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Another Top 10 Smartest Celebrities

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Sean Newman Not all celebrities are lucky to have the limelight; these celebrities are genius beyond their chosen craft of acting, music, or comedy! Whether they speak multiple languages like Edward Norton (Japanese) or Geena Davis (Swedish), or they have actual jobs as doctors like Ken Jeong (Community, Dr. Ken). Also, did you know that Quentin Tarantino has an IQ as high as Stephen Hawking? Or what about Matt Damon submitting scenes from what would become Good Will Hunting as homework?

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Another Top 10 Smartest Celebrities

These folks have their fair share of talents, and brains are one of them. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for another top 10 smartest celebrities.

For this list, we’ve looked at celebrities who are far more than just a pretty face. However, those who achieved fame as a direct result of their intelligence do not qualify. In short, the intelligence of contenders should not be what they are most famous for. That being said, if your favorite Brainiac celebrity didn’t make our list, be sure to check out the original list for the top 10 smartest celebrities.

#10: Matt Damon

Does life imitate art or does art imitate life? A young Matt Damon may suggest the latter as his breakout work in Good Will Hunting told the story of an incredibly talented young man forced to face his past, and live up to his potential at the prestigious Harvard University. Damon actually began working on the award-winning screenplay during a playwriting class he was taking at, you guessed it… Harvard University. This of course skyrocketed him to fame, and his light has hardly dimmed since then, but cut short his studies, technically making Damon just short of being a college grad. Take a look past the charisma and good looks, and you’ll find a well-spoken, very bright man as well.

#9: Edward Norton

The first rule of Fight Club, is you do not talk about Fight Club. Norton seemingly applied this logic to Yale, as he’s modestly allowed this impressive area of his life fly largely under the radar. A back injury forced him to give up the glory of rowing and take a stab at theater, but Edward actually began a promising career in business before fully transitioning to film. Moving to Japan after graduation to consult of the non-profit Enterprise Community Partners, Norton spoke fluent Japanese– although his vocab has become limited since– and still remains on the company’s Board of Trustees to this day.

#8: Rashida Jones

With notable roles in Parks and Recreation, The Office, and The Social Network to name a few, Jones has more than her fair share of enviable accomplishments. She also has a considerable head on her shoulders as well. Yet another Harvard alum, Jones successfully graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in comparative religion in 1997. She actually had plans to become a lawyer, but the O.J. Simpson trial allegedly jaded her aspirations. Instead, 1997 saw her take her first step into the limelight with a role in the Mario Puzo miniseries The Last Don before catching her major break on Boston Public, and things have only been on the up and up ever since.

#7: Steve Martin

It takes a true genius to play a fool, and Steve’s had his fair share of roles as the sucker. He’s also a member of Mensa, an IQ society only open to those in the 98th percentile or higher. Just take a look at his successful repertoire of work, and it’s clear that there is a high degree of headiness to it. With books, screenplays, and music out there along with many comedic roles, this man can do it all. Martin enrolled in Philosophy from California State University, and later UCLA and had originally intended to become a professor– a path that instead led him straight to comedy.

#6: Emma Watson

You may know her best as the incredibly intelligent witch Hermione Granger, in the Harry Potter series and Watson had plenty of inspiration to draw upon for her role. In 2011, she became a student along side her acting career, working towards a degree in English Literature from Brown University, while also studying for a time at Oxford. Watson is clearly quite well spoken, and her UN Women campaigns more than prove it. The only downside to all this? Trying to avoid imaginary points for Gryffindor from unruly classmates whenever she answers a question.

#5: Ken Jeong

There’s probably a good chance your first introduction to this actor was a full view of his unmentionables in his side-splitting performance in The Hangover. Is it a surprise to hear he would also be more the prepared to save your life on a minute’s notice? Ken Jeong studied pre-med at Duke University and got his M.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Not too many actors can transition to a 6-figure job at a hospital if the roles dry up. During his early days, Jeong actually would split his time between treating patients and taking comedy gigs before his big break as… a doctor, in Knocked Up.

#4: Geena Davis

They say if you say Beetlejuice three times in a row, a Mensa member who’s fluent in Swedish with an IQ of 140 will appear. While Davis may be most associated with Thelma & Louise and Beetlejuice, she has put her impressive intelligence to good use as well. Notably, Geena received an honorary Doctorate from Bates College in 2009 for research on gender studies in the media. Hey, it’s not easy to be an Olympic caliber athlete, Academy Award winning actress, and noted genius, but this triple threat has been accomplished.

#3: Jon Stewart

If anyone ever tries to make the argument that standup comedy is a fool’s profession, Jon Stewart is more or less the definitive counter argument to this claim. Before his historic stint on the Daily Show, Stewart studied at the College of William & Mary, majoring in psychology. Despite clearly displayed intelligence, he decided to bounce around to various odd jobs, while taking a stab at comedy clubs in New York City. Today, Stewart has left his mark in film, literature, TV, and more. His influence is widespread, and his knack for entertainment with weight continues to permeate our culture despite walking away from the show that made him a household name.

#2: Sharon Stone

Stone is an Academy Award nominated actress, and a certain leg-crossing scene in Basic Instinct has reached a nearly legendary status in film-lore, but she’s also undoubtedly the smartest person in most rooms she walks in to. At age 15, while most of us were working on getting our learner’s permit, Sharon was awarded a college scholarship to Edinboro University where she studied creative writing and fine arts. With a whopping IQ of 154, Stone is comfortably in the top portion of the 99th percentile- qualifying for but never actually joining Mensa.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Colin Firth

Hugh Jackman

James Franco

#1: Quentin Tarantino

Don’t get any ideas, but Tarantino dropped out of high school and landed a job at a porn theater. This behavior may not appear emblematic of a genius, but he’s indisputably just that. Yes, a slew of films that are considered masterpieces may indicate his prowess, but the Pulp Fiction director had set himself apart from the rest of the world long before that with a nearly unheard of IQ of 160. For reference, this puts him squarely in the 99.996% isle, right next to legendary theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. Truly a poster child of structured education’s shortcomings, Tarantino was destined to shake things up from the very beginning.

Do you agree with our list? Which celebrities do you think are the smartest out there? For more brainy Top 10s, be sure to subscribe to

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