Thanks to actors’ convincing accents, we might think celebrities are from a certain place when in actuality the truth could be very different. And even if we do hear their real accents, we might mistake where they’re from for somewhere else.
There are a lot of people from Down Under in Hollywood but you might not realize who is a Kiwi and who is an Aussie. It’s time that changed. You likely know about Nicole Kidman, the Hemsworth brothers and Cate Blanchett, but they’re just the start of all of the talented people from New Zealand and Australia. Say g’day to these 18 celebrities who are actually from the great Down Under.
1. Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue is, in fact, an Aussie. She was born in Melbourne. Some refer to her as Australia’s Pop Princess. You might never have realized it because it’s not like the accent comes through when she’s singing. What’s more, the “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” singer currently resides in London and holds British citizenship. But, she still has deep Aussie roots. In her early days, she was on the cult soap Neighbours and she has appeared on The Voice Australia.
2. Rose Byrne
You probably first took notice of Rose Byrne in her role as snooty Helen in 2011’s Bridesmaids. There was not a hint of a Down Under accent with the character so it will likely surprise you to know that she was born in Balmain, Australia. She actually started acting when she was 13 in her native country. Plus, the actress trained at the University of Sydney Atlantic Theater Company. She got her first Hollywood part 10 years later when she played one of Padmé Amidala’s (Natalie Portman) handmaids in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. She’s now based in New York.
3. Simon Baker
Perhaps the sun-streaked hair and golden tan should have clued us in to the fact that Simon Baker is from Down Unda’. The actor is actually from Launceston, Australia. He’s also friends with fellow Aussies Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman. In the early ‘1990s he appeared on the Aussie soap Home and Away before making his way to Hollywood.
4. Yael Stone
Many people are starting to become familiar with Yael Stone thanks to her role as Lorna Morello on Orange is the New Black. If you want to get to know her better, know that she was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. She studied at Australia’s Newtown High School of the Performing Arts and the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and worked across television and theater when she was young. It was in 2011 when she went to New York. And who would have thought that a few years later, she’d be perfecting a Brooklyn-Boston via New Jersey accent on OITNB?
5. Russell Crowe
You might know that Russell Crowe has an accent, but can you correctly guess where it’s from? Russell was born in Wellington, New Zealand. He might be a Kiwi by birth, but he’s pretty well an Aussie because he moved to the country when he was just a kid. And that’s where his acting work began, as well. He has worked in NZ and Australia along with the usual Hollywood stuff. What’s more, he’s related to some famous cricket players.
6. Lucy Lawless
Lucy Lawless, aka Xena, is a Kiwi hailing from Mount Albert, New Zealand. She attended school in New Zealand, honed her acting craft there and even won the 1989 Mrs. New Zealand competition. Really. Her famous role as the title character in Xena: Warrior Princess could even be partially thanks to her homeland. The show was shot there and Lucy got the gig after the original actress became ill and couldn’t travel to the location to film. Lucy, who previously played Amazonian Lysia in Hercules and the Amazon Women, stepped in.
7. Ruby Rose
Ruby Rose is another one who most people became familiar with thanks to her role on Orange is the New Black — and soon she’ll be Batwoman. She’s another one who hails from Down Under. Ruby is from Melbourne and has done a lot of work in Hollywood and Down Under. In Australia, she worked as a television presenter, MTV VJ and model, to name a few things. She made her debut acting performance in Australia in 2008 with Suite for Fleur. We know the rest of the story.
8. Rebel Wilson
Here’s another one from Sydney, Australia. Rebel Wilson is a born-and-raised Aussie. She studied at the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) before continuing to hone her craft in New York. She came stateside on a scholarship funded by fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman. She has had tons of hilarious credits in Hollywood films, but it’s also worth researching some of her work she has done in Australia. It’s just as funny. Trust.
