Everyone knows that Drake is Canadian (or, at least, every Degrassi fan knows). And you likely know Justin Bieber is, too. But there are many other under-the-radar Canadians in the spotlight. (According to a new documentary, Being Canadian, which corralled Michael J. Fox and Mike Myers, among others, keeping a low profile may be a national quality.) On the eve of Canadian Thanksgiving (it’s tomorrow!), here are 11 famous Canuck transplants you might have missed.
Seth Rogen is in good Canadian company, as many members of his clique—Jay Baruchel, Evan Goldberg, Michael Cera—share his nationality. (The country has always had a strong comedy connection, of course: Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Lorne Michaels, and Dan Aykroyd are also all Canadian.) And even though the funnyman has always had American citizenship (his father is American), the Vancouver native still feels his Canadian roots. “I definitely associate with being Canadian much more than being American,” he said in 2013. “You’re always, ‘Wow, that happens here?’ As long as you’re [in America], there’s still new weirdness to uncover.”
Despite the strong comedian contingent, Michael Cera, born in Brampton, Ontario, told Esquire in 2009 that not everyone from the country is funny. “There are funny Canadians; there are unfunny Canadians. People here act like it’s such an achievement. ‘Oh, my God, a Canadian is funny!’ I mean, there are a lot more funny Americans. Why does nobody pick that up? I mean, really, there are a few funny Canadians, especially compared to the massive number of hilarious American people. ‘Oh, as it turns out, there are a few people in Canada who are worth watching.’ That’s really what it comes down to.”
If you really, really wanted to figure out how Rachel McAdams’s family got to London, Ontario, take a look at the ancestry-tracing segment The Notebook actress did for TLC.
Hey girl, did you know that Ryan Gosling was born in London, Ontario? Like many of his fellow countrymen, the 34-year-old has quite the sense of humor about his birthplace. He even starred on MTV’s American Talk “The Oh Canada Edition” to unpack various stereotypes, like how many different kinds of flannel he wears at any given moment.
The Baywatch babe, who was born in Ladysmith, British Columbia, is aware that she doesn’t exactly seem like the poster child for the country. She told Esquire this year, “People say I’m the ultimate California girl, which is funny, being that I’m Canadian.”
Joshua Jackson’s triple dekes could be attributed to his Vancouver birthplace, but The Mighty Ducks star has said that he has triple nationality. (His mother is Irish, his father American, and while he was born in Canada, he grew up in California.) He told The Guardian in 2012, however, that he feels mostly Canadian: “As much as I feel a part of American life, there are still aspects of this country that make me glad to be Canadian,” he said. “[Such as] the political structure. America is just more geared to the right. Our conservatives, generally speaking, would still be seen as liberal in the States and our socialists would be seen as communists. All of that makes me proud to be Canadian.”
While promoting her most recent film, Freeheld, the story of a same-sex couple fighting for gay rights, the Halifax, Nova Scotia, native was asked if being Canadian affected her perspective. (The country legalized gay marriage in 2005.) “The difference I feel in Canada is religion is way less intense,” she told Time. “That’s not to say there’s not lots of religious people in Canada who observe whatever religion they choose to partake in, but the rhetoric influencing politicians, laws, and human rights is just not the same. For me, that’s what separates it.”
The Toronto native is such a supporter of the capital’s hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, that he appeared in the team’s highlight reel. “You know something? People say that Toronto Maple Leafs are at the center of the hockey universe,” Arnett said. “You know why? Because we are.” (Cue “The Final Countdown.”)
Though the actress was born in the U.K., her family relocated to the city of Courtenay, British Columbia, when she was 3 months old. (Cattrall’s Twitter bio reads: “Liverpool-born, Canadian-bred New Yorker.”) She’s since moved on from her iconic Sex and the City role and returned to her hometown to star in a new HBO Canada show, Sensitive Skin. “After being involved in a groundbreaking situation with Sex and the City, I was really looking to return to television with something equally as challenging and risky, as you never know if something is going to work,” she said when the show first premiered. The series, which has Cattrall adjusting to a hip new Toronto lifestyle after her child goes away to school, was just nominated for an International Emmy for comedy.
Before Perry landed the role of Chandler on Friends, he was on track to become a professional tennis player in Canada. He quit the sport, however, when he moved to the States. “Giving up tennis wasn’t really a decision I had to make,” he said in 2012. “I was a very good tennis player in Ottawa, Canada—nationally ranked when I was, like, 13. Then I moved to Los Angeles when I was 15, and everyone in L.A. just killed me. I was pretty great in Canada. Not so much in Los Angeles. It was insane. I realized I wouldn’t be playing tennis for a living, so I went for acting.”
The Vancouver-born actor has said that he’s often confused for another Canadian, Ryan Gosling. Reynolds tweeted a rather crude cheat sheet, but according to the actor, the countrymen aren’t really well acquainted. “I know him, vaguely, being Canadian we just run into each other every once in a while—doing Canadian things,” Reynolds joked. “Curling. We’re in a curling club together.”
The post Kim Cattrall, Pamela Anderson, and 9 Other Stars You Didn’t Know Were Canadian appeared first on Vogue.
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