5 Hollywood stars you probably didn't know had German roots
Hollywood is their home, but worldwide fame was merely a dream to their ancestors. Many celebrities have connections to Germany and some even speak a bit of German, like Leonardo DiCaprio.
Leonardo DiCaprio is undeniably proud of his German heritage. His mother Irmelin and his grandmother Helene are said to have given him the virtues of frankness and honesty. It seems that his celebrity fame hasn't changed any of it. Perhaps his German background has kept him grounded during his successful career.
The Oscar-winner was born in South Africa, but has German ancestry through her mother, Gerda, who had German forefathers. As a model, Charlize Theron lived for a time in Hamburg, learning some German during her stay. However, none of this was enough to get the 41-year-old German citizenship - her application was rejected.
Michael Fassbender was born in Heidelberg and is the son of an Irishman and a German. He moved to Ireland at the age of two with his family, but his German heritage is apparent through his name and occasional film scenes in German. In the film "Inglorious Bastards," for example, he played a British lieutenant fluent in German.
Whenever she gives interviews in Germany, it becomes clear that Sandra Bullock can chat in nearly accent-free German. It's the result of spending her childhood in the city of Nuremberg, as the daughter of a German opera singer. The famous actress never forgot her roots and has both German and American citizenship.
It's a shame that Bruce Willis speaks only broken German. Otherwise, it would be a treat to hear him speaking with an accent from the Palatinate region. Willis, the son of a US soldier and a German mother, was born in the idyllic Idar-Oberstein region of the Rhineland. In 2007, his birth town made him a special ambassador. He's been awaited there for an official visit ever since.