10 Famous Actors that Went to the Same Acting School


Ever wondered how many of the outstanding actors you’re so familiar with honed their skills at a professional acting school? Quite a few, as it happens! Acting involves as much technique as it does artistic flair. By most accounts, there are at least eight different acting techniques that actors ought to be well-versed in. 

We often associate acting with natural talent and dramatic genius — and there is a lot of that going around, make no mistake. But often, the performances you see on film are the result of actors spending hours understanding, practicing, and perfecting their craft at an acting academy.  

Here are 10 actors who happened to go to the same acting school — Michelle Danner Acting Studio in Los Angeles.

  • Seth MacFarlane

The creator of Family Guy and The Orville is one of the most versatile performers in Hollywood. Seth began his career as an animator, working on cartoon series like Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, and Cow and Chicken that still evoke nostalgia for 90s kids. Today, his credits include writing, acting, directing, voice-over, comedy, singing, and more.

  • Henry Cavill

Yes, Superman went to acting school in L.A. As a part of the DC Extended Universe and Netflix’s smash hit The Witcher, Henry Cavill is one of the most recognizable actors in the world today. He was one of the two final choices to play James Bond in Casino Royale, before that role went to Daniel Craig.

  • Zooey Deschanel

There are few people who do deadpan comedy better than Zooey Deschanel. Hits like The Good Girl, The New Guy, and 500 Days of Summer are a testament to that. She also briefly performed in the jazz cabaret act If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies with fellow actress Samantha Shelton.

  • Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek is an incredible actress and is considered a huge draw for any production that features her. She found early success with Mexican telenovela Teresa, and has since featured in amazing movies, such as Frida, Wild Wild West, and Marvel’s Eternals.

  • Gerard Butler

The second Brit to feature in this list, Gerard Butler is known for his comic timing in movies such as The Ugly Truth and The Bounty Hunter, but also for his riveting performances in action-drama movies like 300 and Olympus Has Fallen.

  • Chris Rock

Most well-known for his stand-up comedy acts, Chris Rock has a fairly prolific acting career, including in movies such as Bad Company, You Don’t Mess with The Zohan, and Grown Ups.

  • Penelope Cruz

A Spanish native, Penelope Cruz is one of the most well-known actors in the world. Her roles include Raimunda in Pedro Almodovar’s Volver and Oscar-winning performance as Maria Elena in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

  • Michael Peña

Peña often features in independent productions but has starred in a number of top drawer movies, such as Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, Shooter, American Hustle, and Fury, and in series such as The Shield and Narcos: Mexico.

  • James Franco

Perhaps most well-known for his performance in the visceral 127 Hours, James Franco has been around the Hollywood circuit for a while. Some of his other hits include the Spider-Man trilogy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Milk, and Pineapple Express.

  • Michelle Rodriguez

Michelle Rodrigues is best known for her part in the wildly successful The Fast and the Furious franchise. However, she has a number of other credits to her name, including in successful crime thriller S.W.A.T., James Cameron’s Avatar, and Battle: Los Angeles.

It’s incredible to think that all of these prolific actors were once students at the same school. However, it shouldn’t really be surprising that successful professionals spent time studying at a school dedicated to their industry. Out-of-state private acting schools can cost in the ballpark of $34,500 to attend but can be well worth the cost of the school has a track record of producing stars. We hope this list has given you a new perspective on what it takes to make it in film and television today.

Sam Bixler is a content strategist and freelance writer originally from central Pennsylvania. They’re an avid instrumentalist, having played cello, piano, drums, and guitar, and a lover of all things gaming and pop culture. In their free time, they enjoy playing D&D, listening to podcasts, and watching trashy reality TV.

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