5 Celebs Who Went to Boarding School

Boarding school might seem like a last resort for wild teens, but some do go willingly! These 5 celebrities have all opened up on their experiences as teenagers in boarding schools. Some have negative things to say about feeling lonely or bored during their time there, but ultimately almost all of these stars admit that they’re happy they went through it. One celeb believes boarding school saved him because before he went, he was on a destructive path that could have killed him. Learning some big lessons about life along the way and gaining some unique experiences, these 5 celebrities all wouldn’t change their school experience and looking back appreciating their time in boarding school.

Henry Cavill


Henry was sent to a strict boarding school and rarely saw his family which left him feeling lonely: “Being away from my family and not feeling like I was understood is something that I brought. I was at a boarding school. Every three weeks I would go home for a weekend, but when you’re 13 years old and you’re emotional and you miss home, three weeks feels like a very long time – especially if you haven’t got loads of mates. Being alone isn’t easy. I wasn’t the most popular kid and I felt very alone. That’s certainly a lasting memory.”

Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer enjoyed his experience and learned from a man he met there: “I have a friend for whom going to a school like that had a traumatic, negative effect. But it affected me in an incredibly positive way. I had a housemaster called Ted Harrison, a stern Glaswegian who was a father-figure to me. Ted was one of those men who would pull you aside and say, ‘I don’t mind if ye have a little bit of fun, mate. But ye have tae get yet work done and yer not doing that, so that’s why yer going tae be out running tomorrow morning.’ He was right. It was about getting the work done. That’s stuck with me my whole life. Whenever I’ve gotten out of line all I have to do is remember Ted Harrison.”

Matthew Fox

Matthew believes boarding school saved him: “By the time I was 16, 10 of my close friends had died. Some were suicides, some were accidents, some were just recklessness. There’s a flip side to having so much space and freedom. I had friends who started to feel trapped by life there, and friends who were just plain crazy. Most of the deaths were caused by accidents. You’d go into town and get smashed on drinks and then drive 60 miles home down a deserted road in the pitch dark at 2am. That was a common thing to do. My dad saved my life. He pulled me out of Wyoming when I was 16 and sent me to a boarding school in Massachusetts called Deerfield. I think he could see I was heading in the wrong direction in life. I was this absolute rebel who smoked and drank and put my boots on the desk. I hated it but looking back it was the best thing that could have happened to me.”

Salma Hayek

Salma attended a Catholic girls’ boarding school in Louisiana which she enjoyed: ”I had a moment or two, like every child does, when I told silly stories to my teachers. But I didn’t do anything really bad. I look back fondly at that period of my life, sometimes waking up in the middle of the night and making all the alarm clocks go off. We just did little things like that.”

Simon Cowell

Simon is happy he did it: “I’m glad I went through it. I was bored… I kind of knew I’d learnt everything I needed to learn; I could add up, I could read English, I could write, whatever. Every time I was sitting in chemistry lessons with stupid Bunsen burners and stuff, I thought, ‘I’m not going to do that when I’m 30.’ I’d get bored and I’d get frustrated and I couldn’t wait to leave.”