduating, Shields returned to acting and then appeared on Suddenly Susan, which ran from 1996 until 2000.

David Spade | Business

We can consider David Spade as one of the sitcom princes since many of his engagements were with long-running shows such as Rules of Engagement and Just Shoot Me! He was also a cast member of the iconic Saturday Night Live!, which served as the launchpad for his acting career later on. Spade’s comedic style is more on self-deprecation and sarcasm. Also, his work has not gone unnoticed as the actor was nominated for both a Primetime Emmy and two Golden Globes.

Spade is a graduate of Arizona University, finishing with a diploma in Business. It is not known whether he used this particular skill set to establish his own company, but if he did, we know he would not need a business loan. What we do know is that when Spade makes a decision, he is very definitive of what he wants and his end goals. Hence, most of his movies and shows are commercial successes.

“Weird Al” Yankovic | Architecture

Matthew Yankovic, better known as Weird Al, is a singer, actor, and producer known for his funny music that typically parodies pop culture or other songs. A usual accompaniment in most of his songs is his trademark accordion. The singer has sold more than 12 million songs since 1976, which might not be a huge number compared to his contemporaries, but on top of his record sales, he has also appeared on more than 1,000 live shows and 150 parody songs.

Now you might think that Weird Al has formal music training, but that is not so. When he was in college, he actually studied architecture at the prestigious California Polytechnic State University. It appears the supposed-to-be architect did not make use of his diploma and instead delved right away into music-making. If he did, we can probably predict many celebrities dropping their investment money so that he could design their homes, right?

Brian May | Mathematics and Physics

Along with Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor, Brian May is one of the founders of the band Queen. As we know, Queen has become one of the well-loved bands in history. It is primarily associated with the single “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which has been a classic. The brains behind many of the songs of the band, like We Will Rock You, Hammer to Fall, and The Show Must Go On, is none other than May.

Now, who says that musicians cannot be academics, too? May is a graduate of mathematics, physics and has since been an astrophysicist. He is also a university administrator. The singer had to make a decision in 1974 when Queen was achieving commercial success—continue his doctoral degree or pursue his musical career. We know the answer to that question, and of course, we credit May for all the efforts he made. Even then, he has co-authored peer-reviewed articles, which makes him awesome!

Danica McKellar | Mathematics

Actress and education advocate Danica McKellar played Winnie Cooper in the TV series The Wonder Years, which aired from 1988 to 1993. Her prominence rose during this time, and she snatched more projects, including voicing Miss Martian in the superhero series Young Justice. In addition to acting, McKellar is also a gifted writer, authoring six non-fiction books, all of which are Math related. She wanted girls to have confidence in the subject, and as a graduate herself, she was in the best position to make that advocacy.

Her passion for Math began when she was still taking the course in college. She made investments in making sure she has good grades, and despite that, the mathematician was surprised that she graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 1998. McKellar took time off from acting back in 1993 to pursue this passion, and her professors noticed her right away. One even asked her to co-author a paper now called the Chayes–McKellar–Winn theorem.

Hill Harper | Law

A friend to former US President Barack Obama, Hill Harper was born to a family of doctors. He did not pursue a diploma in the medical field, however, and instead delved into acting. He moved to Los Angeles, and in 1993, he received a recurring role in the series Married… with Children. Harper’s fame became evident as he took on more acting parts in movies like He Got Game and Hav Plenty. The nearest he became to becoming a doctor was when he played the role of a coroner in CSI: New York.

What is impressive about Harper is he actually has three diplomas from three Ivy League schools—including a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. So, he is a lawyer, an actor, and many more. All those credentials aside, Harper was also named one of the Sexiest Men Alive twice, in 2004 and in 2014. Isn’t that cool?

Harry Hill | Medicine

Perrier Award winner Harry Hill is someone who deserves to be given credit for all the work he has put in. Over the years, he has been a comedian, a writer, and a TV presenter. His most memorable project was as the host of Harry Hill’s TV Burp, which aired from 2001 to 2012. After this show ended, Hill appeared in a film, The Harry Hill Movie.

What may come as a surprise is that Hill actually has a medical license after graduating from St. George’s University of London. Prior to pursuing his lifelong career in the entertainment industry, he was a house officer at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary. He quit because he felt that he was not in control of what was going on. Despite being away from the practice for so long, he is still listed on the General Medical Council’s list of Registered Medical Practitioners, so we still think that it’s only appropriate to call him Dr. Hill.

