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View Full Version : Celebrities you were surprised to learn are not American (or Canadian)


Rodgers01
02-22-2010, 09:12 PM
So, we all know that Nicole Kidman and Mel Gibson are Australian, in spite of the American accent they use in most of their movies. But what other actors did you always assume were North American only to discover to your surprised that they were just really, really good at acting North American?

For me, Glenn Quinn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Quinn), aka Becky's husband on Roseanne - born and raised in Ireland.

John Mahoney, aka Martin on Frasier - British.

And Richard Dawson, '70s era host of Family Feud - also British.


And being born outside North America and moving here at a very young age doesn't count - so don't list Bob Hope, for example.

MPB in Salt Lake
02-22-2010, 09:25 PM
In my opinion, Mel Gibson has no noticable Australian accent when he is giving interviews or is on a talk show. I would bet that most people would (in a blind test) peg him for American if his background wasn't so widely known.

-----------------------

Mark Addy, from "The Full Monty" and also the dreadful ABC sitcom "Still Standing" has a very thick English accent (he was born and raised somewhere outside London) but did a spot-on Chicago/midwest blue collar accent for his role as Bill Miller on Still Standing.

ZipperJJ
02-22-2010, 09:26 PM
The Wire was full of surprises...It's set in Baltimore and everyone on the show has an American/Bawlmer accent.

Dominic West (McNulty) - Yorkshire, England
Idris Elba (Stringer Bell) - London, England
Aidan Gillen (Carcetti) - Dublin, Ireland

Those were huuuuge main characters. West's accent, I thought, was sort of bullshit (he just had so much dialogue). The other two, I couldn't even tell.

Why did you not think Richard Dawson was British, btw? Wasn't he British on Hogan's Heroes? He also used his regular accent on The Match Game and Family Feud. When did you hear him w/o one?

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
02-22-2010, 09:33 PM
Does David Byrne count? (Born in Scotland, but grew up mostly in Canada and the USA.)

Huerta88
02-22-2010, 09:37 PM
Bob Hope.

Danny Thomas.

Rodgers01
02-22-2010, 09:43 PM
Why did you not think Richard Dawson was British, btw? Wasn't he British on Hogan's Heroes? He also used his regular accent on The Match Game and Family Feud. When did you hear him w/o one?
Never seen Hogan's Heroes, but I can't hear a hint of an accent on Feud. Listen to him in this (http://youtube.com/watch?v=SdQhi-7u0_Y) clip, for example - sounds perfectly American to me. But then, Henry Higgins I'm not. :)

Does David Byrne count? (Born in Scotland, but grew up mostly in Canada and the USA.)
Basically, if the person lived outside North America long enough to develop a "foreign" accent so that when they put on an American one they were consciously acting, then they count.

Rodgers01
02-22-2010, 09:46 PM
Bob Hope.
Read the fine print in the OP. :p
Danny Thomas.
:confused: Wikipedia has Danny Thomas born in Deerfield, Michigan.

Huerta88
02-22-2010, 09:49 PM
Read the fine print in the OP. :p

:confused: Wikipedia has Danny Thomas born in Deerfield, Michigan.

Aww GD I'm doing just awesome here.

I could have sworn I "knew" Thomas was actually born in Lebanon, but then the fine print of the OP still scuttles me because I was aware that he'd llived most (as in, all) of his life in the U.S.

Bijou Drains
02-22-2010, 10:06 PM
Mel Gibson was born in NY state and lived there until he was 12. Not sure why people think he's Australian.

Wendell Wagner
02-22-2010, 10:09 PM
Rodgers01 writes:

> . . . we all know that Nicole Kidman and Mel Gibson are Australian . . .

Um, you are aware, aren't you, that Mel Gibson was born in the U.S. and his family didn't move to Australia until he was 12? And that Nicole Kidman was born in Honolulu and spent the first year of her life there? And she spent the next three years in Washington, D.C.? Yes, her parents were Australian, and they were only in the U.S. so her father could do his Ph.D. and then a post-doc. Still, you could have picked better examples. How about Anthony LaPaglia, who didn't come to the U.S. (from Australia) until he was an adult, at which point he decided to use this thick New York accent in all his roles?

