10 Hollywood Superstars You Never Knew Were German

Celebs November 28, 2017 By Vincent

Hollywood is a place where many great actors from around the world can ply their trade and make a name for themselves if they are good enough and lucky enough but sometimes they are so good that you don't even realize that they're origins don't lay in America but rather further afield in Europe. Many people across the globe have German heritage and so do these familiar faces more associated with an All-American trade.

1. Kirsten Dunst

The star of such films as  Spider-Man, Melancholia, and Marie Antoinette, was born in New Jersey, USA but has held German citizenship since 2011, something she did to make shooting in Europe easier for her to save on getting Visas and work permits. The fact that she could get German citizenship comes from her father who is from Hamburg.

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Still perfecting her speaking skills of the language, Dunst apparently loves to spend time in Berlin.

2. Michael Fassbender

So adept is Michael Fassbender at his work, and so well traveled and eclectic that his upbringing that many Americans and Brits claim his as their own but the actor, who speaks with an Irish burr, is actually half German and was born in Heidelberg to a German father. His mother was from Northern Ireland but the family moved to Eire when Michael was 2-years-old.

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Fluent in German, he showed off his linguistic ability in the film  Inglorious Basterds where he played a German-speaking, British army officer.

3. Sandra Bullock

The Oscar-winning actor of The Blind Side and star of Miss Congeniality was actually born in Virginia to a German mother. Having spent 12 years living in Nuremberg in her youth, the actress can speak fluent German and has publicly accepted awards in German although many people still don't realize she can speak the language.

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Her parents met when her father was stationed in Germany as a member of the US army.

4. Bruce Willis

The all-American action hero actually has a German side to him having being born in West Germany to a German mother who, like Sandra Bullock's parents, met whilst his father was stationed in the country with the US military. Born in Idar-Oberstein his Mother is from Kassel and Bruce spent the first two years of his life in Germany.


It is suspected the actor can speak a handful of German words although he has never exhibited this skill in public.

5. Dominic Monaghan

The man who played Charlie in the hit TV series Lost and Merry in The Lord of The Rings trilogy of films was actually born in West Germany in the 1970s. Both his parents are British but they were living and working in West Berlin at the time of his birth and the family moved to  Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, and Munster before returning to Britain when Dominic was 11 years old.

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The actor can still speak conversational German and has been known to in interviews.

6. Leonardo DiCaprio

Despite his name signifying an Italian Origin, his half Italian father is also half German whilst his mother is also from Germany meaning that Leonard Wilhelm DiCaprio, yes that's his real name, is fluent in German but he also has two grandparents from Russia and considers himself half Russian so his heritage is greatly mixed.


With the ability to speak fluent German, the actor often does so in German interviews.

7. Grace Kelly

Starring in several iconic Hollywood movies including High NoonMogambo, and To Catch a Thief, Grace Kelly also became well known as Princess Grace after she married the Prince of Monaco and emigrating to the country in 1956. This Oscar-winning legend was born in Pennsylvania but actually had German roots.

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Kelly's grandparents were German immigrants who arrived in America at the turn of the century.

8. Amanda Seyfried

The blond hair, blue eyes, and last name might give it away but Amanda Seyfried's heritage is mostly Germanic. Although not very close to her Germanic heritage, and it seems unlikely that she can speak any German, the actress often complains about the mispronunciation of her second name.

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Just as a heads up it sounds like "Sigh-Frid."

9. Diane Kruger

Perhaps a little more obvious than the others on this list, people often get confused as to whether Kruger is German or not due to her excellent American accent, fluency in English and French as well as German  and spent time in London and Paris growing up and now lives in Paris, alongside Vancouver and Los Angeles.


Despite this, she is considered a permanent resident of the United States.

10. Christopher Walken

Born Ronald Walken, the veteran actor was born in Astoria, Queens, New York to a Scottish Mother from Glasgow and German father from Essen who came to the United States in 1928 and opened up a bakery. Despite this Walken says he speaks little German saying, "I can understand German more than speak it."

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The Oscar-winning actor only changed his name because someone in the stage show he was working with at the time wanted him to and so he did, but now wishes he'd chosen something shorter.

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