We become so familiar with some celebrities that it can seem like we know them personally. Watching them in movies or seeing them appear on chat shows brings us closer and closer to them. It is a little odd, then, that some of these people we are so familiar with are not even using their real names.
Some celebrities are obviously not using their real names, can you imagine naming your child ‘The Rock’ for instance? Using a stage name can be useful to protect famous people’s privacy, allowing them to lead relatively normal lives – apart from the living in a mansion in Beverly Hills part. The following stars are not who we think they are, sort of.
A favorite among Game of Thrones fans, Kit Harington was actually named Christopher at birth, something he only found out when he was 11. He has been known as Kit his whole life, even though his parents named him Christopher. Kit is a traditional nickname for people called Christopher, but it isn’t commonly used.
Jack Black Jack Black Jack Black, it’s fun to say and is a play on the well-known card game, blackjack. Jack Black is known for being a comic actor and one half of the rock duo Tenacious D. He struggled to gain any serious acting roles thanks to being typecast as the funny guy. Maybe sticking with his real name, Thomas Black, would have helped, but would it have been as memorable?
Sometimes it pays for celebs to change their original names to something shorter and that rolls off the tongue easier. Meet Onika Tanya Maraj, but you may know her as rapper Nicki Minaj. She was known as Nicki at home anyway, but her producer wanted her to change her surname from Miraj as he didn’t like it. Looks like things worked out pretty well for Onika in the end.
Brought into the world as Destiny Hope, her family clearly had high ambitions for their daughter. Miley’s name change happened through a family nickname of ‘Smiley’ because of the huge grin she always had on her face. This was shortened to Miley later by her friends, and she officially changed her name in 2008.
Tina Fey’s first name is actually Elizabeth, but that is perhaps a little serious for such a comedic actor. She took inspiration from her middle name, Stamatina, to become Tina. Thinking she would need a catchy name to be remembered, she made the switch to Tina, and it looks as though she hasn’t looked back since.
Mara used to go by Patricia, and then Tricia but felt like it wouldn’t capture people’s attention so went for a drastic name change. Opting for Rooney is an interesting choice, and indeed, one that stands out from the crowd. She has a famous grandfather, Art Rooney, who was the founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers American Football team. Taking inspiration from her trailblazing grandfather, she changed her first name to Rooney, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Quintessentially British actor Jude Law’s first name really suits him. A quirky name but one that fits. Thankfully he changed his name from David at a young age as this name makes him stand out from the crowd, allowing us all to know and appreciate him.
There we go then, those are some of the famous names we now know are adapted or changed from their original monikers. For these famous people, changing their given names either drastically, or only slightly, has really benefited them, and us, who get to be dazzled by them on screen.