40+ Celebs That Everyone Wrongly Assumed Were American

These Celebs Aren’t Actually American

Acting means taking on new personas and stories that differ from your own. Some celebrities have proved so good at this that their image gets wrapped up in their characters. When you watch movies, some of the American accents you hear are so well-performed, that you may have even missed that these stars were acting!

Henry Cavill

A role like Superman would make you think an actor was American. The Smallville superhero was portrayed more than once by Henry Cavill. However, the actor himself isn’t actually American.

Henry Cavill

Rather, this Man of Steel is British. You probably wouldn’t have known from his work in three DC movies as the caped hero — fans are waiting to see if the actor will return to the iconic role after his last appearance in the role back in 2017.

Toni Collette

Toni Collette has definitely made her mark on the horror industry. You might recognize the actress from her performances in The Sixth Sense and Hereditary.

Toni Collette

The actress donned an accent in both movies, so you might have missed that she’s actually Australian — not American. While the star lived in Los Angeles for some time, she’s shared that she’s since moved back to spend more time in Australia. More recently, you can catch her in Nightmare Alley and The Staircase.

Will Arnett

Will Arnett is a talented actor, voice actor, comedian, and producer. Arnett has garnered fans from his work on Bojack Horseman and Arrested Development.

Will Arnett

Despite what fans may have assumed, the actor isn’t actually American. Arnett was actually born in Toronto! However, he moved to New York when he was 20 years old to start his career with appearances on stage, followed by his film debut in Erie.

Christian Bale

Christian Bale is known for his method acting and slipping fairly deep into roles that he’s cast as. So, we can’t blame you for not nailing down reality from art.

Christian Bale

Bale himself is actually Welsh but the star has said, “I was born in Wales but I’m not Welsh — I’m English.” The actor’s parents are both English as well. The star moved to Los Angeles in the early ’90s, about 10 years before he’d bring Patrick Bateman to life in American Psycho and well before the world was introduced to Bale’s Batman.

Seth Rogen

If you’re a fan of comedies, you’ve no doubt seen Seth Rogen’s work. The star started with stand-up comedy before branching into television and film. The celebrity didn’t stop there either.

Seth Rogen

Rogen has added the titles of director and screenwriter to his repertoire with movies including Sausage Party. The Superbad actor holds dual citizenship for both the U.S. and Canada but was born in Vancouver and has said, “I definitely associate with being Canadian much more than being American.”

Charlize Theron

Some celebs have had the chance to live all over the world. This is often, or at least partly, thanks to simply following where their work takes them.

Charlize Theron

Actress Charlize Theron was born in South Africa and spent a lot of her childhood there. Once she started modeling, a contract took her to Italy. Finally, the actress and model came to the United States. Since then, she’s taken on memorable roles like her role in Mad Max: Fury Road.

Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne first rose to fame at a young age. In fact, the star was only 16 when she signed a recording contract for her first two albums.

Avril Lavigne

While the singer’s music reached international audiences, including a lot of attention in the United States, the singer herself isn’t American. Rather, Lavigne is Canadian — born in Ontario, Canada — and holds citizenship for both Canada and France. The singer was previously married to another Canadian musician, Chad Kroeger of Nickleback.

Justin Bieber

Another musician who made it big at a pretty young age is Justin Bieber. Fans have followed the musician through a variety of style evolutions as his career has progressed.

Justin Bieber

However, it’s easy to miss pieces of the musician’s personal life if you’re only listening to his music. Despite the explosive success his music had in the United States, the star isn’t American. His earliest fans will remember the YouTube covers while the young celebrity still lived in Ontario.

Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy has brought a variety of characters to life. Many think of his work in comic book movies including his portrayal of Bane and starring role in Venom.

Tom Hardy

The star has also played in a variety of other roles including Al Capone in Fonzo and an American soldier in a few movies, like Dunkirk and Black Hawk Down. His performance in these movies was so impressive you may have never guessed he’s actually from London.

Rose Byrne

Rose Byrne is a talented actress you can catch in a number of movies and shows. From Damages to 28 Weeks Later, the actress has become a familiar face.

Rose Byrne

Byrne was born in Sydney, Australia and started her career there before immigrating to the US. What originally brought Byrne to Hollywood was her part in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones in which the actress played a handmaiden named Dormé.

Famke Janssen

Before Famke Janssen was an actress with roles like Jean Grey in the X-Men series, her career was focused on modeling. Originally born in the Netherlands in Amstelveen, Janssen moved to the United States when she was 20 to work as a model in America.

