10 Celebrities Who Are Self-Proclaimed Nerds

Once considered an insulting term, kids and adults should be flattered today if they’re referred to as a “nerd.” Great minds like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and George Lucas, and TV series like The Big Bang Theory and have opened peoples’ eyes to the fact that nerds, well, they run the world.

Hollywood celebrities, including actors and musicians, are often stereotyped as unintelligent and great only at their respective crafts. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Many celebrities are highly educated, super intelligent, and multi-talented. And yes, some are even total nerds.

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Whether they’re nerds who are into stereotypically nerdy things like superheroes and video games, or nerds in the sense that they are proficient in subjects like math, science, and technology, these 10 celebrities are total self-proclaimed nerds that can totally back up their nerdiness.

10 Chris Hardwick

As host of the hourly after shows for popular AMC series like The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, host of the his own talk show Talking with Chris Hardwick, and host of game show The Wall, Hardwick is also a self-professed geek.

In fact, he even founded the company Nerdist Industries, which operates the Nerdist Podcast Network and The Nerdist Podcast. Nerdist, of course, deals with anything and everything to do with nerd culture. Today, while is isn’t part of the Nerdist family anymore, he continues to profess his love for everything from comic books and TV series based on them, the horror movie genre, video games, and all things geek.

9 Pharrell Williams

A multi-talented music producer, singer, rapper, songwriter, fashion design, and entrepreneur, Williams is also a superfan of Star Trek. His band is called N*E*R*D, making no mistake about his self-proclaimed nerdiness.

With a love of science and technology, he has also made investments to help the next generation of nerds embrace their intelligence. His non-profit educational organization From One Hand To AnOTHER (FOHTA) aims to provide kids with the tools and resources they need to “meet their unique potential,” including new technologies, arts, media, and motivation.

8 Danica McKellar

Known mainly for her role as Winnie Cooper in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s sitcom The Wonder Years, McKellar is a bona fide brainiac. She has a Bachelor of Science from UCLA where she graduated summa cum laude in mathematics.

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Additionally, she has written six non-fiction books on mathematics, many designed to encourage young girls to pursue studies and careers in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. She currently stars in the Netflix original kids series Project Mc2 about a secretive group of female government operatives trying to protect the world using STEM principles.

7 Rashida Jones

In the public eye, Jones is a talented actor who has appeared in series like Parks and Recreation and Boston Public, and movies like I Love You, Man and The Social Network. She’s also the daughter of music icon Quincy Jones.

But Jones is also a super nerd who is a talented writer and producer. She co-wrote the story for Toy Story 4, directed the first episode of Hot Girls Wanted, and made a documentary about her father. She was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by her classmates in high school, then graduated from Harvard with a degree in religion and philosophy.

6 Rosaria Dawson

Smart and beautiful? Yep, this actor and singer who has appeared in movies like Men in Black II, Rent, and Clerks II, has also been drawn to many comic book roles given her self-professed nerdiness. She has appeared in Sin City, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and other series based on superhero comic books, as well as voiced superhero characters for animated projects.

She is also a known Trekkie, even showing Conan O’Brien once in an interview her knowledge of Klingon, the fictional language spoken in the popular movies and TV series.

5 Natalie Portman

Not only has she played Padme Amidala in Star Wars, including Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace, solidifying her place in nerd culture, but Portman is also a book smart woman who graduated from Harvard with a degree in psychology.

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She wrote a paper in high school called “A Simple Method to Demonstrate the Enzymatic Production of Hydrogen from Sugar” alongside two scientists. She has also published a science paper, returned to Harvard to deliver a commencement address in 2015, and has been quoted as saying that she didn’t care if college ruined her career because she’d “rather be smart than a movie star.”

4 Mila Kunis

In a popular viral video, when one reporter during a panel interview about a new movie thought he was being clever by asking her co-star Justin Timberlake an awkward question, she quickly replied back in the native tongue before he got the translation, surprising the journalist that she could speak the language fluently. Born to a physics teacher and mechanical engineer, nerdiness is in her blood.

But what really makes her a nerd is her total love of video games, most notably World of Warcraft, which she reportedly had to stop playing cold turkey because it became all-consuming. Her name in the game? CaptainPicard. She is now married to her former That ’70s Show co-star and fellow tech nerd, Ashton Kutcher.

3 John Mayer

A talented singer, Mayer is also a self-proclaimed nerd who attended Berklee College of Music and was born into an education-focused family: his father was a principal and his mother an English teacher.

He is a total nerd about watches with a collection of expensive ones from brands like Patek Philippe and Rolex, and even served as a juror for a competition centred around timepieces. He is also a great writer and columnist, and a fabulously gifted guitarist. Mayer has his own non-profit organization called Back to You that focuses on fundraising for health care, education, the arts, and talent development.

2 Mayim Bialik

She played a super-nerd on the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, but Bialik is also one in real life who actually understood the scientific jargon she had to use in dialogue on the show. A She holds a Ph.D in neuroscience along with minors in Hebrew and Jewish studies from UCLA where she investigated hypothalamic activity in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome.

Acting since a young age, she took time out to further her educational studies. In 2015, she founded Grok Nation that aims to engage people in online conversations to help them work towards change. The term “grok” means to understand in a profound manner and comes from the 1961 sci-fi novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. Bialik has also authored several books.

1 Aisha Tyler

A talented actor, comedian, director, and host, Tyler is also a self-proclaimed nerd. She even hosted game developer Ubisoft’s presentation at the E3 Expo, a trade show for the gaming industry. And she has voiced several characters in video games like Halo: Reach and Gears of War 3.

She’s an avid gamer who doesn’t just talk the talk as a pretty face reading from a script when she presents on the topics, but she walks the walk. Tyler says she has been seriously gaming since she was a child and her father would take her to the arcade.

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