Quiz: Can You Identify Where These Actors and Actresses Are From?: HowStuffWorks
Can You Identify Where These Actors and Actresses Are From?
By: Dana Brown
6 Min Quiz
About This Quiz
Penelope Cruz, Emma Watson and Ian Harding were all born outside of the United States. Many names, many famous faces and just as many different countries. While some of these actors and actresses have noticeable accents, others don't. You might not even know they came from a different country, and to see them included in this list may come as a big surprise. Or, you might know that they're foreign, but can't quite put your finger on it as to their exact country of origin.
We thought it would be a fun game to identify some famous faces with the country they originally hail from. To do so, we've compiled a list of new as well as older performers. Some of these countries are truly challenging to guess while others are more straight-forward. We figure it'll be fun to have this knowledge and test your friends' afterward. You can start by saying, "Hey, guess where so-and-so is from? I bet you'd never guess!" And go on from there. This quiz might also be a fun way to get to know a little bit more about the background of your favorite actors and actresses, giving you an insider glimpse of their history. If you're a fan, you can even post a greeting appropriate to them, say in Polish or Bulgarian, on their fan page.
Ready to get started? Let's begin!
The comedian extraordinaire Jim Carrey, who starred in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, hails from which country originally?
Some people don't know that Jim Carrey was born in Canada and not in the U.S. While he may seem quintessentially American, Jim has kept his Canadian citizenship as well as his more recently-acquired American one, making him a dual citizen of the two countries.
Dick Thomas Johnson via WikiCommons
We're thinking of Liam Hemsworth, who played Gale in "The Hunger Games." Where's he from?
Liam Hemsworth of "Hunger Games" fame comes from down under, or rather, Australia. Before moving to the U.S., Liam was an actor in his home country, including an Australian soap opera. In the U.S., his first breakout role came in "The Last Song."
Fortune Magazine via YouTube
Michael J. Fox of the beloved "Back to the Future" movies comes from where?
Remember the "Back to the Future" trilogy with Michael J. Fox? Its star has that very wholesome American appeal, so it's not surprising that so many people assume he's American. Not the case. He comes from Canada.
Martin Kraft via WikiCommons
Christian Bale, star of "American Psycho," comes from which part of the U.K.?
A method-acting star better known for his intense, brooding roles, Christian Bale was born in Wales. He has been acting since he was a child, though, and hasn't stopped since, trying out a variety of roles.
Funny man Seth Rogen is from where exactly?
Seth Rogen may seem like the ultimate American funny guy to many, but he's not American. He's Canadian. He moved to Los Angeles as a teenager, where he began to hone his improvisational skills and performing stand-up. It served him well.
Sgt. Michael Connors via WikiCommons
Penelope Cruz was born in which Southern European country?
Penelope Cruz comes from Spain. While she has enjoyed a very successful career in American films, she also performs in Spanish. The renowned Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, for example, has cast her in many of his movies.
In which of these European countries was Bruce Willis born?
Although Bruce Willis was brought to the United States when he was very young, he was born in a small town in Germany called Idar-Oberstein to a German mother. The city is known for its gemstone business and Bruce Willis, of course.
Raffi Asdourian via WikiCommons
Hey, girl. Where was Ryan Gosling born?
Ryan Gosling hails from Canada, where he was homeschooled before turning to acting. He started out doing TV commercials before landing small parts in films. His charisma and acting chops ensured that the Canadian made his mark in American cinema, as he's now one of the more sought-after actors in Hollywood.
The renowned Gary Oldman hails from which country?
Gary Oldman is known for his performances in critically-acclaimed films such as "JFK," "True Romance" and "Dracula." The English actor seamlessly changes from one accent and persona to another, making him one of the most respected thespians of his generation.
lstudiopresents via YouTube
Portia de Rossi of "Arrested Development" fame hails from which place?
Portia de Rossi originally hails from Australia, not Italy, as the last name might suggest. The actress made her film debut in "Sirens," appearing nude in it. When she moved to the U.S., she also made a splash in "Ally McBeal," which led to other endeavors.
FRESH Movie Trailers via YouTube
Pamela Anderson is not American, can you believe it? Where is she from?
Pamela Anderson has become an iconic figure in popular culture. While the former "Baywatch" star summed up images of Southern California beaches, she was actually born much further north. She's Canadian.
