19 Celebrities With High IQs
Celebrities are often heralded for their good looks and talent, but it’s not often people highlight their intelligence. This is especially relevant when it comes to reality TV stars, where smarts aren’t always needed to become famous. As it turns out, there is actually a load of famous celebrities who are not only easy on the eye and great at their profession but have extremely high IQs. These celebrities with high IQs range from actors and actresses to musicians and talk show hosts.
According to Mensa, the oldest and most well-known society of smart people whose IQ test is the standard bearer, a score of over 130 means you have exceptional intelligence and makeup part of the 2% of the world’s smartest people. While most people score between 85 – 115, there are those special few who are super bright and have an IQ of 130 or over. These are the people we are focusing on in this article.
These incredibly smart individuals could have done anything with their lives, but they chose to get into the entertainment world. While you might not think acting or singing requires a high level of intelligence, being smarter than your average Joe has helped these celebrities get to where they are today.
19. Nicole Kidman – 132
Australian actress Nicole Kidman is another smart cookie with an IQ of 132. The star of such films as Dead Calm, Days of Thunder, The Hours, Moulin Rouge!, and Eyes Wide Shut is still a big drawcard with a career spanning almost four decades.
When you consider her mother was a nursing instructor and her father a biologist and clinical psychologist, it’s no wonder Kidman has a big brain. Plus, she was smart enough to divorce Tom Cruise.
18. Arnold Schwarzenegger – 135
Coming from a poor family in Austria and then taking over Hollywood in the 80s and 90s, it’s obvious Arnold Schwarzenegger has a bit going on upstairs. After dominating the bodybuilding scene during the 70s (he won five Mr. Universe and seven Mr. Olympia titles), the Austrian Oak became an action hero and one of the highest-paid actors in Tinsletown.
His high IQ of 135 is one of the main reasons that drove him into politics, with Schwarzenegger being elected the Governor of California and serving the American state between 2003 -2011.
17. Emma Watson – 138
The Harry Potter actress has an IQ score of 138, putting her in the top 2.3% of brilliant people in the world. While she spent her youth playing Hermione Granger, since completing the franchise she has used her fame and fortune to better herself and others. She graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and is an advocate of women’s rights and feminism.
While Watson continues to act, she does so sporadically, with her last movie role coming in 2019s Little Women. She spends more of her time supporting social causes and fighting against the patriarchy.
16. Natalie Portman – 140
Natalie Portman graduated from Harvard with an A.B. in Psychology and can speak six languages. The Academy Award-winning actress has also had two papers published in scientific journals and is in the top 2% of intelligent people in the world. She really could have done anything with her life, but choose acting, which has worked out pretty well.
Portman has starred in a string of massive box-office hits (Black Swan, Thor franchise, and Star Wars franchise) and indie classics (Garden State, Hesher, I’m Still Here) and is one of Hollywood’s best actresses of the modern era.
15. Shakira – 140
Her breasts might be small and humble but there is nothing tiny about Shakira’s IQ. The Colombian singer is one of the biggest Latin pop stars in the world who rose to fame in the late 90s. Shakira can speak six languages fluently and has used her fame and fortune to cross over into other avenues.
She has set up several charities, is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, created her own beauty line, and has even ventured into acting. While she is currently in hot water for possible tax fraud, there is no doubt Shakira’s 140 IQ will help her beat the charges.
14. Geena Davis – 140
Geena Davis is another fantastic actress who happens to be very intelligent. She has an IQ of 140 and acquired a degree in drama from Boston University before kicking off her acting career in 1982 with a role in the comedy Tootsie. She has gone on to have a wonderful and varied career, having won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.
While she hasn’t acted as regularly over the past decade, she believes this is due to there not being enough roles for older women. That said, whenever she is on-screen she is mesmerizing and continues to be an incredible actress.
13. Steve Martin – 142
If you need proof funny people can also be super smart look no further than Steve Martin. One of the great comedy actors of the 70s and 80s, Martin has an IQ score of 142. Before getting into comedy, Martin studied philosophy at Cal State which is where he picked up the acting bug and decided becoming a professor wasn’t for him.
Martin got his start as a stand-up and released many best-selling comedy albums before Hollywood called. An accomplished banjo player often credited with creating air quotes, Martin continues to perform both on stage and on screen and is much loved by movie fans.
12. Snoop Dogg – 147
It’s hard to believe Snoop Dogg is so smart. The rapper turned entrepreneur has made millions from his various business pursuits, all while smoking more weed than is humanly possible.
When you look at his resume it becomes much clearer why Snoop has an IQ of 147, something he recently confirmed online. Not only has he dominated the rap game for 30 years, releasing over 20 albums and touring the globe, but Snoop has invested in several major companies, launched his own cannabis line – Leafs by Snoop – created his own e-Sports team, and got in on the NFT craze.
11. Nolan Gould – 150
He might play an idiot on Modern Family, but in the real world actor Nolan Gould is as sharp as a tack. It was during an appearance on the Ellen Degeneres show that Gould revealed he has an IQ of 150 and is nothing like his character from the show.
Gould is a member of Mensa and at the age of 13 in 2013 took a General Educational Development (GED) test and began taking online adult courses. While he continues to act, there is a fair chance Gould has a lot more to achieve off the screen due to his high intelligence.
