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    Smile They Are Well Educated Celebrities



    We tend to think of celebrities as excessively pretty people who get paid for doing practically nothing. It takes serendipity rather than smarts to a land a job in Hollywood – or at least a really nice ***. But strangely enough, some of them have pedigrees and aren’t afraid to use them. Here are some of the best educated of modern stardom, from dropouts to psych majors and everything in between.







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    Natalie Portman


    Ever since she busted onto the scene in 1994′s The Professional she’s had people talking about her kittenish beauty and obvious intelligence. Portman not only speaks three languages and somehow snags the most dignified roles to compliment her eternal ingenue persona, she graduated from Harvard with a 4.0 and a degree in Psychology.



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    Russell Brand





    In the short period of time before he was a junkie, Brand was educated in modest but generic English comprehensive schools that probably shove loads of Donne and Johnson down your throat. But the turning point, excluding the influence of drugs, was his acceptance at RADA in 1995. In a characteristic Brand move, he got expelled his final year for pulling a crazy, but theatrically appropriate stunt. A bad reception of his performance made him go all Norma Desmond and break a bottle over his head. Of course, we can’t say all that schooling hasn’t paid off, for now the man’s in the limelight and a Shakespearean clown to boot.



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    Tommy Lee Jones





    What could be better than a Harvard cum laude man? How about one who also epitomizes hard man ethics in the post-western era. Nobody fits this description quite like Tommy Lee Jones. At Harvard he was a both a football hero and Al Gore’s roommate and his onscreen persona is nearly as varied. It’s that mix of Harvard distinction and John Wayne-style grit that make him him a real badass in even his most ridiculous endeavors (i.e. Men in Black 2).



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    Kate Beckinsale





    It’s not like she’s kept her literary talent a secret. As an adolescent she won writing competitions for her short stories and when she did venture into film it was with stalwart productions like Masterpiece theater and Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing. It’s no coincidence that she seems like the perfect Austen heroine – she has the pedigree for it. She left Oxford without a degree but with a wealth of knowledge of French and Russian literature.



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    David Duchovny





    Though he’s now known as the libertinous, perpetually writer’s-blocked Hank Moody in Californication, the real David Duchovny is a true academic. After graduating Yale in ’87 he began a doctorate on the subject of ‘Magic and Technology’ in poetry and prose. The doctrate remained unfinished, but is there any doubt that the man behind Fox Mulder would have gotten an A?



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    Ed Norton





    From schizophrenia to neo-nazism and dissociative identity disorder, Norton’s characters have run the gamut of madness. While on the screen, his psychopathia seems to know no bounds, The real Norton’s head is on perfectly straight. So straight, in fact, that before he made his name in the shocking American History X, he had graduated from Yale with a degree in History.



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    Maggie Gyllenhaal





    Before she was the Sundance crowd’s consistent drink of choice in films like Secretary and Donnie Darko, she was busy studying religion at Columbia (with Uma Thurman’s dad as her professor, no less) and sampling the academic offerings of RADA before that. Her eclectic education is a cut above most actresses who get to play sadomasochists and almost-superheroes girlfriends, even if her non-dropout status might not earn her points with her indie audience.



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    John Krasinski





    You probably know him as the slacker salesman always playing pranks on an unsuspecting Dwight Shrute, but John Krasinski’s former classmates also know him as the man that they voted the ‘sexiest alum’ of Brown University. After his graduation in ’02, it only took him a few years to be cast in his breakout role as Jim Halpert in The Office in 2005.



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    Jodie Foster





    The elusive actress who was ubiquitous in the nineties has been out of the spotlight in the decade past with less than 10 film credits since 1999′s Anna and the King. She resurfaced for the box office hit Panic Room and picked up massive street cred starring in The Brave One. But in order to hunt down psycho killers and play socially inept woodland children, one has to have an education as diverse and well-rounded as the sampling of Hollywood roles Foster has found herself playing. The Yale alum graduated in ’85 and has seemingly never looked back.



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