As if you need more great reason’s to relocate to Canada, some of Hollywood’s most successful entertainers hail from all across the True North! Canada may not have the reputation for TV and Film entrainment that America has, but where would they be without these super talented Hollywood Celebrities from Canada?
Before we fell in love with his charming debut in Freaks and Geeks, before Knocked Up and Pineapple Express, funny man Seth Rogan was kicking it in his hometown of Vancouver. Rogan’s mother, a social worker, and his father, who worked at various local nonprofits, supported their son’s early love of comedy. Rogan kickstarted his ambitions to back a living in comedy as a teenager, when he performed standup around the Vancouver. At age 16, back in in 1998, Rogan won the Vancouver Amateur Comedy Contest. He spent his high school years writing scripts, including a draft of Superbad, which was based on experiences he had in high school, and would become a huge hollywood success. Rogan is known to crack jokes about his hometown of Vancouver from time to time!
This Hollywood leading man has melted hearts in movies like The Notebook and thrilled audiences in The Place Beyond the Pines. But before Gosling got his big break, he lived in Canada! The heartthrob celeb was born in London, Ontario. His father was a traveling salesman for a paper mill and his mother was a secretary. His father’s work had the family moving a lot, and Gosling lived in Cornwall and Burlington Ontario, too. Gosling got his first big break in Montreal at the age of 12 – he auditioned for The Mickey Mouse Club and signed a two-year contract. He didn’t get much face-time on the show because his co-stars Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears were thought to be more talented, but the positive experience solidified his ambitions to make it as an actor. Don’t worry, Ryan, you’re still one of our favorite celebrities from Canada!
Who knew that Ellen Page, the bold actress that charmed us an adorable and quirky pregnant teen in Juno, spent her childhood in the picturesque city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. She attended the Halifax Grammar School until grade 10, Queen Elizabeth High School, and in 2005, graduated from the Shambhala School. Page got break in show business at a young age, landing roles in Canadian film and TV shows like Pit Pony, Trailer Park Boys and ReGenisis before going on to land the more mainstream roles we love her for.
Leading lady McAdams has more in common with Ryan Gosling than co-staring in the heart melting film, The Notebook. Like her co-star, she also born in London, Ontario. This leading lady grew up in St. Thomas, where her mother was a nurse and her father was a retired truck driver. Before her acting career, McAdams had a promising future as a figure skater, but she decided not to move to Toronto at the age of nine to get professional training. Figure skating took a backseat to her love of acting, which she fostered by participating in London’s Original Kids Theatre Company and school stage productions. While studying in York University’s theatre program, she landed her television debut with MTV.
We wonder if Michael Cera and Seth Rogan talked about growing up in Canada on the set of This is The End. This off-beat comedic performer fell in love with the idea of becoming an actor reportedly while watching the movie Ghostbusters repeatedly while sick with chicken pox. He got his education at Conestoga Public School, Robert H. Lagerquist Senior Public School and Heart Lake Secondary School before completing his high school education through online courses. His acting career has probably the most typically Canadian start of all celebrities from Canada – his first role was on a TV commercial for Tim Hortons!
Eugene Levy got his massive fame from appearing in offbeat hollywood comedies like the American Pie Series and National Lampoon’s Vacation, but before he leaped into Hollywood, Levy was a popular Canadian performer. A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Levy was raised by his homemaker mother and father who was a foreman at an automobile plant. At McMaster University, he was vice-president of a student film group called the McMaster Film Board. For eight years years, he played unusual roles on Second City Television (SCTV), a Canadian sketch comedy show. One of his most famous characters was Earl Camembert, a news anchor parody of real-life news anchor Earl Cameron. In 2006, Levy was awarded with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame!
Before William Shatner became an absolute cultural icon for his portrayal of Captain Kirk on Star Trek, he was a proud Montrealer! Born in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighborhood, Shatner got his education at various Montreal schools, including Willingdon Elementary School, West Hills High School, the Montreal Children’s Theatre, and McGill University, where he studied economics. Before making it on Broadway, Shatner was very involved in Canadian theatre, film and television. He performed at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Shakespeare’s Henry V and other televised classic dramas. Old-school Shatner fans might remember him as Ranger Bob on The Canadian Howdy Doody Show.
Oh hails from Nepean, a suburb of Ottawa, Ontario where she was raised by her Korean immigrant parents, and was on of only a few Asian-Canadian kids in her neighborhood. While her acting education began at an early age (she played The Wizard of Woe in a class musical, The Canada Goose), this well-rounded performer had activist and political interests too – she founded the Borden Active Students for the Environment group at Sir Robert Borden High School and was Student Council President. But her passion of acting won out, and she opted to turn down a journalism scholarship at Carleton University to study drama at National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. Before making it in Hollywood, Oh won leading rolls in popular Canadian TV films that earner her her both Genie and Gemini awards.
Paquin only lived in Canada until she age four, but that’s long enough to land this X-Men actress a spot on our list of celebrities from Canada. She was born in Winnipag, Manitoba to a New Zealand Native English teacher mom and a Canadian physical education teacher dad. Her acting career didn’t begin until five years after she moved away from Canada Canada to New Zealand. There, The Piano, a film set in New Zealand, was captivated by her charm (though not her experience – her acting credentials included only a role as a skunk in a school play). Regardless of her inexperience, she was cast in the film and later landed her an Academy Award for the role.
Before obtaining a American Green Card from his stepfather and making it big with blockbuster hits like The Matrix and Speed, Reeves gained widespread popularity in Canadian cinema. The actor has an unusual cultural background – while he was born in Lebanon, and is one-quarter Chinese, one-quarter Hawaiian, and half-English, he is (somehow!) a Canadian citizen. His got first professional acting roles here, staring in Coca Cola commercials and the Canadian sitcom Hangin’ In. Canadians might also recognize him from the CBC’s TV youth program Going Great, on which he was a correspondent.
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