I know. I’ve been there: you’re studying a new language and sometimes you find it so hard you even wonder why you’re trying to learn it in the first place. You look for some kind of idol you could look up to, so that you can say: “Hey! If he can do it, so can I”.
If you, dear reader, happen to be American, this might probably be your case with Spanish. Who isn’t into learning Spanish nowadays in the US? Not many people. Some even get to master it after years of studying and cultural immersions in Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain…
Unfortunately, you’re not acquainted (I’m sorry, I love this fancy word) with one of those successful men and women who overcame adversities of the size of the difference between ser and estar, verbs with -se, the double negatives, el subjuntivo, word genders and so on.
Today, I’m here to show you some people you may know who speak pretty decent Spanish. Not all of them speak it with the same level of proficiency, but good enough to be one of the most —if not the most— outstanding students in your class.
Here are 10 celebrities who speak impressive Spanish as a foreign language
10- Will Smith
Before anything else, you should know this is not just a list but more of a ranking in which celebrities will appear from the least to the most proficient.
Thus, even though he has proven his ability for speaking fluent Spanish more than once, the last place of this ranking would be for Will Smith.
This worldwide renowned artist from Philly is always open to speaking Spanish any time he is in one of the 22 Spanish speaking countries there are in the world. No matter the level of complexity required for the situation, he never shows a lack of confidence in himself and he never lets mistakes stop him from chatting in the language he enjoys the most.
9- Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck is another Hollywood legend always willing to speak Spanish whenever he can. Actually, both Casey and Ben speak acceptable Spanish and sometimes they even speak during the entirety of Spanish speaking talk shows in this language.
However, given that the two brothers spent part of their childhood living in Mexico, you could expect a better performance in the language. For this reason, a 9th place is a fair position for him to take up.
8- Matt Damon
Ben’s and Matt’s lifelong friendship is no news for most of us. They lived in Mexico at the same time, but Matt seemed to be more skilled in Spanish.
It also must be pointed out that Damon is married to the Argentinian, Luciana B. Barroso. Keeping in mind that he’s got a constant opportunity to practice at home, an 8th place will do it for him.
7- Tom Hiddleston
Our favorite villain ever speaks Spanish too! Tom struggles a little with some basic words, but his ability to talk about his films and describe the characters he plays is unquestionably astonishing. In this interview, you’ll listen to him describing Loki as a “celoso, arrogante, orgulloso, bravo y fuerte” person in order to leave us open-mouthed. Given that he isn’t known to have any native speakers around him in his life, Hiddleston’s performance in Spanish is that much more impressive!
6- Josh Hutcherson
Yes, Peeta speaks Spanish too. He’s been in a relationship with the Spanish actress Claudia Traisac since 2014 and you can tell that he has made the most of it by improving his Spanish to an excellent level. Way to go, Josh!
5- David Guetta
He’s THE French DJ par excellence and as such he has spent a great deal of his life going from club to club in Ibiza. We don’t know if he already knew any Spanish at all before his stardom, although it could be since he’s got Sephardic ascendency (from the Spanish speaking Jews living all around the world). Anyway, his Spanish has been getting better year by year.
4- Kobe Bryant
The Hispanic community in the US has been and will always be very thankful to the athletic icon that is Kobe Bryant. The Lakers legend got married in 2001 to Vanessa Laine, a Californian woman with Mexican roots, and ever since then he has shown a huge interest and respect for the Hispanic community. Such was the case that he learnt Spanish up to an impressive level of fluency, which even allowed him to run interviews fully in Spanish.
The Black Mamba will not only be never forgotten by the basketball world, but also by Spanish speaking people in and out of the States.
3- Gwyneth Paltrow
No, Gwyneth is not just a controversial celeb with an irregular professional career in Hollywood; she is also a very cultivated woman with a wide knowledge of diverse subjects such as gardening, literature, goldsmithing, cuisine and Spanish.
She studied for a year in Talavera de la Reina (Spain) at the age of 15 and has never lost practice. Paltrow still keeps in touch with the family that hosted her during that time and has been appointed Talavera de la Reina “Honorary Neighbor”.
2- Jean Reno
Monsieur Reno is one of the most renowned French actors in the Hollywood industry. Having starred in productions such as French Kiss, The Pink Panther or Mission: Impossible, as well as more reputable films in France, he is now bringing himself to appear in Spanish speaking productions (mainly in Spain).
There’s a trick in this story though: he’s son to a Spanish mother (from Huelva), from whom he learnt Spanish with a very characteristic Andalusian accent. Yes, a French man with Andalusian accent who, for example, instead of saying nada (nothing), says ná; or e’parda instead of espalda (back). Who would’ve imagined! 😂
1- Freddie Highmore
And the number 1 of this list is Freddie Highmore. The Good Doctor is not just a genius in fiction, but also in real life.
This Londoner went to college in Cambridge (CAMBRIDGE!) where he majored in Spanish. One can absolutely tell so by watching any of his interviews in Spain or Latin-America. The guy’s a pro!
So these were 10 Non-Hispanic Celebrities Who Speak Spanish. Did you know any of them? Do you know others? Don’t hesitate to leave your comment down below in the comments section!
¡Hasta la vista! 😉
Aitor Pisos from Linguora
Hi! I’m Aitor Pisos (Basque Country, 1995). I graduated with a degree in Translation and Interpretation in 2017 and a double master’s in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign/Second Language (SFL/SSL) and Linguistics.
I’ve lived in 4 countries and studied over 6 languages, so believe me: I totally understand your needs and issues when studying a foreign language.
I’m also specialised as a SIELE exams tutor, creator and grader, so if you’re planning to get a certificate in Spanish, I’m your man! 😎