Who Was Going To Tell Us Reese Witherspoon’s Name Isn’t Actually Reese?

And more celebrities whose real names might surprise you.
Image: Getty

Some celebrities are so famous their names are sure to be etched in the history books. But what if we told you Meghan Markle, Reese Witherspoon and Gigi Hadid might be listed under another moniker?

There are plenty of reasons a star may choose to act, sing or model under a stage name. Take the Hadid sisters, who simply ran with childhood pet names, or Emma Stone, who had to go by such because someone with the same real name was already enrolled in the Screen Actors Guild.

Scroll on for a growing list of celebrities who have adopted a stage name – and what their actual monikers are.

(Credit: Getty)

Reese Witherspoon

Before she hit the big time, Ms. Witherspoon traded her birth name – Laura Jeanne – for her mother’s maiden name, Reese. Recently in a conversation with Big Little Lies co-star Nicole Kidman, Reese reminded Nicole of her ‘real’ name because she lovingly refers to Laura Dern as ‘Dern’. Nicole said, “I hate how you call her Dern, though.” Reece replied, in the Instagram post on Vanity Fair, “Cause my name is Laura and her name is Laura and it’s confusing to me…my real name is Laura Jeanne.”

(Credit: Getty)

Meghan Markle

It turns out the Duchess of Sussex’s real name isn’t actually Meghan.

The 35-year-old was actually born as Rachel Meghan Markle, but now goes by her middle name. Coincidentally, the character she played in Suits is also named Rachel.

(Credit: Getty)

Gigi and Bella Hadid

You know them as Gigi and Bella, but fashion’s favourite sisters were actually christened with completely different names: Gigi was born Jelena Noura Hadid and Bella, Isabella Khair Hadid. They both adopted their childhood pet names when they entered the modelling industry.

(Credit: Getty)

Emma Stone

Emma Stone was actually born Emily Jean Stone but changing it wasn’t her choice. The actress revealed that she was forced to change it when she went to join the Screen Actors Guild because there was already another Emma Stone enrolled. 

“Well, I was 16 when I found out at SAG I couldn’t have my own name,” she tells W magazine.

“So to ask a 16-year-old to pick a new name is really an interesting process, because I was like, ‘I’m going to be Riley. My name is going to be Riley Stone.’ And so my name was Riley Stone for about six months and I did a guest spot on Malcolm in the Middle and one day they were like, ‘Riley, Riley,’ and I had no idea who they were talking to and they were like, ‘Hey, hey come on we need you on set.’ And I was like, ‘Oh I’m not Riley, I can’t be Riley.’”

She finally settled on Emma because it was close to her real name, and people mostly call her M anyway, but she does admit that she would love her real name back.  

“I would love to get her back.”

(Credit: Getty)

Rooney Mara

Oscar-nominated actress Rooney Mara is actually called Patricia Mara. Rooney is her middle name, and it was her mother’s maiden name.

(Credits: Getty)

Diane Kruger

Diane Kruger was born Diane Heidkrüger – she shortened it when coming to Hollywood.

(Credit: Getty)

Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde was born Olivia Jane Cockburn.

(Credit: Getty )

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus was born Destiny Hope Cyrus.

(Credits: Getty)

Sasha Obama

Sasha Obama recently turned sixteen, and Twitter was shocked to discover (again) that the former First Daughter’s real first name isn’t Sasha, but Natasha.

(Credits: Getty)

Demi Moore

Demi Moore was born Demetria Guynes.

(Credit: Getty)

Tina Fey

Tina Fey was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey.

(Credits: Getty)

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman was born Natalie Hershlag.

(Credit: Getty)

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren was born Ilyena Lydia Mironov.

(Credit: Getty)

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore was born Julie Anne Smith.

(Credit: Getty)

Portia de Rossi

Portia de Rossi was born Amanda Rogers.

Related stories