They might be known as “brains” or “nerds,” but a true Ravenclaw is a whole lot more than that. In addition to boasting (probably) the highest grades of any Hogwarts House, Ravenclaw students are also known for their creativity, imagination, wit, and eccentricity (the last which often applies to geniuses or those who work in the arts anyway). Sometimes a little quirky, Ravenclaws can also be pointed at as being the “weird ones,” but that’s just because they actually enjoy things that most people don’t - like school!
While most celebrities aren’t praised for their intellect, these 15 entries are definitely people who prize their education and abilities. With natural talent in a variety of creative pursuits, they’re the ones who would feel right at home in Ravenclaw Tower, decked out in bronze and blue. Sure, some of these entries might seem like they’d be at home elsewhere, but when it comes right down to it, we know that they’d easily pick Ravenclaw – and Professor Flitwick (the Ravenclaw Head of House) would be there to add a little extra “charm” to their already-charmed lives.
15 Lena Dunham
While her character in Girls is clearly a strange mixture of Hufflepuff and Slytherin, creator and star Lena Dunham is definitely a Ravenclaw. Incredibly outspoken and intelligent, Lena began her writing and directing career as a child, even winning a Scholastic Art and Writing Award as a teenager. Exhibiting the traits of both intelligence and creativity, Lena used her time at Oberlin College to develop further as a writer and artist, which has grown into a successful TV show on HBO, a book of personal essays, and Lenny Letter, a feminist newsletter which she cofounded. Like most Ravenclaws, Lena can be described as quirky, and she may even rub people the wrong way, but her primary traits definitely put her firmly in the House of bronze and blue!
14 Alexis Bledel
Just like Rory Gilmore – who was clearly a Ravenclaw who attended Yale University in Gilmore Girls – the actress who plays her, Alexis Bledel, is definitely a member of Rowena’s house. A regular overachiever, Alexis has moved from acting to modelling in television, film, and on stage. Having worked since the age of 15, Alexis is also able to speak two languages, Spanish and English. An introverted person, Alexis was encouraged to join theatre to overcome her shyness, and found a great source of creativity and lifelong passion there, which are definitely Ravenclaw attributes, as is her natural talent for both. While she’s had a robust career, Alexis also made time to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (albeit for one year), which has such esteemed alumni as Lady Gaga, Martin Scorsese, and Woody Allen.
13 Amy Schumer
Okay, hear me out on this. Amy Schumer regularly plays a bit of a goof, and she definitely seems to be of the easygoing, social nature and hard work ethic of a Hufflepuff; having paid her dues during years of standup and touring comedy clubs. That being said, Amy’s drive and natural aptitude to whatever creative pursuit she touches make her a staunch Ravenclaw. As does her thirst for knowledge in areas where her work does not lie, like politics and government. Add to that the creativity and wit she exhibits in all of her work, from her TV show, to her films, book, and standup routines. A self-professed introvert, Amy has admitted that she needs time to herself to recharge her creative batteries, and immerses herself in as much content as possible in order to gather information for her work. Sounds like a straight-up Ravenclaw to us!
12 Benedict Cumberbatch
If we asked anyone what celebrity stands out to them as a Ravenclaw, we can bet that at some point they’ll choose Benedict Cumberbatch (and not just because he’s British). Unlike most actors, Benedict chose the scholarly route for his career, learning as much as he possibly could at both the University of Manchester and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, where he earned an MFA. Only after that, when he was 24, did Benedict actually become an “active actor.” Clearly, he boasts a major degree of intelligence and creativity, as well as choosiness when it comes to his projects, which demonstrates some of the precision that so many Ravenclaws choose to use in their own work. And it’s certainly paid off – the guy has won multiple awards for all of his work on stage and screen!
11 Robert Downey Jr.
His offbeat personality and acceptance of the faults of others are clearly reminiscent of a Ravenclaw, who are known for their eccentricities. His recent foray into science fiction and comic book films has definitely earned him a spot in fanboys’ hearts, which is a culture that’s pretty much defined by Ravenclaws!
An accomplished actor with memorable talent, Robert has been on the scene since he was five years old, thanks to his father, actor Robert Downey Sr., but it was his realization that he needed to take a break from Hollywood to focus on his own health and addiction issues that truly shows his wisdom – something Rowena would definitely be proud of! An eccentric through and through, Robert has enamoured himself to the public that loves him for who he is and celebrates him as the ultimate comeback story ever since.
Unlike a lot of other pop stars her age, Lorde seems like an old soul whose wise beyond her years – which makes her a clear Ravenclaw. First starting out when she was only 13, Lorde was 17 when she got her first major hit with “Royals,” but it’s her creative sound and introspective lyrics that make her a clear contender for Ravenclaw royalty! She’s credited her love of reading, which was nurtured by her poet mother, for being a major influence in her work, saying she was reading the likes of Salinger and Carver at a very young age. Named as one of the most influential teenagers in the world in 2013 by TIME, Lorde’s explosive talent in the creative fields make her a Ravenclaw through and through.
9 Tina Fey
Ravenclaws may get a reputation for being a bit bossy, since they know how things should be done and would prefer they be done the right way, so it makes perfect sense that Ravenclaw Tina Fey would have a best-selling book called Bossypants! An incredibly hard worker, Tina might seem like a Hufflepuff at first, but her work as an actress, comedian, writer, and producer definitely put her as a Jill of all trades in the creative fields (which is very Ravenclaw). Known for her wit and intelligence, her sharp tongue and quick pen have made her absolutely kill it during her work with SNL and 30 Rock, as well as her creation of shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt! An honors student who stretched herself to cover choir, drama, tennis, and the school paper, Tina was the kind of kid who could give Hermione a run for her money!
