Monday, March 19, 2012

What's in a Name?

Back in the studio system days, when stars were packaged and sold to the public, the studio took it upon themselves to change an actor's name to give it more star quality. After all, who's gonna see the next film of Norma Jean Baker or Archibald Leach? But, we live in a different age now. Stars are just like us! US Weekly says so. They are just so real and use the names that they were born with...or do they?! Below are the names of several modern actors, see if you can guess which names are real and which are stage names. Answers after the jump.

1. Channing Tatum
2. Julianne Moore
3. Brad Pitt
4. Charlize Theron
5. Keanu Reeves
6. Sigourney Weaver
7. Joaquin Phoenix
8. Whoopi Goldberg
9. Leonardo DiCaprio
10. Winona Ryder
11. Viggo Mortensen
12. Natalie Portman
13. Michael Caine
14. Meg Ryan
15. Jonah Hill
16. Reese Witherspoon
17. Jude Law
18. Rooney Mara
19. Armie Hammer
20. Uma Thurman

1. REAL! 
2. FAKE! Real Name: Julie Anne Smith. There was already a Julie Smith in SAG, so she combined her first and middle names and took her mother's maiden name
3. SORTA REAL! Real Name: William Bradley Pitt
4. REAL!
5. REAL! Keanu is Hawaiian for 'cool breeze'
6. FAKE! Real Name: Susan Weaver. She took Sigourney from a minor character in The Great Gatsby
7. FAKE! Real Name: Joaquin Bottom. His family changed their last name to Phoenix after they left a religious cult as a symbol of rebirth. Joaquin also went by Leaf in his teens to match the nature themed names of his siblings, River, Rain, and Summer.
8. FAKE! Real Name: Caryn Johnson. She went by Whoopi Cushion for awhile, but her mother told her that no one would take her seriously
9. REAL! Although, an agent told him to change it to Lenny Williams so it wouldn't sound so ethnic
10. FAKE! Real Name: Winona Horowitz. She got the last name Ryder from Mitch Ryder, who was playing in the background when her agent asked her how she wanted her name to appear in the credits of her first film
11. REAL!
12. FAKE! Real Name: Natalie Hershlag
13. FAKE! Real Name: Maurice Micklewhite. He was going by the stage name Michael Scott, but there was already an actor with that name. He got Caine from the film, The Caine Mutiny.
14. FAKE! Real Name: Margaret Hyra
15. FAKE! Real Name: Jonah Feldstein. His middle name is Hill. Does that count? SORTA REAL!
16. SORTA REAL! Real Name: Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon
17. SORTA REAL! Real Name: David Jude Hayworth Law
18. SORTA REAL! Real Name: Patricia Rooney Mara
19. REAL! Armie is short for Armand
20. REAL! Uma is named for a Hindu goddess

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