Sounds Hard to Be This Hot and Smart

Kate Beckinsale. Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Attractive and also very smart: two traits that people generally prize in others, and that therefore tend to confer advantages. Or that had been my impression up until I heard from Kate Beckinsale, a Hollywood actor who is objectively hot and also, by her own account, a borderline genius. In an interview with Howard Stern, Beckinsale disclosed that she took an IQ test as a child and came out with a very high score — 152, according to her mother. For reference, the average IQ sits around 100, while over 130 is considered very high.

So! As you can see, we have a big huge brain on our hands. (Maybe not so surprising, considering Beckinsale went to Oxford and speaks fluent Russian.) But please be advised, this can be a burden. In addition to making her “nearly unbearable” as a kid, Beckinsale’s towering intellect has proved a professional hurdle, she told Stern. “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,’ and I’m sure that’s true.” Wow, every single person? Even her ex-Crucible boyfriend, Goody Grace? Damn, that must get really old, really quickly. Imagine, you go to the doctor, any doctor, complaining about this weird new chest pain or an unsettling tingle in your left foot, and they’re all, “You know what the problem is? You’re just too smart” — how tiresome! Beckinsale agrees: “It’s no good to me,” she said of her staggering intelligence. “It’s really not helpful to me in my career. I just think it might have been a handicap, actually.”

Mercifully, though, being measurably Gifted and Talented has not really hindered Beckinsale’s dating life so much, because she has a sense of humor. “I’ve heard so many women say, ‘Why are men such idiots?’” she told Stern, who worried her romantic prospects must seem comparatively moronic. “I think that’s a thing; I don’t know if that’s personal to me,” she 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 being funny that I’m able to mess with.” Which may explain that Pete Davidson thing.

Sounds Hard to Be This Hot and Smart