Nicky Wire | Politics

Nicholas Allen Jones, also professionally known as Nicky Wire, is an incredibly talented Welsh musician. Nicky is best known as the bassist and occasional vocalist of the alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers. He also served as the co-writer for the band’s lyrics from 1989 to 1995, and he became the primary lyricist for the band from 1995 onward. Besides his work with the band, he was also able to release a solo album back in 2006.

Wire’s knack for music is undeniable, but one interesting fact about him is that he studied politics at university. He graduated with a BSc in Politics from his time at Swansea University back in 1990. You could certainly tell his exceptional intelligence just by listening to his lyrics, which were heavily influenced by his degree. He certainly used his education to his advantage, and his contributions to his band enabled them to win eight Q awards, four BRIT awards, and 11 NME Awards.

Dennis Bergkamp | Mechanical Engineering

Dennis Bergkamp is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in professional football. Today, Bergkamp is a coach, but he’s had his fair share of success in the sport as a player. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of his generation during his playing days. The former football player has received many accolades throughout his career, and he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame and the Premier League Hall of Fame.

An interesting fact about this football legend is that he holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering. We certainly didn’t expect this Arsenal legend to be different from the “pretty but dumb” stereotype that footballers are known for. However, he studied Mechanical Engineering, and he graduated from the University of Bath while playing for the London club. Without a doubt, Bergkamp’s educational attainment improves the reputation of intellectual footballers.

Benedict Cumberbatch | Master of Fine Arts in Classical Acting

Benedict Cumberbatch is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated actors in the film industry today. This renowned actor appeared in several movies, receiving a good number of awards and nominations for his talent in acting. Cumberbatch’s career accolades include nominations for an Oscar, Golden Globe, and a BAFTA nomination. As if those weren’t enough, he also received three nominations for a Primetime Emmy and Academy Award.

It’s reasonable to speculate that his success in acting is due to the fact that Cumberbatch holds a master’s degree in classical acting after training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He took up classical acting after he studied drama at Manchester University. You could say that the decision to pursue more knowledge paid off for him, as he’s one of the most decorated actors in the film industry today.

Tom Hiddleston | Classical Studies & Acting

Tom Hiddleston is certainly one of the most popular actors today. This English actor has already appeared in several films, and he’s best known for his role as Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Besides appearing in many films, Hiddleston also managed to receive several accolades, including a Laurence Olivier Award, a Tony Award, and a Golden Globe Award. Without a doubt, he’s one of the brightest stars in the film industry today.

An interesting fact about the actor is that he’s not just a renowned actor, but he’s also incredibly well-educated as he holds a double first in Classics, which he got from the University of Cambridge. Hiddleston later proceeded to pursue his studies in acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Without a doubt, the degrees that he holds are a testament to his excellence as an actor and knowledge as a man.

Eddie Redmayne | Art History

Another English actor on our list is Eddie Redmayne. He appeared in several films, most notably in movies like The Theory of Everything, My Week with Marilyn, The Good Sheperd, and many more. He’s also the recipient of several accolades, including a Tony Award, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award. You could definitely say that Redmayne is one of the best actors in the entertainment industry today!

An interesting fact about Redmayne is that he’s bright and incredibly well-educated. He received a degree in Art History during his time at Trinity College, Cambridge. Interestingly, he graduated with 2:1 Honours from the prestigious university back in 2003. Redmayne was also a member of the University Pitt Club while at Cambridge, and you could say that he struck out the perfect balance between academics and extra-curricular activities.

Emma Thompson | English Literature & Master of Arts

Emma Thompson isn’t just one of the most iconic actresses in the entire film industry, as she’s also one of the most acclaimed actresses in Britain. She has been able to cultivate an illustrious acting career filled with numerous appearances in films like Nanny McPhee, the Harry Potter franchise, Cruella, Last Chance Harvey, and many more. She’s also one of the most decorated actresses as she has two Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, a Primetime Emmy, and two British Academy Film Awards under her belt.

You could make the case that Thompson’s exceptional acting prowess is a direct product of her education. She holds a Master of Arts degree from Newnham College in Cambridge. The actress also took up and studied English Literature during her time in Cambridge. Besides being an incredibly talented actress, there certainly isn’t any doubt that she’s a well-educated individual.

