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Top 10 Best Fake American Accents

Ginger Lee . . . Comments

It seems to be a Hollywood chic to adopt a British accent for a UK role or 9even an ancient warrior), but the reverse is just as prevalent with Brits, Aussies, or other an actor of another nationality playing an American character. I realize that plenty of actors and actresses were born or even partially raised abroad, but this list is a reflection of actors whose primary dialect is not American. This list excludes Canadian actors/actresses.

10

Alfred Molina

Hails From: London, England
Noted Roles: Spiderman 2, Boogie Nights, a guest star on Law and Order SVU and Trial By Jury

9

Guy Pearce

Hails From: born in Ely, England, raised in Victoria, Australia
Noted Roles: Memento, Factory Girl, LA Confidential


8

Bob Hoskins

Hails From: Bury St. Edmonds, England
Noted Roles: Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Hollywoodland

7

Linus Roache

Hails From: Manchester, England
Noted Roles: Law and Order, RFK

6

Heath Ledger

Hails From: Perth, Australia
Noted Roles: Brokeback Mountain, The Dark Knight

5

Hugh Laurie

Hails From: Oxford, England
Noted Roles: House MD


4

Kate Winslet

Hails From: Reading, England
Noted Roles: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Little Children, Titanic

3

Christian Bale

Hails From: Haverfordwest, Wales
Noted Roles: Batman Begins, American Psycho


2

Daniel Day Lewis

Hails From: London, England
Noted Roles: There Will Be Blood, Gangs of New York, The Crucible

1

Gary Oldman

Hails From: London, England
Noted Roles: Leon, The Fifth Element, and Romeo is Bleeding

Contributor: Ginger Lee



  • LemonKiwi

    Alfred Molina also did an American accent in Maverick (with Mel Gibson, Jody Foster, and James Garner)

    • The Dude

      He also did a “Russian” accent in The Man Who Knew Too Little. Talent!

  • littlemissrock

    Christain Bale should not be on the list, his accent sounds so unnatural in American Psycho it's practically painful. Gary Oldman on the other hand is probably one of the most underated actors around.

    • Johnny

      Christian Bale’s accent in AP was fake on purpose my friend :)

  • tfisch73

    You know, as much as he is a religious crackpot (at least he's not a scientologist), I never hear Mel Gibson's Aussie accent.

    • Ausmerican

      That may be because Mel was born and raised in New York state. He didn’t move to Australia until he was 12 or 13 and by then I am sure he already spoke with an American accent. Considering that he has spent so much time back in the states since his early 20s the bare decade he spent in Australia means it is probably harder for him to do a convincing Australian accent than American.

  • warrrreagl

    I never, ever, do this, but I have to point out a great one that was missing. Peter Sellers in “Where Does it Hurt?” All you have to do is hear him say, “Hopfnagel here, talk to me,” and you’ll see why.

  • astraya

    How about a follow-up list: Americans trying to do other accents? Meryl Streep in Evil Angels, anyone?

  • rob

    I love Boogie Nights…anything by PT ANderson…amazing stuff,esp. Magnolia

  • astraya – meryl Streep is brilliant – one of my favorite actresses

  • kiwiboi

    meryl Streep is brilliant – one of my favorite actresses

    jfrater – ugh. I cannot stand Meryl Streep (though I’m not sure why exactly).

    To turn things on their side a little…have you heard Madonna’s derisible attempts at adopting a London accent??!!

  • jasontimmer

    Ok, wow- I feel like an idiot. I never knew Guy Pearce, Heath Ledger, or Gary Oldman weren’t from the states. Great actors, though.

  • LordCalvert

    i can’t even understand Colin Farrell when he’s not playing an American

  • Drogo

    You can’t tell that Melanie Lynskey is from New Zealand because her character speaks perfect “American” on the tv show Two And A Half Men.

  • Drogo

    p.s. Melanie Lynskey’s imdb bio

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001491/bio

  • kiwiboi: I have! I don’t think she knows what she is anymore!

  • smurff

    Brilliant list as always

  • Jrodickens

    Heath should get number 1, more of a shocker awsome number 1 noone would deny. Even if debated shock value always makes for a good read.

  • akelly318

    gary oldman should be noted in batman begins and harry potter too!!! he is a really good actor! great list

  • dischuker

    it might be too late to do so, but i would venture to guess we know how all these people sound speaking “american”. i haven’t heard most of them with their natural accent, i.e. english, australian, welch, etc. are there videos out there with the original inflection?

    the first time i heard hugh laurie without his american accent i almost felt betrayed. i had no idea he wasn’t from our side of the pond.

    • sisterjanet

      Heath Ledger in a film called Two Hands (brillian film), Guy pearce in Priscilla Queen of the Desert (also spectaucular). Seriously, check them out.

  • ciunas

    Hey — interesting list but where’s Tim Roth? Excellent actor. Plays an American so convincingly in Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Gridlock’d, Dark Water, & Funny Games, to name just a few, that I’ll bet lots of American viewers don’t realize he’s a Brit…

    • TAOT

      He keeps his accent in Pulp Fiction….

  • Spok

    Colin Farrell’s “real” accent is put on.

  • SoCalJeff

    Great list. Special shout-out for Anthony LaPaglia who I bet most Americans would think is American (CSI, Frasier, Without a Trace)…but is in fact Australian. Interestingly its said that Anthony LaPaglia, originally from South Australia, had to re-learn his Australian accent in order to play the starring role role in the 2001 Australian film Lantana.

  • ciunas

    dischuker: Not all movies are made in Hollywood. Hugh Laurie, for instance, has been famous in the UK for over 20 years.

