The land of opportunity, the American dream, and Hollywood, have bred some of the most famous people in the world. It’s a place where dreams come true, fiction becomes reality and actors, and inspiring musicians become notorious household names. The famous faces of American stars have become revered all around the world. Actors like Gerard Butler and Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Chris & Liam Hemsworth may draw millions of box office tickets and crowds globally, but they’ve all got one more thing in common, they are imported talent! Listing 10 famous American stars that aren’t even American!
10. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey is recognized worldwide as one of the masters of slapstick comedy. He has continuously worked his way up from comedy sketches in the late seventies to blockbuster Hollywood features making him one of the highest paid and sought after actors in Hollywood. The star globally renowned for his original interpretations of characters such as Ace Ventura, has earned four Golden Globe nominations and taken home two of them. Although the charismatic performer is known as one of the top American actors and comedians worldwide, he is actually not American. James Eugene Carrey was born in Ontario, Canada and was discovered while performing in Toronto. He eventually moved to Las Vegas, then Los Angeles after being discovered by Rodney Dangerfield in the early 1980’s.
9. Christian Bale
His epic performances in Hollywood blockbusters such as American Hustle, the Batman empire, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and American Psycho, to skim the surface, have made Christian Bale a name that is symbolic of talent and infamously successful films. With fans crossing continents and oceans, Bale is a testament to the power of Hollywood across the globe. One of the most sought after American actors, however, is not actually American. Bale was born in the UK, and while having lived in Wales, Surrey, and Dorset, England and Portugal growing up, he has attested to being English and not Welsh. After his parents divorce, Bale moved with his father to Los Angeles when he was 17.
8. Charlize Theron
Oscar winning actress, Dior spokesperson and former dancer, Charlize Theron is the all American ‘it girl’, only she didn’t become an American citizen until 2007. Theron grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and moved with her mother to Milan, Italy at the age of 16 to pursue a career in modeling. She later moved to New York and finally Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment. She was first discovered by talent agent John Crosby while in a bank, but her big break (a small but important role) came in the mid 90’s in the film 2 Days in the Valley. Theron continued to land film roles in the latter 90’s developing great relationships with directors whom she says ‘believed in her.’ Theron won an Oscar for the film Monster, in which she portrayed the life of a serial killer.
7. Kim Cattrall
She was the woman behind ‘the sex’ in Sex and the City, the outrageous blonde who did it all, without remorse. With a current net worth of $75 million, it turns out Samantha Jones may have known good PR after all. The talented actress won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Jones in the popular HBO series as well as two Screen Actors Guild Awards and seven nominations. The series, which lasted 6 seasons, and focused on the life of New Yorkers, wasn’t actually portrayed by an all American cast after all. The actress behind the mischievous Sam Jones was in fact born in Liverpool, UK, and raised between Vancouver, Canada and London, England. Cattrall relocated to New York in the early 1970’s.
6. Ryan Gosling
Joining the group of child stars who got their start in the Mickey Mouse club is none other than a man who has been cited as The World’s Sexiest Man. Besides being a heartthrob across the globe, Ryan Gosling has been noted for his talented acting skills and quiet strength, something that led him to the lead role in The Notebook according to Nick Cassavetes. Gosling has come a long way since his humble beginnings in Ontario, Canada, where he lived with his parents who were Mormons and sang at weddings with his sister. Gosling eventually dropped out of high school to focus on acting, moving to New Zealand when he was 18, than later making feature independent films in the 2000’s.
5. Keanu Reeves
The talented star of the Matrix franchise, is one of the biggest Hollywood stars known worldwide, yet he couldn’t be any more of a cultural melting pot. With a Hawaiian name meaning ‘cool breeze over the mountains,’ and a mixed heritage consisting of English, Native Hawaiian, Chinese, Irish, and Portuguese, Keanu Reeves is as exotic as Hollywood actors come. Asides from the fact that the charismatic actor’s heritage is incredibly diverse, Reeves’ early life proved to be just as un-American. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Reeves lived in several countries around the world with his mother (a costume designer) after his father was imprisoned for selling drugs in Hawaii. Reeves and his mother eventually moved to Toronto, Canada where Reeves went to school and dreamed of playing Hockey. Consequently Reeves first movie was playing a Hockey goalie in Youngblood.
4. Hugh Laurie
According to the 2011 Guinness Book of World Records, Hugh Laurie is the most watched man on an American television, not to mention one of the highest paid, with a reported salary of $409,000 per episode for the drama, House. Ironically, the man most revered on American television, isn’t American. Laurie was born in Oxford, England, and discovered acting at the university dramatic club, where he practiced acting and comedy and met his future girlfriend and longtime friend, Emma Thompson. Laurie was the recipient of a Golden Globe in 2005 and 2006 for his work on House.
3. Malin Akerman
Anything but the girl next door, Malin Akerman is known as the beautiful and quirky blonde everyone loves. Making an abundance of appearances in films including The Utopian Society, Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, The Heartbreak Kid and 27 Dresses, Akerman has left her own footprint as one of Hollywood’s favorite blondes, and while she may seem like the quintessential American beauty, she too, is not a native. Akerman was born in Sweden and migrated to Canada at the age of two. She lived in Niagara on the lake and later Toronto, dabbling in modeling while studying at York University. After a year of studies, and ample offers in modeling and television, Akerman left for Los Angeles and pursued acting full time as of 2001.
2. Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie couldn’t have made her feature film breakthrough in a more American film than The Wolf of Wall Street. The blockbuster starring Leonardo DiCaprio, which grossed almost $400 million at the box office, also made a worldwide star out of Robbie who portrayed New Yorker Naomi Lapaglia to perfection. Well known in her native land of Australia for her role on the popular soap opera Neighbours, Robbie ventured to Los Angeles in 2010 to pursue acting in Hollywood and was soon cast in Martin Scorsese’s blockbuster, earning her an MTV award for best breakthrough performance.
1. Nicki Minaj
Multi-talented American rapper, singer, songwriter, and actress, Nicki Minaj was born Onika Tanya Maraj and is of Indian and Afro-Trinidadian heritage. While her debut album, Pink Friday, mimicked her colorful persona (hair and all), it also produced “Super Bass” a single that went certified 8x platinum selling over four million copies. The single went on to be one of the highest selling singles in America, and Minaj went on to drop a second album which also had tremendous sales. Minaj also took a controversial seat on the panel of American Idol during the show’s 12th season. One of the most talked about American talents of the past few years was born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago and moved to New York at the age of five.