Northern Piper
02-22-2010, 10:11 PM
So, we all know that Nicole Kidman and Mel Gibson are Australian, in spite of the American accent they use in most of their movies.
...

And being born outside North America and moving here at a very young age doesn't count - so don't list Bob Hope, for example.

But Mel Gibson is an American, who moved to Australia at the age of 12, so I don't think he's a very good example. See his wiki article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Gibson):

Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson, AO (born January 3, 1956) is an American Australian actor, film director and producer and screenwriter. Born in Peekskill, New York, Gibson moved with his parents to Sydney when he was 12 years old and later studied acting at the National Institute of Dramatic Art.

joebuck20
02-22-2010, 10:20 PM
Alfred Molina. I always assumed he was an American Hispanic until I read a story that mentioned he was English. He is of Hispanic descent, though, in that his father is Spanish.
And speaking of "The Wire," they had a great throwaway gag in I believe season 2 or 3 where McNulty has to go undercover as a john. So he pretends to be English and does this horrible stereotypical accent, saying shit like "Blimey" and "Crikey" - the joke being of course that actor Dominic West really is English.

Rodgers01
02-22-2010, 10:23 PM
Alright, so I botched on Gibson. (Though Kidman counts by my rules, since she was only a toddler in the US, and her formative years and native accent were formed in Australia.)

joebuck20
02-22-2010, 10:23 PM
In my opinion, Mel Gibson has no noticable Australian accent when he is giving interviews or is on a talk show. I would bet that most people would (in a blind test) peg him for American if his background wasn't so widely known.



You can detect a trace of an accent in the early Lethal Weapon films. But anything he's done since about 1990 or so, you'd never guess he had spent a bulk of his childhood outside the U.S.

elfkin477
02-22-2010, 10:46 PM
The only ones to ever surprise me were Glenn Quinn ("Roseanne","Angel") and Hugh Laurie. Hey, what can I say, I didn't watch an episode of Black Adder until House was already on.

Little Nemo
02-22-2010, 10:59 PM
Sam Neill was born in Ireland and has lived in New Zealand and Australia for most of his life, but he plays a convincing American.

Little Nemo
02-22-2010, 11:03 PM
Gillian Anderson is another surprising one. She was born in the United States but spent much of her childhood in London. In real life, she speaks with a British accent.

Spoons
02-22-2010, 11:11 PM
Bob Hoskins. I think I first saw him in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, where he played a hard-boiled American detective, with no trace of an English accent. I was unaware he was English until much later.

Zhen'ka
02-22-2010, 11:22 PM
Alright, so I botched on Gibson. (Though Kidman counts by my rules, since she was only a toddler in the US, and her formative years and native accent were formed in Australia.)

No, this is not correct. You do understand that nationality does not determine accent, yes? Oh, it's "your rules." You should have a moderator change the title.

Ellis Dee
02-22-2010, 11:50 PM
I was surpised to hear the native accents on both Rose Byrne and Radha Mitchell the first time I saw them on talk shows. This was years ago with Radha Mitchell, but with Rose Byrne it was just a couple weeks ago.

Tangent
02-23-2010, 01:01 AM
I was surprised to discover that Yvonne Strahovski ("Sarah" on Chuck) is Australian. She does a very convincing American accent.

Omniscient
02-23-2010, 02:15 AM
John Mahoney, aka Martin on Frasier - British.

And being born outside North America and moving here at a very young age doesn't count - so don't list Bob Hope, for example.

Rodgers01 writes:

> . . . we all know that Nicole Kidman and Mel Gibson are Australian . . .

Um, you are aware, aren't you, that Mel Gibson was born in the U.S. and his family didn't move to Australia until he was 12? And that Nicole Kidman was born in Honolulu and spent the first year of her life there? And she spent the next three years in Washington, D.C.? Yes, her parents were Australian, and they were only in the U.S. so her father could do his Ph.D. and then a post-doc. Still, you could have picked better examples. How about Anthony LaPaglia, who didn't come to the U.S. (from Australia) until he was an adult, at which point he decided to use this thick New York accent in all his roles?

