It’s time for school to get back in session and if you think the biggest actors and actresses were only in drama club and musicals growing up, think again.
They were cheerleaders, prom kings and homecoming queens, sang in choir, and governed their student bodies.
If you’ve ever wondered what kind of students your favourite celebrities were, we rounded up what some of the biggest names in Hollywood were up to during their formative years. Classmates.com provided INSIDER with many high school yearbook photos and some of their superlatives.
Some of what we learned was unexpected: “The Martian” star Jessica Chastain dropped out of high school and Melissa McCarthy went through a goth phase in her final two years of school. And did you know that Bill Murray paid his way through Catholic school?
Keep reading to see what your favourite celebrities were like and what they were doing in high school.
McConaughey played golf and tennis at Longview High School in Texas. He was also in the yearbook and Pan Am clubs.
He told GQ his first job in high school involved raking sand traps starting at 3 a.m. at a country club. Sometimes he had to shoot and kill armadillos that were on the golf course.
According to People, Berry beat out a girl with blonde hair and blue eyes and she and her friends were accused of faking votes. Only after a coin toss was Berry named queen.
'I felt like I was accepted there until it came to being prom queen,' said Berry. 'It took me a long time to get over it.'
Throughout high school, Berry was a good student. The actress was a cheerleader, on the honour society, and an editor for the school paper.
Witherspoon went by her real name Laura Jeane in school and has described herself as one of the popular nerdy girls who loved books growing up and received good grades.
'I was a big dork who read loads of books,' Witherspoon told The Times in 2006. 'But I was a popular dork because I learnt how to be funny.'
Witherspoon was extremely busy in high school. Not only was she dividing her time between cheerleading, Spanish club, and Amnesty International, but she also started acting. At 14, she tried out for a background role in 'The Man in the Moon,' but ended up cast as the lead, a tomboy teen who fell in love with her 17-year-old neighbour.
Ferrell also read the school announcements in the mornings over the P.A. system at University high school in Irvine, California. He played soccer, basketball, baseball, and football, the latter of which he set a school record for most field goals. Ferrell was also part of the reptile club.
In her book 'Bossypants,' Fey recalled how she was a night box-office manager at a youth theatre program in 11th grade. The 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' co-creator was also in choir singing alto, though she was sometimes a second soprano.
According to Time, she was also on the tennis team and was an honour student.
'I was a cheerleader for a while. I did student council,' she wrote. 'I started to hang with the popular crowd but was never considered the prettiest or most interesting. I tended to blend.'
Smith started rapping at a young age. When he was 16, he met Jeff Townes and the duo started rapping together under the names DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. His first album came out when he was a senior.
Smith later ended up naming a production company, Overbrook Entertainment, after his high school.
'I was class president, on the cheerleading squad, in a competitive show choir, and in, like, six different clubs,' Lively told Cosmopolitan in 2008.
Lively, who took AP courses, also found time to film 'The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants' during her junior and senior years.
That may have been because Willis was voted president of Student Council. The actor also played baseball and was part of the drama club, acting in some of the school plays. Willis found it to be therapeutic.
'I had a horrible stutter when I was a kid, from the time I was 9 until the time I was about 17. And a miraculous thing happened when I was in high school,' told Reader's Digest. 'I was doing this goofy play. It wasn't a goofy play, we just did it in a goofy way. Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. When I got onstage, I stopped stuttering. When I stepped off the stage, I started stuttering again. And I went, 'This is a miracle. I got to investigate this more.''
One of seven children, Adams started working at the age of 12. In high school, she worked at a local dance company as she balanced her extracurriculars of choir and track.
She told The Hollywood Reporter her real passion was dance and she pursued that after high school instead of furthering her education before she began acting.
'I didn't go to the university because there weren't options in my family. And I stopped the athletic options. I was supposed to stick with track because I was really quick and I could run fast, but I told them, 'I want to dance.'' said Adams in 2008. 'I taught kids when I was in high school. That's how I paid for my dance classes. I worked in a dancewear store. I just waited to get out of school. I wasn't one of those people who enjoyed being in school.'
Clooney told Larry King he had bell's palsy, where half of his face was paralysed, when he first started high school at age 13.
'It takes about nine months to go away,' said Clooney who came down with symptoms after watching the film 'The Pride of the Yankees.' 'It was the first year of high school, which was a bad time for having half your face paralysed.'
Clooney told NPR it forced him to make fun of himself which is an important part of being famous.
The actor told Esquire he was a good student, receiving A's and B's, at least in elementary. 'I was a much better student than I thought I was. I had all A's and a B. So that's not so bad,' said Clooney in 2008.
Clooney was also part of drama club and was prince of his senior prom.
According to 'Brad Pitt, Biography of a Superstar,' Pitt received good grades while playing tennis, golf, and being a part of the debate team. Pitt also acted in school plays and musicals. Despite being in the movie 'Moneyball,' Pitt wasn't a baseball player, but he did play a few other sports.
