WHEN YOU THINK OF THE WORD GENIUS, names such as Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, or — for the Gen Z readers — Elon Musk, likely spring to mind. What if we told you that you can add Ke$ha, Snoop Dogg, Ashton Kutcher and more Hollywood heavyweights to that list?
Although we may think of Tinseltown as being far removed from the world of academia (leave your Arts Degree jokes at the door, please), there are plenty of A-listers who have the brains to match their acting, singing and athletic talents.
A standard IQ is between 85 – 115, and any score above 125 is considered high. While the Intelligence quotient has been tipped as a somewhat problematic measure of intelligence, it’s still fun to think about which celebrities would have beat you on a maths test or helped you with your history homework had you been at school together. Ahead, take a look at the stars you may not have known are actually super smart.
Ashton Kutcher may have spent his early career playing the dopey Michael Kelso on That 70s Show, but in reality, the actor has little in common with his on-screen counterpart.
Kutcher boasts a reported IQ of 160 — which is around the same as Einstein’s FYI. He’s put his brains to good use, having invested in several start-up IT companies, including Spotify and AirBnb, and dedicated time to humanitarian work.
Madonna is the queen of pop, but before she was topping the charts, the star was topping test papers.
Reportedly, the star has an IQ of 140, which is well above average. She even won a scholarship to study performing arts at the University of Michigan, where she attended before dropping out and moving to New York to pursue pop stardom.
Mayim Bialik spent nine years playing a scientist in The Big Bang Theory, but turns out she wasn’t really acting (kind of). Bialik is actually a scientist in real life, having attained a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA.
The actor-stroke-genius was reportedly accepted in Harvard and Yale, too, and her IQ is reported to be between 153 and 160.
While this isn’t quite as high as her brainiac on-screen husband’s — the fictional Sheldon Cooper has a score of 187 — it puts her in the “Exceptionally Gifted” range.
The drop-out to tech magnate pipeline is well documented. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates both left university (granted, the latter still got into Harvard), and went on to forge their respective tech empires. Turns out Hollywood has its own super-smart drop-out too, in the form of legendary filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.
Reportedly, Tarantino has an impressive IQ of 160, but still decided to leave high school early to pursue his dreams in the film industry.
Ke$ha may be best known for her way with words, with her lyrics associated with her various pop bangers (“TiK ToK” is still a bop and we stand by that), but turns out the singer is really, really good at maths, too.
In an old interview, the singer noted, “I used to really get off on math, like math makes me hot. Like I love it.”
She added, “It’s kind of like solving mysteries, math problems. Sometimes when I get drunk I’ll talk to my guitar player and be like ‘give me a math problem’!”
The music-slash-maths whiz reportedly has an impressive IQ of 140 and received a near-perfect SAT score of 1500.
Matt Damon has played the smart guy many times in films like The Martian and Good Will Hunting. Turns out he’s just as intelligent in real life, with a reported IQ of 160.
Before he was a certified movie star, Damon studied English Literature at Harvard, but dropped out to focus on his passion — acting.
The D-O-Double-G also has the B-R-A-I-N-S!
Back in 2015, Hip Hop legend Snoop Dogg revealed he has an IQ so high it qualifies him as an actual genius — not just the musical kind. Taking to Instagram at the time, the rapper revealed his IQ as 147. When later questioned about it, he simply said, “I’m really brilliant.”
With a string of award-winning hits, a healthy IMBD profile and multiple companies under his belt, it’s little surprise, really.
She may be famed for playing the ditzy Phoebe Buffay in Friends, but Lisa Kudrow is nothing like her character in the smarts department.
Boasting an IQ of 154, Kudrow graduated from Vassar College in New York with a Bachelor of Science. While searching for acting jobs, she assisted her father, a headache specialist, in his study on the comparative likelihood of left-handed individuals developing cluster headaches.
There’s no question that Michael Jordan’s basketball IQ is off the charts, but turns out his regular IQ is pretty impressive, too.
While James Harden and Kobe Bryant are said to have high IQs, Jordan tops them with a reported score of 154.
During his school years, Jordan’s particular penchant was for maths, and he studied the topic until his junior year at college.