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15 Incredibly Smart Actors Who Brilliantly Portrayed Dumb Characters

Almost every TV show or film has at least one amusing character, and in most situations, that character is amusing because they are, well, kind of dumb. This is because, more often than not, a film or television series requires a dumb or dopey character for comic relief to engage and entertain the audience as well as to dissipate tension or drama.

Such a position necessitates a genuine performance, for which the producers will demand a genuine, as well as a skilled, actor. In fact, the dumber the character, the smarter the actor playing them must be, because have to comprehend how stupid the role is. There are many film stars who you could consider to be stupid, insipid, or just plain foolish because of a particular role they played, the type of work they conduct, or the public image they show to the world. However, guess what? Many of those people are actually highly smart behind the scenes.

#1 Kate Upton

Source: Screenweek

Kate Upton did not become a popular model/actress by bragging about her intelligence, but former co-star Cameron Diaz maintains she does, stating of Upton: “It’s unbelievable how brilliant and intelligent she is… She doesn’t overlook anything.”

#2 Monty Python troupe

Source: CNN

Several performers’ images were dumbed down by Monty Python. The group met while studying at two of the most elite universities in England. Terry Jones and Michael Palin were classmates at Oxford with John Cleese, Graham Chapman, and Eric Idle.

#3 Dolph Lundgren

Source: IMDb

Dolph Lundgren’s physicality made him renowned, but his mind is equally impressive. The Swedish-born action hero studied chemical engineering as a Fulbright Scholar at MIT and is considered to have a genius-level IQ.

#4 Mira Sorvino

Source: IMDb

Mira Sorvino’s most famous portrayal is that of utter airhead Romy in the popular comedy Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, yet she is everything but dumb, having graduated from Harvard with a degree in Chinese.

#5 Ashton Kutcher

Source: IMDb

Although his goofy onscreen demeanor has served him well as a humorous actor, Ashton Kutcher’s stated IQ is 160. “The sexiest thing in the entire world is being incredibly clever,” he said during his victory speech at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards.

#6 Goldie Hawn

Source: Pinterest

Goldie Hawn was typecast for years as a ditzy sex kitten on 1960s Laugh-In until she started producing vehicles for herself like Private Benjamin, where she could show off her smart side.

#7 Adam Sandler

Source: IMDb

When Adam Sandler is playing the fool, he is at his most popular. However, Sandler, who attended NYU, has also been a driving force behind many of his films, co-writing and producing hits such as The Waterboy and Grown Ups.

#8 Lucille Ball

Source: IMDb

Lucille Ball is best known for playing the goofy character on the television series I Love Lucy, but she was also a savvy entrepreneur who co-founded Desilu with her husband/co-star Desi Arnaz, making her the first woman to run a television production firm.

#9 Kal Penn

Source: IMDb

Kal Penn is best known as Kumar from the Harold & Kumar franchise, but he is also a very smart man who teaches a course at the University of Pennsylvania and works as the Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement (2009-2011).

#10 Marilyn Monroe

Source: Pinterest

To many, Marilyn Monroe will always be the ideal dumb blonde, yet the brainy actress painstakingly created her character as a ditzy sex queen. Monroe was a shockingly intelligent woman who was married to the great writer Arthur Miller.

#11 Steve Martin

Source: Forbes

Steve Martin is another Mensa member who began his career as a buffoon. Martin, who is also an outstanding writer/producer, has transitioned from roles like the absurdly comic Navin in The Jerk to characters with intellects similar to his own.

#12 Nolan Gould

Source: IMDb

Nolan Gould, who plays a dumb kid on Modern Family, keeps his genius secret. The young actor graduated from high school at the age of 13 and has an IQ of 150, making him a Mensa member.

#13 Lisa Kudrow

Source: Pinkvilla

Lisa Kudrow rose to fame as the flaky, dimwitted Phoebe Buffay on Friends, although Kudrow, who earned a BA in science from Vassar College and conducted biology research, supposedly has an IQ of 154.

#14 James Franco

Source: Magazin

James Franco, the popular actor/filmmaker, is only now beginning to shed his airhead image. The UCLA grad has been involved in a variety of intellectual endeavors, including directing and starring in a version of John Steinbeck’s classic In Dubious Battle.

#15 Sylvester Stallone

Source: Pinterest

Sylvester Stallone was convincing as the simple-minded Rocky Balboa due to his sluggish speech style and mannerisms. Still, we should remember that he also wrote the Rocky screenplay and penned subsequent popular flicks. Stallone is said to have a genius IQ of 160.

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