Becoming a Hollywood star is tough, but it’s even harder to build a career as an actress, all the while studying to get a degree. Acting requires passion, devotion, and more time than any of us can imagine, that’s why actresses who manage to graduate from a university (sometimes more than one!) become an inspiration for thousands of fans. Here are 8 most well-educated women in Hollywood.
Did you know that Natalie Portman has a background in psychology? She graduated from the Harvard University and was actually considering becoming a psychologist early in her acting career. She got her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2003, which means she was acting in Star Wars and studying at the same time. Professors remember her being a brilliant student that could easily build a career as a psychologist!
Before her breakthrough role in the movie Alien, Sigourney Weaver finished not one, but two universities. First, she studied literature in Stanford, but realised that her true passion was becoming an actress. She got a bachelor’s degree and shifted to Yale to study acting. Needless to say, she became a professional and got the master’s degree there, making friends with another future star – Meryl Streep.
Before starring in 12 Years a Slave and winning an Oscar for the Best Supporting Actress, Lupita Nyong’o studied in Hampshire College, choosing Film and African studies as her major. She got a bachelor’s degree and was highly praised for her work on the film ‘Me Genes’. She later enrolled into Yale School of Drama, which she graduated in 2012 with a master’s degree. 12 Years a Slave was her acting debut and a huge success!
Apart from being a superb actress, Jodie Foster has a talent for languages. She was the best of her class in the French immersion school and was the one who delivered the final speech at the graduation ceremony. She also studied literature in Yale, graduating with honours. She speaks fluent French, can understand Italian, German, and some Spanish. In fact, her French is so good that she dubs herself when her movies are translated for the French audience.
As a teenager Kate Beckinsale was very interested in poetry and literature. She got numerous young writers’ awards while studying at school and naturally shifted to Oxford to continue her reading and writing endeavours. There she studied French and Russian literature and continued acting as a member of the Oxford University Dramatic Society. Later on she had to choose whether she wanted to build a career in literature or in acting, and she chose the latter.
Meryl Streep is one of the most famous, talented, and hard-working actresses in Hollywood. Naturally, she studied a lot. She got her first degree studying acting in Vassar College, where she was highly praised by drama professors for her exceptional acting skills. She then continued her studies at the Yale School of Drama, working part-time as a waitress to earn her living. During that time Meryl Streep was acting non-stop in theatre plays, building a name for herself. She also got an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree at the Dartmouth College! Needless to say, her persistence paid off and she became one of the most well-known names in Hollywood.
Mayim Bialik started acting when she was just 12 years old, which means she had to balance her acting career and studies throughout her life. Despite being accepted to Harvard and Yale, she went to study neuroscience at UCLA, where she got her Ph.D. As if that wasn’t enough, she also graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Hebrew studies. So next time you see her playing Amy Farrah Fowler in The Big Bang Theory, remember – that woman actually knows what she’s talking about!
Emma Watson has always known that she wanted to become an actress – she’s started her studies at the age of 6, attending dancing, acting, and singing lessons at an Oxford theatre school. At the age of 10 she was cast as Hermione for the Harry Potter movies, which became her first professional role. Young actors were tutored for hours each day right on the set of the movie, learning more about acting than they would anywhere else. After school she went to study English literature at the Brown University, while still filming Harry Potter movies. She got her bachelor’s degree in 2014. Emma Watson is also a certified yoga and meditation teacher!