The Most Surprising Celebrity Braniacs

Actress Kate Beckinsale studied French and Russian literature at Oxford University.

Photo: Featureflash /

When you think of celebrities, models, socialites and the like, the word “brainiac” doesn’t always come to mind.After all, many of these people have made their fortunes based on their looks or acting skills—and certainly not their knowledge of physics or calculus.

However, a little investigating shows that many of these people have a lot more going on in their heads than simply what designer to wear for their next red carpet. In the gallery above, we’ve provided you with 10 brilliant celebrities and given them all a superlative based on their unique skill sets. These may not be your first guesses, but trust us, they’re all more than qualified.

Click through the slideshow and let us know what you think — whose brains surprised you most?

Kate Moss has a philosophical mind.

While Kate Moss' most memorable behaviour may involve the back of club restrooms and storming the catwalk, according to a renowned physicist named Brian Cox, Miss Moss has a lot more on her mind. Apparently, Moss approached him at a post-Olympics party and was 'quizzing him about the origins of the universe.' 'Kate was asking me some extraordinarily detailed questions about the universe. She really knows her stuff,' he said. 'She also had some questions from her daughter Lila Grace which were pretty complicated. I was impressed.' We are too!

Cindy Crawford studied chemical engineering at university.

While Cindy Crawford may seem like your typical supermodel (you know: gorgeous, perfect, but a little dense in between the eyes), this isn't the case. After being named valedictorian of her high school class, she went on to study chemical engineering at Northwestern University. Not too shabby.

Courtney Love was a maths genius (sometimes).

Danica McKellar is a best-selling author.

Danica McKellar made every boy blush as Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years, but her most impressive feat came far after the show. She wrote The New York Times bestselling book maths Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School maths without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail which encouraged young girls to embrace maths.

Alicia Keys was just 16 when she was accepted to Columbia University.

Alicia Keys graduated valedictorian from the Professional Performing Arts School at 16 and was accepted to Columbia University. While she ultimately did not complete her degree because of her burgeoning music career, her penchant for academia has stayed with her. Her intelligent lyrics and brilliant musical compositions have earned her tons of Grammys and major acclaim.

Ezra Koenig also attended Columbia University.

Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend has made everyone fall in love with his catchy tunes and penchant for witty lyrics. He honed these skills as an undergrad at the prestigious Columbia University in New York, where the band met.

Mike Posner also graduated from another prestigious school – Duke University.

Come on, we all went to high school with guys like Mike Posner. They smoke, drink and party like nobody's business. They have a slew of girlfriends at all times. But they're also incredibly smart. Posner graduated from Duke University before launching his successful music career. He has done all of this in a beanie.

Kate Beckinsale won a writing competition twice and attended Oxford University.

When you think Kate Beckinsale, you may think Armani Prive gowns and glamour. But prior to her rise to fame, she won the W.H. Smith Young Writer's competition twice, and studied French and Russian literature at Oxford.

Bradley Cooper speaks fluent French.

If there's one thing that could make us love Bradley Cooper more, it's the fact that he speaks fluent French, which he picked up as an undergrad at Georgetown University. Watch here and prepare to melt.

Tinsley Mortimer attended Columbia and wrote a witty book.

Tinsley Mortimer may be best known for frolicking around the Manhattan social scene wearing pink dresses. But prior to this, she was a student at Columbia University. Also, if you've actually read her book Southern Charm, you'll know that it's actually quite clever.

These celebs may have big brains ...

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