Remember the time we found out that Britney Spears’ great great grandfather, Edward Richard Portelli, was born in Malta in 1873, and we all tried to take credit for her existence?
Us Maltese love the chance to boast about all of our international achievements and our ability to foster greatness. So the moment one of our own makes any level of impact on a somewhat-global scale, you can bet your ass we’re going to be talking about it. Exhibit B: Pete Buttigieg.
Here are 13 other celebs from the movie, music, art and business world that have some sort of connection to Malta. We’ll take what we can get.
1. Joseph Gatt
Born to Maltese parents and raised in London, actor Joseph Gatt has been quietly carving out a niche for himself as a powerful and quirky presence in cinema, television and even video games.
Some of his more notable roles include Grundroth in Thor, Tristan in the TV show The 100, and Skellig in the new Dumbo movie.
2. Tristan Zammit
Born in Toronto to Maltese parents and based in Philadelphia, Tristan Zammit is an independent graphic designer and artist who creates fully animated music videos, cover art, poster art, animated assets and lyric videos. His main clientele include hip-hop artists.
Tristan has worked with names as big as Diplo, XXXTENTACION and Lil Xan.
3. Lee Pace
Ok, I don’t know exactly how Lee Pace has Maltese roots, but he must. Right? Not many countries have Pace as a surname. Unless it’s actually ‘pace’ like ‘pejs’. Then maybe not. But we can still call him one of our own.
Lee has featured in many popular movies, including The Hobbit, Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel. He also played the lead role, Ned, in popular indie TV series Pushing Daisies.
4. Lorenzo Agius
There’s conflicting information online as to how Maltese Lorenzo actually is, but just like Lee Pace, we’re going to stick by his surname. Lorenzo has photographed all the celebrities you can think of, from Harry Styles to Madonna to the entire cast of Fantastic Beasts.
And yes; the only reason I know who he is is because he photographed Harry Styles. Leave me alone.
5. Louis Camilleri
Louis C. Camilleri comes from a Maltese family who lived in Cairo in Egypt, and is now the CEO of Ferrari and former Chairman of Philip Morris International cigarettes and tobacco. Yes the Ferrari. Of the cars.
Now I don’t know what your dating history looks like, but Louis’ here includes supermodel Naomi Campbell.
6. Jason Grech
Jason Grech is an Australia-based fashion designer who makes couture and made-to-measure gowns for A-listers and brides everywhere. His designs were even worn by supermodel Ashley Graham, and Grammy winner Mya wore one of his dresses at the Aria Awards.
Jason often includes Maltese motifs in his designs. In fact, Mya’s dress was inspired by St. John’s Co-Cathedral.
7. Edwige Fenech
Edwige Fenech is a French-born Italian actress and film producer of Italian and Maltese descent. She is mostly known as the star of a series of commedia sexy all’italiana and giallo films released in the 1970s which quickly turned her into a sex symbol.
One of the first movies she was in was called Sexy Susan Sins Again, if that’s any indication to what her films were like.
8. Joseph Calleja
Joseph Calleia was a Maltese-born American actor and singer on the stage and in films, radio and television. His parents, Pasquale and Eleonore Calleja, were from Mdina, and he was a student at St. Aloysius College. He eventually moved to London, and then New York, and became an insanely popular actor in the 1930s to the 1960s.
If he was alive today, he’d probably be as popular as Leonardo DiCaprio.
9. Bryan Adams
Yes, Bryan Adams of Summer of 69 fame is partially Maltese.
His maternal grandmother was Maltese, most likely from the town of Floriana. Bryan has visited Malta a couple of times to perform here.
If only he had to hear us Maltese singing Summer of 69 in the middle of Buġibba at 3am. He’d be… proud?
10. Kerry Ingram
Kerry is a British actress who got her first break playing the role of Matilda in the West End musical of the same name. But most people know Kerry from her role as Princess Shireen on Game of Thrones.
Kerry visits Malta very often as her grandfather is from Mqabba and she usually comes down for the festa.
11. Andy Partridge
Not many people will know who Andy is, but he was one of the founders of a British rock band XTC, who gained popularity during the rise of punk and new wave in the 1970s. They’re not the most popular band anymore, but their music was quite influential on Britpop music.
Andy was born in Mtarfa here in Malta, and rumour has it he’s quite a big fan on Maltese food.
12. Sir Cameron Mackintosh
Cameron Mackintosh is a British theatre producer who has worked on loads of successful musicals. Cameron’s father was Scottish, and his mother, a native of Malta, was of Maltese and French descent. Mackintosh donated €100,000 to the Save the Valletta Skyline fund in 2017.
So we can thank Sir Cameron for saving our skyline, and for hit musicals like Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera.
13. Marama Corlett
Marama was raised here and even did most of her training at local theatre school Masquerade. She almost had a speaking role on hit Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy. Her name may sound pretty un-Maltese, but actress Marama Corlett is about as Maltese as they get.
Don’t believe me? Watch her on Sick Note with Rupert Grint and Lindsay Lohan and tell me what you think of her accent.