Heh, I was going to beat him up a little over his choice of John Mahoney. While he was born in England he moved to the US as a teen and has essentially lived his entire life as a Illinois/Chicago resident and even served in the US Army. He carries no Brit accent in his daily life and has been an American citizen for 50+ years. Considering his embracing of Chicago as home I would wager he self-identifies as American.

Maastricht
02-23-2010, 02:52 AM
I don't know if it will come as much of a surprise, but actors Rutger Hauer (http://imdb.com/name/nm0000442/), Jeroen Krabbe (http://imdb.com/name/nm0469103/)and Famke Janssen (http://imdb.com/name/nm0000463/)(X-men), and directors Jan de Bont (Speed) and Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct, Robocop, Zwartboek) are all born and bred Dutch.

Aspidistra
02-23-2010, 03:21 AM
I wonder how many people know these actors as Australian...

Rachel Griffiths
Toni Colette
Portia di Rossi
Simon Baker
Hugo Weaving
David Wenham
Cate Blanchet
Miranda Otto

The Lord of the Rings, in particular, was full of 'em

Girl From Mars
02-23-2010, 03:42 AM
Matthew Rhys who plays Kevin on Brothers and Sisters is Welsh. Good friends with Ioan Gruffudd (Mr Fantastic in the Fantastic Four) who is also Welsh. His first language is actually (you guessed it) Welsh.

don't ask
02-23-2010, 04:03 AM
I was interested recently by a TV show about the Australian accent, a subject that I would have expected to be deathly dull. Because John Clarke was on screen as I flicked channels, I watched it all and it was full of interesting stuff. Apparently the Australian accent is considered "pure" because there are virtually no regional variations and the sounds are simple to make.

Rachel Griffiths explained that Australians speak with a really relaxed palate and tongue but everyone else uses them more. She said that it is easy for Australians to speak with British and American accents because all other accents require additional effort only, nothing needs to be taken away. A voice coach agreed and they demonstrated, saying "The master asked to pass the banana," in a variety of accents.

So just a bit of good luck for Aussie actors.

WotNot
02-23-2010, 04:17 AM
Matthew Rhys who plays Kevin on Brothers and Sisters is Welsh. Good friends with Ioan Gruffudd (Mr Fantastic in the Fantastic Four) who is also Welsh. His first language is actually (you guessed it) Welsh.

Owain Yeoman, who plays Rigsby in The Mentalist, is Welsh as well. Surprised me.

mecaenas
02-23-2010, 05:45 AM
You can detect a trace of an accent in the early Lethal Weapon films. But anything he's done since about 1990 or so, you'd never guess he had spent a bulk of his childhood outside the U.S.

Erm, he spent the bulk of his childhood growing up in New York. They moved to Australia when he was 12.

GuanoLad
02-23-2010, 06:07 AM
Owain Yeoman, who plays Rigsby in The Mentalist, is Welsh as well. Surprised me.Doggone, I didn't know that. Wow, accents are really getting nailed brilliantly these days.

wolf-alice
02-23-2010, 06:48 AM
I saw Muriel's Wedding mid-way through a Six Feet Under box set.

"... Huh. Why's Brenda doing an Australian accent?"

Internet, MY MIND WAS BLOWN.

Wargamer
02-23-2010, 09:46 AM
Damian Lewis, who played Dick Winters in HBO's Band of Brothers miniseries was born and raised in London. According to IMDB, he was so good that several of them couldn't believe he wasn't an American.

GrandWino
02-23-2010, 10:10 AM
What, nobody's mentioned Obama yet? He's a celebrity, right? ;-)

Wendell Wagner
02-23-2010, 10:12 AM
don't ask writes:

> Apparently the Australian accent is considered "pure" because there are
> virtually no regional variations and the sounds are simple to make.
>
> Rachel Griffiths explained that Australians speak with a really relaxed palate
> and tongue but everyone else uses them more. She said that it is easy for
> Australians to speak with British and American accents because all other
> accents require additional effort only, nothing needs to be taken away.

