10 Actors You Had No Clue Were Irish

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It's a truth universally acknowledged that everyone has a favorite accent. Do brassy Australian vowels tempt you toward the Outback? Does Nigeria's melodic, punctuated English make you weak in the knees? Or perhaps it's the up-turned Irish lilt that gets you dreaming of rolling emerald hills.
Yet while our unique ways of speaking make us interesting, the Great Hollywood Machine has a way of making every actor sound the same. With prime voice coaching and an international casting system, just about anyone can play just about any character. As a result, many Irish brogues have been wiped from the screen.
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In actuality, there are quite a few natural Irish lilts still in the Hollywood wild, if you know where to look. So, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we present a roundup of your favorite actors who you didn’t know were actually Irish.
1 of 10
Michael Fassbender

When Fassbender was 2 years old, his German father and Irish mother relocated the family from Germany to the Irish town of Killarney. And despite having lived in London for most of his adult life, Fassbender considers himself firmly Irish.

"I definitely still consider myself Irish. Yes, yes. And I’m definitely European," he told The Guardian. "I would never consider myself British."
2 of 10
Ruth Negga

Though Ruth Negga recently starred in the American film Loving, which depicts the true story of the interracial couple who sued the United States to end anti-miscegenation laws, she is actually an Irish native. Negga lived in Limerick, Ireland until she was 24 years old.
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3 of 10
Cillian Murphy

Known for his work in 28 Days Later and Inception, Cillian Murphy was raised in County Cork, Ireland. After years living in England, he and his family recently relocated to Dublin to be nearer to Murphy's Irish roots.

"Initially, I was the reluctant one when it came to moving back, but I was quite quickly convinced. Irish people are brilliant and you have to go away and come back to realize it," Murphy told Irish Times of his move.
4 of 10
Jamie Dornan

One thing we can agree on: Christian Grey would've been more appealing if Jamie Dornan had preserved his natural Northern Irish accent.

Dornan hails from the suburbs of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Occasionally, he revisits his hometown and spurs selfie mania.
5 of 10
Aidan Gillen

We don't know much about Littlefinger's origin story, but we do know about Aidan Gillen's. Born in Dublin, Gillen began his acting career as a teen with the Dublin Youth Theater. He's won two Irish Film and Television Awards.

For proof of Littlefinger's Irish accent, catch him in Sing Street, a film streaming on Netflix set in 1980s Dublin.
6 of 10
Liam Cunningham

Yep, turns out that Sir Davos is a Dubliner.

It also turns out that Cunningham dropped out of school at the age of 15 to become an electrician, and spent three years in Zimbabwe working as an electrician in a safari park. When he returned to Ireland, he strayed from his vocation in favor of a new hobby: acting.
7 of 10
Caitriona Balfe

Though Balfe stars in the Scotland-centric show Outlander, she actually hails from Dublin. In 2016, she was given an Oscar Wilde Award, a ceremony put on by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance to commend Irish nationals' impact on entertainment.
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8 of 10
Fiona Shaw

Turns out that Harry Potter's evil aunt was faking that posh British accent. Shaw is from County Cork, and was educated in Ireland through college.
9 of 10
Domhnall Gleeson

The Revenant, Star Wars, Brooklyn, Black Mirror, Ex Machina: Is it just us, or is this Dublin-born actor starring in just about everything?

Gleeson hails from an acting family. Gleeson's father, Brendan Gleeson, played Alastor Moody in the Harry Potter films. Domhnall Gleeson played Bill Weasley.
10 of 10
Saoirse Ronan

Ronan got her big break in the film Brooklyn, which told the story of a young woman immigrating to Brooklyn from Ireland's Country Wexford in the 1950s.

P.S. We know you're wondering how to say her name. It's SEER-sha.
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