Sometimes I worry that I’m not intimidated enough by celebrities, or that I’m so alluring that maybe it’s hard for you guys when I write about them, y’know? I mean, I have so many precious gifts and such charming wit to offer that I don’t want to tarnish their shine. You understand.
So what I did to combat that was, I looked up some celebrities who were smart in the head. Well, actually I had our lovely intern Olivia look them up. I was too busy admiring myself in a mirror and brushing my hair fifteen times between each keystroke. But these are celebrities with slightly more of a leg up, y’know? It can be hard sometimes when all you have going for you are attractiveness, talent, and a multimillion dollar career. You can find yourself lusting after the life of an internet blogger. I get it.
So just to make famous people in general feel better about being totally inadequate, here are 13 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Bilingual. It’ll serve as a good reminder for them, as well. In case they’re feeling especially intimidated by my sparkling prose.
1. WILL SMITH – Spanish
I have no idea why. Apparently his wife Jada speaks it as well and his son Jaden knows a tiiiiny bit too, as in he can understand more than he can speak.He’s a little rusty these days, but apparently he used to be super fluent.
2. BEN AFFLECK – Spanish(Photo: Guillermo Proano/WENN)
Ben and his younger brother Casey both learned Spanish while living in Mexico during stints of filming.
(Photo: Ivan Nikolov/WENN)
Sandra’s mother was a German-born opera singer and voice teacher, making Sandra half German herself just through lineage. But that excellent pronunciation is all Sandra.
Johnny learned French to be able to communicate with his longtime partner Vanessa Paradis and the couple’s two children together, Jack and Lily-Rose.
Afrikaans, which is a variant on Dutch, is actually Charlize’s first language, as she was born in South Africa, where it is the main language spoken.
Another actor from the Pirates franchise who speaks French, Orlando came by his bilingualism because his parents run a language school in England.
7. COLIN FIRTH – Italian
For some reason this makes no sense with my idea of Colin, but he’s fluent in Italian, married to an Italian woman, film director and producer Liva Giuggioli, and they have two Italian-speaking kids, Luca and Matteo!
As if this man needed a way to get more attractive. Ugh. He got inspired to learn the language as a kid after watching Chariots Of Fire, so he studied it in college and did six months abroad with a French family. That’ll do it!
Gwyneth learned Spanish after spending the summer of her high school sophomore year as an exchange student in Spain. She liked it so much that she still visits the town, Talavera de la Reina, and her host family. (Side note: of course she has the accent traditional to Spain.)
Kim learned to speak German fluently while living in Frankfurt with her second husband from 1982 to 1989, although she admits that she’s lost a lot of it over the years.
11. JODI FOSTER – French
Jodi attended a French-language prep school growing up, and is apparently still so skilled at it that she (sometimes? always?) dubs over her own character’s voices for the French versions of her movies.
12. MILA KUNIS – Russian
Mila was born in the Ukraine, and thus speaks fluent Russian, which we learned last year when she so amazingly leaped to Justin Timberlake‘s defense at a Q&A for Friends With Benefits.
13. JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT – French
(Photo: Andres Otero/WENN)
JGL apparently took a bunch of classes at Columbia entirely in French, so that was an Ivy League and a second language, in case anyone was keeping track.
13. NATALIE PORTMAN – Hebrew, Spanish, German, Japanese, and (some) French
And finally, just in case you’re still feeling like a reasonable human being with skills and a purpose, thought you might like to know that Natalie Portman speaks ALL the languages. All of them.
(Lead Photo: Tumblr)