The Canadian movie stars you thought were American

Time to break out the maple syrup and those 'Due South' boxsets… it's Canada Day! Rather than drag up any more lazy stereotypes however, we'll celebrate by paying tribute to the country's most underrated exports — their commonwealth of acting talent. Who knew Canada was such a movie star hotspot? Not us, we thought these guys were all American too…

[The movie stars who snubbed Royal honours]



Ryan Reynolds
Famous for: The Green Lantern, X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia
This is how Canadian our Ryan is: his dad was a Mountie! Not only that, he was once married to one of the few stars everyone actually knows is from Canada — Alanis Morissette. Even though they've since split, Reynolds is still proud of his roots. "I love Canada," he said in an interview. "It makes a nice hat for America." 

Pamela Anderson
Famous for: Baywatch, Barb Wire
Hometown: Ladysmith, British Columbia

Pammy's three claims to fame: wearing a red swimsuit while jogging in slo-mo, that grainy sex tape and stripping off for animal right's charities. Who would have guessed such a hellraiser hailed from a small Canadian town best-known for its logging industry?

Michael Cera
Famous for: Superbad, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Hometown: Brampton, Ontario

There's a reason Cera was so convincing as the socially awkward Canadian slacker in 'Scott Pilgrim vs the World'… he's Canadian in real life! Director Edgar Wright said he hired him for his typically Canadian, laid-back sense of humour. Cera described it as "stupid Canadian docility".


William Shatner
Famous for: Star Trek, being William Shatner
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Bill loves Canada so much he delivered a stirring eulogy about his home country at the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in 2010. To an audience of millions, he declared: "I'm proud to be a Canadian, a people who know how to make love in a canoe".

Jim Carrey
Famous for: Dumb And Dumber, Bruce Almighty, gurning
Hometown: Newmarket, Ontario

One of Jim's best stand-up gags was a response to LA types, who always told him growing up in Canada "must have been cold".  "Now I just go along with them" he said, "and say: 'Yes, Canada was a frozen hostile wasteland. There was much work to be done if we were to survive the elements. After boring through the ice to find food, my good friend Nanook and I would build an igloo to protect ourselves from polar bears and flying hockey pucks.'"

Seth Rogen
Famous for: Superbad, Knocked-up
Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia

Being Canadian is a big part of Seth Rogen's on-screen persona apparently. Like many from the maple-loving land, he's laidback, deadpan and not exactly sure of himself. "I think a very Canadian mentality is one of self-consciousness," he once said. "Kind of apologising for yourself and not fully embracing what it is that you are."

[The surprisingly smart movie stars]



Dan Aykroyd
Famous for: Ghostbusters, The Blues Brothers
Hometown: Ottawa

The man who came up with ‘Ghostbusters’ remains the proudest of Canadians. Having been made a Member Of The Order Of Canada in 1998, he spends every Canada Day (which is also his birthday) performing some sort of civic duty for his fellow countrymen. In 2009 he released a charity album of reminiscences titled ‘Dan Aykroyd’s Canada’. Lovely.

Ellen Page
Famous for: Juno, Inception
Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia

According to IMDB, Page's chums in New York nicknamed her 'the tiny Canadian'. To be honest, she could do with finding some more imaginative mates, but the name does at least show that her all-Canadian qualities — the deadpan humour, the no-nonsense 'tude — are easy to spot… if you're an American.  When she's not making movies Ellen still lives in her chilly hometown.

Ryan Gosling
Famous for: The Notebook, Drive
Hometown: London, Ontario

Canada’s most attractive export, in 2006 Gosling’s performance in ‘Half Nelson’ made him the first Canadian to get an Oscar nod for Best Actor in over 60 years. Once asked about his “different” accent, Ryan admitted he developed his own way of talking as a child because having a Canadian accent didn’t sound “tough” enough. He modeled it on Marlon Brando, apparently.


Michael J. Fox
Famous for: Back to the Future, Spin City
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta

Now he's semi-retired from acting because of his Parkinson's disease, the 'Back to the Future' legend doesn't need to live in LA anymore and resides in his native Vancouver instead. When he was made an Officer for the Order of Canada earlier this year (for his charity work), MJ told press being Canadian was "a lot of contradictions". He said: "It's seriousness and a sense of humour, intensity but also an appreciation for the simple pleasures in life."

Keanu Reeves
Famous for: The Matrix, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Keanu moved all over the place when he was a nipper (he was actually born in Beirut), but the 'Matrix' star grew up in Toronto and took Canadian citizenship. Recently though he said this might been a mistake, telling Vogue: "I sometimes wonder [why I did it]. I've even regretted not having American citizenship, especially at election times. Ideally, I would take out dual nationality."

Mike Myers
Famous for: Austin Powers, Shrek
Hometown: Scarborough, Ontario

Unafraid of a Canadian cliché, ‘Wayne’s World’ genius Myers is a massive ice hockey fan – often seen sporting a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, he has three dogs named after players. Myers once described Canada as “the essence of not being. Not English, not American, it is the mathematic of not being. And a subtle flavour - we're more like celery as a flavour.”

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