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16 Celebs Who Almost Weren’t Actors Because They Went To School For Another Career


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16 Celebs Who Almost Weren’t Actors Because They Went To School For Another Career

1. Rebel Wilson – Law Amy Sussman / Getty Images Actor and comedian Rebel graduated with a law degree from the University of New South Wales in 2009 before getting into acting. After graduating, she became an Australian youth ambassador and contracted malaria in South Africa. While she was sick with a fever-induced hallucination, she…

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1.

Rebel Wilson – Law


Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Actor and comedian Rebel graduated with a law degree from the University of New South Wales in 2009 before getting into acting. After graduating, she became an Australian youth ambassador and contracted malaria in South Africa. While she was sick with a fever-induced hallucination, she saw herself winning an Academy Award and took it as a sign to become an actor. “A lot of people look at me and think I’m stupid,” she said in an interview with Seth Meyers in 2016. “But no, I graduated from a school that’s kind of like the Harvard of Australia.”

2.

Will Ferrell – Sports Information


Jemal Countess / Getty Images

Actor Will Ferrell attended the University of Southern California and joined the Delta Tau fraternity. In 1989, he graduated with a degree in Sports Information. “Yes, you heard me, sports information,” he joked in a commencement speech at the school in 2017. “A program so difficult, so arduous, that they discontinued it eight years after I left. Those of us with sports information degrees are an elite group. We’re like the Navy SEALs of USC graduates. There are very few of us, and there was a high dropout rate.”

3.

Lisa Kudrow – Biology


David Livingston / Getty Images

Before landing her role as Phoebe on Friends, Lisa earned a degree in biology from Vassar College in New York in 1985. Her brother’s childhood friend was comedian Jon Lovitz, who encouraged her to pursue acting while working for her father as a medical researcher.

4.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – General Studies


Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images

Former pro-wrestler and actor Dwayne Johnson received a full-ride football scholarship to the University of Miami. In 1995, he graduated with a Bachelor of General Studies, with concentrations in criminology and physiology.

5.

Ken Jeong – M.D.


Gregg Deguire / Getty Images

Ken got his big break playing Mr. Chow in The Hangover, but before that, he completed his pre-med studies at Duke University in 1990 and then went on to earn his medical degree at the University of North Carolina in 1995. His wife Tran Ho – who happens to be a physician – was the one who encouraged Ken to explore his love of acting.

6.

Gabrielle Union – Sociology


Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Originally from the Midwest, Gabrielle moved to Los Angeles and attended the University of California. During her senior year at UCLA, she interned at a modeling agency where clients often mistook her for one of the models. In 1996, she graduated with a degree in sociology, but the agency she was interning at invited her to sign on with them as a model. And the rest is history.

7.

Chris Martin – Greek and Latin


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While attending the University College London, he met his future bandmates: Will Champion, Guy Berryman, and Jonny Buckland. Chris completed a degree in Greek and Latin with first class honors before making it big.

8.

Rashida Jones – Religion and Philosophy


Kevin Winter / Getty Images

In 1997, actor Rashida graduated from Harvard University where she studied religion and philosophy. At first she wanted to be a lawyer, but changed her mind after the O.J. Simpson trial. In a 2011 interview with LA Magazine, she said, “The O.J. Simpson trial was disillusioning for me. It was the first time I realized that sometimes privilege can trump justice. It seemed insane to me that the man could have so much evidence stacked against him and still, because he managed to get a great defense team, be acquitted…I hated the fact that Simpson was in any way representing justice for black people in California. I had wanted to be a lawyer, but after that I decided to do something else.”

9.

Aziz Ansari – Marketing


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Besides being a stand-up comedian, Aziz is an actor who is well-known for his role as Tom Haverford in Parks and Recreation. However, he originally wanted to become an entrepreneur. Growing up, Aziz actually attended a public boarding school for gifted students. He then went on to get a marketing degree at New York University’s Stern School of Business in 2004.

10.

Octavia Spencer – English


Jerod Harris / Getty Images

She graduated from Auburn University in 1994 with a degree in English. Although Octavia had an interest in acting since childhood, she thought it was an unrealistic career goal. Good thing she got over that because movies like The Help wouldn’t be the same without her!

11.

David Spade – Business


Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

In 1986, David earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Arizona State University. He had been a prankster most his life and his friends pushed him into doing stand-up comedy which, obviously, ended up working out well for him.

12.

Rooney Mara – Psychology, International Social Policy, and Nonprofits


Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images

Rooney earned a degree in psychology, international social policy, and nonprofits from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2010. At first, she was scared acting wasn’t a serious career choice.

13.

Gerard Butler – Law


Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Gerard received a degree from the University of Glasgow School of Law in 1992. After he graduated, he accepted a position as a trainee lawyer at a firm, but eventually got fired because he partied too much. When he was 25, he decided to move to London to become an actor.

14.

Wanda Sykes – Marketing


Jean Baptiste Lacroix / Getty Images

Wanda graduated with a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Hampton University in 1986. Right out of college, she worked for the National Security Agency, eventually becoming a contract specialist. However, in 1987, a local radio station held a talent show that Wanda entered, and she fell in love with comedy.

15.

Chris Pine – English


Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images

Although both of his parents acted, Chris decided to be an English major and graduated in 2002. He told the Hollywood Reporter, “I never had a passion for acting, I never wanted to do it. But, like any human being, people want to be loved, and it seemed to be the thing I could do where I got love.”

16.

Rowan Atkinson – Electrical Engineering


Angela Weiss / Getty Images

Rowan received his degree in electrical engineering at Newcastle University. He then went on to study his master’s in electrical engineering at The Queen’s College Oxford in 1975. While there, he met future screenwriter Richard Curtis. The next year, the two started creating sketches for the Oxford Playhouse and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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