South African-born Charlize Theron became a U.S. citizen in 2007, and said she doesn’t miss some of the hassles of having a South African passport. “South Africa wasn’t like other countries where you’re loved all over the world,” said Theron. “When you have a South African passport, you have to get a visa for every country and it’s a bit of a nightmare.”
While Pierce Brosnan may have come to fame playing an agent of Her Royal Majesty in the James Bond films, he was actually born in Ireland and became a dual citizen of the United States in 2004. Said Brosnan at the time of his swearing in: “When I came here as a young man I felt embraced by a landscape of people and a community where any dream you had in your heart, could be made possible by hard work and determination.”
Salma Hayek was born in Mexico, and became an American citizen in 2004. Hayek has been a active voice for immigrants, telling the New York Daily News about a law that would make illegal immigrants felons: “As a human being, I find this situation intolerable. As an immigrant, I find it offensive. And as an American citizen, I find it disheartening.”
Jim Carrey was born in Canada, and took his oath as an American citizen in 2004. However, the funnyman insists he’s not turning his back on his homeland. “I have no intention of giving up my Canadian heritage, and all those who loved and supported me. This country has helped define me and make my dreams come true,” Carrey said.
The Welsh-born Anthony Hopkins became an American citizen in 2000. Hopkins was allowed to keep his title of Commander, Order of the British Empire, given to him in 1987. Hopkins celebrated with a coast-to-coast road trip, and had his swearing in ceremony filmed by pal Steven Spielberg. ”America has been very generous to me, magnanimous really. I thought it would be good to give something back. It was a decision of the heart,” said Hopkins.
Pamela Anderson may seem to be the epitome of a California beach babe, but she was actually born in British Columbia. Anderson became a naturalized citizen of the United States in May of 2004, while retaining her Canadian citizenship.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in a small village in the Austrian countryside, but came to American early on. He took his oath as U.S. citizen in 1983, became one of the biggest movie stars of all time, and went on to become the governor of California. “With hard work and determination, and because the American people were so generous and welcoming, I have succeeded beyond my wildest imagination,” said Schwarzenegger.
Craig Ferguson is a proud Scotsman, and has the brogue to prove it, but when it came time to become an American citizen, he went all out. When he took his citizenship test, he showed he was a quick study, scoring a 100 percent. And the test isn’t easy. “All of you people born here, if you had to take that test — well, Canada would be building a fence right now,” he said.
Canada is something of a factory for comedy, producing many of American’s best known comedians. Case in point: Martin Short, who was born in Ontario. Short is a naturalized U.S. citizen, as well as holding citizenship in the the United Kingdom.