As they say, looks are deceiving. You may have never known that these eight stars are of Asian descent. Some celebs have stronger Asian roots than others, but all have some ancestral ties to the Far East. These are eight celebs you never knew were Asian. Which celebrities’ racial make-up were you surprised by the most?
1. Keanu Reeves
It may be hard to believe that the Matrix actor has Asian blood. Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon to an English mother and father, who is a Hawaiian-born American, but has Native Hawaiian, Chinese, English, and Portuguese ancestry. Reeves has said: “My grandmother is Chinese and Hawaiian, so I was around Chinese art, furniture and cuisine when I was growing up.”
2. Chad Michael Murray
The heartthrob best known for his roles on popular teen dramas like One Tree Hill, Gilmore Girls and Dawson’s Creek actually has Asian ancestry. You’d never believe that the blonde haired 33-year-old is one quarter Japanese on his mother’s side. His maternal grandfather met and married a Japanese woman while he was stationed in the army in Japan.
3. Vanessa Hudgens
The High School Musical star has a very interesting racial make-up. Hudgens’ father is of Irish and Native American descent, and her mother, a native of Manila, Philippines, is of Filipino-Chinese-Spanish descent. The Gigi actress’ exotic ancestral background gives her that dark, sultry look.
4. Nora Jones
The 36-year-old modern jazz and blues musician was born Geetali Norah Jones Shankar. She is actually half Indian. Her mother, Sue Jones, is American while her father, Ravi Shankar, is known as one of the most talented sitar musicians of the 20th century.
5. Mark-Paul Gosselaar
The Franklin and Bash actor was born in Panaroma City, California. His Dutch father is of German and Dutch Jewish descent. Gosselaar’s paternal great-grandparents, Hertog and Hester Gosselaar, were killed at the Sobibor extermination camp during the Holocaust. His mother, who is of Indonesian and Dutch descent, is from Bali, Indonesia. Gosselaar’s Dutch heritage is obvious through his hair color and skin tone, but he’s technically one-quarter Asian.
The R&B singer is obviously African-American, but that ancestry only makes up seventy-five percent of his roots. Ne-Yo’s father is surprisingly half Chinese and half African-American. The singer was born Shaffer Chimere Smith. His stage name “Ne-Yo” was coined by Big D Evans, because Evans claimed that Ne-Yo sees music as Neo sees the matrix.
7. Enrique Iglesias
Although the singer is always recognized for his Spanish heritage, Iglesias is actually half-Asian. He is known as the son of the famous Spanish singer Julio Iglesias, but its his maternal side that originates from Asia. Iglesias’ mother, socialite and magazine journalist Isabel Preysler, is 100% Filipino, making the “Hero” singer fifty percent Asian.
8. Dwayne Johhson
The Fast and Furious actor can attribute half of his ancestry to Asian origins. The professional wrestler turned actor is often referred to as Canadian, but that is not all Johnson is. His father is Canadian-born professional wrestler Rocky Johnson. His father is black (of Black Nova Scotian descent), and his mother is of Samoan background. Her father was professional Samoan wrestler Peter Fanene Maivia, making “The Rock” half-Asian.
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