Aside from the bucket load of hands-down amazing Irish actors we can unquestionably claim as part of our nation, there is many a famous movie star and serious thespian that may not as quickly be associated with Ireland, but damn well should be. Of all the countries in the world, it's safe to say Ireland is a country everyone claims to be connected to in some way or another. Who can blame 'em, eh? Here is a quick list of some of the top actors who have shared a love affair with us, from the beginning of cinema to the biggest stars of today.
1. Daniel Day Lewis
He may be English by birth but the Oscar winning actor undoubtedly has a fondness for Ireland, considering it's not only where he lives but has played a role in many of his career choices. Both his winning roles in My Left Foot and In the Name of the Father indicate his Irish leanings.
2. Spike Milligan
The Goon Show star and Puckoon writer was always very vocal about his profound attachment to his father's homeland. In the early '60s Milligan applied for Irish citizenship rather than swear an oath to the Queen, and he even accredited his personal characteristics to his Irish heritage, saying it was the source of his moods and therefore his creativity. Even his one last witticism for the world was interlinked to his heritage, with his headstone is inscribed with 'I told you I was ill' in Irish.
3. Charlie Chaplin
If you haven't yet seen it, watch RTE's Kerry and the Tramp; a documentary on the often overlooked connection Charlie Chaplin had with Waterville, Kerry. In his later years, the silent movie screen legend holidayed in the little West coast town for around two decades. His background as an impoverished inner-city Londoner is well-documented, but little is known of his gypsy Irish roots, with his grandmother said to be from Cork. Kerry quietly loved him back during the decades he visited, leaving him in peace like few other places would allow. The county now holds an annual comedy film festival in memory of their little tramp.
4. Russell Crowe
After discovering he had Irish ancestry like many an Aussie does, Crowe's interest in his origins led to the Gladiator star looking into his past and linking his identity to his Irish history. His infamous heated argument with the BAFTAS for cutting his speech was one of the most recognizable highlights of his Irish affiliation, as the speech included a Kavanagh poem, and the disagreement was portrayed as a nationalism dispute in the press as Crowe referred to the English cutting out his Irish poem. Obviously as it was cut there is no relevant footage of the speech so here's some of the actor at his best (and in keeping with his fighting fiesty real life personality too).
5. John Hurt
The actor has stated that since the day he stepped on Irish soil he felt an affinity with the place. In the popular BBC series Who Do You Think You Are? Hurt set out to explore the rumours that he had some genealogical connection to Ireland, but found there was no real heritage in Ireland contrary to what he expected. He claims Ireland is still home for him in many ways. Look no further than the cult film The Field to see Hurt bask in his Irish alter ego.