20 Celebrities Who Don’t Use Their Real Names
A catchy and unique stage name is one of the most important parts when celebrities want to advertise themselves and make the public remember them. Some of the stars take inspiration from their friends and family, simply choosing the nicknames that got stuck with them from their childhood. Others choose words they personally like or use online name generators to come up with something fun.
Bright Side is ready to reveal the real names of these 20 public personas. We can’t wait to tell you the stories behind their creations!
1. Blake Lively — Blake Ellender Brown
After Blake became an actress she decided to take the surname of her mother, Elaine Lively as her stage name.
2. Meghan Markle — Rachel Meghan Markle
The first name of the Duchess of Sussex is actually Rachel. However, she prefers Meghan, and her mom was heard calling her “Meg” as well.
3. Emma Stone — Emily Jean Stone
At the beginning of her acting career, she realized that the name “Emily Stone” was already taken by another actress. So she had to come up with something and chose Riley first. Later she changed it to Emma, but the actress says she still misses her real name.
4. Post Malone — Austin Richard Post
The singer came up with his stage name using a rather interesting method. After deciding to use his last name as his first name, he used an online rap name generator and got “Malone.” He has been using this name since his teens.
5. Tilda Swinton — Katherine Matilda Swinton
The talented actress just uses the shortened version of her second name for the sake of simplicity.
6. Jennifer Aniston — Jennifer Linn Anastasakis
Her father Yiannis Anastasakis comes from Crete, Greece. After moving to the United States the family decided to change their last name to Aniston to make it easier for others to pronounce.
7. The Weeknd — Abel Makkonen Tesfaye
After the talented singer dropped out of school and left home, he came up with his stage name. However, another Canadian band went under the same name, so to avoid copyright issues, he had to remove “e” from his pseudonym.
8. Oprah Winfrey — Orpah Gail Winfrey
Even though her first name is actually Orpah, people often mispronounced it as Oprah, so it just stuck.
9. Meryl Streep — Mary Louise
Her real name “Mary” was given to her by her grandparents because of the family tradition (her daughter is also named Mary). However, her father always called her “Meryl”, because he liked it that way. And “Louise” came from her mother’s best friend, who also had the same name.
10. John Legend — John Roger Stephens
At the beginning of his career, the name “Legend” was given to him by poet J. Ivy: “I heard your music and it reminds me of that music from the old school. You sound like one of the legends. I’m going to call you John Legend.”
11. Courtney Love — Courtney Michelle Harrison
This name comes from her childhood when her mother Linda Carrol called her “Courtney, love” as a child.
12. Natalie Portman — Neta-Lee Hershlag
Portman is the maiden name of her Jewish-Russian grandmother, and the actress decided to take it as her stage name.
13. Ben Kingsley — Krishna Pandit Bhanji
Success and recognition came to the actor when he was in his seventies. This is when he decided to change his real name to something more simple and easy to recognize.
14. Meg Ryan — Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra
When she decided to make her dreams come true and become an actress, she also realized she needed to change her name. She chose “Ryan” because it was her maternal grandmother’s maiden name.
15. Kit Harington — Christopher Catesby Harington
Since his childhood, the actor’s family has always called him Kit. Funnily enough, it wasn’t until he was 11 years old that he realized his real name was Christopher. This happened while he was taking a school test. Though, even now, he still sticks to the name he is used to — Kit.
16. Irina Shayk — Irina Shaykhlislamova
The Russian supermodel had to slightly change her last name for the sake of simplicity.
17. Gigi Hadid — Jelena Noura Hadid
Jelena’s mother, Yolanda Hadid, came up with the idea for her new name — Gigi.
18. Portia de Rossi — Amanda Lee Rogers
At the age of 15, she legally changed her name to Portia de Rossi. “Portia” was taken from the Shakespearean play The Merchant of Venice, while “de Rossi” sounded exotic and she liked it.
19. Calvin Harris — Adam Richard Wiles
At the beginning of his career, he changed his stage name and explained it like this: “My first single was more of a soul track, and I thought Calvin Harris sounded a bit more racially ambiguous. I thought people might not know if I was black or not. After that, I was stuck with it.”
20. Vin Diesel — Mark Sinclair Vincent
He created his stage name by combining a shorter version of his stepfather’s last name, Vincent, and his nickname. He was always called “Diesel” by his friends because they said he was always full of energy.
Have you ever been called by a nickname?