    BTW, I think his Yank accent in Street Kings is a clunker.

  • Matt Howard

    I don’t wanna sound ignorant, but I think that the ‘generic’ mid-west American accent is pretty easy to do. Not being American though, I guess I don’t really know what the ‘official’ accent really sounds like:P

    Oh yeah, I just wanna say that I think the New York accent is awesome and really hard to do:)

  • astraya

    jfrater: The list submitter didn’t include Russell Crowe. How would you rate him? Re Meryl Streep playing Lindy Chamberlain: Lindy was born in NZ, but lived in Australia from the age of 1. She has a strange accent, which I don’t know where came from.

    Because I emphasise English as a world language, I often (attempt to) use other accents. I can do American well enough to fool Korean students, but not American colleagues and the Korean wife of one.

    When I was travelling in Europe, I said “Danke schoen” (add umlat) to a woman in Germany and she replied in full-on German. I said I didn’t speak German and said “But your accent is so good!”. I’d just sung Mahler 8 in the Albert Hall, and we’d had German drilled into us. A singing friend of mine said that Italians keep complimenting her on her accent and speaking to her in Italian, which she doesn’t actually speak.

  • glaukopis

    Let’s not forget the women. Minnie Driver does a wonderful American accent.

  • Cheatz

    WHERE is John Barrowman?

  • postman

    Half the cast of Without a Trace are non American, 2 Aussies and 1 English.

    But my all time favourite accent was Tommy Lee Jones in Blown Away (I know it’s not an American accent but it still makes me laugh).

    • sheeplex

      Oh my gosh I was totally thinking of Blown Away too. But I was thinking of the American accent he does in the beach scene. It's so cool because rather than just using his real Texas accent, he "fakes" an american accent using a lighter voice and too-high vowels so that he sounds like a foreigner trying to do the accent.

  • postman

    I forgot about Sean Connery – he does an American accent (that would be the part of America from the east coast of Scotland)

  • rushfan

    Wow. How did I not know Alfred Molina and Gary Oldman were Brittish? I am blown away, cool list!

  • Teapixie

    @Drogo,
    Thank you thank you thank you
    I knew she looked familiar, but I never bothered to look her up. Her accent is so perfect. And she is one of the best things in 2 1/2 men. Heavenly Creatures is one of Jackson’s best. Sorry for getting off track a little, but thanks again.

  • kiwiboi

    Gary Oldman’s sister is an excellent actress. She has a right old Cockney accent in the British soap-opera Eastenders. Here’s a sample (she’s the one that gets kissed by the dog) :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo__2wMVbMo

  • kiwiboi

    Again…slightly off-topic, but if there is an Oscar for the most notoriously bad attempt at a foreign accent in a movie, Dick van Dyke wouls surely be a nominee for his role in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It is cringeworthy…

    From IMDB :

    “In Britain, his attempt at a Cockney accent in Mary Poppins (1964) is so notorious that a “Dick Van Dyke accent” is an accepted slang term for an American’s unsuccessful attempt at a British accent. Despite that, he is quite popular in Britain.”

  • HarleQuin

    I watched Frasier for years before I learned that John Mahoney (Martin Crane on the show) was born in Blackpool, England. Apparently he lost his original English accent while serving in the U.S. army.

  • Heroajax

    Interesting list. Here’s an amazing British accent from Americans: James Marsters and Juliet Landau who played Spike and Drusilla in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    • Ramshackle

      You are so very, very wrong. The guy who played Wesley Windam Price had a good english accent, the two you mentioned are only a couple of steps above Dick Van Dyke.

  • Bill

    Someone should do a list of American entertainers who do/did a horrible job imitating British accents…like Madonna or Dick Van Dyke.

  • kiwiboi

    You know, as much as he is a religious crackpot (at least he’s not a scientologist), I never hear Mel Gibson’s Aussie accent.

    Did he not have an Oz accent in the first Mad Max? Or in Tim? I think he did, but I’m not entirely sure…

  • tfisch73

    kiwiboi- He did in Mad Max, but when they first released it in the states, they dubbed over his voice with an American, as to sell it better (much like the Governator’s Hercules In New York). Since then, though, I haven’t been able to discern one.

  • jeannie_brim

    Someone not on the list that I like is Ian McShane from Deadwood. He hails from England.

  • Ginger Lee, brilliant list, though I might have changed the order a bit and included examples of the actors real accents as an example of what excellent accent work they had to do to over come their natural speaking voice. It would have been more powerful.
    Otherwise, fantastic!
    Disc, you didn’t know Hugh Laurie was a Brit? I was leery of his being able to pull off an American accent! But he does it so fabulously, even I forget he’s not one of “ours” during “House”.
    Daniel Day Lewis can do anything. He’s absolutely amazing. Perhaps the best actor of that generation.

  • deepthinker

    I was expecting Hugh Laurie to be number one… I actually prefer his American accent, and I am one of those girls who goes crazy for a British accent! Oh, I like the New Zealand accent too! For the longest I didn’t even know Kate Winslet wasn’t American! Yay for accents!!

  • Wally

    The best thing is… nobody and I mean NOBODY can do an Australian accent like an Australian. There will never be a list for Australian axxents because there isnt anyone who do one like we can…

    • Paul

      New Zealanders can.

  • Panthea

    I gotta nominate Damian Lewis here (lead actor in Life, Dick Winters in Band of Brothers). British actor, awesome American accent, and one of the few (if not only) cases where I prefer the fake American to real British; his accent in The Baker, which I assume is natural, sounds too much like the stereotypical joke of the uptight Brit.

