Geekiness has recently become a trend, with popular culture featuring nerdy characters in shows like The Big Bang Theory and Sherlock, making it socially acceptable and desirable.
Being smart has become the new attractive, and this trend has even infiltrated celebrity culture, with fans thrilled to discover that their beloved stars are secret nerds. While fashion and appearance are essential, discovering that our celebrity crushes possess a nerdy side is always thrilling.
Here are 15 secret nerds celebrities:
1. Ted Cruz
Although Ted Cruz is not well-liked by many, it is undeniable that he is a geek. The Democrats are frightened by him, and many of his Republican colleagues find him bothersome. He performs (terrible) imitations of characters from The Simpsons. Captain Kirk is his preferred Star Trek captain.
His initial business venture, Cruz Enterprises, was named after Stark Enterprises. He likened Obama to both Darth Vader and the Terminator. At fundraising events, he reenacted a scene from The Princess Bride, which upset Mandy Patinkin. His most beloved My Little Pony character is Apple Jack. For a candidate who struggled to establish rapport with the public, Cruz's most relatable trait was his fondness for geek culture.
2. Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson was a multifaceted personality. He was a prodigy, albeit eerie and highly melancholic. However, a lesser-known fact about him is that he possessed an extensive assortment of vintage arcade games, making him one of the most prominent collectors globally.
The list of arcade cabinets that went up for sale after his demise is awe-inspiring, featuring iconic games like Mortal Kombat, X-Men, and even a Virtual Boy.
Jackson had a strong admiration for the Sonic the Hedgehog series (remarkable, considering the peculiar fanbase it has always attracted) and even created music for Sonic 3.
3. The Beatles
Back in 1969, an incredibly wild and nerdy film project was almost realized: The Beatles were on the verge of appearing in a Lord of the Rings movie directed by Stanley Kubrick.
However, Tolkien, who was against any adaptations of his books, ultimately stopped the project. This idea perfectly combined two of John Lennon's geeky obsessions: Lord of the Rings and Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. He even boasted of watching the latter once a week in 1968.
Although Lennon wasn't the sole mega-geek in The Beatles, George Harrison was also an avid Monty Python enthusiast who significantly saved the troupe twice.
4. Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio is often overlooked at the Oscars, and his love for all things geeky is not fully appreciated.
Despite declining the role of Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels due to feeling unprepared, Leo is a devoted fan of the franchise. He has an extensive collection of Star Wars action figures, which he auctioned off to support his environmental foundation.
Additionally, he collects action figures from other series such as E.T., 2001: A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes, The A-Team, and even a rare 1982 He-Man figurine.
5. Nicholas Cage
Although Nicolas Cage is often associated with internet memes, he's also a devoted nerd and actor. A particular fan of Superman comics, he named his son Kal-El after Clark Kent's birth name on Krypton.
Cage's name is a nod to comic books - he changed it from Nicolas Coppola to Cage as a tribute to Marvel's Luke Cage and to distance himself from the fame of his uncle, Francis Ford Coppola. He even collaborated with his son on a comic book called Voodoo Child, which is unsurprisingly named after one of his interests.
6. Barack Obama
The former President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Barack Obama, is also a self-proclaimed nerd.
During his undergraduate studies at Columbia University, he focused on political science, specializing in international relations and English literature. He later pursued a law degree at Harvard University, where he became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.
Obama then taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School before entering politics. In addition to his impressive academic and political accomplishments, he was passionate about collecting Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics, proving that even nerds can become world leaders and agents of change.
7. Kate Beckinsale
Despite the unlikely pairing of werewolves and Russian literature, Hollywood star Kate Beckinsale is passionate about both.
Best known for her role in the vampire versus werewolf series Underworld, Beckinsale is also a talented writer and poet, having won the national W.H. Smith Literary Award two years in a row.
Her love for languages led her to study French, German, and Russian at Oxford University, where she spent a year in Paris to enhance her skills further. Journalist Victoria Coren Mitchell has described Beckinsale as "whip-clever, slightly nuts, and very charming," proving that her geekiness is firmly embedded in her DNA.