10. Kate Beckinsale – 152
For most people being Mensa-level smart is great, but for Kate Beckinsale, it’s been more of a hindrance. Speaking with shock jock Howard Stern on his popular radio show, Beckinsale said; “Every single doctor, every single person I’ve ever come across has said, ‘You’d be so much happier if you were 30 percent less smart.’” She continued: “It’s no good to me, though. It’s really not helpful to me in my career. I just think it might have been a handicap actually.”
While that might be the case, Beckinsale has still managed to forge a successful acting career. With the ability to speak fluent Russian, Beckinsale is best known for playing Selene in the Underworld series of movies.
9. Sharon Stone – 154
Blonde bombshell Sharon Stone had moviegoers lusting after her when she appeared in the erotic thriller Basic Instinct alongside Michael Douglas. She has gone on to have an extremely successful career but her IQ has always been something of a talking point among fans.
Stone has claimed to have had an IQ of 154, then 140, before admitting she was just a member of Mensa, which means she has a minimum IQ of 130. According to CBS News in an article written in 2011, Stone started college at just 16 and is believed to have an IQ of 154, which is backed up by Sociosite. Whatever her IQ, she is certainly smarter than your average bear.
8. Lisa Kudrow – 154
Actress Lisa Kudrow is much smarter in real life than the character she played on the hit television series Friends. While Phoebe Buffay is a ditzy blonde, Kudrow is very intelligent and like Sharon Stone, she has a close to genius-level IQ.
Kudrow earned a biology degree from Vassar College and also helped her father, a headache physician, with research into headaches. While she could have continued to study more after graduating with a degree, Kudrow wanted to try acting, and six months later she landed the role of a lifetime on Friends.
7. Dolph Lundgren – 160
Dolph Lundgren is probably the last person you would think has an IQ score of genius proportions, but it’s true. While he is best known for his 80s action flicks (Rocky III, The Punisher, Masters of the Universe) Swedish actor Lundgren also has an IQ of 160.
He has a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney and a Fulbright scholarship to MIT. Lundgren holds the rank of 4th dan black belt in Kyokushin karate and has starred in more than 80 films, predominately in the action genre.
6. Matt Damon – 160
As Sociosite details, Matt Damon is in the top 0.1% of the world’s population when it comes to clever people. His intelligence certainly helped Damon break into the film industry, with the script he wrote for the hit movie Good Will Hunting turning him and his best friend Ben Affleck into bankable movie stars.
Damon wrote the script while studying at Harvard University, but like so many young actors, he dropped out to pursue his passion. 25 years after the film’s release and Damon has established himself as a Hollywood great, starring in a string of huge hits.
5. Ashton Kutcher – 160
He might have played the stoned idiot on That ’70s Show, but Aston Kutcher is anything but stupid. The famous actor has an IQ of 160, which is the same as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. He is another university dropout (University of Iowa) who used his smarts and good looks to make it in Hollywood.
As well as making movies and TV shows, Kutcher is known for investing in many small start-ups and venture capital businesses while also being heavily involved in several charity organizations.
4. Quentin Tarantino – 160
The writer and director of films such as Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and The Hateful Eight is also extremely smart. When you consider how intricate his films are, his obsession with cinema, and his ability to remember incredibly small details about anything movie-related, it’s no surprise Quentin Tarantino has a high IQ.
Despite dropping out of high school at age 15 and never attending college, Tarantino’s IQ is off the charts. It seems all those years working at Video Archives in Manhattan Beach, California, paid off for the famous director.
3. Lady Gaga – 166
Lady Gaga isn’t just a pretty face with a great voice. She’s also brilliant and bordering on genius. The hitmaker behind the likes of “Poker Face,” “Born This Way,” and “Shallow” is an exceptionally gifted celebrity with a creative streak unlike many of her peers. Not only does she sing, but Gaga is transforming into an acclaimed actress after star performances in the hit movies A Star is Born and House of Gucci.
While it is widely held that Gaga has a high IQ of 166, there is no actual evidence of this. Gaga has not confirmed these reports and there is no official account, so make of it what you will.
2. James Woods – 180
Having turned into something of a right-wing nutjob in recent years, it’s easy to forget just how great an actor James Woods is. After all, this is the man who starred in such classics as Any Given Sunday, Cat’s Eye, The Hard Way, Videodrome, and The Virgin Suicides. Not only is he great on camera, but the man is smarter than Albert Einstein with an IQ of 180.
Woods originally wanted to be an eye surgeon but ended up studying political science. He graduated high school with near-perfect marks and was awarded a scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lasted a year before dropping out and pursuing a career in acting.
1. Melania Trump – 200+
That’s right, Melania Trump, the woman who married Donald, is believed to have an intelligence of over 200 on the Mensa scale. Trump is known to speak five languages and was able to immigrate to America on something known as the “Einstein visa,” which is a Green Card reserved for those with exceptional intelligence.
In an interview with DuJour magazine, she said, “I’m not only a beauty, I’m smart. I have brains. I’m intelligent,” while her former college professor, Blaz Matija Vogelnik, said her IQ is “very high” and she had the “ability to pass a stringent entry test required of all potential students.” While all this may be true, it still doesn’t explain why she married Donald Trump. Love works in mysterious ways it seems.
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