Happy Canada Day!
Canada has produced some of the greatest talent on earth, but we’re probably not the first country that one would think of when trying to think of big talent. However, after reading this and other articles today on IWG, you may think again. Here are some amazingly talented people that you may not know are Canadian.
While Ryan may now take up residence in New York City, he was actually born in London, Ontario. Due to his father’s work, the family moved around quite often, living in both in Cornwall and Burlington – both in Ontario. Ryan attended an open audition in Montreal for Disney Channel’s revival of The Mickey Mouse Club. He then moved to Orlando, Florida and performed on the show for two years. At one point, Justin Timberlake’s mother became Ryan’s legal guardian after Ryan’s mother had to return to Canada for work purposes. Ryan headed back to Canada and starred on shows such as Breaker High, Are You Afraid of the Dark? And Goosebumps. The rest is history. He has appeared in such hit films such as The Notebook, Blue Valentine, Drive, and Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Ellen was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia is located on the East Coast, and is part of what is known in Canada as The Maritimes. She first acted in front of the camera in the CBC television film named Pit Pony. She then landed roles in small Canadian films and television shows, with a notable role in the TV show, Trailer Park Boys. She then landed several international roles. It was in X-Men: The Last Stand that she started to gain some recognition. It wasn’t until Juno premiered that Ellen properly garnered a name for herself. Her performance in Juno was highly praised and earned her an Oscar nomination. Since then, Ellen has appeared in such films as Whip It, Inception, To Rome With Love, and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
The actor and stand-up comedian has quite a backing behind him. He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver was the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics. When he was a child, Seth did not want to go after any career other than comedy. When he was 16, Seth won the Vancouver Amateur Comedy Contest. Oat this time, he landed a small backing role on Judd Apatow’s TV series, Freaks and Geeks. Since then, he has worked on Da Ali G Show as a writer. He has also acted in The 40 Year Old Virgin, Pineapple Express, and This Is The End. Other films include Superbad, Knocked Up, and 50/50.
Rachel was born in the same city as future co-star Ryan Gosling. Rachel attended several acting camps, including Shakespeare and Disney camps. At the age of 12, she participated in a theatre company for children in London. She was eventual persuaded by a drama teacher that a professional acting career may be the best career for her. In 2001, she made her debut in a MTV show. She made her Canadian film debut in a film named My Name is Tanino. In 2004, her first big role came in the form of the character Regina George in the film Mean Girls. Later that year, she co-starred with Ryan in the romance The Notebook. Since then, Rachel has starred in films such as Wedding Crashers, Sherlock Holmes and its sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Other films include The Family Stone, The Lucky Ones, A Most Wanted Man and the upcoming The Little Prince.
Donald is probably best known, apart from being an actor, for being the father of Kiefer Sutherland, star of the hit TV series, 24. The father in this instance is Donald Sutherland. Donald’s acting career spans over 50 years. He was born in Saint John, New Brunswick (another part of the Maritimes). Donald originally was going to train as engineer, but soon changed his mind. He then left Canada for England, where he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Donald soon landed a part in the TV series, The Avengers. The rest is history. He played the role of Merrick in the cult-hit film, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In 2010, Donald was one of eight famous Canadians to assist with carrying in the Olympic Flag during the 2010 Winter Games, held in Vancouver, British Columbia. Since his career took off, Donald has appeared in numerous films, including The Dirty Dozen, M*A*S*H, Pride & Prejudice, JKF, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Recent film viewers better know Donald as President Snow in The Hunger Games series.
While Kiefer was born in England, he moved with his mother in 1975 to Toronto, where he attended school. Kiefer attended weekend acting lessons at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School. His first film in the US was Stand By Me, and his fame grew from there. Other films include The Three Musketeers, A Few Good Men, and Flashback. However, it is Kiefer’s role in 24 that secured him a name in households.
Anna Helene Paquin was born in Winnipeg. Manitoba. She lived in Canada until the age of four, when her family moved to New Zealand. It was in New Zealand that she got her start, but many still consider Anna Canadian, due to where she was born. Anna’s first major role was in the 1993 film The Piano, which won Anna the 1993 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She became the second-youngest Oscar winner in history (the first being Tatum O’Neal). Anna later would star in a series of TV commercials for Manitoba Telecom Systems in her home city of Winnipeg. Since her start, Anna has starred in such films as X-Men and several of its sequels, Almost Famous, Finding Forrester, Fly Away Home and more. She also gained recognition as Sookie Stackhouse in the hit HBPO series True Blood.
Nicole Evangeline Lilly was born in Alberta, in a place called Fort Saskatchewan. She was then raised on the west coast, in British Columbia. She started what is considered late in the industry, being discovered in college. She was spotted while walking in Kelowna, BC. Evangeline auditioned for a role in the television show Lost, but did not expect to be cast. Out of 75 women who auditioned for the role, Evangeline won the role. It was then that she became a household name. Since then, she has starred in huge hits, including the Oscar winning film The Hurt Locker. Other films have included Real Steel, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and the upcoming The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
Captain Kirk – what else can we say? William was born in Montreal, Quebec. William attended several schools in Montreal, and is an alumnus of Montreal Children’s Theatre. William became the business manager, in 1952, of the Mountain Playhouse in Montreal. William trained as a classical Shakespearean actor. At one point, William was due to understudy another famous Canadian, Christopher Plummer. While William had his first official film debut in a Canadian film, his first feature role came in a 1958 MGM film. Things went on a roll from there. It was his role as James T. Kirk in the Star Trek series that made William a household name. It launched William into international fame. Since then, he has appeared in numerous Star Trek films, Miss Congeniality, DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, American Psycho 2, and more. William has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well as a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame.
Michael is widely recognized for his role as Marty McFly from the Back to the Future trilogy. Michael was born in 1961 in Edmonton, the capital of Alberta. Michael and his family moved quite frequently, due to his father’s career. The family finally moved to Vancouver, BC. Michael got his start in a Canadian TV series called Leo and Me. In 1979, he moved to Los Angeles, before moving back to Vancouver after getting married. Coincidentally, Michael was one of four cast members from Leo and Me to develop Parkinson’s. Michael starred in several films before landing a role in the show Family Ties. He only got the role after Matthew Broderick could not do the role. Michael won three Emmy’s for his role, and a Golden Globe. However, it was his role in the Back to the Future films that shot Michael to fame. His role as Marty McFly (which he nearly missed out on) brought numerous fans and international attention. Michael has also appeared in Teen Fox, Light of Day, Stuart Little, and Casualties of War. Michael also starred in Spin City, another TV show that garnered him critical praise and numerous awards. Michael is also widely known for his efforts to raise awareness for Parkinson’s Disease. He has written several books on his experiences, due to suffering from Parkinson’s himself. In 2010, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.
There are a huge number of talented people in Canada. Other actors include Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters, My Girl), Martin Short (Glick), Jim Carrey (Ace Ventura, Liar Liar) Jay Baruchel (How to Train Your Dragon 1 & 2), Mike Myers (Austin Powers), and Michael Cera (Superbad, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World). Next time you talk to someone about Canada, remember we’re not just the friendliest country out there, we’re a country full of talent.