  • Vera Lynn

    Wow! Fun stuff here. I too would like to se/hear a video with their natural speaking voices. When I drink, I get a southern accent.

  • hilly

    Kelly Macdonald in No Country For Old Men, anyone?

  • dustin

    good list. i thought christian bale’s yuppy accent in american psycho was amazing

  • Cedestra

    Sorry to be the picky one, but there’s an extra ‘9’ in the opening.
    13. akelly318: All actors in the Harry Potter series had British accents- it was demanded early on that all actors be British. I get your point, though, he is fantastic.
    I’m pretty pleased at the rating on this list. Hugh Laurie sprang to mind at first. Going down, I knew about Alfred Molina (great accent in Spiderman II, loved him in Chocolat) and Christian Bale.
    I’m okay with accents, but I find my Scottish accent fades to Russian at some point. I don’t know why. Cockney is hard because I don’t know all the phrases.
    Gunna throw out Brad Pitt in Snatch for the next list.

  • good list

  • Major Wood

    Americans don’t have accents! Everyone else does!

  • ChristineM

    Spot-on list, especially the top 5.
    It’s still freaky how different Laurie’s real voice and accent are so completely different than House’s. He’s even done other foreign accents while using House’s accent, amazing

  • Cass

    What about Nicole Kidman? She is a fantastic actress and can mask her Aussie accent. Notable: The Others and Moulin Rouge.

  • tank

    Damian Lewis in Band of Brothers

  • yodadiedtrying

    Hugh Grant in Mickey Blue Eyes…(laughs)…just kidding

  • Sheena

    This is a good list but Linus Roache’s RFK accent was atrocious. My mother couldn’t stop talking smack about it when she first heard it.

  • DK

    @Heroajax (#31) I would have to agree, at least with Spike, I was heartbroken the first time I heard him speak “normally” and realized that the accent wasn’t real!

    @Matt Howard (#20), I would actually think that a more specific American accent would be easier than a generic one (like a southern accent, or a New York, or Boston accent), as there are more little things to pick up on & imitate. Anyone out there that “does voices” have any insight on this?

  • YogiBarrister

    The best American TV show ever is THE WIRE. It has two British actors, Idris Elba and Dominic West, who manage to pull off a Baltimore accent. I see others have cited Damian Lewis and Ian McShane, I concur.
    The worst American accent by a Brit was Emma Thompson in PRIMARY COLORS. Her ex-husband isn’t much better, as you can see Branagh’s mind working when he’s playing an American.

  • carpe_noctem

    See, I’m please (as always) to see Aussies added to the lists, but I reckon a better follow up list would be FAILED attempts at foreign accents. I seriously have not heard more than a handful of half-decent attempts at the Aussie accent…

  • tfisch

    42. Hilly- Nice! I was amazed at Kelly MacDonald’s West Texas accent. Damien Lewis has been mentioned, too. Another good choice.

  • Phillies

    Great list! If/When you watch The Dark Knight, when Harvey Dent, Lt. Gordon and Batman are arguin on the rooftop, Oldman lets his British (original) accent slip through. A minor slip up, and, considering his works throughout his career, he’s allowed a slip every now and again :)

  • dave4248

    Very good list overall. Thank you for not including Ben Kingsley, the king of awful American accents. I can’t believe some people actually think his is good. I would have replaced Linus Roache with Lee Evans (There’s Something about Mary) Otherwise your list is perfect.

  • Diogenes

    i think it comes down to the accessability factor and that the Hollywood Big Dicks have a problem with english speaking actors from other countries not making sence to the minds of generic movie going american english speakers. Something about coming across as proper or more intelligent sounding. It’s also about money. The other end of the scope is to create cliches and stereo types. To dum down, such is the case with mexicans, chicanos as displayed in Hollywood California Films. Then theres the aloof canadians and redneck southerners and cartoon blacks ect, ect.
    It reminds me of White men playing Indians.
    I don’t mean to toss in the race card, but theres something odd to me in all this.
    just a tad of thoughts happing

  • Diogenes

    happening

    When ever I have seen some of these actors on late night talk sows in america and they speak in their native tounges, The Interviewer(usually Jay Leno) gets his kicks out of asking the actor to speak in english accent. And the audiance laughs and oohs and claps.

  • Josh

    Mel Gibson had a discernable Aussie accent in the Lethal Weapon movies. At times it sounded like he was trying not to have one, but then he would say something that usually is Australian or British such as “give us a rise in pye” where we’d say “pay raise”.

    And in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Fionnula Flannigan and Maggie Smith, Irish and British respectively, had Southern American accents. The funniest thing I’ve heard in ages.

    I’m a Southerner working in the Midwest (Kansas) and here I tend to adopt everyone else’s (to me accentless) speech, but back home in Appalachia I drawl and twang my way…

  • Diogenes

    and by “english accent”, i mean “american”

    haha
    must be that i am like a worm on a hook

  • Diogenes

    and how bout all them silent actors who try to talk but cant.

  • Cedestra

    60. Josh- Better to twang than to have the dreaded Boston accent. I grew up near Worcester (Wuhstah, not Worchester), which is far enough away not to have a strong accent, but I do have to stop myself before calling a water fountain a “bubblah”. My mother’s accent is worse than my brother’s and mine and we tease her about driving in the “cah”. Say chowdah, Frenchie!

  • Cedestra

    62. What older movie was about the silent actor/actress making their debut to talkies? The woman was a [email protected]# and had a horrible, nasally, Brooklynite accent. Was that “Singing in the Rain”?

  • JabberingJanet

    Good list but leaning way more to the male gender and just one female in a quick moment brings to mind Nicole Kidman who hides her australian accent very well.

