Are you learning to speak Spanish? Then, you know the amusement when you learn about non-Latinx celebrities who speak Spanish well.
Whether they were born in a Spanish-speaking country like actress Lupita Nyong’o or decided to learn Spanish as an adult like actor Will Smith, these famous celebrities impressed the public by practicing their Spanish skills live on camera.
Curious about who they are? Here’s a list of some of your Hollywood favorites who can speak Spanish.
1. Lupita Nyong’o
Lupita Nyong’o is a Tony-award-winning actress famous for outstanding performances in everything from Broadway musicals to Hollywood movies.
Born in Mexico City to Kenyan parents, Nyong’o stayed for 7 months in Mexico while her father was teaching in the capital. She was raised in Kenya but returned to Mexico at the age of 16 to study at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and solidify her Spanish studies over the course of 7 months.
2. Ben Affleck
As teenagers, Ben Affleck and his brother Casey lived in Mexico for a year while filming a children’s television program.
They learned Spanish and traveled the country with their mother. Ben went to a high school with a focus on Latin and studied Spanish again for a few months in university.
He continues to use his Spanish whenever he films in Spanish-speaking locations. Ben Affleck also may have used his Spanish language skills to impress the ladies. Ben Affleck is famously dating Boriqua-American Jennifer Lopez. Does “Bennifer” ring a bell? Yo sí. I do.
3. Zoe Saldaña
Famous for starring roles in “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the new “Star Trek” films, Zoe Saldaña was born in New Jersey, the USA to a Puerto Rican mother and Dominican father.
Her family moved to the Dominican Republic when she was around 9 years old and stayed for 5 years before returning to New York.
With perfect pronunciation in Spanish and English as well as being a role model for the Afro-Latinx community, she is an impressive actress for every language learner to watch on the big screen.
4. Will Smith
Will Smith of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fame admits that his Spanish is less-than-perfect. He has been giving Spanish-language interviews and appearing on Spanish-language interview shows since 2000.
Smith also travels with a personal Spanish instructor and claims his reason to learn Spanish is that most of the world speaks 2 or more languages while bilingualism in the US is quite rare. He wants to break that habit.
It’s been a good business decision as well. The foreign film industry showered him with praise for his Spanish-speaking role in the 2008 movie Seven Pounds. Check it out to practice your listening skills or try our Spanish movie list for beginners.
5. Gwyneth Paltrow
Since she traveled to Spain as a teenager to study Spanish, Gwyneth Paltrow has been in love with the Spanish language.
Before she became a world-famous celebrity and actor, she lived with a Spanish host family in Talavera de la Reina to get the basics and has been speaking and giving Spanish-language interviews ever since.
She even has the Spanish accent with the lisped ‘z’ and ‘c’ down to a T.
Get inspired to learn Spanish like these celebrities
Whether you are famous or not, unexpected language skills offer a major wow factor and will have you saying ¡No me digas! (You don’t say!)
These actors who speak Spanish also went through the same journey as you in learning the language. And with their hard work and dedication, they’ve reached this level of fluency. We hope these actors serve as inspirations for you to push through your Spanish learning goals.
Alison Maciejewski Cortez is Chilean-American, born and raised in California. She studied abroad in Spain, has lived in multiple countries, and now calls Mexico home. She believes that learning how to order a beer in a new language reveals a lot about local culture. Alison speaks English, Spanish, and Thai fluently and studies Czech and Turkish. Her tech copywriting business takes her around the world and she is excited to share language tips as part of the Lingoda team. Follow her culinary and cultural experiences on Twitter.