I suspect that this business about purity and relaxed palates is wrong. It sounds like the sort of guesswork that someone with no actual training in phonetics or phonology would make. I think that there are some much easier explanations. An Australian is more likely than an American or a Briton to grow up hearing accents from other English-speaking countries in TV and movies and thus will know those accents better. Furthermore, it's clear to me what happens when Australians go to acting classes or acting schools. They are told, "Look, if you want a real career as an actor, you've got to learn lots of other English-language accents - American, British, whatever. An American actor can get by without having to learn other accents. A British actor can scrape by O.K. without having to learn other accents. You can't."

An Gadaí
02-23-2010, 10:26 AM
The Wire was full of surprises...It's set in Baltimore and everyone on the show has an American/Bawlmer accent.

Dominic West (McNulty) - Yorkshire, England
Idris Elba (Stringer Bell) - London, England
Aidan Gillen (Carcetti) - Dublin, Ireland


I'm not American but I thought Gillen's accent in The Wire was shaky, it never really went completely off the rails but in some scenes he sounds Irish again.

The first time I saw Colin Farrell in a film (Minority Report) I wasn't aware he was Irish. There is a scene in the film that seems to suggest they weren't sure if his accent was right, something along the lines of his dad being shot in Dublin when he was a kid.

Little Nemo
02-23-2010, 10:39 AM
Mila Kunis was born in the Ukraine. She moved to America at an early age but English is not her native language.

Isamu
02-23-2010, 10:42 AM
Furthermore, it's clear to me what happens when Australians go to acting classes or acting schools. They are told, "Look, if you want a real career as an actor, you've got to learn lots of other English-language accents - American, British, whatever. An American actor can get by without having to learn other accents. A British actor can scrape by O.K. without having to learn other accents. You can't."

I'm pretty certain this is not the reason. The reason is that, at least for my generation, a majority of our (worth viewing) TV programing is/was either American or British. If you're listening to these accents from childhood, you develop an ear for it, and it's just not that difficult to replicate.

Wendell Wagner
02-23-2010, 10:50 AM
You'll note, Isamu, that I listed that as the first of my suggested reasons. So all you're saying is that my first reason (watching a lot of American and British TV and movies) is valid but my second reason (being taught dialects intensively in acting schools) is invalid. Is it actually invalid? Is anyone here an expert on acting schools in Australia? Do they have more emphasis on learning dialects than those in the U.S., the U.K., etc.?

Isamu
02-23-2010, 11:15 AM
You'll note, Isamu, that I listed that as the first of my suggested reasons. So all you're saying is that my first reason (watching a lot of American and British TV and movies) is valid but my second reason (being taught dialects intensively in acting schools) is invalid. Is it actually invalid? Is anyone here an expert on acting schools in Australia? Do they have more emphasis on learning dialects than those in the U.S., the U.K., etc.?

Whoops, sorry I totally missed that line of yours. My reading comprehension failure.

Starving Artist
02-23-2010, 11:30 AM
Aww GD I'm doing just awesome here.

I could have sworn I "knew" Thomas was actually born in Lebanon...Probably because he used to talk about being Lebanese all the time. It would be an easy mistake to make.

And with regard to John Mahoney, I've read several times that he was British but not once that he's been here since the age of twelve. I can see how people wouldn't necessarily know that he'd been here since he was a child. I've also read several times that he was only six or eight years older than Kelsey Grammer, whose father he played, when the truth is he's fifteen years older.

tacoloco
02-23-2010, 11:37 AM
A couple from True Blood suprised me:

Stephen Moyer (Bill) - English
Ryan Kwanten (Jason) - Australian

also:

Poppy Montgomery (Without A Trace) - Australian

phreesh
02-23-2010, 11:39 AM
Guy Pearce surprised me

http://imdb.com/name/nm0001602/

And on the opposite end, I was surprised to learn that Anthony Hopkins - A Brit through and through in my mind - has been living in the US since the 70s. More than half his llife, he's been a US resident.

DragonAsh
02-23-2010, 11:41 AM
First I blown away to find out that Hugh Laurie was British, then to find out he was basically a slap-stick comedian! Blackadder was OK - season one gets off kinda slow then picks up brilliantly - but go back I particularly like him in Jeeves and Wooster

And I have here, on my desk as we speak, what I think is his one and only book - a detective/spy novel called 'The Gun Seller'. Haven't gotten around to reading it yet tho...

