15 Celebs Born Outside America That Spice Things Up With Their Unique Genetics


They were once outsiders in Hollywood, but with their accents, exotic features, and artistic abilities, they managed to cast a spell. Many people associate celebrities with America, although these actors and musicians have homes in other nations. And their origins give Hollywood a certain depth and colour that many of us enjoy.

1. Gal Gadot, Israel

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Gal Gadot was born in Rosh Ha’ayin in 1985 and was named Miss Israel 2004 when she was 18 years old. Following her modelling career, she worked as a combat instructor for the Israel Defense Forces, which gave her an advantage when she was cast as Wonder Woman, the role that made her famous throughout the world.

2. Mila Kunis, Ukraine

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Mila Kunis was born in the former Soviet Union’s Chernivtsi in 1983. Her family migrated to the United States seven years later. She began taking after-school acting classes, when she was noticed by an agent. Contracts for commercials and small roles on TV shows kept her busy until she landed the role of Jackie Burkhart in That ’70s Show.

3. Rihanna, Barbados

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Rihanna was born in the Caribbean island of St. Michael in 1988 and won multiple beauty pageants as a teenager. She was still in high school when a classmate connected her to Evan Rodgers, a New Yorker who was a family friend. Rodgers heard her perform and flew her to New York, where she was signed to Def Jam Records after her singing convinced them of her impending success.

4. Emilia Clarke, England

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Emilia Clarke, who was born in London but reared in Berkshire, knew she wanted to be an actress when she was three years old after seeing the musical Show Boat. Clarke began her career by studying drama at the Drama Centre in London and appearing in minor roles on television shows, but her breakout role as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones catapulted her to worldwide prominence. She’s become a celebrity, and she’s even been voted “Most Desirable Woman.”

5. Priyanka Chopra, India

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Priyanka Chopra was born in the Indian city of Jamshedpur in 1982. She was crowned Miss India in 2000 and then Miss World 2000. Despite her desire to be an aeronautical engineer, the actress was given multiple roles in Indian films and eventually joined Bollywood. She shot to fame after starring in the television series Quantico, and has subsequently acted in comedies including Baywatch and Isn’t It Romantic.

6. Keanu Reeves, Lebanon

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Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon, to an English mother and a Hawaiian father in the year 1964. Reeves’ ancestors are Chinese, Irish, Portuguese, and English. Following his performance in the Canadian film Youngblood, the actor relocated to Hollywood and landed his breakthrough role in Dangerous Liaisons, which catapulted his career and garnered him big roles in blockbusters like The Matrix and Constantine.

7. Natalie Portman, Israel

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Natalie Hershlag, her true name, was born in Jerusalem in 1981 and is of Ashkenazi Jewish origin. Her family relocated to the United States when she was three years old, and an agent discovered her at a pizza shop when she was eleven years old. Her breakthrough role as Princess Amidala in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace catapulted her to stardom. While studying psychology at Harvard and filming Star Wars movies, Portman continued to pursue acting.

8. Charlize Theron, South Africa

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Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, Italy, in 1975. She used to go to ballet classes as a child and dreamed of becoming a professional ballerina, but a damaged knee put an end to her goal, so she flew to Hollywood to pursue her dream of becoming an actor. After causing a commotion in a bank for refusing to take a cheque, an agent provided Theron his card on the condition that she learn American English. She subsequently went on to wow Hollywood with her major portrayal in The Devil’s Advocate, for which she received an Academy Award for Best Actress.

9. Lupita Nyong’o, Mexico

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Lupita Nyong’o was born in Mexico, where her father worked, but returned to Nairobi a year later. She used to act in school plays and go to the theatre with her family. She travelled to the United States as an adult and studied at Yale School of Drama. She stunned Hollywood with her performance in 12 Years a Slave not long after.

10. Nicki Minaj, Trinidad and Tobago

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Onika Tanya Maraj was born in the Caribbean island of St. James in March 1982. When she was five years old, her family relocated to New York, where she attended an arts-focused high school. She was spotted by the CEO of Young Money after graduation and began participating in the Come Up series. She rose to international recognition as a vocalist after the publication of her mixtape Playtime Is Over.

11. Nina Dobrev, Bulgaria

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Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva is her real name, and she was born in Sofia in 1989. Her parents moved to Canada when she was two years old. As a youngster in Toronto, the actress began modelling and appearing in commercials. Those were soon replaced by movie auditions, and she won her breakout part as Mia Jones in Degrassi: The Next Generation. Her major role in The Vampire Diaries has made her a household name.

12. Wagner Moura, Brazil

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Wagner Moura was born in 1976 in El Salvador. He exhibited an early interest in acting and joined a group of performing arts students at his high school when he was a youngster. The actor studied journalism before deciding to pursue his passion of becoming an actor after a brief stint on television. He quickly earned contracts to feature in a number of Brazilian films, but it was his portrayal of Pablo Escobar in Netflix’s Narcos that catapulted him to stardom.

13. Sofía Vergara, Colombia

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Sofa Margarita Vergara was born in the Colombian city of Barranquilla in the year 1972. She was studying to be a dentist when she was noticed by a photographer on a beach day. As a result, she was hired as a runway model and a TV talk show host. She garnered four Emmy nods for her performance as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett in the programme Modern Family in 2009.

14. Djimon Hounsou, Benin

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Djimon Hounsou was born in Cotonou and lived there until he was 13 years old, when he moved to France. He met French designer Thierry Mugler by happenstance, and he was inspired to pursue a career as a model. He did, and walked the Paris runways for a few years before relocating to the United States in search of fresh experiences. His breakout performance came in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad as Joseph Cinqué, and he went on to star in award-winning blockbusters including Gladiator, Blood Diamond, and Aquaman.

15. James McAvoy, Scotland

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James McAvoy, who was born in Glasgow in 1976, had no intention of becoming an actor and instead planned to become a priest until he met actor David Hayman, who came to his school and gave McAvoy a role in the film The Near Room. McAvoy opted to enrol at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama after the experience (RSAMD). His performance as Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia made him renowned in the United Kingdom, but it was his debut as Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia that made him famous in Hollywood.

So, do you believe that being a foreigner provided these talented people an advantage? Do you think Hollywood is more interesting the more diverse it is? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Preview photo credit Evan Agostini / Invision / AP / East News, Jack Shea / Starshots / Broadimage / Broad Image / East News