Underworld star and Oxford alumna Kate Beckinsale was on Howard Stern on Wednesday and described the absolute hell of being a smart, beautiful woman in the movie industry.
"Every single doctor, every single person I've ever come across has said, 'You'd be so much happier if you were 30 percent less smart,'" Beckinsale told Stern. "It's no good to me, though. It's really not helpful to me in my career. I just think it might have been a handicap actually." The actress, who starred in Tiptoes, a movie about falling in love with a tall man who comes from a family of dwarves, did not divulge why a doctor would tell her that.
Beckinsale, who studied French and Russian literature at Oxford and is fluent in Russian, told Stern that her mother had her IQ tested as a child, and later called her on air to get the actual score. Beckinsale’s mother confirms that the actress has an IQ of 152, which is just eight points short of genius level.
Sure, being a brilliant woman didn’t help Beckinsale’s career, but Stern wanted to get down to brass tacks, does it help with the fellas? Beckinsale, who has been in long-term relationships with both Michael Sheen and Underworld director Len Wiseman (as well as a short-term relationship with Pete Davidson), said,"I've always found I can forgive an awful lot if somebody's funny. So, there's a certain degree of intelligence in somebody funny that I'm able to mess with." 30 Rock viewers will be able to attest to the fact that Sheen is indeed very funny. It’s harder to confirm whether or not Wiseman is funny, so I’ll just take her word on that one.
As a stunning genius myself, I feel for Beckinsale. Women in cutthroat industries like acting and blogging face so much pressure to be beautiful that we often have to minimize our intelligence. I’m actually in a support group with Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman about this very thing. Kate, if you want to join, we’ll save a chair for you..