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Added by cal331 on 21 May 2011 03:41
10469 Views 36 Comments
79
vote

I'm not an American, but I play one on TV

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Decade: Rating: List Type:
People who added this item 4630 Average listal rating (3459 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.7
Englishman Hugh Laurie is the poster boy for this category.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 1307 Average listal rating (913 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.2
Aussie Yvonne Strahovski plays American spy Sarah Walker. Fun fact: her native language is Polish!
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 1720 Average listal rating (1227 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4
Gossip Girl (2007)
British Ed Westwick plays Manhattan's teenage tycoon Chuck Bass.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 2348 Average listal rating (1793 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
New Zealander Melanie Lynskey plays wacky Malibu neighbor Rose on 2.5 Men. Catch her using (I presume) her native accent in "Heavenly Creatures."
People who added this item 342 Average listal rating (237 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5
Aussie Alex O'Laughlin is Hawaiian cop Steve McGarrett in the remake.


Not his first American role, by the by...
People who added this item 2702 Average listal rating (2009 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.6
Doctor Owen. Kevin McKidd, also of 'Journeyman' is a Scot.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 1094 Average listal rating (772 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.1
I don't watch this "Psych" ripoff :) but the other fake psychic detective Patrick Jane is played by Australian Simon Baker.

Welsh Owain Yeoman plays Wayne on the show, too.
People who added this item 1494 Average listal rating (948 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.4
Both Anna Torv (Olivia) and John Noble (Walter) play Americans but are from Down Under.

cal331's rating:
People who added this item 2252 Average listal rating (1559 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.9
True Blood (2008)
Stephen Moyer (UK) puts on a Southern accent, as does Anna Paquin (who is Canadian AND a New Zealander, apparently) as Bill and Sookie.


Swede Alexander Skarsgård plays a former Viking, now in America.
People who added this item 394 Average listal rating (228 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.2
The Killing (2011)
Swedish sex symbol Joel Kinnaman does his best Kurt Cobain impersonation in this top-notch drama.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 2798 Average listal rating (1945 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.1
Delicious Brit Andrew Lincoln plays Sheriff Rick.

Also starring Lennie James, who hails from the UK.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 309 Average listal rating (198 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
Aussie Toni Collette plays several American-accented personalities in the Showtime dramedy.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 333 Average listal rating (226 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.3
Matthew Rhys (Welsh) plays American Kevin Walker on this show,

As does Rachel Griffiths,(Sarah Walker) who also appeared on...
People who added this item 1810 Average listal rating (1173 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.7
...as Brenda Chenowith.
People who added this item 1190 Average listal rating (680 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 9.3
Det. McNulty played by Dominic West (England)

Stringer Bell played by Idris Elba (England)

Tommy Carcetti played by Aidan Gillen (Ireland)
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 682 Average listal rating (423 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
Torchwood (2006)
Captain Jack's John Barrowman was born in Scotland, and supposedly uses a Scottish accent at home. He uses the one he picked up living in America on the show, though.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 516 Average listal rating (365 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8
Gabrielle Anwar (Fiona) started the series with an Irish accent, which I guess was pretty bad even though she is British. Now they have her sport an American one all the time.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 1641 Average listal rating (1105 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.7
Brit Jamie Bamber puts on an American accent as Lee Adama.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 583 Average listal rating (388 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.9
James Callis is English; he plays time-traveling Dr. Grant on this show.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 240 Average listal rating (146 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.7
British Paul Blackthorne was American Harry Dresden. Interestingly, American Terrence Mann played a Brit in this show.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 328 Average listal rating (226 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.3
Life (2007)
One of my favorite characters of all time is Det. Charlie Crews of California, played with a terrific American accent by dreamy Damian Lewis.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 107 Average listal rating (67 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
Aussie Rose Byrne is American Ellen Parsons.
People who added this item 3092 Average listal rating (2244 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.3
British-born Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller played Chicago bros Linc and Michael on this show. Both guys were raised outside Britain, however.

cal331's rating:
The iconic role of Sarah Connor was played by British-by-way-of-Bermuda Lena Headey.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 241 Average listal rating (162 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 5.7
Bionic Woman (2007)
Brit Michelle Ryan played the titular American bionic unit in this pointless remake.