9. Iggy Azalea
When Iggy Azalea is spitting out verses, there’s no accent that gives her away as an Australian. So, it might surprise you to hear that she’s originally from Ryde Hospital, Sydney, Australia. She came to the United States when she was a teenager to pursue music. And you don’t need us to tell you know it has worked out. Fun fact: Her family’s Australian heritage runs deep and she claims to even have Aboriginal ancestry.
10. Portia de Rossi
You might have heard Portia de Rossi speak when she wasn’t in character. And you might have thought she had an American accent. Don’t let it trick you because she’s Australian born. She comes from Horsham and attended the University of Melbourne. She did a bit of work Down Under before moving across the ocean. It’s reported that she worked to drop her accent once she moved to the U.S. of A. Apparently it was so successful that she was almost turned down for a movie where she could have played an Australian.
11. Keith Urban
Keith Urban is a country music star who looks very comfortable in a pair of cowboy boots and at home on the range. Yet, the singer isn’t from Texas or anywhere down South (of the US). In fact, he’s even more southern… He is a New Zealander from Whangarei, Northland. After learning guitar when he was growing up, he moved to Australia and appeared on an Australian talent show. That led him to explore the Australian country music scene before going to Tennessee.
12. Miranda Kerr
A lot of people make the assumption that Miranda Kerr is British like ex-husband Orlando Bloom. She’s not. Miranda is a proud Australian. The model was born in Sydney and spent her formative years in the Outback on her grandparents’ farm. She broke into modeling when she was a teenager after winning a local competition. After success in Australia, she went to New York to pursue her career. That led to a Maybelline New York contract and another one with Victoria’s Secret. You know the rest.
13. Elle Macpherson
Elle Macpherson is known for her gorgeous #hairgoals beachy blonde mane and how she defies the natural laws of aging. What some might not realize is that she comes from Down Under. She was born in Killara, Australia. She briefly studied law at the University of Sydney, but the modeling world came calling and she went to New York City. She has been based in the UK for many years, but the healthy golden glow she always has is a giveaway of her roots.
14. Isla Fisher
Isla Fisher is a bit different than others on the list. The funny lady was actually born to Scottish parents in Oman before she came to Australia when she was six years old. She grew up in Perth and explains that her formative years in Australia have had a big impact on her and she definitely identifies with the Down Under lifestyle. She appeared in Australian TV shows including the popular soap Home and Away before she moved abroad to try her luck in Hollywood.
15. Joel Edgerton
Australians represent. Joel Edgerton was born in Blacktown, Australia and attended the University of Western Sydney. He was involved in the Sydney Theatre Company and he appeared in the Australian TV show The Secret Life of Us. He has a list of credits from Australian works as well as the Hollywood stuff. He has been nominated at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, aka the AACTA Awards.
16. Katherine Langford
Katherine Langford might be young but she’s clearly an accent whiz. Based on her role as Hannah Baker on 13 Reasons Why you would have no idea that she wasn’t American. She’s an Australian and was born in Perth. When she was Down Under, she was actually rejected from every acting school for which she applied. (Clearly they’re regretting that now.) She found her own way with auditions and an agent. That lead to theater work, movie credits and well, you know.
17. KJ Apa
Archie Andrews, a Kiwi? You don’t say. It’s true. Keneti James Fitzgerald Apa, or KJ Apa as he’s more commonly known as, comes from Auckland, New Zealand. The Riverdale star’s dad is actually a Samoan who is the Matai (chief) of his village. Prior to Hollywood roles, KJ was on Shortland Street, a New Zealand soap. He won the role of Archie after an intense worldwide search.
You might not know that Lorde is actually a Kiwi, just like you might not know that her real full name is Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor. Now, everybody knows both facts. The singer was born in Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand. She got her start when she was a young teenager playing different gigs with friends Down Under. She signed with Universal Music Group in 2009 and released “The Love Club” EP in 2012. The music was a success Down Under and reached number two on the national record charts in Australia and New Zealand. And it wouldn’t be long before Lorde went proper A-list.