The amount of talent coming out of the Great White North is nothing short of remarkable. Considering Canada has a smaller population than the entire state of California, it's pretty amazing. Stop and think about it: Ryan Gosling, Christopher Plummer, Jim Carrey, Ellen Page ... the list goes on and on.
So in hono(u)r of Canada's 146th birthday on July 1, we present to you our very favo(u)rite Canadian movie actors.
We couldn't possibly name every single Canadian film actor out there, so we just chose a few of our favourites. If there is a very glaring omission, please let us know and we might include!)
Gallery | Our Favourite Canadian Movie Actors
- Sarah Polley
Polley is like indie currency up in the Great White North; with a lifetime of award-winning performances, she decided to up her game by getting behind the camera. Her debut netted an Oscar nom and her second film, "Take This Waltz," got great reviews as well. Her latest directorial effort, "Stories We Tell," not only reveals a personal secret of hers, but resonates strongly with critics and audiences alike.
- Ryan Gosling
In 2012, Gosling hit his stride with three relative successes: "The Ides of March," "Drive" and "Crazy, Stupid, Love." He was stellar in last year's "Place Beyond the Pines," and "Only God Forgives" was booed by some, and revered by others. The Gos' directorial debut, "Cold River," was booed at Cannes -- but we'll have to wait to decide for ourselves if we love it. Needless to say, we'll love him no matter what.
- Jim Carrey
Ol' Jim's been in the news lately for the upcoming sequel to "Dumb and Dumber" -- "Dumb and Dumber To." It could be wonderful, it could be terrible, but methinks we'll laugh regardless.
- Rachel McAdams
Who doesn't love this woman? A born-and-bred Canadian, McAdams still has a home in Toronto. Her stock has risen exponentially since "Mean Girls," and she's well-liked for her performance in "The Notebook." Her turn in the "Sherlock Holmes" movies (and her co-starring role in "The Vow") have only upped her stock.
- Christopher Plummer
If he stopped working after "The Sound of Music," he'd still have a beloved career, but the legendary thespian keeps working. He not only appeared in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," but finally snagged his first Oscar (at the age of 82!) for 2010's "Beginners." Look for him next in "Elsa and Fred."
- Ellen Page
She describes herself on her Twitter account as a "tiny Canadian," and boy is it true! Luckily for her, her personality far outweighs her tiny stature. With starring roles in "Juno" and "Inception," she's moved on to "X-Men: Days of Future Past" as Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat. (We also wanted to give her a shout-out for coming out earlier this year. We support you, Ellen!)
- Ryan Reynolds
Reynolds has had a couple flops in the past little while -- "Green Lantern" and "R.I.P.D." among them -- but it hasn't seemed to hinder his star power. He's still in high demand, and he was voted People's Sexiest Man in 2010. Upcoming: starring in fellow Canuck Atom Egoyan's "The Captive."
- Anna Paquin
It's a rare thing for an Oscar-winning child actor to move on to further success, but that's exactly what Paquin did! She was terrific as Rogue in the "X-Men" franchise, and now she vamps it up weekly on "True Blood," which is coming to an end after this season.
- Jay Baruchel
This funnyman has been on camera for most of his life, starting on TV and working his way to movies. In each of his roles, from "Tropic Thunder" to "Goon," Baruchel has a way of connecting with the audience without losing the funny. A diehard Canadian, the actor has a maple leaf tattooed over his heart.
- Alison Pill
After turning heads as Zelda Fitzgerald in "Midnight in Paris," she impressed Woody Allen enough to come back for "To Rome With Love." And you can also see her on HBO's "The Newsroom"; not bad for someone born after "Back to the Future" and "The Goonies."
- Michael J. Fox
Sure, he hasn't been in very many movies lately, but when you think about his performance(s) in the "Back to the Future" franchise, you remember why he's so well-loved. Plus, "Teen Wolf." That is all.
