Kate Beckinsale Slams Critics Trying to "Shame" Her Over IQ Comments

Kate Beckinsale was asked about her IQ during a recent chat with Howard Stern. Now, the actress is addressing the headlines she's read about the interview.

By Elyse Dupre Oct 22, 2021 3:03 PMTags
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Kate Beckinsale is not here for the "bulls--t."

After making headlines for comments about her IQ earlier this week, the 48-year-old actress is firing back at her critics.

During Beckinsale's appearance on The Howard Stern Show on Oct. 19, host Howard Stern noted the Pearl Harbor star studied Russian literature at the University of Oxford in England and that she speaks fluent Russian. The 67-year-old radio personality then asked her if she's ever taken an IQ test. After Beckinsale said her mom Judy Loe had her tested when she was young, Stern wanted to know her score. 

"I have to ask my mum. It was very high," Beckinsale replied. "And I think she had me tested because, you know, very bright children are nearly unbearable. I'm sure that's why she had it done." 

Stern then asked if Beckinsale had a genius-level IQ. "I think it was quite high, yeah," she answered. "I'll text her and ask her. She'll be awake."

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About a minute later, after Stern asked if she'd received a response, Beckinsale called her mother, who said the score was 152. Stern then said he wished he had a score that high. 

"You don't," Beckinsale said. "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." 

She later added, "It's no good to me, though. I mean, it's really not helpful in my career. I just think it's might been a handicap actually."

After her quotes made the news, Beckinsale took to Instagram on Oct. 22 to call out a few headlines. For instance, she shared a screenshot of what appeared to be a New York Post headline calling her comments a "cringeworthy humble brag," as well as a photo from The Cut's article that read "Sounds Hard to Be This Hot and Smart." The pictured New York Post headline appears to have since been updated.

"I was asked multiple times in a recent interview if [I] knew my IQ," Beckinsale wrote. "I didn't answer the question the first few times, but I did tell the truth that my mum had had me tested when I was young, and that it was high. I didn't remember the number, and after being pressed several times to call my mother and ask her, I did. Here's the dilemma: Tell the truth? Refuse to answer the question? Lie? Pretend it was lower? I told the truth and some journalists have been triggered by this."

She then asked, "Are we really jumping on women for answering a question truthfully about their intelligence or education? Are we really still requiring women to dumb themselves down in order not to offend?"

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Beckinsale recalled attending an all-girls school where she "never had to worry about raising my hand making me possibly unfeminine" and studying at "a university in which intellectual debate was not only encouraged, but the entire point of attending," noting she's "very aware how lucky I am to have had those experiences."

The Underworld alum then addressed her comments in the interview. "When I said it has been a handicap in Hollywood it's PRECISELY because being female AND having an opinion often has to be quite carefully packaged so as not to be offensive or as in this case, deliberately twisted into signifying ones perceived superiority or arrogance," she wrote. "It's abundantly clear that this is still the case, and these journalists who spun this into me 'bragging' is a part of the exact reason I say it was and is a handicap. As a woman truthfully answering a question about my own IQ, I have been the subject of a few articles trying to shame me for it. This is EXACTLY what I mean by a handicap."

While Beckinsale noted she doesn't "often respond to this sort of bulls--t," she said "it's really important to me that NO percentage of women let alone 60% (Grazia magazine, 2019) should feel they need to lie or dumb down under ANY circumstances so as not to be a target."

"Facts: I've done some good movies and some s--t movies," she concluded. "I've made some good and bad choices in my personal life. I have a really tolerant cat. My IQ is 152 and if that triggers you, @thecut, (despite your 2015 article on Salma Hayek stating the opposite) that's your problem. Also, pick a side. Also, IQ doesn't actually mean s--t. But stop perfomatively [sic] supporting women while pulling crummy s--t like this."

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