Hollywood’s Going Back to School


If you’re going back to school this fall, get ready for some rewarding hard work. If you’re lucky, you could be in classes with professors from Hollywood like Angelina Jolie Pitt or Mathew McConaughey.

Academy Award Winner, Matthew McConaughey, along with Hunger Games director Gary Ross, will be teaching a filmmaking class at the Moody College of Communication as well as the University of Austin, McConaughey’s Alma matter.

Yes, it’s true, a very fortunate thirty students will be admitted into the higher-level class where McConaughey and Ross will take them through clips of their new film Free State of Jones and break down the newly released historical drama. The class will only be open to juniors and seniors, but there are no prerequisites or fees required.

Jolie Pitt, who works as an actress, director, and currently the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) special envoy — joins the London School of Economics in the UK as one of four new visiting professors that will contribute to the master’s program run by the Centre for Women, Peace and Security and perhaps is now considered to be the first of its kind internationally. The course’s outline will include the study of how to build strategies to combat sexual violence in conflict.

As well as delivering guest lectures to students in fall of 2016, Jolie Pitt will conduct workshops, public events and her own research.

Jolie Pitt has stated, “I am looking forward to teaching and to learning from the students, as well as to sharing my own experiences of working alongside governments and the UN.”

Other actors/celebrities who also teach or have taught at universities include:

James Franco: As an actor his career has diversified into not only directing and screenwriting, but also academic pursuits. Currently a PhD candidate at Yale University, he has also taught graduate film students at New York University where he lectured a one-semester course about adapting poetry for film. Franco has also taught in the English and Film schools at University of California, Los Angeles, University of Southern California and California Institute of Arts; in some cases, attracting A-list actors like Natalie Portman to his students’ film projects.

Kevin Spacey: The Academy Award-winning actor has always found time to pass on his knowledge to willing learners. In 2008, he was made a visiting professor at Oxford University, replacing Sir Patrick Stewart in the role of Cameron Mackintosh, visiting professor of Contemporary Theatre at St. Catherine’s College.

Spike Lee: Since 2002, the Oscar-nominated veteran filmmaker and director serves as artistic director of the graduate film program at New York University. The popular graduate film classes receive too many enrollment requests to honor them all.

Taylor Kelsaw

Taylor Kelsaw

Taylor Kelsaw started his career in San Francisco, Calif. more than 30 years ago and has since worked on many highly rated television shows including “Oprah” and “Live with Regis and Kelly.” He loves to paint, sing, act and being the proud parent of three lovely children.

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