Hollywood stars are rarely known for their intellect, but not all of Tinseltown’s glamorous leading ladies are just pretty faces. Some excelled at school before shunning their text books for the glitz of Hollywood, while others have successfully managed to combine studying with red carpet commitments.Then there’s the stars who have opted to return to school. Here we reveal some of the entertainment world’s most glamorous cerebral celebrities.
School Report: Movie beauty Jessica (34) graduated from high school at the age of 16 with above average grades. Her education then continued at the Atlantic Theatre Company, where she studied under actor William H Macy and his wife, Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman. It is only relatively recently that the Dark Angel actress has furthered her learning. Studying business under the guidance of entrepreneurs has made her eco-friendly baby product company, The Honest Co, a billion-dollar empire.
Jessica Says: “Business uses an entirely different side of my brain. At first, people expected nothing from me. But I took that ‘I have nothing to lose’ attitude from acting and tried to trust my gut.”
School Report: The actress skipped the premiere of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace so she could revise for her high school exams, and later completed a degree in psychology at the prestigious Harvard College. Politically active, the Jewish star (34)was particularly vocal on Middle East politics and later appeared as a guest lecturer on a Columbia University course on terrorism. She speaks Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese, German and French.
Natalie Says: “I don’t care if college ruins my career. I’d rather be smart than a star.”
School Report: The Harry Potter star had no trouble combining her hectic filming schedule and schoolwork as a rising teenage star. The former public schoolgirl was tutored for around five hours a day while on set. Her focus on both stardom and studies helped her achieve A grades right through school. But Emma’s celebrity lifestyle got the better of her academic ambitions for a while. After attending Brown University in the US for 18 months, she announced she was taking a break in March 2011 to focus on promoting the final Harry Potter film. She had also been named as the new face of Lancôme – following in the footsteps of Julia Roberts, Penélope Cruz, Kate Winslet and Anne Hathaway – which took her away from academia. But she finally returned to what she and her character Hermione both love – books! Starting afresh at Oxford University, Emma (25) later returned to the US to complete her studies before graduating in 2014 with a degree in English literature.
Emma Says: “I am so glad that I took the time to do it. I have the whole of the rest of my life to work, but I was still in a stage where I had so much to learn. I was developing and changing, and I needed space. Living in another country was a really valuable lesson [in] knowing how to take care of myself. It also meant I was able to have a kind of normal existence for a while, that I can’t really have when I am working. Just having an education is such a valuable asset. It’s something that will make my life richer, [both] personally and professionally.”
School Report: Gifted child Sharon (57) was sent to university at the tender age of 15. But her success in local beauty pageants convinced her to quit and pursue a modelling and acting career in New York. She has since been handed an honorary degree for her charity and humanitarian work. The Basic Instinct star also has an unusually high IQ, reportedly between 148 and 154. But despite claiming to be a member of high IQ society Mensa throughout much of her career, she finally admitted this was not true in 2002. The organisation’s national marketing director, however, spoke out publicly at the time, claiming, “My gut feeling is that she would definitely qualify.”
Sharon Says: “We Barbie dolls are not supposed to behave the way I do.”
School Report: As the daughter of concert violinist Caroline Pike and opera singer Julian Pike, this former Bond girl and Gone Girl star spent much of her childhood travelling through Europe. The experience was not wasted, as she now speaks fluent French and German. The young Rosamund (now 36)also won a scholarship to the prestigious Badminton School and went on to Wadham College, Oxford, to study English literature. She quit university to apply for drama schools, but returned after being rejected by them all. Having completed her degree, she then focused on acting.
Rosamund Says: “I’m probably a better actress than an academic.”