Alessan
02-23-2010, 11:53 AM
Check out A Bit of Fry and Laurie, if you haven't yet. Seriously. It's the best British sketch comedy since Python.

Mahaloth
02-23-2010, 11:58 AM
1. Jamie Bamber, who played Lee Adama on Battlestar Galactica.

2. Sarah Connor from Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Bijou Drains
02-23-2010, 12:19 PM
Damian Lewis, who played Dick Winters in HBO's Band of Brothers miniseries was born and raised in London. According to IMDB, he was so good that several of them couldn't believe he wasn't an American.

Yes, I was really surprised about him too.

Another guy who surprised me was Cary Elwes after Princess Bride and Glory.

It's Not Rocket Surgery!
02-23-2010, 12:23 PM
Anna Torv, who plays Olivia on "Fringe", is another of the Aussies.

Bijou Drains
02-23-2010, 12:29 PM
Linus Roache who played Bruce Wayne's father in Batman Begins and now is on Law and Order. He is British.

ducati
02-23-2010, 12:45 PM
Charlize Theron is African-American :D

cochrane
02-23-2010, 01:12 PM
I was surpised to hear the native accents on both Rose Byrne and Radha Mitchell the first time I saw them on talk shows. This was years ago with Radha Mitchell, but with Rose Byrne it was just a couple weeks ago.Rose Byrne is a big surprise to me, too. I'm a big Damages fan, and it never occurred to me that she is Australian.

kenobi 65
02-23-2010, 01:20 PM
1. Jamie Bamber, who played Lee Adama on Battlestar Galactica.

I knew about him, because I'd seen him, years earlier, as Archie Kennedy in some of Ioan Gruffudd's Horatio Hornblower episodes.

Dewey Finn
02-23-2010, 01:28 PM
A couple of years ago, Showtime had a dramatic series called Brotherhood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brotherhood_%282006_TV_series%29), about two brothers in Providence, Rhode Island. One was a state legislator and the other was a gangster. One was played by an English actor (Jason Isaacs) and the other by an Australian actor (Jason Clarke). I thought both did a good job with the New England accents.

And John Barrowman was born in Scotland but moved to the US around the age of ten. He was on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross a couple of weeks ago, and came out of the green room speaking with a Scottish accent (because he'd been talking to a Scottish actress there) and then switching to an American accent.

astorian
02-23-2010, 01:30 PM
Alfred Molina. I always assumed he was an American Hispanic until I read a story that mentioned he was English. He is of Hispanic descent, though, in that his father is Spanish.
And speaking of "The Wire," they had a great throwaway gag in I believe season 2 or 3 where McNulty has to go undercover as a john. So he pretends to be English and does this horrible stereotypical accent, saying shit like "Blimey" and "Crikey" - the joke being of course that actor Dominic West really is English.

Some years back, there was a TV spy show called "The Agency." the lead Amercan CIA agent was played by Jason O'Mara, whom I'd assumed was an American of Irish descent.

In one episode, he was going undercover, posing as an IRA terrorist. His Irish brogue was pitiful. It sounded as if he couldn't decide whether he was an Irishman or a Scotsman! Toward the end of the episode, he encounters a real IRA terrorist, who tells him, "If I ever meet you again, I'll kill you. And one more thing- DO something about that phony Irish accent of yours!"

It was only later that I found out Jason O'Mara was born and raised in Dublin, and he was DELIBERATELY trying to sound like an Ameircan doing a bad Irish accent.

Bijou Drains
02-23-2010, 02:00 PM
Reminds me of Stevie Wonder on SNL, in 1 skit he played a really bad Stevie Wonder impersonator and sang way off key.

Tom Scud
02-23-2010, 04:43 PM
I wonder how many people know these actors as Australian...


Hugo Weaving


Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is doubly awesome in the wake of the Matrix and Lord of the Rings movies.

Larry Mudd
02-23-2010, 05:13 PM
Poppy Montgomery (Without A Trace) - AustralianAnthony LaPaglia is also Australian, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste is astonishingly English.

Kind of adds an extra dimension to the series' title, eh?

