Monday, January 31, 2011

Academic Actors

There is something extremely sexy about actors with an education or (earned) academic degrees.

James Franco (who, in my eyes, arrived way before 127 hours) completed his undergraduate studies from UCLA and his graduate degrees from NYU (film making) and Columbia (fina arts). Now, he has been accepted as a doctoral student in English Literature at Yale. All this, while continuing to make quality movies, write books and screenplays, paint etc. ( I am quite sure I am missing out some things here)

David Duchovny, on the other hand, has not enjoyed the kind of success and adulation that Franco has which has mostly to do with his disastrous movie choices!!! He studied at Princeton, got a Masters in English Literature at Yale and then, enrolled but did not completed his PhD from the same University on the topic " Magic and Technology in Contemporary Poetry and Prose". Despite his continuing struggle to find his feet as an actor, I find his role as Hank Moody in the otherwise extreme, explicit television series CALIFORNICATION as one of his finest and most 'real' to date. This is not to discount his performance as the wry but lovable Fox Mulder in The X-Files.

Duchovny has expressed his interest in completing his PhD some day.

The fact that Franco and Duchovny look the way they do cannot possibly hurt in the 'charm' department!!

Back home, we have a host of our very own Bollywood celebrities who have been showered with honorary doctoral degrees by 'phoren' Universities. Leading the pack are Preity Zinta, Shahrukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Shilpa Shetty for their extraordinary contribution to Indian cinema. I believe Katrina Kaif and Imran Khan are due to receive it anytime soon!! :-)

I, of course, choose not to mention some truly 'eligible' actor/honorary doctorate holders like Amitabh Bachchan, Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah.

This post is not meant to undermine the host of intellectually leaning actors/creative persons who decided to quit higher education as they deemed it pointless at some stage. But, in a traditional society where merit is still judged by academic achievement, a handful of actors with degrees are refreshingly attractive as compared to a sea of dopey drop outs!!

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