Good genes - Issue 98 - Magazine | Monocle

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Why: She’s weird, wonderful and seems like a Rhode Island art student.
What! She’s odder than that. Definitely Canadian.


Ryan Gosling

Why: He’s the blonde-haired, blue-eyed embodiment of Old Hollywood made new. Plus, he was a child star on Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club.
What! Gosling’s father was a travelling salesman for a paper mill in Ontario, a none-more-Canadian job (other than those tree-worriers, lumberjacks).


Shawn Mendes

Why: It’s as if the US has deployed him to out-Bieber Justin Bieber.
What! Neophytes will know that he popped up on Vine, the youngsters’ YouTube.



Why: He’s black, successful and a universally respected hip-hop star and label-owner. Oh, and he was also a teenage star, of course.
What! The Toronto native’s 2014 SoundCloud shot-in- the-dark 0 to 100/The Catch Up was a hit without any official promotion. He’s a homegrown hero.


James Cameron

Why: He’s a film director of unchecked largesse.
What! Hailing from Kapuskasing, Ontario, gets you used to big from an early age.


Carly Rae Jepsen

Why: She’s just the brunette Taylor Swift, surely?
What! Avoiding the victor’s curse, she came third in 2007’s Canadian Idol and released one of the best songs of all time, Call Me Maybe, in 2011. While she hasn’t wrestled the pop-princess crown from her blonde sparring partner, it’s not bad for a girl from Mission.


Seth Rogen

Why: He’s the toast of Hollywood’s Jewish comedy fraternity.
What! Rogen comes from a studiedly kind Canadian place called Vancouver and his parents were social workers and non-profit heroes. Ahhhhh.


The Rock

Why: He’s called “The Rock”, for God’s sake.
What! You clearly get this sort of nominal lunacy in Canada too. His real name is Dwayne.


Avril Lavigne

Why: She was a skater girl, not an ice-skater girl, right?
What! She’d already appeared with Shania “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” Twain by the time she was 15, cementing her Princess of the North credentials. Furthermore she married Chad Kroeger from Canada’s own Nickelback, only to have her ears syringed out and realise that that was a very bad thing. They separated in 2015.


Justin Bieber

Why: He’s the pop colossus who bestrides the world, causing epidemics of fannish meltdown at every international turn, while often regarding these legions with a hauteur befitting a 16th-century French dauphin.
What! The Bieber was talent-spotted on YouTube performing uncanny covers. That original artlessness is charmingly Canadian.

Notable others

Pamela Anderson, Michael Bublé, Neve Campbell, Jim Carrey, Celine Dion, Michael J Fox, Nelly Furtado, Rachel McAdams, Joni Mitchell, Alanis Morissette, Christopher Plummer, Keanu Reeves, Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland, Shania Twain.

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