Picture a typical INTP. What comes to mind? The spunky mad scientist who hasn’t seen daylight in the last three months? How about the mathematician with zero social skills? These images couldn’t be further from the truth. INTPs can and do excel in a variety of fields outside of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, with their own offbeat and individualistic flair. The arts, in particular, offer open ground for INTPs to experiment with different ideas and concepts—it’s a great forum for INTPs to push boundaries and keep asking, the “What if?” questions they’re so fond of.
So who are some of these high-profile INTP famous people hiding in plain sight? Let’s find out.
As a note: To accurately figure out a celebrity’s type from interviews and quotes alone is challenging, if not impossible, and the following list is based on our own observations as well as general consensus on personality type. Personality typing strangers is, by definition, tricky and especially for celebrities whose public personas may not match up to who they are in private. We think these are good examples of INTP famous people, but we cannot say for certain. If you disagree, then let us know!
1. Tina Fey (Comedian/Actress)
Whether freestyling away on Saturday Night Live or starring in the newest blockbuster, Fey charms her audience with ease and grace. Since middle school, her mind was dead-set on pursuing comedy. Fey then proceeded to study acting as well as play-writing in college—to which she won the Pettway Prize, an award for outstanding fourth-year students who made groundbreaking contributions to the drama department.
Although she appears significantly outspoken on the surface, she treasures her alone time, which she mostly spends knitting and sewing. ”When humor works, it works because it’s clarifying what people already feel. It has to come from someplace real.” She’s commonly associated with the INTP personality type due to her knack for cracking jokes on the fly and observational nature.
Fun fact: Fey actually wrote the film script for Mean Girls, an early 2000s teenage comedy.
2. Meryl Streep (Actress)
As the intense and quiet heroine in films such as The Devil Wears Prada and The Iron Lady, Streep famously sought out a path in acting after graduating from the Yale School of Drama. She’s known to nail her spot-on accents and dialects from any region in the world—from Austrailian to Polish. “My job is to express emotion as freely as possible,” says Streep about her acting career. But her INTP personality is most evident during interviews, as she carefully articulates her thoughts with precise word choices.
Streep attributes her success to her (self-imposed) perfectionistic preparation for each role she undertakes. Before getting into character, Streep gathers all the information for the character’s backstory and meticulously executes it in her performances. Out of the many roles she auditioned for, Streep has only been turned down four times, making her one of the most successful actresses in the industry.
3. Stephen King (Author)
The widely-acclaimed “King of Horror” has seen his gripping novels adapted into stunning films that draw in readers and movie-goers from across the globe. He boldly states, “Books are the perfect entertainment. No commercials, no batteries, [and] hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent.” His penchant for concentrating on his work in solitude for months on end, along with his deeper desire to amplify the darker elements of human nature, suggests his INTP personality.
His initial interest in the arts was sparked by a collection of short horror stories by H. P. Lovecraft, which he proclaims, “I knew I’d found home when I read that book.” King kicked off his publishing journey back in 1967, and has since written on to win numerous prestigious literary awards. He could not imagine himself in any other career—and insists his writing is a treasured part of his identity; a cogent need to share with the world.
4. Seth Meyers (Talk Show Host)
As an award-winning writer (NBC Saturday Night Live) prior to hosting his own talk show, Meyers began his career in the arts through improv groups in college. He regularly tackles all sorts of topics with his guests: politics, comical sketches, general news, and even musical performances. Meyers had his “a-ha!” moment when he was noticed by producers for Saturday Night Live, and kept pursuing his dreams, full steam ahead. His ability to smoothly combine societal issues with comedy and live journalism suggests his INTP nature: an analyst with a creative edge.
His show eventually shifted to embrace a journalistic career—with a broader focus on political issues. “I want people to know my political point of view...I want to make people laugh, but I wouldn’t do it at the expense of my point of view,” Meyers states. He takes great pride in his work, and often works overtime and into his breaks to achieve top-notch quality. On the side, he enjoys reading comics, watching sports, and playing poker—an eccentric mix, indeed!
5. Woody Allen (Film Director)
Big-screen movies such as Manhattan and Annie Hall had Allen’s ingenious mind behind the scripts and direction. He began his wild journey into film at 15 by sending original short jokes to various Broadway writers. At 19, his brilliance was recognized and he scored a writing job for The NBC Comedy Hour—a huge stepping stone in his creative journey.
Allen’s work quickly gained momentum thereafter, earning him a spot on the Golden Globes in 1998 for Match Play. “Tradition is the illusion of permanence,” he asserts. When he’s off set and not frivolously scribbling away on the next project, Allen carves out time to sharpen his jazz clarinet and magic trick skills. His wacky set of lifelong hobbies and his unorthodox approach to scoring a professional gig as an adolescent suggest his likely INTP personality.
6. Ellen Page (Actress)
Known for her quirky demeanor and true-to-life roles, Canadian actress Page dominates the sci-fi and feature films industry. She insists on living a minimalist lifestyle, and enjoys large chunks of personal time away from acting to simply write and read. As a child, Page spent her lunch breaks outside playing with action figures and climbing trees. “I’ve been in a few movies [with] the tendency to polarize people...I kind of like anything that pushes people’s buttons,” she says.
At her core, she considers herself an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ issues in the film industry and beyond—with a deeply personal story to propel her activism. Page carefully chooses characters to play who have “moving scripts” and “feel truthful” to herself. In the future, she plans to emphasize her identity and life story in her chosen roles. “The thing I like about acting is...to lose yourself completely in someone else.” Page’s INTP personality quietly shines through her stoic presence both on and off set.
7. Cole Sprouse (Actor)
Any Nickelodeon fans of the beloved childhood classic Suite Life of Zac & Cody will recognize Sprouse as a sharp-witted and ingenious maverick. He studied a specialized branch of archaeology called GIS (Geographic Information Systems) in college for four years, before making a dramatic return to acting.
Sprouse also picked up stellar photography skills in his down time, now a regular shooter for various digital media platforms. His life motto? Continuous improvement. “[I’m]...trying to figure out who I am against situations that make me uncomfortable...ensuring that fear of stagnation doesn’t allow me to flip into that bubble of privilege.” His wide and varied range of interests, along with his precise and candid interview responses, all point toward his highly probable INTP personality.
INTPs, with their relentless curiosity and keen ability to grasp new concepts, have great potential in fields outside of STEM. They can intertwine ideas to formulateunique pieces of art—be it films, songs, art, or novels. Quick to challenge tradition and presupposed “rules”, INTPs (quietly) lead with unexpected twists and turns. The end result, after years of investigation, is a dazzling bundle of insights and ingenuity.
The arts give INTPs a chance to cross-pollinate their ideas through seemingly disjunct subjects and work on exciting projects to shake up the world. They’re able to efficiently dismantle outdated frameworks from the ground up and brainstorm a flurry of new proposals. After several months (years, even) of practice behind the scenes, INTPs emerge into the light with childlike enthusiasm. Like a light switch, they can easily jump straight from the unknown to a state of prolonged hyperfocus.
Are there other INTPs who break the absent-minded scientist mould to add to our list? Do you know any INTPs in more artistic fields? Let us know in the comments below!