'Baseball and I didn't get along that well,' he told Sports Illustrated. 'I wrestled one year. I dove one year. Everything but baseball.'
Winfrey attended several different high schools growing up. She graduated from East High School in Nashville, Tennessee where she was in the Honour Society, National Forensic League, and was in the student government.
On an episode of her talk show, Oprah told her audience that she was voted most popular during the first year the school was desegregated with 80% white students.
Though Affleck was a brainy kid, The New York Times says the 'Batman v Superman' actor's grades varied because he was often absent and uninterested in school.
Roberts told Access Hollywood she definitely wasn't one of the popular kids.
'(I was) just mediocre, just getting through the hallways with my girlfriend Paige,' said Roberts in 2011. 'We weren't losers, but we weren't popular, we were just coasting.'
Hanks told Rolling Stone he was a 'geek' and 'spaz' as a kid. 'I was horribly, painfully, terribly shy. At the same time, I was the guy who'd yell out funny captions during filmstrips. But I didn't get into trouble. I was always a real good kid and pretty responsible.'
According to Matt Green's 'The Amazing Life of Tom Hanks,' he was in high school performances of 'South Pacific' and 'Twelfth Night' and won his high school's best acting award in 1974.
According to 'Jennifer Lopez: The Great Hispanic Heritage,' Lopez said she wasn't the most popular girl.
'I had my friends, but I was comfortable with myself. There's always those most popular girls and I wasn't one of those,' said Lopez.
While in high school, she landed a part in her first movie, 1987's indie 'My Little Girl' where she played a teen who was being tutored.
DiCaprio left John Marshall High School in Los Feliz, California after his junior year. He got his GED later in life.
Streep went to Bernards High School in Somerset County, New Jersey, where she was a cheerleader, and participated in plays like 'Oklahoma!' and 'The Music Man.' She also did gymnastics among a long list of extracurriculars, but in no way would she have considered herself the popular girl.
According to Michael Schulman's 'Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep,' Streep said while young, kids would 'chase me up into a tree and hit my legs with sticks until they bled' and thought she was 'ugly.'
Streep turned to magazines like 'Seventeen' and 'Vogue' to transform herself in high school and opened up about her evolution during a 2010 commencement speech at Barnard College.
'Empathy is at the heart of the actor's art,' said Streep. 'And in high school, another form of acting took hold of me. I wanted to learn how to be appealing. So I studied the character I imagined I wanted to be, that of the generically pretty high school girl.'
According to 'Snoop Dogg - Biography of Calvin Cordozar Broadus,' the rapper played football for two years at Long Beach Poly High School. But Snoop Dogg also was involved with drugs, and, following graduation, was in and out of jail for several years.
Snoop Dogg and Cameron Diaz actually attended the same school, though he was a grade above her. On an episode of George Lopez's old late show, she claimed that he once sold her some weed. Snoop said it probably happened.
Stone started acting when she was 11 and after appearing in multiple theatre productions in middle school, dropped out of high school in her freshman year to pursue acting.
According to an interview from 2009, she made a PowerPoint presentation to convince her parents of her dream to move to Los Angeles called, 'Project Hollywood.'
'I was like fourteen. It had the Madonna song 'Hollywood,'' said Stone. 'I was trying to prove the point that I needed to move to Hollywood and be an actor in movies.'
Cage told the New York Times in the early '90s he was a straight-A student until he moved in with his uncle Francis Coppola for a year after his parents divorced and he went to a small country school.
'I went suddenly from being the cool guy to the geek. My grades went from straight A's to straight F's,' he said. 'I was in this wonderful house with wonderfully generous people, but it wasn't my stuff, it wasn't my house. I didn't know why I was there. I was frustrated beyond belief.'
Portman told Marie Claire in 2009 she wasn't one of the kids who went to high school parties. Instead, while at Syosset High School on Long Island, Portman competed in the Intel Science Talent Search, which is considered one of the most demanding research competitions for high school students. The Oscar-winning actress made it to the semifinals.
At the same time, Portman was balancing an early acting career. At 11, she had already starred in her first film, 'Léon: the Professional.' She wore a dress from the 'Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace' premiere to her prom. Her life was anything but typical.
'I hated school,' she told New Orleans magazine in July 1994. 'I started college because everyone else was going. I majored in communications, I think. Or communications and drama. And I just remember sitting in there, and they were talking about the history of the Greek theatre or something, and thinking, 'This is not what I want to know.''
Classmates and teachers remember her as being 'quiet in class,' but having a positive attitude and 'great sense of humour,' according to 'Ellen: The Real Story of Ellen DeGeneres.' DeGeneres also played tennis and sang in choir.
The actor told The Independent in 1993 he made a record out of getting in trouble at school.
'I was always against authority, hated being told anything by my teachers, by parents, by anyone,' said Nicholson. 'At school I created a record by being in detention every day for a whole year.'
