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40 Celebrities We All Thought Were American (But Aren't)

Kiefer Sutherland

Who would guess that All-American counter-terrorism hero Jack Bauer is actually played by a British-Canadian who was born in London? Kiefer masks his accent quite well on screen, most notably in the popular crime drama 24  and also in A Few Good Men and The Lost Boys.

Christian Bale

Well-known for playing Batman in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, Christian is a very successful actor. Very few people know that he is of Welsh origin, although he self-identifies as British.

Mila Kunis

Mila was only seven years old when her family emigrated to the United States from the Ukrainian SSR, now Ukraine. Her acting talent was discovered soon after her family moved to Los Angeles, and she went on to star in That ‘70s Show. Her charming character, Jackie, is the quintessential American teenager and one of the primary reasons most people don’t realize she was born abroad. 

Jim Carrey

Jim is one of America’s most famous and beloved comedians, but this Bruce Almighty and Dumb and Dumber star hails from the Great White North (Canada). He acquired a U.S. citizenship, which now makes him a dual citizen of both the U.S. and Canada, so he now has the best of both worlds, eh? 

Ryan Reynolds

We definitely owe Canada a debt of gratitude (and we may even forgive them for giving us Justin Bieber) because they blessed us with Ryan. He’s best known for his roles in The Proposal and Green Lantern, and we never would have known that he and his flawless accent didn’t originate in the States.

Natalie Portman

Natalie was born in Jerusalem, Israel to an American mother and Israeli father. They moved to the United States when she was only three years old, which explains why she doesn’t even have a trace of an accent in her films, which include Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and No Strings Attached

Keanu Reeves

Keanu is technically Canadian, but he was actually born in Beirut, Lebanon. He lived there until his mother moved the family to Sydney and then New York City before finally ending up in Toronto. Canada is where Keanu started off his acting career that led to hits like The Matrix and John Wick.

Idris Elba

Idris was born and raised in England, but we never would have guessed based on his impressive accents in the likes of Thor, Pacific Rim, and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. To make his resume even more impressive, Idris is also a talented musician and DJ, which is how he got his start in the entertainment business.

Simon Baker

Simon is well known for his role as Patrick Jane in the television series The Mentalist, in which he portrays a fake psychic medium in order to help solve cases. He masks his Australian accent quite well in the show, but it does come out in his role as Christian Thompson in The Devil Wears Prada

Charlize Theron

Charlize, the beauty-turned-beast in Mad Max: Fury Road, was born in South Africa and lived there during her childhood until she won a modeling contract in Italy. After a year of touring Europe, she moved the United States and completely fooled all of us into thinking she had been here all along. 

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj, born Onika Tanya Maraj, boasts about being from New York quite often. In reality, she was born in Saint James, Port of Spain, in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Her mom moved her and her four siblings to The Bronx when Minaj was five, where she struggled with waitressing jobs and acting auditions until she found her place as a rapper. 

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Oscar Isaac

You'd recognize Oscar Isaac from Ex Machina, Star Wars, and X-Men: Apocalypse. He acts and sounds perfectly American, but Isaac was actually born in Guatemala City, Guatemala. However, he was only five months old when his family settled in Miami, Florida, where he was raised. 

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Kim Cattrall

Kim Cattrall is most well-known for her role as Samantha Jones on Sex and the City, which earned the actress a Golden Globe and several nominations. She was born in Liverpool, but her family emigrated to Canada when she was three months old. She moved to New York City when she was 16 to start her acting career, which would explain how she can fool us so well. 

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Toni Collette

Toni Collette is an actress and musician who has won multiple awards for her work on productions such as The Sixth Sense, Hereditary, and Little Miss Sunshine. Her talent for acting became clear when she faked appendicitis so well that she convinced her doctor to actually remove it! She's a fantastic actress, which explains how she can hide her Australian ethnicity so well. 

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Anna Paquin

Anna Paquin has been gracing the silver screen since she was a child, which explains how no one noticed that she's Canadian. The Oscar-winning actress was born in Manitoba, Canada but raised in Wellington, New Zealand before moving to Los Angeles as a teen to pursue acting. 

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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is better known by his famous character's name, Sir Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones. He has an accent in the show but so does every other character, so it can be hard to tell who is from what country. Waldau is from Denmark, where he was born and raised. 

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Alison Pill

Before landing roles in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and American Horror Story, Alison Pill started out as a child actress in the television series Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. She was born in Toronto, Ontario, where she was in many television show, TV movies, and plays. She moved to New York after high school to continue her acting career. She doesn't have an accent so she fooled us into thinking she was American this whole time.  

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Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill played the all-American superhero Superman in the 2013, 2016, and 2017 DC movies, so everyone naturally thought he was American, too. Cavill was born on Jersey in the Channel Islands, so he's definitely a Brit. 

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Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber found massive success in America from a young age for his first EP, My World in 2009. He captured the hearts of teenage girls everywhere and fit in the music scene so well, no one noticed he wasn't American. Bieber was born in London, Ontario and got his foot in the door of the music industry when he became a YouTube sensation for performing cover songs.

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Rose Byrne

You'd recognize this award-winning actress from her performances in 28 Weeks Later, Troy, Neighbors, and Damages. She was born in Sydney, Australia and started acting there before coming to Hollywood in the 2002 Star Wars: Episode II-Attack of the Clones

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Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne was a pop-punk idol at the young age of 18 when her Let Go album was released. Lavigne was born in Belleville, Ontario and has been singing since she was two years old. Many fans tried to copy her image of a punk rock skateboarder, and she was in several American movies, so no one realized she was Canadian.

