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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Celebrities' back-to-school confessions

    School is back in session for many, but not everyone looks forward to the first day of class. Some of TV and film’s top stars have admitted that their time in school, before the fame and adulation they have today, was not a pleasant experience. You might be surprised at some of the A-listers who suffered the wrath of mean girls and bullies, but the teasing they survived may also be part of the secret to their current success and strength in Hollywood.

    Our friends at compiled a starter list of celebs who had a hard time in high school. But, if success if the best revenge, then these former awkward kids have come out on top.

    See the entire gallery of A-list stars who suffered in school at /Quasar/

    Christina Hendricks in High School, 1993

    Then mocked for her Goth hair-color and style, Christina told the press, “I had the worst high school experience ever. I went to a very mean school and was bullied like crazy. I was a bit of a Goth with purple hair and I was also part of the drama group, so my friends and I were all weird theater people and everyone just hated us. There was a long corridor with lockers on either side and kids would sit on top of them and spit on you.… Kids can be pretty judgmental about people who are different. But instead of breaking down and conforming, I stood firm.”

    And now millions of men would weep for a chance to be in the voluptuous star’s presence.

    Christina Hendricks Today

    These days the striking red-haired beauty is turning heads for all the right reasons — her drama days have clearly paid off. Nominated for three Emmys for her portrayal of Joan on “Mad Men”, she has no doubt also been the object of affection for many past classmates—who are still just watching from the sidelines. Next up, she’ll be starring in former “Drive” costar Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, “How to Catch a Monster.” (Sounds like one good-looking film.)

    See the entire gallery of A-list stars who suffered in school at

    Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library, Jaguar/AdMedia/Imagecollect5

    Tom Cruise (Thomas Mapother IV) Then: A Senior at Glen Ridge High School, Glen Ridge, New Jersey, 1980

    Tom told “Parade” magazine that happiness is “being able to confront and overcome problems. It’s not running away but trying to see life in its full glory.” As someone who’s overcome being mocked for dyslexia, being the new kid at 14 different schools, and a stint in seminary school to become a priest, he must have a pretty full view of life. (Now he’s just made fun of for being an excitable Scientologist.)

    Tom Cruise Today

    Though the age-defying 50-year-old is still as busy as ever, Cruise’s positive outlook is once again being put to the test as he goes through a divorce with Katie Holmes after just five years of marriage. (Maybe the fourth time is the charm in his case.) Next up, you can see him in the title role of “Jack Reacher,” in theaters this December.

    See the entire gallery of A-list stars who suffered in school at

    Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library, KRISTIN CALLAHAN - ACE PICTURES/Imagecollectb

    Sandra Bullock at Washington-Lee High School, Arlington, Virginia, 1979

    America’s sweetheart wasn’t always Miss Congeniality. Before she had a team of stylists and makeup artists to bring out her best, Sandy was picked on for not fitting in. She told the press, “I’d come back from Europe [she'd go to Germany with her opera singer mother Helga], and I looked like a clown compared to the cool way the other students looked and dressed. So I got my a** whooped a little bit. Kids are mean, and the sad thing is that I can still remember the first and last names of every one of those kids who were mean to me!” (We think you can take assurance in knowing they know yours too, Sandra.)

    Sandra Bullock Today

    From outcast to trendsetter, Sandy has a resilience that’s kept her on top, with credits like “The Blind Side” (for which she won an Oscar), “The Proposal” (for which she got to grope a naked Ryan Reynolds’s abs), and, of course, being little Louis’s adoptive mom. She’s currently filming “The Heat” with Melissa McCarthy.

    See the entire gallery of A-list stars who suffered in school at

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