Famke Janssen

It was a successful venture and the star worked with multiple popular brands before eventually branching off into acting, followed by directing and screenwriting.

Kelly Reilly

Kelly Reilly is best known for her performance in 2018’s Yellowstone, although you can also catch her in True Detective and Eli.

Kelly Reilly

Despite the impressive American accent that might have confused Yellowstone fans, the talented actress is actually from London. In fact, before Hollywood, she was a well-known London theater performer — even earning a Laurence Olivier Theater Award nomination back in 2004.

Diane Kruger

Diane Kruger has appeared in a few popular movies. This includes Troy, The Host, and even National Treasure alongside Nicolas Cage. Aside from acting, Kruger has worn many hats including a model and a ballerina.

Diane Kruger

The German-born star is also multilingual and can speak German, French, and English fluently. The star spent much of her childhood in Germany, danced in London, modeled in Paris, and became an American citizen in 2013.

Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland has had a long career with a few iconic roles in there. After watching a show like 24 or The Lost Boys, it’s easy to assume the celeb is American.

Kiefer Sutherland

The star was born in London to Canadian parents alongside his twin sister. However, the family briefly lived in Corona, California before moving back to Toronto. Interestingly, in 2009, Sutherland said on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he and Robert Downey Jr. were roommates for a time when he first moved to Hollywood.

Danielle MacDonald

Fans can catch Danielle MacDonald from a variety of roles including Bird Box, Unbelievable, and Dumplin’. For each of these roles, MacDonald put on an American accent not many people would think to question.

Danielle MacDonald

Especially after her Southern accent that she put on for Dumplin’, fans were shocked to learn the actress is actually Australian — originally from Sydney. The star came to Hollywood when she was only 18 to commit to her career as an actress.

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie is known for quite a few roles. From playing Tonya Harding in I, Tonya to Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad and Bird of Prey, the actress has quickly become a fan favorite.

Margot Robbie

Despite her convincing American accents in these roles, the actress was actually born in Dalby, Queensland, Australia. In fact, the star started her career as an actress in Melbourne. Still, critics were quick to praise her convincing Brooklyn accent in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey is among one of the most well-known comedians and comedic actors. Carrey has taken on everything from Dumb and Dumber to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Jim Carrey

The expressive actor is actually originally from Canada, born in Toronto. He spent a lot of his younger life living in different places in Ontario. However, the comedian was granted citizenship in the United States in 2004, giving him dual citizenship.

Ed Westwick

If you were a fan of Gossip Girl, you’ll recognize Ed Westwick easily as Chuck Bass. The actor did the role of an American student quite well. He did so well, in fact, that many fans might have missed that Westwick doesn’t actually share Bass’ life story.

Ed Westwick

Rather, Westwick himself was born in Hammersmith, London — and spent much of his early life in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Westwick has shared that when Gossip Girl started, he and Chace Crawford were roommates in Manhattan during the first two years of filming.

Drake

Drake’s career has been two-fold. The musician has clearly made quite a name for himself musically, but he has a few acting roles under his belt as well.

Drake

Fans of Degrassi: The Next Generation will recognize him as Jimmy but the star also appeared in Ice Age: Continental Drift. He’s even credited as one of the executive producers of the popular HBO show Euphoria. Drake was born in Toronto, Ontario.

Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds is another actor that has brought quite a few iconic roles to life. More recently, the star has become quite praised for his portrayal of Marvel character Deadpool.

Ryan Reynolds

What you might have missed is that Ryan Reynolds is Canadian, but you may have missed that Wade Wilson is too! While Reynolds was born in Vancouver, where Deadpool was filmed, the hero himself has been mentioned as Canadian — much like another hero he frequently interacts with, Wolverine.

Damian Lewis

If you’re familiar with Damian Lewis’ work, you’ve probably heard him put on an American accent more than once for projects like Homeland and Band of Brothers.

Damian Lewis

However, if you haven’t seen him in his roles in Wolf Hall or The Forsyte Saga, you may have missed that he’s actually British! If you really want to see an impressive performance, the celeb switches between his British accent an American one in Dreamcatcher.

Kim Cattrall

Kim Cattrall is best known as her character on the popular show Sex and the City, Samantha Jones. Cattrall has even earned a Golden Globe for the role.

Kim Cattrall

Cattrall herself immigrated to the US when she was 16, moving directly to New York City to start her career. Before that, the star was living in Canada with her family. She was initially born in Liverpool but the family moved only three months after she was born.