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Famke Janssen

Famke Janssen was born in Amstelveen in the Netherlands but moved to America when she was 20 to pursue modeling. She's since found success working with major fashion brands, becoming an actress, and even trying her hand at directing and screenwriting. She's been working in America for so long, everyone just assumed she was a native. 

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Rachel McAdams

It might surprise you to find out that Rachel McAdams is Canadian. She's known for her roles in movies like Mean Girls, Doctor Strange, and The Time Traveler's Wife. After her role in The Notebook, she was known for being an all-American sweetheart, which is why no one knew she wasn't born here. 

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Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts is known for her work in remakes, independent movies, and playing characters with dark or traumatic pasts. She's from England but after being in movies like King Kong, Children of the Corn IV, and Tank Girl, audiences forgot she wasn't actually American.

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Shania Twain

Born Eilleen Regina Edwards, Shania Twain is the best-selling female country artist in music history and was nicknamed "Queen of Country Pop." The Grammy-winning artist was born and raised in Canada, but her international success led many American fans to forget she wasn't a US citizen. 

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Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie played our favorite grumpy doctor in the US series House, a villain in 101 Dalmatians, and was even the dad in Stuart Little. He's been in so many American productions with no English accent that no one even realizes that he was born in Oxfordshire. 

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Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling's career started when he was a child, appearing in The Mickey Mouse Club, Goosebumps, and Are You Afraid of the Dark?  He's been on the American TV screen since he was a child and has gone on to be in many popular US films, so no one ever even considered that he might not have been born here but in London, Ontario. 

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Ed Westwick

Ed Westwick is best known for his role as the spoiled, conniving Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl. His character is such a typical representation of an entitled private school American boy, everyone assumed he actually was one. However, he was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire and is actually a nice guy in real life. 

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Drake

Did you know Drake isn't American? Most of his fans weren't aware that the rapper was born in Toronto even though he starred in the Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation. No one recognized him as being the physically disabled basketball star from the popular series, which led to confusion on his nationality. 

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Andrew Lincoln

Born as Andrew James Clutterbuck, Andrew Lincoln is known for his roles in The Walking Dead and Love Actually. No one realizes that he was born in London, England because his starring role in The Walking Dead has him playing a Southern sheriff with a thick country accent. Fans are always shocked to hear his British accent in real life. 

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Diane Kruger

Dian Kruger is best known for playing Helen in Troy but was also in National Treasure, Inglourious Basterds, and The Host. She's been a ballerina, model, and actress over the course of her career. The German native hasn't actually lived in Germany since she was young, leading to confusion about her nationality.

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Charlie Hunnam

Charlie Hunnam is an actor and model who you'd recognize for his performances in Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim, and The Lost City of Z. He's known for playing a rugged, down-home American man with strict values, so it might be surprising to find out that he was born in Newcastle, England. 

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Will Arnett

Will Arnett is a popular voice actor, comedian, and producer. His most well-known roles are for 30 Rock, Arrested Development, and Ratatouille. Many fans don't know that he was born in Toronto because he moved to America when he was 20 to pursue his acting career. 

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Sam Worthington

Sam Worthington has successfully fooled audiences into thinking he's American. Worthington was born in England but grew up in Australia. He has a thick accent when he's not on-screen! He's known for playing an American soldier in movies like Avatar, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Hacksaw Ridge, so it's not hard to see where the confusion comes from. 

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Nathan Fillion

Nathan Fillion is famous for his roles in Firefly, Slither, and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Currently, he stars in The Rookie, playing a new cop trying to figure out being a middle-aged rookie on the force. If you consider the fact that he's known for playing an American police officer, especially because he doesn't have a Canadian accent, you'd never know he was born in Alberta, Canada. Fun fact: he gained his US citizenship in 1997 when he started working more in America. 

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Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy is another rough-and-tumble actor who's known for playing an American soldier in films like Black Hawk Down, Dunkirk, and the American gangster Al Capone in Fonzo. He was born in Hammersmith, London to a painter and a novelist. It's easy to forget where he came from when audiences are constantly seeing him in a US military uniform.

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Seth Rogen

Comedic legend Seth Rogen might seem just about American as you can get, but he was actually born in Vancouver. He started out doing stand-up comedy before landing a role in Freaks and Geeks. He's now a writer and director, responsible for movies like Sausage Party and The Green Hornet. 

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Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie is an award-winning actress who's been in successful films like The Wolf of Wall Street, Suicide Squad, and I, Tonya. She had a very convincing Brooklyn accent for her role in The Wolf of Wall Street, convincing many fans that she's actually from there. While she doesn't have much of an Aussie accent, Robbie was born and raised on a farm in Queensland, Australia. 

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Isla Fisher

Isla Fisher is best known for her roles in the 2002 live-action Scooby-Doo, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and Arrested Development. She lacks an accent in the movies where she plays an American, convincing audiences that she really is one. She was born in Oman to Scottish parents, lived in Scotland until she was six, and then moved with her family to Australia. 

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Portia de Rossi

Portia de Rossi, born as Amanda Lee Rogers, is a model, philanthropist, and actress who is also married to Ellen DeGeneres. Her most well-known roles are for Ally McBeal, Scandal, and Nip/Tuck. Not many people realize she was born in Victoria, Australia. There's a reason she fools fans into thinking she's an American; she admitted to working hard at dropping her Aussie twang when she came to the United States. 

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