Woody Harrelson | Theater And English

Before making his way to the spotlight, Woody Harrelson spent some time in school. At that point, his interest in acting was already starting to show. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theater and English, Woody wasted no time beginning his acting career.

During his early years in the entertainment industry, the actor was often regarded for his role as Woody Boyd in the hit TV show Cheers. Since then, he has had the chance to work on other projects such as Wildcats, Indecent Proposal, and The People vs. Larry Flynt, which earned him a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination. With his acting career showing no signs of stopping anytime soon, Woody recently garnered even more recognition for his part in films like Zombieland, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Highwaymen, and War for the Planet of the Apes.

Hugh Grant | English Literature

Like many of us, Hugh Grant has an impressive set of skills. He played a couple of sports throughout his high school years, notably football, rugby, and cricket. Along the way, he also showcased his academic prowess when he represented his school in the Top of the Form quiz show. By the time he enrolled at Oxford’s New College, Grant found his interest in acting.

After graduating with a degree in English literature, his career found its momentum around the late 1980s, thanks to his performance in 1987’s Maurice, followed by more acclaim for his work in Sense and Sensibility and Restoration, both released in 1995. Initially praised for his charming and romantic persona, the actor has since ventured on to more typecast-breaking roles. This includes his stint in the family comedy Paddington 2, the spy film titled The Man from UNCLE, and the psychological thriller series The Undoing.

Emmy Rossum | Art History And French

At a young age, Emmy Rossum was already showcasing the makings of a talented singer. Her earlier stints were alongside the Metropolitan Opera, which she joined when she was just seven years old. Along the way, though, she discovered another talent – acting.

After taking a couple of online classes programmed to help her finish her high school studies, Rossum concluded her years in school by graduating from Columbia University, where she studied French and Art History. Along with her time in acting school, she got her on-screen debut with a role in the 1996 TV film Grace & Glorie. While many filmgoers might recognize her for her stint on the not-so-favored Dragonball Evolution, Rossum has also done plenty of highly acclaimed projects over the years. Some titles worth noting are The Day After Tomorrow, Shameless, Beautiful Creatures, and The Phantom of the Opera.

Wentworth Miller | English

While his parents found a living in education, his mother a special education teacher and his father a teacher and lawyer, Wentworth Miller opted for a career in acting. Well, after finishing his studies at Princeton University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English, he did just that.

Like many of his colleagues, Miller’s rise to stardom was anything but easy. While it may have been a rough journey, the actor pushed through, nonetheless. Debuting in a 1998 Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, Miller is now most known for his performance as Michael Scofield in the TV series Prison Break. Since then, while continuing with his acting career, he has also dabbled in behind-the-scenes work, notably as a scriptwriter. With that said, his writing debut was for 2013’s Park Chan-wook-directed psychological thriller, Stoker. He penned the script under the name Ted Foulke.

Rachel Weisz | English

Even before making her way to the spotlight, Rachel Weisz was already attracting plenty of public attention. Along with landing a couple of modeling gigs when she was 14 years old, she was also close to starring alongside Richard Gere in the 1985 film, King David but ultimately turned the offer down. Not long after, she majored in English at Cambridge’s Trinity Hall. Throughout her college years, she also worked on some student productions, beginning her journey in becoming an established actress.

Debuting with performances on stage plays and TV shows, Weisz got her film debut in 1994 with a part in Death Machine. Nowadays, though, she is often associated with her on-screen persona in The Mummy movies. With that said, a couple of other projects she’s landed acting credits for include The Bourne Legacy, The Favourite, Enemy at the Gates, and The Constant Gardener, which won her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Karlie Kloss | Currently Studying At Gallatin School Of Individualized Study

There’s always some sort of connection tying all the things in this world together. Well, such was the case for Karlie Kloss, who first spent some time taking ballet classes throughout her childhood. While she is now most known as one of the industry’s famous fashion models, she still credits her time as a ballerina for helping her develop her signature runway walk.

Through the years, Kloss has had the chance to work with big-name fashion brands like Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Uniqlo, and Calvin Klein. Besides gracing the runway, though, she also has a couple of neat tricks on her sleeve. For starters, she’s making her way to becoming a skilled computer programmer. Along with establishing scholarships for young girls showing a passion for software engineering and computer science, Kloss also recently went back to school. In 2015, she enrolled at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, an institution that allows her to take just about any course she’s interested in.