Icarus
02-23-2010, 05:40 PM
[slight hijack] I'm so glad that all of the American born actors are busy working so they have to go overseas to hire for our TV shows. :rolleyes: [/slight hijack]

kath94
02-23-2010, 05:54 PM
Alfred Molina. I always assumed he was an American Hispanic until I read a story that mentioned he was English. He is of Hispanic descent, though, in that his father is Spanish.

I guess you haven't seen "Prick Up Your Ears" then. This actor continues to puzzle me with every role.

Owain Yeoman, who plays Rigsby in The Mentalist, is Welsh as well. Surprised me.

I wouldn't have guessed it by his accent, but the name is certainly a giveaway.

A couple from True Blood suprised me:

Stephen Moyer (Bill) - English
Ryan Kwanten (Jason) - Australian

also:

Poppy Montgomery (Without A Trace) - Australian

What is it with "Without A Trace?" Isn't Marianne Jean-Baptiste British, also? She was in "Secrets and Lies."
I've seen Stephen Moyer in other things, so his nationality doesn't surprise me. But I totally lost it when I first heard Ryan Kwanten speaking in his "natural" accent. Wha?!?

John Mace
02-23-2010, 06:02 PM
I don't know if it will come as much of a surprise, but actors Rutger Hauer (http://imdb.com/name/nm0000442/), Jeroen Krabbe (http://imdb.com/name/nm0469103/)and Famke Janssen (http://imdb.com/name/nm0000463/)(X-men), and directors Jan de Bont (Speed) and Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct, Robocop, Zwartboek) are all born and bred Dutch.

With such typical Anglo names as those, who'd've ever guessed? :)

Anthony LaPaglia has already been mentioned, so I'll go with the guy who plays Christian Troy on Nip/Tuck. Although with a name like "Julian McMahon", it should have been a fairly obvious.

jharvey963
02-23-2010, 06:42 PM
Naomi Watts is actually British, but I can only imagine her speaking with an American accent.

J.

John Mace
02-23-2010, 07:19 PM
A couple of years ago, Showtime had a dramatic series called Brotherhood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brotherhood_%282006_TV_series%29), about two brothers in Providence, Rhode Island. One was a state legislator and the other was a gangster. One was played by an English actor (Jason Isaacs) and the other by an Australian actor (Jason Clarke). I thought both did a good job with the New England accents.

Actually, most of the cast did a good a job with Rhode Island accents. Some subtle differences from what you'd hear in Boston. Good show. I didn't realize the two brothers weren't Americans.

Shalmanese
02-23-2010, 07:29 PM
I just found out today that Christian Bale is Welsh.

River Hippie
02-23-2010, 07:31 PM
The lady that played Josh Brolin's wife in No Country For Old Men. I watched the special features and damn, she has a very heavy Scottish accent. Sure nailed Texan!

Purd Werfect
02-23-2010, 07:54 PM
Ian McShane in Deadwood. It wasn't until quite a few episodes had gone by that I realized he was Lovejoy.

Rodgers01
02-23-2010, 08:38 PM
No, this is not correct. You do understand that nationality does not determine accent, yes? Oh, it's "your rules." You should have a moderator change the title.

Nope, I'm perfectly happy with the thread title as it is. And yep: my rules. Thanks, though!


As a bit of a reverse, I was sure that Forest Whitaker was British since I first saw him in The Crying Game. I was later surprised to learn that in all those other movies where he has an American accent that it was genuine!

Annie
02-23-2010, 08:43 PM
I just found out today that Christian Bale is Welsh.

And was the kid whose corpse Kenneth Branagh lugged across Agincourt in Henry V. I think. He's upside down and muddy. I don't know if he's ever spoken in a UK accent as an adult in a film.

GuanoLad
02-23-2010, 09:12 PM
And was the kid whose corpse Kenneth Branagh lugged across Agincourt in Henry V. I think. He's upside down and muddy. I don't know if he's ever spoken in a UK accent as an adult in a film.He had one in Reign of Fire, though I don't think that was his natural accent either.

Munch
02-23-2010, 09:25 PM
No, this is not correct. You do understand that nationality does not determine accent, yes? Oh, it's "your rules." You should have a moderator change the title.

1. Reach in pants.
2. Grab panties.
3. Unbunch.

The man made a simple mistake, and copped to it.

tumbleddown
02-23-2010, 11:04 PM
Charlize Theron is African-American :D
Ha ha ha.

