Recent TV shows like “The Big Bang Theory” have made geeks popular. The show changed the very meaning of being geeky and nerdy, and these terms are no longer reserved for Star Wars fans and Dungeons & Dragons addicts. The word “geek” is now used to describe just about anyone who loves science, comic books, technology and fantasy books or movies. True intellectual values are definitely back in style, and we are all happy that being smart is finally considered cool. There are even a lot of celebrities who fit the “nerd” or “geek” description perfectly.
It’s easy to think of celebrities as spoiled and dimwitted because they earn enormous amounts of money doing jobs that most people consider fun and easy. We often imagine them doing nothing but acting singing, playing sports and enjoying themselves on some beautiful island half the time, but the reality is much different.
When they’re not doing charity work and fighting for different causes, many celebrities indulge in some fairly nerdy behaviour. A lot of them are real geeks, and some of them are even scientists.
See Also: Top 10 Celebrities with PhDs
1. Lisa Kudrow
Most famous for the role of Phoebe in the popular TV show “Friends”, Lisa Kudrow has always been associated with the character she played – eccentric and a bit dim. However, in real life, she is quite a different person.
She was brought up in a middle-class Jewish family, and enrolled in Vassar College, where she eventually earned a master’s degree in biology. She studied neuroscience and did some research on hemispheric dominance and headache types with her father. After 8 years in science, she decided to pursue an acting career, and we are grateful for that, because without her, the “Friends” cast just wouldn’t have that special something that we all know and love.
Lisa Kudrow, together with her friends and costars, Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox, even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2005, as the highest paid actresses of all time.
2. Mayim Bialik
Mayim Bialik gained worldwide fame playing Amy Farrah Fowler, a talented neuroscientist, on the popular TV show “The Big Bang Theory”. However, I was quite surprised to find out that Mayim has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA in real life, which makes her a bit overqualified for the role she plays. She specialized in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in adolescents with Prader-Willi syndrome.
As a mother of two, Mayim published a book on parenting in 2012, which focuses on parent-child bonding affected by hormones. She has also shown us that you don’t have to create scandals to become popular, all you need is brains and talent.
3. Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman is a Harvard graduate with a degree in psychology, and she is fluent in Japanese, German, French, Hebrew and Arabic. Can you get any geekier than that? I don’t think so.
She started modeling when she was only 11 years old, and soon after moved on to acting. She had to balance school and acting for most of her life and did an incredibly good job of it. Natalie even missed the premiere of “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace”, because she needed to study for her exams.
While studying at Harvard, she prepared for several big movie roles, and still had time for extracurricular activities such as dance, ballet and jazz. After graduating as a physician, she took some additional courses at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
This Academy Award-winning actress was invited to Columbia University to speak on terrorism and antiterrorism after her role in “V for Vendetta,” as she is also a scientific journalist and political activist. She is also heavily involved in charity work which only makes us wonder how this geek hottie does it all?
4. Dolph Lundgren
We all know Dolph Lundgren as the Russian boxer Ivan Drago from “Rocky IV”, He-Man, and the first man to play Frank Castle, a.k.a. “The Punisher”, on the big screen. The Swedish actor was one of the most prolific action heroes of the 80’s and 90’s, and, as such, is famous for his masculine body and roles in numerous action movies. This is why he was in the “Expendables 2” and “Expendables 3” alongside Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bruce Willis.
He’s also a director, screenwriter, producer and a talented martial artist, but the thing that really surprises people is the fact that he is actually a chemical engineer by trade. Many celebrities are praised for their intelligence and geekiness, but you won’t find Dolph on too many lists. This is a shame, because he graduated from the Royal Institute of Technology, and got his master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney, after which he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to MIT, which he declined in order to pursue an acting career.
So, the guy you always thought of as the masculine action movie star is actually much more than that. Oh, he is also fluent in French, Swedish, German, Italian and English Not bad!
5. Rosario Dawson
One of the sexiest Hollywood actresses of the past few decades, Rosario Dawson, is famous for “Kids”, “Men in Black II”, “25th Hour”, “Sin City”, “Unstoppable”, and “Trance”. However, she is also probably one of the biggest fans of Star Trek in Hollywood, and she’s fluent in Klingon, which gives her some serious nerd cred. Like that wasn’t enough, to earn her a place on this list, she has even created her own comic book, “Occult Crimes Taskforce”.
Rosario wanted to become a marine biologist, but she quickly discovered that she had a talent for acting and singing, and later attended “The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute.” You can be geeky, but it’s hard to be speaking Klingon and writing your own comic book geeky.
6. Brian May
Founder of the legendary rock band “Queen” and one of the best guitarists in the world, Brian May is also an astrophysicist. He graduated from the Imperial College of London in the 70’s, and he eventually got his Ph.D. in astrophysics in 2005, after completing his thesis on “Motions of Interplanetary Dust”.
While he was making history with Queen, he managed to co-author two scientific papers and the famous book “Bang! - The Complete History of the Universe”. His life story really makes us question what we’re doing with own lives. However, it is nice to know that it’s never too late to go back to school.
There are many other celebrities who are secretly geeky, e.g. beautiful actresses and video game addicts Megan Fox and Mila Kunis, as well as one of the hottest models of all time, Cindy Crawford, who was offered a chemical engineering scholarship. Another honorable mention is Vin Diesel, who has been playing Dungeons and Dragons for over 20 years, and even started his own video game development company.
However, these six celebrities are a real surprise, especially Dolph Lundgren, who usually plays two-dimensional action heroes or villains. Celebrities really know how to surprise us, and being geeky is a much better way to get us talking about them than going on drug-fueled rampages.