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6 Movie Stars We Would Hire for a Technology Job

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I thought it would be fun to create a list of popular celebrities that would probably be successful as a network engineer or other technology position IF they had made it their career choice. I made selections based loosely on the following criteria:

  • Education
  • Character Roles
  • Known Interests 
  • Investment Activity
  • Personality (real and on screen) 

Maybe you won’t see any of these celebrities programming a Cisco switch or updating security policies, but we’re sure you’ve seen some of their personalities and abilities in the people who do.

Jimmy Fallon

I had to take a close look back at Jimmy Fallon’s character on Saturday Night Live, Nick Burns to get a better idea of his qualifications. I definitely remember someone like that in one of the tech companies I worked at. Anyone else?

Fallon was a computer science major before switching to communications his senior year. His dad also worked for IBM. I’d love to work in IT with a guy like Jimmy Fallon although I’m not sure how successful he’d be if he exhibited some of those Nick Burns traits.

Jimmy Fallon, Network Engineer

Source: Steve Garfield

Ashton Kutcher, Network Engineer

Source: USAF photo archive

Ashton Kutcher

Although Kutcher’s character, Michael Kelso, in the Fox sitcom That 70s Show probably wouldn’t be a good network engineer these days, we know Kutcher himself would be a perfect fit. He definitely has some understanding and interest in how technology works in our lives.

He did a convincing job in his portrayal of Steve Jobs and his investments in tech companies include Skype, AirBnB, Foursquare and Fab.com. He’s attended tech trade shows including the TechCrunch Disrupt in 2011. Kutcher’s also employed as a product engineer at Lenovo and was part of the early management team for the VoIP start-up, Ooma.

Overall, he’s smart and funny and with some education and experience, would have been an IT superstar somewhere. We got a good laugh when we imagined some of those Punk’d pranks being played out on his IT co-workers.

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris writes code that optimizes itself. Chuck Norris burst the dot com bubble. What couldn’t Chuck Norris do according to his Internet meme fame? I admit I had motivations to put him on the list to incite a co-worker, as well as the fact that he was born in Oklahoma, where our corporate headquarters are located.

I have nothing to back up my claim but I have reason to believe that accomplished black belts make good network administrators. Chuck Norris does not know about this list. If he did he would have just deleted the internet.

Source: Craig Michaud

Source: Mira John

Natalie Portman

Portman told the New York Post “I don’t care if [college] ruins my career, I’d rather be smart than a movie star.” Smart she is, earning a degree from Harvard University [in psychology] and did I mention her aptitude for foreign languages including studies in French, Japanese, German and Arabic. Just think what she could do n the IT world with her smarts.

As a consequence of both her academic and acting careers, Portman has a Erdős–Bacon number of 7. Education and intelligence aside, I gave her a spot on this list because of her roles in Star Wars. What? Network Engineer and Star Wars fan are a popular combination.

James Franco

Franco was born in Palo Alto, California to Stanford University parents and his dad, Doug Franco ran a Silicon Valley business… need I say more? Genetics aside, Franco’s professional career is concentrated almost exclusively on films, writing and art so there’s not much there to develop his profile and interests as being related to technology.

He is a talented mathematician though and he briefly interned at Lockheed Martin before pursuing a film career. Franco is one of the most academically accomplished actors in Hollywood and we’d like to wonder for a moment where he’d be if that quest for education was centered around his mathematical abilities and the things that happened in Silicon Valley over the years.

Mix together his thirst for college courses and his quirky movie roles as troubled real-life characters and you would have an interesting fellow employee that may just work in a data-driven IT environment.

James Franco, Network Engineer

Source: Vanessa Lua

Will Ferrell, Network Engineer

Source: Eva Rinaldi

Will Ferrell

You’ve got to have a comedic genius on the IT team, correct? It’s the likes of Ferrell-minded programmers that let you play a hidden game of Snake while waiting on a Youtube video or play one of those hidden games on Mac computers. Speaking of Macs, have you found the hidden program that will psychoanalyze you? Definately Will Ferrell-ish. 

All kidding aside, Will Ferrell as a network administrator? Didn’t he come up short both days he worked as a teller for Wells Fargo banks? Ouch. Just kidding, I believe Will can accomplish anything he sets out to do. Did I mention he’s a founder of FunnyOrDie.com!


Honorable Mentions: Vin Diesel, Will Smith, Mila Kunis, Edward Norton, Mr. T, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cindy Crawford, William Shatner, Samuel L. Jackson

That’s the short list. Let us know who we missed and why. I predict IT departments everywhere will be using this list to stereotype their current workforce and any future hiring candidates. It should be fun!

This article may be freely reprinted or distributed in its entirety in any e-zine, newsletter, blog or website. The author’s name, bio and website links must remain intact and be included with every reproduction.

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