Ben McKenzie became a household name when he played the role of Ryan Atwood in the television series, The O.C. He earned a few nominations and awards for the series before landing his debut film appearance in Junebug. He then appeared on television shows, Southland and Gotham. Prior to fame, McKenzie was a student at the University of Virginia and graduated with a degree in foreign affairs and economics.
He told his school’s alumni magazine that it was a blessing to be able to study while performing onstage at night. McKenzie considered it an opportunity to have a “well-rounded” education.
J. Cole Has a Bachelor's in Communications
J. Cole, whose real name is Jermaine Lamarr Cole, has quite some remarkable achievements. He was the first rapper to get signed to Jay-Z’s label, Roc Nation. He is one smart cookie, as he balanced studying at St. John’s University, where he was both on an academic scholarship, and chasing his musical aspirations.
Cole was rapping on the side and writing full-time. His good sense of time management earned him a degree in communications, minoring in business, and he graduated as summa cum laude in 2007. But he didn’t get his diploma until 2015 because of a library book he never returned. The missing book’s fee was eventually waived.
Natalie Portman Has a Bachelor's in Psychology
Natalie Portman is a Hollywood icon and has been acting professionally since she was a kid. The Israeli beauty described herself as ambitious and hard working. It didn’t come as a surprise when she graduated with a degree in psychology from Harvard University while at the same time continuing her acting career. She was Alan Dershowitz’s research assistant. Dershowitz is a prominent figure in United States constitutional and criminal law.
Portman also attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and took graduate courses. Portman is not only an accomplished and award-winning actress; she has also been published in multiple scientific journals and is an ambassador of FINCA International, an organization that seeks to end poverty.
Rebel Wilson Has a Law Degree
Rebel Wilson is known for her roles in blockbuster films, Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect, and is climbing her way to becoming one of Hollywood’s favorite comedians. But the pre-Hollywood Wilson was anything but funny. The Australian actress was shy as a child and would always be in the library, leading her to have a near-perfect result of 99.3 percent on her Higher School Certificate (HSC).
She admitted to Seth Meyers that she has a law degree from the University of New South Wales, which she described to be the Harvard of Australia. Wilson said she put her degree to use when she negotiated her own contracts early in her acting career.
John Legend Has a Bachelor's in English
It seems like whatever John Legend does, he does it well. This multi-awarded, illustrious musician graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on African-American literature. But he started studying when he was just 16 years old. He graduated from high school as a salutatorian in just four years.
The songwriter and record producer has a string of accolades under his belt, such as the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the Hal David Starlight Award, and even a Primetime Emmy Award. He was given an honorary degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 2014.