8 Meryl Streep
As the most talented actress in the world (no matter what Donald Trump says), some might be inclined to think that Meryl Streep is a Gryffindor, especially for her bravery in speaking out about the injustices of the world and her dedication to philanthropy. Or perhaps a Hufflepuff, for her unending commitment to her career. However, in addition to being one of the most acclaimed, beloved, and award-winning actresses ever (she’s been nominated for a Golden Globe 30 times). We also didn't know that Meryl boasts a genius IQ of 143! Her creativity and intelligence throughout her almost 50-year career are major signifiers of a Ravenclaw woman, and just the thought of her teaching a class at Hogwarts would be nothing less than incredible! Even if it was something as dull as “Muggle Studies” or “History of Magic,” we know that Meryl – being Meryl – would absolutely kill it.
7 Emma Watson
Yes, Hermione was a Gryffindor, but she totally could’ve been a Ravenclaw if she wanted to. Fortunately, Emma Watson is absolutely a daughter of Rowena! Taking some time off acting to pursue a degree in English literature from the Ivy League, Brown University, Emma also spent some time at Oxford University; the internationally renowned learning institution that carries a ton of intellectual weight in its name alone. She’s also refused to let her education end behind the walls of a school: Emma has been outspoken about her women’s rights and has delivered numerous speeches in her role as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. With her intelligence, creativity, and wisdom, Emma has proven again and again that not only is she a Hermione-level student, but she is a pure Ravenclaw!
6 B.J. Novak
He’s most recognized for being a handsome, smugly satisfied slacker in The Office, but B.J. Novak is actually totally committed to everything he does, which includes credits for directing, writing, and producing on his resumé. Oh, and did we mention that he’s a graduate of Harvard, the university that’s pretty much the Holy Grail for Ravenclaws everywhere? He majored in English and Spanish literature and wrote his honors thesis on Hamlet! Since his time in school, he’s been on The Office (both in front of and behind the screen), written two books (with another on the way with BFF and total Hufflepuff, Mindy Kaling), and even developed an app for Apple! Hey, Ravenclaws often become inventors, right? With that much widespread creativity, it’s clear that B.J. Novak would be right at home in Ravenclaw Tower.
5 Lisa Kudrow
While Phoebe Buffay is definitely a Hufflepuff, with her spaciness and devotion to her friends who are basically her family, actress Lisa Kudrow is definitely a Ravenclaw. (Perhaps it’s the Ravenclaw’s tendency to embrace the weird that drew Lisa to the role of Phoebe, since she’s more than a bit of an oddball.)
A graduate of Vassar College – which is considered to be one of the sister colleges to those in the Ivy League – Lisa got a degree in biology and began a study with her father concerning hemispheric dominance headache types. If that sounds pretty intense and complicated, it might have been more manageable for Lisa since she has an astonishing IQ of 154! Turns out actors have to be pretty damn smart to play dumb!
4 Jodie Foster
Sure, she was a hugely successful child star who was racking up critical acclaim and multiple awards at a ridiculously young age, but textbook Ravenclaw overachiever Jodie Foster didn’t stop there. The magna cum laude Yale graduate who studied French at the Ivy League school and became bilingual also taught herself to read before she was three (how many Ravenclaws does someone think have been able to do that?).
A bit of an eccentric who certainly embraces the weird, Jodie has largely stayed out of the limelight lately (except for a recent honorary Golden Globe for “outstanding achievement in the world of entertainment”), preferring to do more work behind the scenes, but she is regularly pointed to as one of the most intelligent and well-spoken celebrities in Hollywood, two traits that make her a shoo-in for the Ravenclaw house.
3 Natalie Portman
To say that Natalie Portman is a smart cookie would be underestimating. Another former child star, Natalie came out clean on the other side, and boasts multiple Ravenclaw-esque talents in acting, dancing, producing, and directing. Oh, and she also happened to be at Harvard studying psychology while working as a critically acclaimed actor! Her wisdom and knowledge in the field of the arts also led her to earn a spot as the youngest member of the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival jury in 2008, but NBD.
During her time at Harvard, she was published in two scientific journals, and if all of that doesn’t impress anyone and assure them that she’s a bonafide Ravenclaw, it might interest them to know that Natalie also speaks six languages: Hebrew, English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish!
2 Mayim Bialik
Actress Mayim Bialik doesn’t just play a genius on TV – she actually is one! Like her character Amy Farrah-Fowler, Mayim is also a neuroscientist, with both a bachelor’s degree and PhD, the latter of which specialized in obsessive-compulsive disorder (sounds like something that could be put to use on Sheldon Cooper!). For the record, Mayim’s stellar grades got her accepted into both Yale and Harvard, although she chose UCLA in the end. In addition to her work in acting and neuroscience, Mayim has also launched her own website and written two books, which aim to educate readers about attachment parenting and veganism, two items close to Mayim’s heart – and a sure signifier of a Ravenclaw’s desire to teach and impart knowledge through their own wisdom.
1 Neil deGrasse Tyson
While Neil deGrasse Tyson’s crusade for scientific education is definitely worthy of a spot in Gryffindor house, his thirst for knowledge and need to teach others definitely points him more in the direction of Ravenclaw. We can just imagine all the talks he might have had with the Grey Lady! Listing all of his accomplishments would take up this entire article, but it is worth mentioning that this smart cookie counts both Ivy League Harvard and Columbia Universities among his alma maters (yes, that means there’s even more). In addition to his work in science, Neil has also worked to refute the “flat earth” belief, collaborated with PETA for animal rights, and worked towards social justice issues. There’s definitely some major elements of Gryffindor in this scientist, but Professor Flitwick would probably pick him as his favorite student if he ever had the chance!