Lily Collins | Broadcast Journalism

Although her father is the world-famous singer Phil Collins, Lily Collins opted for a different career path.

She began her acting career before she even knew a thing or two about student loans. At two years old, she debuted with a role on the TV series Growing Pains. A few years later, Collins garnered widespread recognition thanks to her performance in the Sandra Bullock-led movie The Blind Side. Since then, she has made quite a name for herself under the spotlight, starring in subsequent projects such as Priest, Abduction, Love, Rosie, To The Bone, and Mank. Besides appearing in front of the camera, the actress has also tried her hand at other endeavors. Throughout her teens, she wrote some articles for a couple of magazines. She also covered the 2008 US presidential for Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick the President series. Good to know her time studying broadcast journalism came in handy.

Jodie Foster | African-American Literature

At this point, just about everyone can recognize Jodie Foster, and that’s thanks to her amazing performance in the iconic 1991 psychological horror flick The Silence of the Lambs. Beginning her career as a child model, she landed her acting debut with a part in the 1968 TV sitcom Mayberry RFD. With that said, other projects she’s landed an acting credit for include Taxi Driver, Anna and the King, Flightplan, and Panic Room.

More often than not, internalizing a character requires plenty of brainpower, which this actress surely has plenty of. After learning how to read at just three years old, Foster eventually became fluent in the French language. She was also quite a knowledgeable student. After all, not only did she graduate high school as a valedictorian, but she also finished college as a magna cum laude, majoring in African-American literature.

Conan O’Brien | History & Literature

Even during his years in school, Conan O’Brien already had the makings of an entertainer. Throughout high school, he was the managing editor of the school newspaper. In addition, he wrote a short story that won a national contest. By the time he went to Harvard University, O’Brien played drums for a band and served as a writer for the humor magazine Harvard Lampoon. To top it off, he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in History and Literature.

Most of his earlier stints in the entertainment industry were as a writer, though he’s also had the chance to perform with improvisational comedy groups. After working as a writer for Saturday Night Live, O’Brien lent his comedic chops to the animated show The Simpsons. Nowadays, though, it goes without saying that he has garnered even more fame as a talk show host for programs like The Tonight Show and Conan.

Jake Gyllenhaal | Philosophy And Eastern Religions

Although his parents are both experienced figures in the filmmaking business, with his father being a director and his mother a producer/screenwriter, it took some time before Jake Gyllenhaal made it to the spotlight. While he did land a spot in a couple of papa Gyllenhaal’s projects, Jake’s career only went swinging by the time he was already in his late teens.

Born on December 19, 1980, he got his first big break with an acting credit in the 1999 film October Sky. Since then, he’s worked on numerous notable films such as Donnie Darko, Zodiac, Prisoners, and Nightcrawler. Before becoming an established name under the spotlight, however, the actor spent some time studying philosophy and Eastern religions at Columbia University, the same institution his mother graduated from. Although he only stayed for two years before dropping out, the actor is still more than enthusiastic about finishing his course. Better late than never, right?

Tilda Swinton | Social And Political Sciences

The entertainment industry is undoubtedly filled with talented figures from around the world. Hailing from Scotland, we have Tilda Swinton, who started her journey into the acting scene during her college years.

After graduating from the University of Cambridge’s New Hall as a Social and Political Sciences major, the actress continued her journey by joining the Royal Shakespeare Company. A few years later, Swinton landed more and more roles for on-screen projects. Often known for her performance in indie films and blockbuster features, a couple of notable titles include Vanilla Sky, The Chronicles of Narnia movies, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Michael Clayton. For the latter, she won an Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress. Besides gracing the big screens, though, this actress has also made investments in other things, notably her stints in the fashion scene and the art community.

Viggo Mortensen | Spanish Studies And Politics

Through the years, the entertainment industry has spent impressive portions of its investment money adapting many famous novels, video games, and comic books into movies or TV shows. Of course, one of the most successful, and arguably the most beloved, would be the Lord of the Rings films.

The trilogy revolves around a group of heroes, one of which is Aragorn, amazingly portrayed by Viggo Mortensen. After finishing his studies at St. Lawrence University as a Spanish studies and politics major, he first worked as a truck driver. He also sold flowers along the way before finally shifting his sights to an acting career. While he is now most recognized as the Strider in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Tolkien’s books, other notable films the actor has worked on through the years include Captain Fantastic, A History of Violence, A Dangerous Method, and Green Book.