- Sarah Gadon
You may have never heard of her, but she's director David Cronenberg's latest darling. With small-ish roles in "A Dangerous Method" and "Cosmopolis," Gadon's star is on the rise. She was recently in "Enemy," where she starred next to Jake Gyllenhaal. She has about a zillion projects coming up, not the least of which is Cronenberg's "Maps to the Stars."
- Donald Sutherland
The prolific icon has done it all, starring in some of the most beloved movies in history ("M*A*S*H," "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "Animal House" to name a few). And he's ingratiated himself to new generations with the perfect depiction of President Snow in "The Hunger Games."
- Seth Rogen
Rogen is smartly proving he's more than just a slacker schlub, in both real life and in movies. He turned heads (in a good way) in "50/50," and killed it in comedy "This Is the End." His co-starring frat-boy comedy "Neighbors" did fantastically at the box office.
- Cobie Smulders
This beauty flew under the radar for years on "How I Met Your Mother." Now she's kicking ass and taking names in "The Avengers" movie series as Maria Hill, and has a whole new legion of fanboys scrambling after her.
- Taylor Kitsch
Poor Kitsch just can't catch a break. He's getting a terrible rep in the business as a "movie killer" for his 2012 releases "John Carter," "Battleship," and "Savages." He had better luck with "The Grand Seduction," a love letter to Newfoundland. Hope to see more of him in the future!
- Mike Myers
What an enigma. You couldn't touch Myers in the '90s -- his movies ("Austin Powers," "Wayne's World") grossed millions and he was considered part of the comedy elite. Somewhere along the way he got a bit lost, but his popularity has sorta resurged with an under-the-radar role in "Inglourious Basterds." And let's not forget he's the voice of Shrek.
- Catherine O'Hara
O'Hara hardly needs a description -- the woman is one of the funniest actors that ever graced the big screen. She's in so many movies they're hard to count, but we loved her in "Beetlejuice," "Where the Wild Things Are," and her more serious turn as Mom in "Home Alone." We had a blast watching her as the stoned/drunk mother in "The Right Kind of Wrong."
- Dan Aykroyd
OK, so we're still waiting on "Ghostbusters 3," but at least we've got "Yogi Bear" to fall back on. When he's not busy selling his brand of Crystal Head Vodka, he's planning on writing a new big-screen team-up with former "SNL" castmate Chevy Chase.
- Eugene Levy
Canadian funnyman Levy just has this thing, this certain comedic approach that sucks you right in. Hilarious roles, like his appearance as Jason Biggs' dad in the "American Pie" series, or his various appearances in Christopher Guest's mockumentaries are infinitely memorable. And that's just the tip of the iceberg with this guy.
- Carrie-Anne Moss
While her most memorable role was Trinity in "The Matrix," Moss has done many things since, including a role in "Disturbia," the role of Gertrude on TV show "Chuck," and she continues to do awesome things like voice video games (Mass Effect 2 and 3).
- Michael Cera
Cera has established himself as the awkward-teen-guy in Hollywood. The critically successful "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" and the underwatched "Youth in Revolt" solidified his place in the teen movie canon. We'll enjoy him as much as we can now, since we're not sure how he'll fit into the picture when he transitions to adult roles -- at least he was trying with Sundance's "Crystal Fairy."
- Rick Moranis
Please come back Rick, you are sorely missed! We understand your noble decision to put raising your children in front of a Hollywood career, but as other comedians of your era have aged not-so-gracefully, you went out on a perfect high note and will always have us wanting more.
- Victor Garber
OK, so maybe it was the awesome '70s suit in "Argo" that really brought us onto Team Garber, but no matter how you slice it, this guy is very charismatic and a fantastic actor.
- Kevin Zegers
We know you remember him from the "Air Bud" movies. C'mon. And if you don't know Zegers from those childhood classics, then maybe you remember him from "Transamerica." He also appeared in Canadian film "The Colony" and has a recurring role in "The Mortal Instruments" -- which may or may not be returning to the big screen.