The land of Hollywood actors
The Irish diaspora
Not just Colin, Michael and Saoirse
Wilde for Oscar
A successful actress
Megan Fox
A real star
Vanessa Hudgens
A versatile actress
Daniel Day-Lewis
Naturalized Irish
An Irish CV
Jeremy Irons
A surprising find
Pierce Brosnan
James O'Bond
Mischa Barton
Visiting the homeland
Dominic Purcell
A busy actor
Mel Gibson
Braveheart
Lots of talent
Lots of Irish talent
Celebrities you didn't know were Irish!
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The land of Hollywood actors

Despite being a small country, Ireland has produced its fair share of thespians. We all know the obvious ones like Colin Farrell and Saoirse Ronan, but there are others who have surprising Irish roots.

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The Irish diaspora

Michael Fassbender has starred in a raft of blockbusters, and he is a fantastic example of an actor that nobody knows is Irish. He shares his Irish heritage with a German one.

 

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Not just Colin, Michael and Saoirse

Throughout its history, Ireland has seen many of its sons and daughters emigrate. This diaspora is the reason why so many actors can claim Irish ancestry. Let's look at a few more examples.

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Wilde for Oscar

This American beauty is Irish through her parents, and because of them, she is entitled to dual citizenship on both sides of the Atlantic. Her real surname is Cockburn, and she adopted Wilde as a nod to the great Irish writer Oscar Wilde.

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A successful actress

She is famous in the tabloids for dating Harry Styles, but she has also been recognized for her work on the big and small screen with multiple awards wins and nominations.

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Megan Fox

Fox has French and Native American roots, and she is connected to Ireland through her father. She cemented her status as a bonafide Irish person when she declared that she believes in leprechauns.

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A real star

Megan Fox burst onto the scene and has an impressive resume. Her output has slowed down recently, and here's hoping she reignites her career and makes an Irish movie soon.

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Vanessa Hudgens

Like Fox, she has Native American ancestry and has links to Ireland through her father. Her opinions on leprechauns are unknown.

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A versatile actress

Aside from starring in the smash-hit 'High School Musical', she also voices the main character in 'My Little Pony'. In an episode of 'Drunk History', she played Marge Callaghan, an Irish-American baseball player who played in the middle of the 20th century.

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Daniel Day-Lewis

He is one of Hollywood's biggest actors, and that's no surprise considering that his devotion to method acting always guarantees a powerful performance.

 

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Naturalized Irish

Though born in the UK, he now enjoys Irish citizenship and has called Ireland home since 1997.

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An Irish CV

He has appeared in a number of Irish films, most notably as Gerard Conlon in 'In the Name of the Father'. He also appeared in 'The Boxer', which is set in Belfast.

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Jeremy Irons

Like Day-Lewis, Jeremy Irons was born in the UK but now lives in Ireland with his Irish wife. He feels a deep connection to Ireland and he said it feels like home as people treat him like an ordinary person. Furthermore, he was made an honorary Irishman in 2014.

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A surprising find

After appearing on the TV show 'Who Do You Think You Are', the actor learned that his grandfather owned a linen mill in Cork in the 1800s, not too far from where he lives now.

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Pierce Brosnan

He is famous for being suave, handsome and 007, but the fact that he is Irish has often gone under the radar. He was born in Navan but moved to the UK at a young age. His neutral accent and role as a British spy have probably contributed to this oversight about his birthplace.

 

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James O'Bond

Interestingly, when he was first announced as Bond, some British tabloids were quite angry that an Irishman had been given the role.

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Mischa Barton

Though she became famous for her connections to Orange County, she considers herself Irish. Her maternal links to the country mean she is also an Irish passport holder.

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Visiting the homeland

She hopes to buy a house in Ireland in the future, and she visited the country in 2005 when she attended the Irish Film and Television Awards as the guest of honour.

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Dominic Purcell

The star of 'Prison Break' has an Irish mother, and he holds an Irish passport. He was seen holidaying in Ireland in 2017, where he spent time with starstruck fans. In 2021, he returned with his mother and presented her with a Mother's Day present.

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A busy actor

Purcell has been active since 1991 and can be seen nowadays as one of the main actors in 'Legends of Tomorrow'.

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Mel Gibson

Like Purcell, Mel Gibson is an Irish passport holder through his mother. His father's side of the family also has Irish links, and they arrived in Australia to escape the potato famine of the 1840s.

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Braveheart

He filmed his second film 'Braveheart' in Ireland, and he used Irish army reserves as extras. Since then, many off-screen controversies have slowed down his career.

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Lots of talent

Sometimes it's not easy to know who is Irish. Often, their links are not well-publicised or British and international media outlets label them as British when, of course, they are Irish.

 

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Lots of Irish talent

But this list is a testament to the incredible talent on the island, and let's hope to see even more Irish faces on TV and in the cinema in the future.

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