Andy Serkis | Visual Arts And Theater

Along with the advancements in technology, filmmaking has had more than its fair share of milestones and achievements through the years. One such example, of course, would be the usage of motion capture technology. For this, one person we can give credit to is none other than Andy Serkis.

While studying visual arts and theater at Lancaster University, he tried his hand in a couple of stage productions. Although he initially only did behind-the-scenes work, Serkis eventually gave acting a shot. He began his journey as a professional actor after graduating in 1985. Nowadays, the actor is most known for his performance capture work on characters such as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, Caesar in the Planet of the Apes films, and King Kong in its eponymous film. With that said, Serkis is also a filmmaker set to direct the upcoming 2021 flick, Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

Cate Blanchett | Bachelor Of Fine Arts

While she may have plenty of hobbies and interests, it’s safe to say none of them could top the high degree of passion she had for acting. By the time she went to college, Cate Blanchett had discovered her fondness for performing on stage. She eventually finished her studies at Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Soon after, she began her professional career.

Like many of her colleagues, Blanchett started as a stage actress, appearing in productions like Hamlet and Electra. Since then, she has widened her horizons to more film roles, with the most notable titles being The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Thor: Ragnarok, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Now often regarded as one of the industry’s greatest stars, Blanchett has also received numerous awards along the way, including three Golden Globes, two Oscars, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Ian McKellen | English Literature

At this point, it would be quite challenging to find someone who hasn’t heard of Ian McKellen before. Born on May 25, 1939, he discovered his love for acting at a young age. This was due to his parents bringing him along to a theater production of Peter Pan when he was three years old. Along with watching a couple of other plays, he eventually tried his hand at acting.

While studying English literature at Cambridge’s St. Catharine’s College, McKellen had appeared in more than a couple of stage productions, many of which, to this day, are still considered among the best performances in the theater community. Besides the stage, though, the actor has undoubtedly garnered worldwide acclaim for his work in movies. This, of course, is thanks to his acting credit as Magneto in the X-Men films and Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings movies.

Dan Stevens | English Literature

English actor Dan Stevens drew international attention for his role in the acclaimed series Downton Abbey. From 2017 to 2019, he appeared in the critically acclaimed series Legion. Outside acting, Stevens has also narrated more than 30 audiobooks, including Wolf Hall, War Horse, and Casino Royale. He also maintains an interest in literature and writing as he serves as editor-at-large for the online quarterly publication The Junket, which he co-founded with his friends in 2011.

Having said that, the actor has a background in English Literature as he earned his degree at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge, Stevens was a member of the drama club Footlights with Tim Key, Stefan Golaszewski, and Mark Watson. When he performed at a Marlowe Society production of Macbeth, he was spotted by director Peter Hall, who cast him in his touring production of As You Like It as Orlando.

Edward Norton | History

Actor and filmmaker Edward Norton was drawn to theatrical productions at an early age. At age five, he saw a musical at the Columbia Center with his parents, which sparked his interest in the theater. He reportedly enjoyed watching movies with his father as a pre-teen but later shared that he was fascinated more with filmmaking than acting. After graduating from Yale College with a degree in history, he worked for several months in Japan before relocating to New York to pursue an acting career. He garnered immediate recognition for his debut role in Primal Fear, for which he earned a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination.

In the 2000s, Norton emerged as a filmmaker. He launched the production company Class 5 Films and was director and producer of the movies Keeping the Faith and The Painted Veil, among many others. Until today, he continues with his acting career.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt | History, Literature, and French Poetry

American actor, filmmaker, and singer Joseph Gordon-Levitt received various accolades for his acting work. He is also the founder of HitRecord, an online media platform whose projects won him two Primetime Emmy Awards. Gordon-Levitt began his show business career as a child, appearing in movies such as A River Runs Through It. After starring in the hit teen film 10 Things I Hate About You and the comedy 3rd Rock from the Sun, he decided to take a break from Hollywood in 2000.

The actor decided to attend Columbia University to earn a degree in History, Literature, and French Poetry. However, during his fourth year at the university, he dropped out of school and went back to acting. Although he was close to graduating, he made the conscious decision to produce quality films, such as 500 Days of Summer and Snowden, which brought him to prominence.