  • 39. Wally
    The best thing is… nobody and I mean NOBODY can do an Australian accent like an Australian.
    ****
    Maybe this is cheating, but I sure can do an Australian accent!
    My mum was Australian, and I spent several of my childhood years in Sydney, even started school there. I lived in America from the time I was almost 7 onward.
    Though I have an accent of some kind on some words, I can “do” an Australian accent full on.

  • Diogenes

    You got me Cedestra. I thought they all had “high pitched nasally brooklynite accents” in the early talkie days! .

    One of the best actors of all time, Lon Chaney, had mute-deaf parents and learned sign language and pantomime in order to be understood and get a message across. When The sound pictures arrived he was allready suffering from lung cancer and his only(?) talkie included three voices. His own, a ventriloquist dummy, and an old woman .
    And talk about great silent actors who struggled through the transition, Buster Keaton had one helleva gruff and awesome sounding voice.

  • Nejikun

    Segue: It doesn’t count if you actually lived in australia. :)

  • jt

    i have to throw Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths in there. i would even throw Cate Blanchette in too.

  • Hannah

    James McAvoy does and excellent American accent when given the chance. “Penelope” is a good example.

  • Hannah

    And I totally agree with jt and the three actresses he mentioned above. I had no idea Toni Collette or Rachel Griffiths were Australian until I saw “Muriel’s Wedding”!

  • YogiBarrister

    Wally #39 is FOS. Anybody can do an Australian accent, it’s as esay as throwing another shrimp on the barbie. That’s not a knife, now THAT’S a knife. I’ll have another Foster’s mate, on second thought, better make that three.

  • Rockdocsteve

    For those old enough to remember, there is Don Novello who created the cracked Vatican character Father Guido Sarducci, a frequent visitor to Laugh In, and early Sat. Nite Live.
    He’s from Ohio.

  • Matt Howard

    @ wally and segue:

    I totally agree about the Aussie accent. When you think about it, the Aussie accent is extremely weird! But I always think more highly of an American/British/Canadian etc actor who can pull off a convincing Aussie accent, purely because it is so difficult to do unless you have lived here.

  • Spinner

    Oh please please do a ‘worst/least convincing/cringe provoking accent in a film’ list .

  • Brian

    dont say nobody can do an accent. Tropic Thunder, Robert Downey Jr. nuff said

  • kat

    Although there was no accent involved, I think Oldman did a great job of protraying Sid Vicious in the movie Sid & Nancy. I love Sid.

  • Miss Destiny

    I KNEW Hugh Laurie was going to be on this list! I can never decide which accent I prefer to hear him speak in, but either way he is wonderful! I also was glad to see Christian Bale and Gary Oldman on this list. Very nice!
    I love “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and I never knew Bob Hoskins was from England. I also loved him in the “Mario Bros.” movie. XD

    Great list, very interesting idea!

  • Vera Lynn

    kat (78)I know what you mean. He was very intriguing. Sexy in an odd way. I do think he killed Nancy but it was a black out.He never remembered. I’ve had nights like that. I mean w/o the blood of course :)

  • waty

    I’m not so sure about #1…
    In that particular scene, Gary has distinct “English” undertones. He doesn’t even sound like he’s trying to be American. He sounds like his character is a British guy who’s been in the States long enough to have his accent watered down, but it still has the lilt of an Englishman. Hugh Laurie is the runaway winner “imho”.

  • Aussie Boy

    I agree with those who’ve mentioned Toni Collette, Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman… these (Aussie) ladies have mastered (variations of) the southern Californian American accent. Actually, without detracting from their success in elocution, it’s relatively easy for us Aussies to “do” the American accent – or rather, I should say, the Los Angelino White American accent. Australian television, music and cinema are so swamped with ‘Californian’. But as I’ve implied already, there are a huge number of American accents: the (Texan) drawl, the (Virginian) whisper, the North eastern states’ twang… and so on. And even in smaller areas the accents shift: the supposedly “Noo Yoik” Brooklyn / Bronx accent is a different accent from that of someone from neighbouring “Noo Joisy”. Not to mention the wide variety of Black American, Hispanic, First Nations [getting a Navajo accent right is a real tester!]… the list goes on and on.
    Not so in Australia. We really only have 2 or 3 accents at best – and most people, even here, can barely tell the difference. I’ve yet to hear a convincing attempt at our accent by a non-Australian.

    • sisterjanet

      Kate Winslet does a pretty good job. I can't remember the movie though…. Meryl Streep in Evil Angels is woeful. Kiwi's always do a pretty good job of our (Aussie) accent I think. But I haven't heard an American yet who can do it without sounding like a charicature. Also, they tend to sound slightly cockney…

  • hilly

    Yeah, Cate’s “continental” Kate Hepburn accent in The Aviator is pretty impressive, actually. Oh! I forgot about The Good German, as well (shit movie, but she is charming and ethereal, per usual).

    Frankly, I’m quite surprised that Tim Roth didn’t make the list. Someone else mentioned it before me, I believe. I’d almost say he deserves to be above Gary Oldman…

  • ChrisG

    I agree with every entry on this list, and it could even be expanded. A question though, why are Canadian actors and actresses exluded? My Canadian accent is about as close to American speech as South Africans are to New Zealand speech. The standard practice for any Canadian actor is to immediately lose their Canadian accent if they ever hope to get work, so every Canadian actor blows all these people away.

  • ChrisG: the reason they are excluded is that they start with an accent that is so similar to the American accent that most non-Canadians and Non-US Americans can’t tell the difference. It is like saying a kiwi needs to lose his kiwi accent to be on Aussie TV – it is simple – every kiwi can sound aussie and vice versa. But to go from kiwi or Aussie to US requires a considerable amount of effort.

