Actors who went to college after they became famous


You would think that young actors who have made it in the industry would be prepared to forgo the education they would have had in favor of a career on the silver screen. After all, they want to be actors, and they’ve achieved that dream, right? Well, perhaps, but it’s often not that simple, and many movie stars decide they actually do want to finish or further their educations after the fact.

It’s always useful to be qualified for something else – that way, they won’t be short of a career if they choose to quit Tinseltown. For a lot of teen stars, college is often something placed on the backburner while they focus on making sure their careers get off on the right foot. These are some of the awesome performers we know and love who actually went to college after becoming famous.

Emma Watson

With five Harry Potter movies under her belt, the teen idol was known globally for her roles as Hermione Granger. So, at the age of 19, Emma decided to take a hiatus from the acting world and enrolled at Brown University. She dropped out after eighteen months to return to the Potter franchise, but then returned and eventually graduated with a BA in English Literature in 2014. Watson has often talked about the importance of her education, and how she feels it has benefitted and enriched her life.

Dakota Fanning

Child star Dakota Fanning has become one of the finest actresses of her generation and was already a global superstar at the age of 15. In 2011, the precocious actress took a break from the film industry and decided to attend New York University. She attended the Gallatin School of Individualization at NYU from 2011 until 2014. While at the school, Fanning majored in Women’s Studies – her course had a focus on women in film. After her graduation in 2014, Dakota returned to the acting world and has been just as prolific as she always was.

James Franco

As if James couldn’t become even more awesome, we find out he’s also a smart cookie. The hugely talented thesp actually returned to education in 2006, with two Spider-Man movies already under his belt. He studied English Literature at UCLA, but that was just the tip of the iceberg for this guy. He also took several courses at institutions including Columbia University, NYU, Brooklyn College, and Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. Oh yeah, and we forgot to mention, the dude also has a Ph.D. from Yale! Talented and brainy, be still our hearts!

Natalie Portman

Seemingly not content with conquering the galaxy in her role in Star Wars, or conquering the acting world with her Academy Award, Natalie Portman decided to conquer the world of education too. Despite being a household name after the Star Wars movies, this intergalactic Queen halted her movie career in 2003 to study at Harvard, using her birth name, obviously. She lived in dorms, hung out with fellow students, and graduated with a degree in psychology.

These are some of the biggest names in the business who decided to go to college after establishing their acting credentials. It must have been surreal for the other students to get to hang out with these stars! But, from what we hear they were all very down-to-Earth and took their educations incredibly seriously.