No. Just African. South African. Period.

Dewey Finn
02-23-2010, 11:18 PM
According to Wikipedia, Charlize Theron became a naturalized American citizen in 2007, so wouldn't that make her African-American or South African-American?

Liddle Lamsy Divey
02-24-2010, 12:48 AM
I just found out today that Christian Bale is Welsh.

He was born in Wales, but he's not Welsh, he's English.

He had one in Reign of Fire, though I don't think that was his natural accent either.

He's done British accents in the following films:

Empire of the Sun
Henry V
Treasure Island
A Murder of Quality
Prince of Jutland
Pocahontas (At the time I saw this, I'd only seen him in Little Women and Newsies, and thought he did a great accent for a non-Brit!)
Metroland
Velvet Goldmine (definitely not his real accent)
Mary, Mother of Jesus
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Prestige

What's weird though, is that he didn't have much of an accent when he played John Rolfe in The New World.

It seems that his real accent sounds most like the one in Metroland; the ones in The Prestige and Reign of Fire sound a little heavier than how he sounds in interviews talking normally.

joebuck20
02-24-2010, 08:13 AM
Ian McShane in Deadwood. It wasn't until quite a few episodes had gone by that I realized he was Lovejoy.

His character on Deadwood, I believe, was supposed to British, though he didn't really have what you'd think of as a British accent on that show (personally I thought it sounded like Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs of New York).

Aeris
02-24-2010, 01:00 PM
Marianne Jean-Baptiste. I know, the name should have been a dead give away but I didn't know her name until just now. She plays Vivian Johnson on Without A Trace on which she has a very thick and convincing New York accent. But in real life she has a very thick cockney accent. Blew my mind.

Also, I agree with one of the previous posters about Hugh Laurie. I didn't watch one episode of Black Adder until after I heard that Hugh Laurie was English. I had no idea, his accent is amazing!

FallenAngel
02-25-2010, 06:10 PM
Gary Oldman. I'd never heard him speak off camera until well after I'd seen him in True Romance and Leon. Blew my mind to hear a convincing British accent on him.

Ditto Minnie Driver. The first thing I saw her in was Grosse Pointe Blank. A couple years later I saw her in an interview promoting some other movie and was, uh, what's the word? Gobsmacked?

River Hippie
02-25-2010, 06:20 PM
The lady that played Josh Brolin's wife in No Country For Old Men. I watched the special features and damn, she has a very heavy Scottish accent. Sure nailed Texan!

Kelly Macdonald (http://imdb.com/name/nm0531808/) is her name, BTW.

nivlac
02-25-2010, 07:18 PM
When Hugh Laurie hosted SNL I wondered why every sketch had him playing someone with a British accent. Until it dawned on me that he actually does an American accent in House! Quite a surprise for me. The only other thing I've seen him in was Stuart Little, which also had him doing an American accent.

Little Nemo
02-25-2010, 09:09 PM
Alan Cumming surprised me. I've seen him doing American, British, and German accents in movies and found him believable. Then I saw him speaking as himself and I found out he has a Scottish accent, which I had never expected.

Morbo
03-09-2010, 07:16 PM
(Hope it's not too late for a bump)

Reading the AV Club today, I just found out that Melanie Lynskey is from New Zealand. I know her as Rose the crazy neighbor from Two and a Half Men.

I also just found out from the same article that she's married to the guy that played the creepy neighbor in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and was Lyle the Intern on Letterman.

Taomist
03-09-2010, 07:20 PM
Lee Adama's actor on BSG.
I'm watching the series <finally; had only seen the last year or so before> and I have yet to catch him ever, not even once, not even for a microsyllable, sounding anything but American flyboy.

Which is kinda funny, since there IS no America there, but whatever! =p

Rodgers01
03-09-2010, 07:46 PM
(Hope it's not too late for a bump)

Reading the AV Club today, I just found out that Melanie Lynskey is from New Zealand. I know her as Rose the crazy neighbor from Two and a Half Men.

If you're a fan of hers, you should really see her in Heavenly Creatures (http://imdb.com/title/tt0110005/) (by fellow Kiwi Peter Jackson).

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