  • cloud_strych9

    24: WHERE is John Barrowman?

    John Barrowman grew up in Illinois and affects a natural American accent except in the company of family or when in Scotland.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Barrowman

  • Posy

    NOBODY can do a Northern Ireland accent unless they are a native. The nuances of different towns mean that a Belfast accent from one area is distinct from one from another. Whilst other towns have very distinct differences. Some are unintelligible to their fellow countrymen. Anyway onto actors. Brad Pitt in Snatch had elements of a NI accent but it was such a mess! In the Devil’s own, even worse! Southern Irish accents are just as bad. Kevin whatshisname in Ordinary Decent Criminal, yikes!!!

    BTW………….. Linus Roach is William Roach’s son AKA Ken Barlow, veteran actor in Coronation Street since the early 1960s

  • 82. Aussie Boy
    these (Aussie) ladies have mastered (variations of) the southern Californian American accent.
    ****
    Uh, Aussie Boy, I don’t know how to break this to you but…well…we southern Californian’s don’t *have* an accent.
    We are accentless.
    Unless you are referring to the phony Moon Unit Zappa accent she put on for the song about the Valley/Shopping Mall generation.

  • Aaron

    Cool list, but I wish it said which role they play in the clips, for those that don’t know who they are.

    I would also love to see either a list of Americans doing really bad foreign accents, or other people doing really bad American accents

  • postman

    I forgot about Jean Reno in Godzilla….. ‘thankyou very much’

  • I think more women need to be on this list. Minnie Driver needs to be included because of her role in The Riches.

  • cass

    Hey Segue,

    Sorry to break this too you, but everyone has an accent. And I worked with a guy from San Diego, he had a very thick ´dude´ accent.

    And as for Robert Downey Jr. Haven´t seen TT yet but in Natural Born Killers his Aussie accent was a bit rough, and basically an impersonation of the host of Hard Copy. Forgotten his name.

  • Spinner

    Cass…Shhhhhhh, im still laughing!

  • bigski

    Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver amaze me when they speak a flawless southern U.S accent on The Riches.Im from the south and i know when someone is trying to fake a southern accent even a lot of people from up north try it and i can tell.Not Eddie and Minnie plus they throw in a little white trash twist in there dailog.They got there props from me.

  • Komikero

    Come on… Kenneth Brannagh in Gingerbread man. :D

  • Wlad

    Great list but where are Ewan McGregor, Eric Bana and the cast of Blackhawk Down? When I saw the “Making of” I was astounded at the number of non-Americans faking the accent in that movie.

  • Drogo

    I thought of 4 more. I double checked with the Internet Movie Database.

    Mark Addy – from York, (England)UK has a British accent when he’s himself. Speaks American on the tv show “Still Standing”

    Barry Morse – London, UK – had natural british accent when not playing Americans.

    Eric Braeden – Kiel, Germany (Mom watches his soap opera) has a german accent when he’s not playing Victor.

    Simon Baker is from Tasmania, but has an American accent on his tv show.

  • rbR

    Charlize “Monster” Theron? South Africa!

  • Brickhouse

    Nice list! Sadly, some of them I thought were Americans. :) Shows you how much I pay attention.

  • Kahvi

    Two of my favorite actors are on the list, Christian Bale and Gary Oldman. They are both great at not only doing American accents, but different American dialects.

  • A

    What about that one guy who played the knife wolf thing in x-men? I was always impressed with his accent. But great list, nonetheless.

    RIP Heath Ledger

  • egomania

    How could no one have mentioned Hugh Jackman?!
    He is australian, and has acted in someone like you, XMen, leopold etc.!

  • Cdavis

    Awesome list! I always thought Bale was the best, but now I have to say it must be guy pearce! I had no idea!

  • Jenova4

    When you don’t know who someone is in a movie, chances are that it’s Gary Oldman.

  • 92. cass
    Hey Segue,
    Sorry to break this too you, but everyone has an accent. And I worked with a guy from San Diego, he had a very thick ´dude´ accent.
    ****
    Amazing. I would have sworn we don’t have accents here, that’s why all the accent coach’s try to teach our way of speaking; it’s essentially un-nuanced, but I do get your point.
    btw, segue, small s. Different words. Only slightly, very slightly, but important.

  • Oh, and a “Dude” accent?
    Totally put on.

  • jadester

    Segue, its canadians, particularily from bc to ontario who are without accent. I do find that people from the west coast in the usa speak similar to us though.

  • See, jadester , this is weird but I *almost* agree with you. Only thing with Canadians from BC to Ontario, while basically accentless, have a sort of back of the throat thing on certain words. You almost can’t hear it, but you *just* can. It’s more like you can feel it.
    I still fell we (I am a West Coaster) have no accent, but I agree that you, apart from that one thing, are too.

  • cass

    segue – Probably right about the put on ´dudeness´and will make sure to use a little s in future.

    And jadester not to be an arse, (and I´ll admit that I´m not familiar with the BC way of speaking,) but as I said to segue, to a foreigner´s ears you do have an accent cause everyone does.

    It´s funny how most people don´t know the nationality of some of these actors. Most of them even speak with American accents in TV interviews so understandable I guess.

    As Christian Bale said, “no one wants to hear Batman with a Welsh accent.”

  • anon

    Kelly Macdonald from “No Country for Old Men.” She is Scottish, so she did a pretty damn good fake American (Texan?) accent for this movie.

