10 surprising celebrities who speak Spanish

1. Danny Devito

Everyone has seen something that Danny Devito is in — It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Taxi, Hercules, and countless other films and TV shows. He also voiced the titular character in The Lorax — in English and in Spanish! A special behind-the-scenes featurette released with the movie shows Danny Devito working with a Spanish instructor to translate and record his lines in Spanish. “If you commit to something...you have to go all the way,” Devito said in the featurette. While he may not be fluent, his Spanish-speaking is spot-on!

 

2. Matthew McConaughey 

The actor and beloved Texan recently released a PSA in Spanish with Mexican boxer Canelo Álvarez to encourage mask-wearing during the coronavirus pandemic.“I started doing research and found that the message also wasn’t sufficiently getting to the Hispanic population in Texas, the United States and in Mexico,” McConaughey said. His Spanish in the video is pretty impressive: “Por favor, si vas a salir de casa, asegúrate de usar mascarilla (Please, if you are going to leave the house, be sure to wear a mask).”

 

3. Will Smith

You’ve gotta give this man some credit for continuously making an effort to reach his Spanish-speaking fans. Smith occasionally posts videos of himself on social media speaking Spanish and singing along to songs like “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens and “X” by Nicky Jam and J Balvin. There are also countless videos of him on YouTube speaking Spanish in promotional interviews for his movies. 

 

4. Dakota Fanning

The actress had to learn Spanish for her role in the 2004 film Man on Fire, in which she plays a 9-year-old kidnapped in Mexico saved by a CIA agent played by Denzel Washington. She hasn’t taken on a Spanish-speaking role since then, but surely some of her Spanish skills have stuck around since then. 

 

5. Kobe Bryant

The basketball player always had a special bond with his Latino fans, in part because Kobe spoke Spanish. Bryant spent part of his childhood in Italy and learned Italian, a language with many similarities to Spanish. He told Univision that watching telenovelas with his mother-in-law and wife was what ultimately helped him reach fluency. Before his tragic death in January 2020, he was able to conduct entire interviews in Spanish. 

 

6. Gwenyth Paltrow

Paltrow, known for her extensive filmography and her infamous lifestyle company Goop, sounds like a Spaniard when she speaks Spanish. She explained in a Spanish-language promotional interview for her movie Iron Man 2 that she became fluent when she went on an exchange program to Spain as a teenager. “Me encantó. Fue una temporada en mi vida muy importante (I loved it. It was a very important season of my life),” Paltrow said in the interview.

 

7. Cardi B

If you’re a fan of Cardi B’s music, you probably already knew she speaks Spanish. The rapper, named Belcalis Almanzar, is half Dominican and grew up speaking Spanish with her father. Some of her songs feature Spanish verses, like “I Like It” with J Balvin and Bad Bunny. The rapper told GQ in 2018 that she works hard to get rid of her accent in songs — it’s her pet peeve. However, her fans love it and she has recently started to embrace her Spanish, speaking up about issues in the Dominican Republic. 

 

8. Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell has starred in dozens of popular American movies, but it’s not widely known that the actor starred in the 2012 film Casa de mi Padre alongside famous Latino actors Genesis Rodriguez and Gael Garcia Bernal. The film is entirely in Spanish, and Ferrell said it was important that he nailed the language. “I didn’t want the joke of the film to be that I spoke Spanish poorly,” he said in an interview. 

 

9. Jack Black

The actor grew up in Southern California and started learning Spanish as a child. While filming Nacho Libre, he taught himself more of the language in order to better imitate the accent. Since then, he has taken questions from Spanish-speaking reporters and has done an impressive job at keeping up his skills!

 

10. Ben Affleck

The actor, known for movies like Good Will Hunting, Argo and Gone Girl, lived in Mexico while filming a television show at the age of 13. He said that learning Spanish at that age helped it stick with him later in life. Affleck said in an interview with Univision’s Despierta America show that his 14-year-old daughter, who studies Spanish in school, is pushing him to continue improving his abilities. 

 

This list proves that you don’t have to be perfect at Spanish to continue speaking and practicing. We hope that you find a Spanish-learning journey in this list that reflects your own experience and inspires you to keep up the hard work. If you want to learn Spanish but don’t know how to start, visit www.thespanishlearningclub.com to sign up for online lessons designed to serve all types of learners!


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