Hugh Laurie

If you’re a fan of his earlier work, you probably already know that Hugh Laurie isn’t American. However, his performance in House could convince you otherwise.

Hugh Laurie

However, the actor was born in Oxfordshire and started his career in England. If you’re a fan of his more comedic work, you can catch him with fellow actor Stephen Fry in a British sketch show called A Bit of Fry & Laurie.

Simon Baker

Simon Baker is an actor who has become rather recognizable as the longstanding character he plays. While he’s played many roles, many remember him as Patrick Jane in The Mentalist.

Simon Baker

Unlike Jane, Baker isn’t American nor is he a fake psychic. The actor is actually from Australia, despite the convincing American accent he managed to nail in several roles. Fans heard his actual accent when he appeared in The Devil Wears Prada as Christian Thompson.

Sam Worthington

Sam Worthington is another star who has played an American soldier more than once. You can catch his performances in Hacksaw Ridge, Avatar, and even Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Sam Worthington

Despite these talented performances, his American accent isn’t actually real. The star is originally from England but his family moved to Australia shortly after he was born — and it’s where Worthington spent much of his young life.

Shania Twain

Even if you aren’t a huge country music fan, you’ve probably still heard a song or two by Shania Twain. It’s hard to avoid someone titled the “Queen of Country Pop.”

Shania Twain

With her music so popular among American country music fans, some missed the fact that Twain herself isn’t actually American. The star actually grew up in Canada and has said she’s also become a long-time resident where her son was born — in Corseaux, Switzerland.

Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis’ family moved to Los Angeles when the actress was rather young. Her career would start shortly after their move, leading to That ’70s Show in her teens. When the family made the move to Los Angeles, Kunis was seven years old.

Mila Kunis

Before that, the family lived in Ukraine, where Kunis was born. Kunis told the Los Angeles Times, “Ultimately, I adjusted fairly quickly and fairly well” but discussed the difficulties of moving to a new place with a new language in second grade.

Portia de Rossi

Portia de Rossi has become known for quite a few things over the years. She’s worked as an actress, a model, and even dedicated her time to philanthropy as well.

Portia de Rossi

After watching Ally McBeal or Scandal, it’s easy to see why you might not guess the actress is actually Australian. The celeb started her career in Australia but has discussed she made an effort to drop her Australian accent when she moved to Los Angeles.

Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves has solidified his place in Hollywood history with roles like Neo in The Matrix and more recent roles like John Wick. Reeves has moved around quite a bit throughout his life and he did live in New York for a bit.

Keanu Reeves

The celeb was born in Beirut, Lebanon before his family moved to Australia, followed by New York City, before finally settling in Toronto, Canada. Reeves is a naturalized citizen of Canada.

Matthew Rhys

Given that Matthew Rhys is well-known for his character on a show called The Americans, it makes sense you might assume the actor himself is American. Rhys was actually born in Cardiff, Wales and grew up in Wales.

Matthew Rhys

Before starting his film career, the actor would attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. The star didn’t have to wait until he graduated to win his first award for Best Actor from the BAFTA Cymru.

Nathan Fillion

Nathan Fillion reached massive popularity for his role in Firefly. The star has also appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Slither, and currently, The Rookie.

Nathan Fillion

Despite a convincing accent and The Rookie portraying him as an American police officer, the actor himself isn’t from the United States — although he’s since become a U.S. citizen. Fillion was actually born in Alberta, Canada. The celebrity received citizenship for the United States in 1997.

Andrew Lincoln

Andrew Lincoln is another actor associated with an American police officer he portrayed on-screen. Lincoln played Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead.

Andrew Lincoln

Unlike the sheriff in the show, Lincoln was actually born in London and grew up in Hull and Bath. The actor also attended the Royal Academy fo Dramatic Art drama school, although he landed his first role in Oliver! as The Artful Dodger for a school production when he was only 14.

Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams has a broad range. She’s known for her more romantic roles like The Notebook, as well as more comedic roles like Regina George in Mean Girls. Unlike characters like Regina George, Rachel McAdams is actually Canadian — born in London, Ontario.

Rachel McAdams

The star also attended York Univeristy in Ontario back in 2001 for a degree in theater to help boost her career. By 2002, she starred in a Hollywood film The Hot Chick but really took off with audiences after her 2004 performance in Mean Girls.

Jamie Dornan

A lot of people know Jamie Dornan for his role in the series that reached wild popularity for a time, 50 Shades of Grey. Unlike the titular Christian Grey, though, Jamie Dornan is actually Irish.