    • Ms-binks

      She also did a great Irish accent in intermission

  • bubstunner

    Sorry, but i dont know how you can put Gary Oldman at 1. He constantly breaks his accent!

  • Anon

    110,

    Look here, this is getting way beyond a joke. Your comment isn’t causing me any problem as such at all, but your LV identity is. I’ve just this very minute come from another topic with yet another *Anon*. What the hell is going on? Pseudo-cloning?

    For pity’s sake, site organisers, is there NOTHING you can do? Those who are regulars around LV read anything posted by Anon (and probably anon), and assume it’s the same person. That person presumably being their fellow regular, i.e. me. The situation at its nastiest has already caused a great deal of aggro to a number of others besides myself.

  • PirateXxEsque

    48. “He’s even done other foreign accents while using House’s accent, amazing”

    Yes, it was hilarious watching him mock Chase while doing a Aussie accent. Pure genius, that bloke.

  • Bob

    I’m not sure about Christian Bale. When I first saw American Psycho I thought I liked his American accent but after seeing the new Batman movies…I’m not sold. He sounds like it’s forced and comes off almost as a lisp or some other speech impediment. And it’s even worse when he deepens his voice when in the Batman costume. I do think he is a great actor and love his work.

    Bob Hoskins & Daniel Day Lewis would be at the top of my list for fake American accents.

    Great list!

  • kris

    I happen to go to my Dad’s office a few weeks ago… the employees are called US & UK support dept I came to know that Americans and British call them for lot of problems… one of the “manager who came to our home for dinner… was speaking to me in American accent I couldn’t understand… ( when he slowed down I was able to understand what he said) Dad says they have Voice and accent trainers to teach them to speak like Americans… *why should they do that!!!*

  • 112. Anon
    jfrater, etc. Please help Anon. He is a good fellow, as you know. Please ask the other Anons, anons, and variations thereof, to add a number or some sort of recognizable addition to their nicks so that all and sundry will know who is speaking. It is confusing to have so many posters with the same nick. I would offer, as a suggestion, that from now on, you have a filter that disallows doubling of nicks.

  • MarcusNyce

    How can you have Gary Oldman on this list and not mention Drexl Spivey from True Romance? He’s like a real life Kirk Lazarus from Tropic Thunder- “I’m the dude playin’ the dude, disguised as another dude!”

  • CrazyCath

    I think Colin Farrell’s american accent is really good. I thought he was american from his role in phonebooth until i saw him in in bruges where he had his strong, irish accent on show!

  • Amanda

    @Kris: “*why should they do that!!!*”

    Because if you want to put food on the table, you have to pander to the Great Middle-America.

    I’ve faced this trouble when reading for podcasts – I’ve got anti-accent feedback that’s bordered on racism.

    With Hugh Laurie, I actually found it a little painful (as in, feeling for him that this is what he had to do to move into Hollywood) when House began. Since the 80s I’ve been so used to his “Jolly Good! Hoo-RAH!” in Blackadder and Fry n Laurie.

    “It’s so odd, all my socks seem to have disappeared!”

  • gezzanater

    How about Americans doing Aussie accents, fair dinkum, why they insist on making Aussie’s sound like they are some “cockney git”. Bart Simpsons vs Aust (I know it was TV), but that accent was disgusting. At least try and sound like Hoges or even Steve Irwin. May I point out that no Aussies go around actually saying “crikey”.
    And as side note, in Point Break, they are no palm trees at Bells Beach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BeatlesFan80

    Interesting list, but I have to say I don’t particulary like when actors change their accents. What’s the point? I think accents are wonderful and really enjoy hearing them.

  • Monkerz

    I guess he’s not a big enough star but Cliff Curtis (New Zealand)was pretty convincing as Hispanic gangster Smiley in “Training Day”.

  • bloozen

    Also Olivia d’Abo, hails from the UK, played Karen Arnold, the older sister on Wonder Years. You would never guess she’s anything but American from watching her performances on that series. Gotta give her mad props for a totally convincing portrayal of an American teenage girl. All that talent and she’s hot to boot.

  • Hillary

    So glad House is on the list!

  • iolanthe_duville

    i think actors who have to change their accent in a film and still acted their role exceptionally are brilliant. Imagine, you don’t only have to do acting (which is already hard as it is) you would also have to watch out your accent.

  • liz156

    I have to nominate all the Brits who played Yanks in the Band of Brothers series. I’ve seen the show 7 times now, but I am still finding guys who are Brits!

  • dude27

    hmmm…surprised not to see Charlize Theron on the list?

  • katalina

    I was going to add Damien Lewis from Life but see someone beat me.

    Here’s a new contender – Charlie Hunnam on Sons of Anarchy. You never hear his Brit accent slip in.

    And how about Simon Baker on The Mentalist. He’s an Aussie.

    And how about Jason O’Mara? He’s Irish.

  • Megan

    I don’t think I’d put Hugh Laurie on the list; he does that thing where he comes down on his Rs too hard that a lot of Brits do when they’re imitating Americans.

    The opposite list would be pretty good; worst American accents in American films.

  • pamb

    How about Johnny Lee Miller on Eli Stone? I love him in that show.

  • Daniel

    ya know, its people like heath ledger that makes me proud to have lived in perth my whole life

  • Matt White

    Australian’s faking american in the US

    Russell Crowe
    Guy Pearce
    Simon Baker – The Mentalist
    Hugh Jackman
    Nicole Kidman
    Heath Ledger
    Ana Torv – Fringe
    Naomi Watts (i think she may be english but raised in aus ?)
    John Noble – Fringe
    Portia De Rossi
    Poppy Montgomery – Without a trace
    Jessie Spencer (altho he uses aus accent in House)
    Geoffrey Rush
    Rose Byrne – Damages
    Eric Bana (i dont like his american accent tho)
    Hugo Weaving
    Anthony La Paglia – Without a trace

    loads more just cant think of them at the moment

  • D

    Hooray for the Top 6!