In high school, she went by the name Missy and was a cheerleader, tennis player, and was on student council. As a junior and senior, McCarthy started dressing in black and 'piercing her ears with safety pins.'
'I was pretty lame, though, and much more of a goody-two-shoes than I looked,' she told Rolling Stone. 'Maybe occasionally I'd make out with some guy, but never anything further. I was usually the dork surrounded by a bunch of my gay friends.'
'I acted like a maniac and looked like a really angry, violent punk,' she added. 'But I was always too chatty to be really angry.'
Spacey moved around a lot as a kid with his family growing up, but took an interest in drama and music. He went to several high schools, including Canoga Park High School, where, when he was in 11th grade, he had an epiphany during a performance of Arthur Miller's 'All My Sons.'
'Something happened as I walked off the stage that had never happened to me before. The audience applauded me in the middle of the play. It was the first time I realised I had an effect on people,' Spacey told Parade. 'It was puzzling, confusing, slightly frightening, and it was liberating. Finally acting gave me something to focus on, something I enjoyed that offered me a chance to go into different worlds. All these imaginary games that you played with your friends in the neighbourhood -- I didn't have to put those games away. I just kept playing them onstage.'
He then transferred to Chatsworth High School in California his senior year where he became co-valedictorian.
Her high school boyfriend, Rhett Baker, told the DailyMail in 2014 Zellweger was a well-rounded, popular varsity cheerleader and track runner.
'She was in multiple crowds because she was very good at multiple things,' said Baker. 'People respected that. She didn't flaunt that.'
'When you put her on stage she had the biggest personality in the room,' he added. 'Beyond that she was much more reserved than a lot of people and that was one of the things even back then a lot of people would talk about.'
Matt Green writes in 'The Amazing Life of Jamie Foxx,' that the actor was popular with teachers and classmates.
Foxx, whose real name is Eric Marlon Bishop, had aspirations to play for the Dallas Cowboys. In high school, he played basketball and was a quarterback on the football team. He was the first player in his school to make a pass for over 1,000 yards.
However, music was also a big part of his life. Foxx was also a part-time pianist and choir leader at his baptist church. In addition, he was in a short-lived band called Leather and Lace. Foxx ended up receiving a music scholarship from the United States International University.
'I was not a hard worker. I was a terrible student. Eventually I got my adult diploma, but I did not graduate. And it wasn't that I just dropped out and never went back -- at the end of the year I had too many absences to graduate,' Chastain told Entertainment Weekly.
Chastain said she often skipped school and sat in her car reading Shakespeare.
According to 'Born to Be an Actor,' Robert Downey Jr. had poor grades and school attendance coupled with drug and alcohol use. When he was told at the end of 11th grade he'd have to attend summer school to graduate, Downey Jr. decided to drop out to pursue an acting career in New York.
'For me, you know, growing up in school was just, you know, smoking pot all the time,' said Downey Jr. in a CNN profile. 'I consider myself someone who needs to express himself creatively, and acting seems to be the most lucrative and attention- getting way of working it out right now.'
Davis immersed herself in the arts while her family grew up in poverty. The actress told A.V. Club she performed plays in high school and skits in the park. She also entered in high-school theatre competitions.
'I was a theatre geek, I was a complete nerd,' said Davis.
'I would take knitting classes and crocheting classes at the local community center, because it was something to do,' she added. 'But also, you need a kind of positive conduit to just release all that pent-up energy and frustration, because it's frustrating being poor. You don't have access to things, and you're not seen in a great light ... It really helped me to be able to express myself, and to be kind of rewarded for expressing myself well. It kind of built my self-image. I was so painfully shy.'
Her 'Fences' costar Denzel Washington went to a private all boy's high school that he said changed his life.
Washington spent his early years working in a barbershop and with The Boys & Girls Club of America (then called Boys Club). When his parents started drifting apart, he began acting out and getting into fights in school.
After his parents divorced, Washington's mother sent him to a private boy's high school and he said it was one of the best things that could have happened to him.
'I wouldn't have survived in the direction I was going,' Denzel told Parade magazine in 1999. 'The guys I was hanging out with at the time, my running buddies, have now done maybe 40 years combined in the penitentiary. They were nice guys, but the streets got them.'
The 'Hunger Games' star won the award for class couple before she graduated in 1992. The actress participated in cheerleading, choir, and Latin Club.
The comedian was shy, but enjoyed high school. Williams played a variety of sports including football and wrestling. He also was on the track team and holds a relay record at Redwood High School in California.
'I loved school, maybe too much really. I was summa cum laude in high school,' Williams told the Detroit Free Press in 1996. 'I was driven that way. I can't say it was easy to fit in. I just went out of my way to fit in. It was a private boys school, Detroit Country Day, and I played soccer. I was on the wrestling team. Mr. All-Around, you know?'
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