Jamie Dornan

He was born in Holywood, County Down in Northern Ireland but spent much of his childhood in Belfast. In 2002, the star decided to move to London to further pursue his interest in acting, as well as work as a model for a time.

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling has been in the public eye for quite some time. Before he was taking on roles like his in The Notebook, the star was a member of The Mickey Mouse Club.

Ryan Gosling

Given that the star gained popularity in America so early in life, it’s not much of a shock some people didn’t notice that the star is actually from Canada. Interestingly, the actor has said he picked up an idiosyncratic accent for a time, straying from his natural one.

Anna Paquin

Anna Paquin is another actor who has been in the spotlight for quite some time. Some of her first official roles came as young as 11 years old.

Anna Paquin

Paquin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to a Canadian father and a mother from New Zealand. It wasn’t long before the family moved to New Zealand, though, where Paquin spent a lot of her time before moving to Los Angeles when she was in high school.

Daniel Kaluuya

Jordan Peele’s 2017 horror film Get Out cast actor Daniel Kaluuya as the protagonist. Despite his talented performance, the star doesn’t actually naturally have an American accent.

Daniel Kaluuya

Rather, Kaluuya is from London, England and you can catch his English accent in his appearance on Black Mirror. The actor also appeared in Skins where his character changes his accent frequently, a performance Kaluuya impressed audiences with by demonstrating his vocal versatility.

Tom Holland

When you think of Spider-Man, you probably think of the web shooter swinging around New York. That’s why many fans probably assume Tom Holland is American, too. Holland was actually born in Kingston before attending school in Wimbledon.

Tom Holland

He later moved to Croydon to attend the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology. The star has even won the London Critics Circle Award for Young British Performer of the Year in 2012 when he debuted in The Impossible.

Charlie Hunnam

Charlie Hunnam is perhaps best known for his ongoing role in the series Sons of Anarchy, although he’s also appeared in movies like Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak.

Charlie Hunnam

The actor often dons an American accent for his roles. However, he was actually born in Newcastle, England — and spent much of his young life in Cumbria, England. He even studied at the Cumbria College of Art and Design to focus on film theory and history.

Naomi Watts

Even if you know that Naomi Watts isn’t American, you might still not have her hometown quite right. Many assume the actress is actually Australian. The truth is, that’s not quite the full story either!

Naomi Watts

Instead, the actress was born in Kent, England but she did live in Australia from the time she was a year old until she was seven before moving back to the U.K. to live in Wales. Her family moved back to Australia again when she was 14.

KJ Apa

Riverdale fans might think that KJ Apa is as American as his character. As we’ve seen, though, it’s not just Americans that are cast to play American teens. In real life, Apa is actually from Auckland, New Zealand.

KJ Apa

He lived in Auckland until he started his acting career, even attending high school in Auckland at King’s College. He’s even the nephew of a former New Zealand Rugby player, Michael Jones.

Alison Pill

Alison Pill first took part in the iconic film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World as Kim Pine before taking on darker roles in projects like American Horror Story: Cult as Ivy Mayfair-Richards.

Alison Pill

The actress isn’t actually American, though — she’s just incredibly talented at donning an American accent. She’s actually from Toronto, Canada. Her professional work started at a young age and she started acting when she was only 10 years old.

Florence Pugh

Florence Pugh has put on an accent for a few roles. After watching Little Women and Midsommar, you might even think the actress is American. Actually, Pugh was born in Oxford, England.

Florence Pugh

However, when Pugh was only three, the family moved from Oxford to Sotogrande, Spain before moving back to Oxford three years later. In 2019, the actress was included in Forbes‘ ’30 Under 30’ list in Europe.

Rose McIver

A lot of people recognize Rose McIver from her work in iZombie. The actress also showcased her American accent in The Lovely Bones and Eddie’s Million Dollar Cookoff. However, the actress actually hails from New Zealand.

Rose McIver

Born in Auckland, the actress spent much of her upbringing in Titirangi in particular. She started studying both linguistics and psychology at the University of Auckland but left before finishing her degree. She started acting at a young age.

Isla Fisher

Many American viewers may have assumed Isla Fisher is American after she gained wider fame there. However, she was famous in Australia and England before that. The actress was originally born to Scottish parents in Muscat, Oman.

Isla Fisher

However, when Fisher was six, the family moved back to Scotland briefly before moving once more to Perth, Australia — where the star grew up. She once described herself as “very Australian” when discussing how much she’s moved around throughout her life.