  • shelly

    People screw up American accents all of the time…we are just very forgiving. Plus, we have so man dialects we just write it off as them trying to do one we aren’t as familiar with.

    Bad American accents:
    -Jude Law, doesn’t even come close & it is just distracting when he tried
    -Sienna Miller, really bad & tries waaaay too hard
    -Minnie Driver, sounds very affected & flat
    -Ewan McGregor, the Scottish always comes through
    -Catherine Zeta-Jones, sounds like Elmer Fudd!!! She is absolutely, laughably bad at American accents.
    -Heath Ledger, I hear his accent come through

    I give Bale credit, as I thought he was American, but I also thought he has some kind of speech impediment, haha. Everyone I know thinks he has a very distracting, bad lisp, but when he speaks with his normal accent he doesn’t.

    Kate Winslet does a GREAT American accent.

  • The Grey GOAT

    Kelly Macdonald – Very good in No Country (couldn’t believe

    it was the same girl from Trainspotting)

    Gary Oldman – Great actor and hides the accent well.

    What about Kevin Costner playing a guy who’s supposed to be English but has an American accent? Wait a minute, something wrong here. :-)

  • BooRadley

    The first person who came to mind for me was Hugh Laurie. I just loved him in Jeeves and Wooster and in Fry and Laurie. I was watching House for almost 3 months before I found out it was the same guy!

    What about Tracey Ullman? I think her American accent is straight on.

    As an American with a long-time obsession with Monty Python’s Flying Circus, I had to ask someone why they were talking in such a weird way in some scenes. She told me they were trying to sound American! I still laugh uncontrollably when those scenes come on… they have to be the worst accents I’ve ever heard!

    I agree with all the others who said we need a list of the WORST accents!

  • Solidus

    +1 for Cliff Curtis in Training Day. It completely blew my mind when I found out he was a Kiwi!

  • Nasdagirl

    Wally, as it has been said before, anyone can do an australian accent.
    But give me a convincing New Zealand accent and i will be impressed! It’s a tough one.

  • Woolhouse

    Isla Fischer? Borat’s fiance? The “Crazy” chick from Wedding Crashers? She has an amazingly thick English accent for someone who sounds so American in her films. The first time I heard her real voice I refused to believe it was her!

  • JoJo

    Isla Fischer is Australian, not English!

  • Gina

    Agree with Cheatz – what about John Barrowman?

    He moved from Scotland to America and was bullied so learnt an American accent. He only uses his ‘real’ Scottish accent in private with family.

    Also, I agree with the list 100%

    P.S. How about a follow-up… Worst American accents? Worst English accents? Some English accents are cringey… all other nationalities seem to think us English all speak ‘posh’ and know the Queen… grr!!

  • deathbringer

    Nice touch on Gary Oldman…one of my favorite actors

  • King James

    Ummm what about Kate Beckinsale? she had me fooled in Click didnt even realise she was the same chick from Serendipity till my girlfriend told me.

  • Signe

    I just have to nominate Glenn Quinn, in all his years as Mark on Rosanne I was convienced he was American. I was really surprised to hear his “real” accent, at thick, beautiful Irish accent. So thick that he sometimes had to do voice-overs because the producers didn’t understand a word he was saying :-)

  • mitchsn

    #1 EVERYONE!

  • Cory

    Second that on Cliff Curtis. I swear I thought he was 100% Chicano when I saw him, but dammit, he’s from New Zealand! I live in Southern California too, and am familiar with Chicano culture (But I am a white guy :) ) and he did convince me.

  • Language Major

    Alfred Molina has a very good American accent!
    So does Guy Pearce, Eric Bana, Kelly MacDonald, Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts, and Gary Oldman!

    Best American Accent: Hugh Laurie

    Bad American Accents:

    Jude Law:
    He sounds as though
    he has a speech impediment

    Kate Beckinsale:
    Doesn’t even try

    Keanu Reeves:
    He’s American
    and doesn’t do
    any accents because he’s a bad actor.

  • Mattnsa

    I think the one who surprised me the most is Gillian Anderson. All those years watching the X Files and all along her real accent is British.

  • kk

    Ed Westwick.did not expect him to actually be british.or to be in a band, where he can sing, pretty damn well.

  • Kendra

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned Jamie Bamber yet. I didn’t see the Hornblower films so I first saw him in Battlestar…thought he was American or Canadian (since the show had so many Canadian actors). Nope, British. He has an American father though, so is that cheating?

    And ditto to Isla Fisher. When I heard her speak in her natural accent, I was blown away.

  • ZA Rocks

    Charlize Theron… She’s not up there. She’s a full-blooded South African “Boer” and Afrikaans is her first language. One would never say…

  • Rena

    Colin Farrell didn’t rank at all? He does an American accent without effort.

  • I4gotmyMANTRA

    #16,ciunas: I was just going to say the same thing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9ObbvrQxAc

  • Christina

    Robert Downey Jr. Seriously. He’s amazing in Tropic Thunder. This list needs a revise. I had absolutely no idea that Charlize Theron was South African. I only found out because someone told me. She never does the accent in interviews or anything! I think that Canadians are just sissies. Saying aboat instead of about. What’s that aboat? Sorey if I’ve offended any hockey-players from Canadia. As for specific American accents, the hardest have to be Boston and New Jersey. Any Brit can do a southern accent. Just drop your r’s in some places, which you do already. And British accents are only sexy on Hugh Grant and Joseph Fiennes.

