9 Actors Who Dropped Their First Names

Would you ever mistake Jude Law for a girl? We definitely wouldn't (but then, we saw those naked paparazzi photos from 2005.) Apparently, Jude Law used to get mistaken for a girl all the time, thanks to his gender-ambiguous name.

Jude is actually Law's middle name; he was born David Jude Law. He began using Jude as a stage name when he was a teenager, presumably because it was more unusual. But Jude is frequently a girls' name, and Law says it led to some comic confusion:

"(I was) assigned to the girls' dormitories and sleeping quarters when I was a teenager and I joined the National Youth Music Theatre. Someone took a look at my name and clearly thought, 'It has to be a girl.' How wrong can you get?"

Although increasingly rare in the information age, adopting a stage name was once standard practice in show business -- which is how Archibald Leach become Cary Grant and Edda Hepburn-Ruston became Audrey Hepburn. Here are a few who, like Jude Law, go by their middle names:

Brad Pitt (Real name: William Bradley Pitt)

Bruce Willis (Real name: Walter Bruce Willison)

Reese Witherspoon (Real name: Laura Jean Reese Witherspoon)

Sylvester Stallone (Real name: Michael Sylvester Enzio Stallone)

Brooke Shields (Real name: Christa Brooke Camille Shields)

Tea Leoni (Real name: Elizabeth Tea Pantaleoni)

Ashton Kutcher (Real name: Christopher Ashton Kutcher)

Dakota Fanning (Real name: Hannah Dakota Fanning)

Have you ever considered changing your name? Chime in below!

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