Gage Skidmore via WikiCommons
Where does the renowned Natalie Portman come from originally?
The multi-lingual Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem, Israel, and made her way to the States as a child. Natalie has accolades not only for her acting but also for her academic merits. She graduated from Harvard, after all.
Gage Skidmore via WikiCommons
Where was Charlize Theron born?
Charlize Theron grew up in South Africa, where she spoke Afrikaans. It apparently took her a while to shed her accent, a feat she has attributed to television shows for helping her along. It certainly worked, as she earned an Academy Award for her role as an American serial killer.
Gage Skidmore via WikiCommons
How about Rachel McAdams. Where is she from?
Rachel McAdams was born in Canada in the same city as Ryan Gosling: London, Ontario. Being compatriots might be one of the reasons they seemed to have such a strong connection onscreen and off. Their performance in The Notebook has become legendary.
Gage Skidmore via WikiCommons
She first became famous in "That '70s Show." Do you know where Mila Kunis is from?
Mila Kunis was born Milena Markovna Kunis in Ukraine, then part of the former Soviet Union. She moved to the States as a child. Smart and savvy, she learned English quickly, and by the time she was in "That '70s Show" she seemed as American as apple pie.
Where was Salma Hayek born?
While her father is Lebanese, Salma Hayek hails from Mexico originally. Well known as an actress in such critically-acclaimed movies as "Frida" and "From Dusk Till Dawn," Hayek is well-known for her spirited performances and producing credits.
Vanity Fair via YouTube
Idris Elba from "Luther" was born where?
Idris Elba hails from London, where he grew up. He is known as a solid actor, garnering esteem from the Royals. The Queen has appointed him with a royal title in recognition of his contribution to the dramatic arts.
InStyle via YouTube
Rose Byrne is originally from where?
Rose Byrne was born in Australia. She had a career in Australian television and films before moving the States. The role that caught the attention of movie-goers was her turn as a handmaiden Dormé in "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones."
Patrick L. via WikiCommons
Nominated many times for Oscars, Amy Adams was born in which Southern European country?
Since her father happened to be stationed in Italy at the time of her birth, that's where Amy Adams first saw the world. The esteemed actress, who has been nominated multiple times for an Oscar, has bestowed her daughter with an Italian connection with the name Aviana.
Martin Lawrence via YouTube
Comedian Martin Lawrence was born in Europe, we'll give you that. Can you tell us where?
Martim Lawrence's first laughs were in Germany, where he was born. His parents served in the military there. When he moved to the U.S., he started out doing stand-up, like many comedians do while honing their skills before taking on leading roles in movies like "Big Momma's House."
She has a perfect British accent but wasn't actually born in England. Where is Millie from "Stranger Things" originally from?
Sure, she's technically British, but wasn't born anywhere in the U.K. Instead, the pixie-like Millie Bobby Brown was born in Spain. She lived there for the first few years of her life before returning to Britain. A move to the U.S. eventually followed.
Isla Lang Fisher was born in an Arab country. Any idea which one?
The beautiful actress of movies like "Confessions of a Shopaholic" hails from Oman originally. That is, she was born there, but her upbringing is quite international indeed. With her Scottish parents, she grew up in Australia before moving to the U.S.
MTV Reality via YouTube
"The O.C." put Mischa Barton on the map. She was born across the globe, though. Where?
The sultry, smart Mischa Barton was born in London. While many people associate her with Orange Country due to her role in The O.C., she identifies herself as English and Irish. She did grow up in New York, though.
ELLE via YouTube
Where does Emily Ratajkowski come from originally?
The model-turned-actress Emily Ratajkowski has a Polish last name and American parents, and yet she was born in England. She's known to have traveled extensively growing up, though she mostly grew up in California.
Stephen Moyer of "True Blood" was first bitten in which country?
Stephen Moyer of "True Blood" fame was born in England. He had a distinguished career as a stage actor and in British series before taking on roles on American television. He's married to Anna Paquin, who is the subject of our next question.
GQ via YouTube
Ah, Keanu Reeves. Where was this "Matrix" star born?
His first name is Hawaiian, his mother is British and his father has mixed heritage, making for a thoroughly international mix. To top it all off, Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon. He then lived in both the U.S. and Canada.