  • harriet

    Nicole Kidman talks so quietly when she has to use an American accent, have you noticed?

  • blodflekk

    I would have to put hugh laurie at the top, he pulls of the US accent in house so well

  • Catbus

    Kenneth Branagh in “Dead Again.” (Emma Thompson tried, but she slipped a few times. Branagh nailed it.)

  • Mangesh

    I knew most of the names on that list were non-Americans..and a few like Day-Lewis and Oldman are famous method actors..but I was blown away to discover that Linus Roache is English..he comes across as totally All-American on Law & Order..I would’ve never guessed!

  • Bel

    Even funnier in Hugh Laurie’s case is a scene where he plays the American character House trying to do a fake British accent in order to scam someone over the phone. I tried to find an online clip to post here, but couldn’t.

    It reminds me of a similar scene on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the American actor James Marsters, who plays a British man, tries to speak with an American accent. Both great shows, great actors, and great scenes.

  • Raftor

    All from england or australia? can nodoby else do an american accent

  • Nick

    No Nicole Kidman??

  • mfrey

    How about Liam Neeson in Next of Kin?

  • ritz

    ed westwick?

  • i4gotmymantra

    It probably beating a dead horse to say this…

    but Hugh Laurie is really, really great with the accent. I’ve watched House pretty religiously, I’m American, and I’ve never heard a single mistake.

  • Poppy Montgomery from Without A Trace also has a brilliant fake-american accent, and she is australian like Heath Ledger.

  • dreamingpixel

    Christina (#154): Canadians will start pronouncing “about” your way when they start spelling it with a W.

    Great list – I was unaware that half of these actors were American, and Linus Roache in particular was a suprise, after having seen him both in multiple episodes of Law&Order and the movie “The Forgotten”. A truly bad accent can be hugely irritating, which is tough for those playing characters with difficult accents like Boston or Australian (Anyone else cringe at Leonardo DiCaprio’s attempt at a Boston accent in Shutter Island?). My mom grew up in area with an accent similar to Boston’s (south shore Nova Scotia), and even she can’t imitate it.

    Oh, and while all the people on the list are deserving, I too would like recommend Poppy Montgomery, Anthony LaPaglia, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste from Without a Trace.

  • Ken

    Indeed! Where is John Barrowman?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Harkness

  • Tina

    Not a movie star, but what about ed westwick from gossipgirl? hes british but does a really good american accent.

  • juuuuuuuuuuuul

    Nobody thought about Robert Pattinson?
    He’s British and does an very good english accent in Twilight!

    PS. I’m not a twilight-freak, I just noticed. ;d

    • Syra

      Same good American accent in Remember Me :)

  • Rayne

    They should have done Kelly Macdonald from ‘No Country for Old Men’ in the movie i actually thought she was Texan but her real voice is actually really strong scottish

  • Robar

    this doesn’t seem like a big deal since everyone on the list is a native English speaker. what would be cooler to see are folks who don’t have English as their primary language pull off an American accent. That, or seeing America/English actors do a foreign language accent

  • forcedalias

    Actually, Brits can’t do American accents. It’s rare for them to get it right.

    Every single British Actor in that list (and more) makes me cringe when I hear their so-called American accents.

    You could line up a bunch of Brits and Americans and I will be able to identify the fakes with 99% accuracy and this is coming from the person who can’t tell the difference between AC3 and DTS audio.

  • Claire

    Personally, I think Christian Bale should have been in first place – and he doesn't sound at all like he has a lisp, though one of my friend's constantly comments on the fact that "he doesn't open his mouth (very much at all) when he speaks," but she thinks that about him even when he's not putting on an accent.

  • Adam

    Hugh Laurie should have gotten #1. He is by far the best.

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  • Aly

    "And how about Simon Baker on The Mentalist. He's an Aussie. "

    I could tell right away he was an Aussie, the same with Alfred Molina. There are, however, several people I truly thought were Americans, great list.

  • JustSayin’

    I may have overlooked it, but I don’t recall anyone mentioning Rachel Griffiths, yet another Aussie (you guys are inundating us in the lately!). I was shocked to learn she’s Australian back when I was watching “Six Feet Under.” (Now she’s on “Brothers and Sisters.”) Interestingly, one of her earliest roles was in “Muriel’s Wedding,” right along with Toni Collette, whom I know has been mentioned already (and is a fabulous actor, by the way). I think she and Hugh Laurie are tops for flawless accents. (I, like so many others, was also flabbergasted to learn he’s a Brit.)

  • Joseph

    Johnathan Rhys Myers did an excellent American accent in 'From Paris with Love'

  • Vee

    You forgot Jim Sturgess in 21.

  • mel

    how about helena bonham carter in fight club

  • kelly tabarangao

    I went through the list quickly while thinking “Gary Oldman has to be number 1”. And he is indeed! Thank you for the list! :)

  • Bobby

    I adore Kate Winslet, and her American accent is dead on accurate…but her characters are from nowhere, USA. It distracts that she doesn’t places her accent regionally. As a result, her acting is never quite as good in the American roles as in British. My two cents. But again, she’s gifted and I adore her.

  • Alex

    You forgot Tracy Ullman who has the best American accent of all.

  • ASF

    I think its a travesty that Idris Elba was not included in this list. His accent is flawless!!!!

  • Vwgggwt

    What about the guy from The Mentalist

  • Andre Walker

    What about Hugh Jackman & Adris Alba…great accents.

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  • lemuret

    Linus Roache is the best. He even sounds like a real New Yorker.