8. Rosario Dawson
Proudly embracing her inner nerd, Rosario Dawson has expressed her delight at being included in the exclusive club of geeks. "To be called a geek so much lately has been fascinating. I've always wanted to be a geek," she exclaimed. As a devoted Trekkie, Dawson's fandom extends beyond watching the show, as she can even speak some Klingon.
Attending Comic-Con and co-creating her comic book series about a woman who investigates the supernatural in New York City, her passion for comic books is evident.
This love is also reflected in her acting career, where her character Claire Temple, known for her kickass abilities, has become a defining figure in Marvel's shows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage.
9. Megan Fox
It's imprudent to judge nerds based on their appearance. They come in various shapes and sizes, and contrary to popular belief, attractiveness levels vary as well.
Typically seen as stunning, Megan Fox is a professed Lord of the Rings super-nerd and an avid fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Sailor Moon anime.
Fox had acknowledged that she read X-Men and Gen 13 comic books when she was younger, and her interest in comics appears to have influenced the roles she has taken on in her acting career.
10. Natalie Portman
Despite her roles in popular nerdy movies like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Thor, Natalie Portman doesn't give off the typical nerdy vibe. However, she is one of the most geeky celebrities in Hollywood. She pursued a degree in psychology at Harvard University, worked as a research assistant, and co-authored scientific papers.
She skipped the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace premiere in a classic nerd move to study for her high school finals.
"I don't care if [college] ruins my career," Portman told the New York Post. "I'd rather be smart than a movie star."
11. Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis, the quintessential girl next door, had a surprising addiction to World of Warcraft.
She immersed herself in the online role-playing game and even joined an online guild under the name Captain Picard, a nod to Patrick Stewart's character in Star Trek: Next Generation. Kunis went so far as to recruit her friends to play with her.
However, she eventually realized that her time on the game was excessive and quit playing in 2012. Despite this, she still enjoys nerdy hobbies like playing the board game Settlers of Catan.
12. Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith, an enormous comic book enthusiast since childhood, has continued to embrace his nerdy passions throughout his entertainment career.
He enjoys reading comic books, writes them, hosts a show called Comic Book Men, and owns a store that sells comic books.
Smith frequently discusses comics on his podcasts, sharing his thoughts on the latest superhero movies from D.C. and Marvel. According to Smith, Captain America: Civil War is the most excellent superhero movie ever made, a sentiment we share (sorry, Logan).
13. Vin Diesel
Despite being widely recognized as a quintessential action hero in Hollywood, especially in high-speed vehicles.
Vin Diesel is an avid Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast. He has played the game since he was young and even had his character's name tattooed on his torso.
Additionally, he was approached to write the foreword for 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons and Dragons. This book provides an inside look at the history of the popular tabletop role-playing game that has captured the hearts of nerds worldwide. It appears that underneath all of his muscles, Vin Diesel is just like the rest of us - a true nerd.
14. Simon Pegg
Simon Pegg's memoir, Nerd Do Well, makes it clear that he proudly identifies as a super geek. He's a devoted science fiction fan who loves Star Wars and Star Trek.
Pegg has even acted in films from both franchises, portraying Unkar Plutt in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the comical Scotty in the three Star Trek reboots.
Pegg is known for his influential quote about nerd culture, which encourages people to be honest about their passions and not feel ashamed of expressing their enthusiasm.
15. Stephen Colbert
Although Stephen Colbert is known for his topical commentary and comedic prowess, he embraces his inner nerd.
His passion for Star Wars and extensive knowledge of The Lord of the Rings classify him as a true geek. Additionally, Peter Jackson himself recognizes Colbert as one of the world's biggest Tolkien enthusiasts.
He has dedicated segments to his geekiness on both The Colbert Report and The Late Show, from the latest lightsabers to correcting scientists on Smeagol and Gollum's differences.