Canadian Film Centre via WikiCommons
"Sex and the City's" legendary Samantha comes from which British country?
She may seem quintessentially American in roles like the independent, sassy Samantha Jones of "Sex and the City" fame. The memorable Kim Cattrall was born in England, though, donning equal parts naughtiness and ladylike panache.
Film Forum via YouTube
Famke Janssen of "X-Men" and "Bond" movie fame hails from where originally?
Famke Janssen was born in the Netherlands, aka Holland. Known for her role as a "Bond" femme fatale as well as " X-Men," she took a little while to turn to acting. At first, she studied literature at Columbia University before heading to LA.
Allure via YouTube
Nina Dobrev from "The Vampire Diaries" comes from which of these countries?
This is almost a trick question because Nina Dobrev is known as a Canadian actress, and yet she was born not in Canada, but in Bulgaria. She did move to Canada very young, though. Aside from acting and modeling, she has also competed internationally as an aesthetic gymnast.
She comes from a place that has English as the primary language. Which country exactly?
This one is a little trickier, since Anna Paquin was born in Canada but grew up in New Zealand. She was still a child when she became known for her role in "The Piano," which was shot in New Zealand. As a teenager, she moved to the U.S., and the rest is current history.
Mario Pena via WikiCommons
Antonio Banderas comes from a Spanish-speaking country. Can you guess which one?
While Antonio Banderas has co-starred with Salma Hayek in films set in Mexico, he comes from Spain. Like the Spanish Penelope Cruz, he has also enjoyed a career acting in both American and Spanish films to much acclaim.
Gage Skidmore via WikiCommons
Karl Urban of "Star Trek" fame comes from where?
Although Urban has been a thespian in New Zealand for many years, he first caught the world's eyes as Éomer in "Lord of the Rings." The trilogy, of course, was filmed in New Zealand. Urban went on to have other notable roles, such as in "Judge Dredd."
Gage Skidmore via WikiCommons
Andrew Lincoln of "Walking Dead" isn't American either. Where does he come from?
Andrew Lincoln is originally from England. He lived and studied acting in London before landing a role in "This Life," a British drama series. Nowadays, he's better known as Rick Grimes of "The Walking Dead" series.
Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com via WikiCommons
"The Vampire Diaries" star Kat Graham was born in Europe. Can you guess which country?
Actress/singer Kat Graham hails from Switzerland, the country of the Alps, multiple official languages, and world-famous chocolate. Like many of her compatriots, she speaks several languages, which surely serves her well.
Daniel Benavides via WikiCommons
Let's see if you can guess where Academy-award-winning Lupita Nyong'o was born.
While she has Kenyan roots, Oscar-winning Lupita Nyong'o was actually born in Mexico while her parents were exiled there. The family moved back to Kenya, though, which is when her thespian aspirations first came to fore.
Seventeen via YouTube
Ian Harding speaks the language of the country he was born in. Which country is it?
"Pretty Little Liars" heartthrob Ian Harding was originally born in Germany. He has coughed up a few German words in interviews to the delight of many of his fans, who swoon at seeing him wielding his linguistic skills.
Russell Crowe needs no introductions, but do you know where he was born?
While many people associate Russell Crowe with Australia, he was actually born a little further south in New Zealand. Still, he's spent most of his life in Australia, where he first started acting before catching the eye of American filmmakers.
Glamour Paris via YouTube
The star of "Troy" is European born. Can you pinpoint which country?
Diane Kruger was born and raised in Germany. She didn't start out as an actress, though. Initially, she studied ballet in London before returning to her home country and becoming a fashion model. Acting roles followed.
Rhododendrites via WikiCommons
Rose McGowan is from Europe originally. Where exactly?
Although her parents are American, Rose McGowen spent the first years of her life in Europe. She lived in Italy, the country where it, before coming to the U.S. She made her debut in "The Doom Generation."
British Vogue via YouTube
Well known for her role as Hermione Granger in the "Harry Potter" movies, where was Emma Watson born?
While many people think she would be born and raised in England, Emma Watson was actually born in France. Although she is closely associated with her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, Emma Watson has proven herself to be a versatile actress who is likely to have a lasting career.
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