Hollywood's sexiest smart guys

Posted by
Stylist Team
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Some Hollywood men have it all, balancing cinematic good looks with an impressive cache of academic qualifications. Take James Franco, who combines a flourishing movie career with a PhD degree at Yale and teaching at University of Southern California (lucky students). Or Prison Break pin-up Wentworth Miller, who studied English Lit at Princeton - not to mention CSI star Hill Harper, who attended Harvard with Barack Obama.

From Ivy League alumni to social activists and talented linguists, meet Hollywood's sexiest over-achievers...

  • Ben Affleck

    The finely chiselled Ben Affleck studied at Ivy League college Vermont before going on to win an Oscar with his childhood friend Matt Damon for the screenplay for Good Will Hunting - thus beginning one of Hollywood's biggest success stories.

  • Matt Damon

    His lifelong buddy Matt is equally astute (and handsome), having studied English at Harvard before dropping out to pursue an acting career. Like Ben, Matt's channelled his intellect into political causes and is an outspoken liberal campaigner.

  • George Clooney

    ER's original Mr Gorgeous is an eloquent and fearless human rights advocate and works with the UN and US Council on Foreign Relations on issues such as the Darfur conflict. The Oscar winner studied journalism before becoming an actor and has since branched out into directing and screenplay.

  • Will Smith

    Will Smith's high SAT scores earned him a scholarship offer at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The delectable star turned it down in favour of a rapping career, later effecting one of the most successful crossovers from music to movies in Hollywood history and picking up a clutch of Grammys and Oscar nominations along the way.

  • James Franco

    Spider-man beauty James Franco studied English at UCLA before gaining a Masters of Fine Art from Columbia University - all while nurturing a flourishing career in Hollywood. He's now a PhD student at Yale University and will begin teaching a class in short film production at University of Southern California next year.

  • Wentworth Miller

    Prison Break pin-up Wentworth Miller spent his formative years studying English Lit at Princeton, joining an ever-expanding array of celebrity Ivy Leaguers. He also performed with a capella group the Princeton Tigertones, adding beautiful vocals to the brain and brawn credentials.

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    He with the beautiful eyes, Jake Gyllenhaal, studied Eastern religions and philosophy at Columbia University (like his sister Maggie). He dropped out but went onto secure an Oscar nomination for his tormented and brilliant performance in Brokeback Mountain and is a prolific political and environmental campaigner.

  • Jamie Foxx

    Jamie Foxx is multi-talented as well as hot; growing up, his prowess as a quarterback caught the attention of the local Dallas press and he was also a gifted piano player. He won a place at the United States International University to study classical piano before breaking into acting, with his Oscar-winning portrayal of Ray Charles in 2004 securing his status as a Hollywood heavyweight.

  • John Krasinski

    Emily Blunt is a lucky lady. Her husband John Krasinski is a bit of a dreamboat, as well as a talented actor, screenwriter and director. He taught English in Costa Rica before studying at Brown University and scoring a headline role in NBC sitcom The Office.

  • Chris Noth

    Years before he put Carrie in a spin as Mr. Big on SATC, Chris Noth made waves as a method actor at Yale University under thespian great Sanford Meisner. He appeared in over 25 plays while studying for a Masters of Fine Arts degree there and went onto perform with the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut.

  • John Legend

    Grammy Award-winning singer John Legend began playing piano aged four (he was taught by his grandmother) and went onto read English with an emphasis on African American literature at Ivy League college, the University of Pennsylvania. It was while he was studying at Penn that he met Lauryn Hill - she hired him to play piano on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and a star-studded career followed.

  • Dolph Lundgren

    Swedish action hero Dolph Lundgren has an IQ of 160, speaks five languages (Swedish, English, German, French and Japanese), has a Masters in Chemical Engineering and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All that, and he managed to date Grace Jones and flex his muscles as He-Man in Masters of the Universe.

  • Ed Norton

    Academy Award-nominated actor Ed Norton brought subtle finesse to his roles in Primal Fear and American History X; a skill he'd garnered from acting in productions at Yale alongside Ron Livingston and Paul Giamatti. He studied for a BA in history and speaks Japanese after working at his grandfather's company in Osaka.

  • Hill Harper

    CSI: NY star Hill Harper began acting aged seven but with his qualifications, he could easily have become a lawyer or statesman too. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University before studying at Harvard Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where he befriended fellow student Barack Obama.

  • Sacha Baron Cohen

    He's known for his raz0r-sharp take offs, so it comes as little surprise that Sacha Baron Cohen is pretty smart in real life. He studied history at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he wrote a dissertation on Jewish involvement in the American Civil Rights movement. He then worked as a model before debuting Ali G.