Entertainment

Stars with southern roots
Many of these stars lost their twang years before making it in Hollywood.

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Reese Witherspoon

Although Reese is raising her kids in Los Angeles, she still tries to instill some of her Tennessee roots in them. “I grew up in Nashville and my parents taught me to respect my elders,” she says. “We’d say things like ‘yes, ma’am’ and ‘no, sir’ to adults. But kids in Los Angeles don’t do that. I’ve drawn the line at my children calling adults by their first names. I tell them they can call people ‘Miss Shannon’ or ‘Miss Heather’ but that using only first names is too familiar. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned.”

This southern belle isn’t the only Hollywood star who comes from southern roots. Check out which other big names probably still say “y’all.”

(Reuters)

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Justin Timberlake

When Justin Timberlake veered into designing clothes for William Rast, he explained that his inspiration was his hometown. “It's a lot of stuff, but old Tennessee, new Tennessee — mostly Tennessee.”

(Reuters)

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Julia Roberts

When she’s not working on box office hits, the Georgia native spends most of her time with her family in a ranch in New Mexico. “It sounds clichéd and I've said it a thousand times, but I do think that I am fundamentally the same relatively simple person I've always been,” she tells Oprah. “I just have this flashy, wacky job that confuses people into thinking that I'm somehow ultra-fascinating.”

(Reuters)

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Megan Fox

The sexy actress doesn’t come from the kind of background one would think. She was actually raised in a very strict and religious home in Tennessee. She even used to speak in tongues at the age of eight! 

"The energy is so intense in the room," she says, "that you feel like anything can happen. They're going to hate that I compare it to this, but have you ever watched footage of a Santeria gathering or someone doing voodoo? You know how palpable the energy is? Whatever's going on there, it's for real."

(Reuters)

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Dakota Fanning

Dakota acted in local plays in Georgia before starring in her first Tide commercial at age five. Her career took off so she ended up moving to Hollywood, but unlike lots of other child stars, this southern belle actually attended and finished high school once arriving in Hollywood. Her favorite activity? Cheerleading, of course.

(Reuters)

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Hulk Hogan

The former wrestler was born in Augusta, GA and moved to Florida as a toddler. That probably explains why there’s nothing really about him that screams “southern gentleman."

(Reuters)

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Christina Hendricks

The gorgeous Knoxville, TN native was goth back in high school, dying her signature red locks tons of different hues, and remembers getting picked on in those days. "If I could go back and tell my 14-year-old self anything it would be, 'Don't worry. You're going to be doing exactly what you want to be doing and those people who are a**holes now are still going to be a**holes in 20 years. So let it go!’” she says.

(Reuters)

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Kathy Bates

The iconic actress lived in Tennessee until she moved to NYC to pursue acting at age 22, but she still has her southern drawl. “Way back when a lot of cab drivers made fun of my accent, so I cleaned it up,” she says. “You should hear me when I get within a hundred miles of Memphis, my hometown. It gets much worse than this."

(Reuters)

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Channing Tatum

People’s Sexiest Man Alive is proud of his Alabama roots. "I love the smell of country," he says, "[Alabama] is just one of those really quiet places. There’s real folks here."

(Reuters)

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Britney Spears

The pop star may be moving to Las Vegas, NV for the next two years, where she’ll be headlining a show for Planet Hollywood, but the Louisiana native will always be a “country girl” at heart.

(Reuters)

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Cybill Shepherd

At 16 she was crowned Miss Teenage Memphis, and the legendary actress still has a home near where she was raised in Memphis, TN.

(Reuters)

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Morgan Freeman

Morgan moved frequently as a kid, but he started off his days in Mississippi before moving to Indiana and then Chicago. He currently splits his time between NYC and Mississippi and co-owns a fine dining restaurant, Madidi, and a blues bar, Ground Zero, in his hometown.

(Reuters)

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LeAnn Rimes

When Texas-bred LeAnn married Eddie Cibrian in 2011, she made sure to include some southern eats at the reception. "The fried macaroni and cheese balls were my favorite!" she says.

(Reuters)

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Oprah Winfrey

The talk show queen, who was born in Kosciusko, MS, says she was raised "the southern way."

“I think that has really helped me to be all that I am, being raised that way,” she says. "We come to this life doing whatever we end up doing because of everything that has happened in our past and if I hadn't had that upbringing, I would have been a different kind of person.”

(Reuters)

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Angela Kinsey

“The Office” star and Louisiana native moved to Indonesia as a toddler when her father got a job as a drilling engineer there. She went to school there and even learned Indonesian before her family returned stateside and moved to Texas. 

(Reuters)

Stars with southern roots

Many of these stars lost their twang years before making it in Hollywood.

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