It’s not as bad as it used to be, but nerds still have a pretty rough time growing up. Not fitting in can be a social death sentence in high school, and plenty of kids still bully each other over having “nerdy” interests. If that ever happens to you, show your bully this list, because some of the biggest celebrities in the world are nerds too and they turned out fine:
Vin Diesel & Judi Dench, Dungeons & Dragons Pals
Here’s the weirdest sentence you’ll read today: Vin Diesel plays D&D with Dame Judi Dench. Seriously. Vin introduced it to her on the set of Chronicles of Riddick, but has been playing for decades- he even wrote a foreword to a D&D book and regularly talks about it in public. Other famous players you might not expect include Robin Williams, Tim Duncan, Mike Myers, and famous, ahem, “actress” Sasha Grey. It’s almost like D&D isn’t the nerdiest thing in the world! (Except it totally is.)
Stephen Colbert Is Obsessed With J.R.R. Tolkien
Here’s a guy everybody knows about, but is no less nerdy for it. Peter Jackson himself called Stephen Colbert the the biggest Tolkien geek he’d ever met, and it’s not hard to see why- here’s a video of him asking Franco a minute-long question about elves.
Mila Kunis, World of Warcraft Guildmaster
Yep, the star of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Family Guy, and 19% of American male sex fantasies once raided Azeroth as a mage named “Captainpicard.” And she was pretty hardcore, too, as evidenced by her flying colors on this impromptu WoW quiz. Sure, plenty of famous people have admitted to playing Warcraft- including Dave Chappelle, Macaulay Culkin, and Chuck Freaking Norris, but none of them have stimulated more blood flow than the Red Cross, so Mila gets the nod.
Nic Cage Named His Family After Comic Book Characters
As far as I know, Nic Cage is the only person here who actually holds a world record for nerdiness: his copy of Action Comics #1, AKA the first Superman comic, is the most expensive comic book ever sold. He’s sold over $4 million worth of comics, and that’s not even counting comics that were stolen from him in 2000, one of which was the second most valuable comic in the world.
But that’s not all. His stage name comes from Marvel’s Luke Cage, AKA Power Man- his real name is Nicolas Coppola- and he named his second son Kal-El, after Superman’s name on Krypton. There’s zero evidence that his first son, Weston, was named after famed British comics artist Chris Weston, but the guy was drawing Judge Dredd at the time… so draw your own conclusions.
Kate Beckinsale: Literary Goddess
Ms. Beckinsale is best known today for being almost naked in movies about vampires. Before acting, though, she was a literary prodigy- she studied literature at Oxford, mastered French, German, and Russian, and won the national W.H. Smith Young Writers’ competition two years in a row. Mind, that’s the youth division of the regular W.H. Smith Literary Award, which went to the likes of Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney, V.S. Naipaul, Philip Roth, and Vikram Seth. Technically this is only nerdy if smarts in general are nerdy, but we live in a cruelly ignorant society, so I’ll allow it. Go Kate!
Leonardo DiCaprio Collects Star Wars Figurines
He auctioned some of his collection for charity back in 2006, netting a cool $110,000. Sadly, there’s no Star Wars character named Oscar.
Robin Williams Is The Biggest Nerd In The World
Almost everything on this list is true of Robin Williams, too. D&D? Check. Warcraft? Check. Comic books? Check. He named two of his kids after video game characters. He’s an anime fan, a Isaac Asimov nerd, and he collects Warhammer figurines.