People who added this item 685 Average listal rating (501 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.8
Law & Order (1990)
Englishman Linus Roache gamely tried on an American accent in the latter years of this program.
People who added this item 1515 Average listal rating (1228 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 8.2
John Mahoney, who played Martin Crane, is actually British, though it's his TV sons who have the affected accents on this show.
People who added this item 1420 Average listal rating (993 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.7
Nip/Tuck (2003)
Starred British Joely Richardson and Aussie Julian McMahon as Americans.

People who added this item 166 Average listal rating (93 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7.8
The Riches (2007)
My favorite transvestite, Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver both hail from the UK, and they played American grifters in this show.

People who added this item 124 Average listal rating (76 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.6
Eli Stone (2008)
Title lawman Eli Stone is played by Scottish Jonny Lee Miller.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 1280 Average listal rating (840 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.3
All-American pie waitress Chuck is played by British Anna Friel.

cal331's rating:
People who added this item 1368 Average listal rating (993 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.5
Ugly Betty (2006)
Alan Dale, who played an Englishman on LOST, is actually a Kiwi. He played the American patriarch of the Meade family on UB.

Dale also played an American VP on "24".
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 174 Average listal rating (112 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.2
Portia de Rossi is from Australia; she plays Veronica on BoT. She was also an American on "Arrested Development" and "Ally McBeal", but I like this show better. She rocked on 'Ted.'
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 110 Average listal rating (63 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4
Life on Mars (2008)
Dublin-born Jason O'Mara played NYPD Det. Sam Tyler in this unnecessary remake of the far superior original program.

People who added this item 915 Average listal rating (721 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 7
Roseanne (1988)
Irish Glenn Quinn did such a good job at a midwest accent on Roseanne that people thought his actual accent, used on "Angel" was fake.
People who added this item 833 Average listal rating (458 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.6
Deadwood (2004)
Al Swearingen's Old West accent was a little shaky - put it down to the character played by Ian McShane was a more recent immigrant from Old Blighty.
People who added this item 1637 Average listal rating (1065 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 9.4
Packed with Brit actors playing American, including Damian Lewis and Jamie Bamber, but also:
Shane Taylor (Doc Roe)

also:Peter Youngblood Hills (Shifty Powers)
Nicholas Aaron (Popeye Winn)
Dexter Fletcher (Sgt. Martin)
Robin Laing (Babe Heffron)
Rick Warden (Harry Welsh)
Matthew Leitch (Tab Talbert)
Marc Warren (Blythe)
Peter O'Meara (Lt. Dike) - Irish
Stephen Graham (Mike Ranney)
People who added this item 552 Average listal rating (411 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.9
Fully 2/3 of the team were not born on the American Mainland. Those sporting the US accents were Brit Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Viv...

Aussies Poppy Montgomery as Sam and Anthony LaPaglia as Jack.

cal331's rating:
People who added this item 650 Average listal rating (427 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.9
Jericho (2006)
Here's Lennie James (UK) again, playing Hawkins, another American.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 418 Average listal rating (273 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6
Moonlight (2007)
The aforementioned Alex O'Laughlin and Sophia Myles (British) play Americans in this show.
People who added this item 114 Average listal rating (86 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.5
"Full Monty"-er Mark Addy played the All-American slob on this show.

(He's now back to being British on "Game of Thrones," as is...
People who added this item 64 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.4
New Amsterdam (2008)
...Dane Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played an American-accented immortal on this show.
People who added this item 62 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
Eleventh Hour (2008)
Rufus Sewell is British, though his character wasn't.
People who added this item 902 Average listal rating (613 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.5
Roswell (1999)
Aussie Emilie de Ravin got to speak in her native accent for LOST, but as Tess she had to speak American.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 288 Average listal rating (205 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.7
Jewelry purveyor and British person Jane Seymour portrayed the old-west Doc.
People who added this item 1542 Average listal rating (1110 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.7
Lucy Lawless dropped her Kiwi accent to play action-heroine Xena.
People who added this item 565 Average listal rating (409 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.4
Red Dwarf (1988)
Danny John-Jules played the Cat with an American Accent. Sadly, I have never seen this show.
People who added this item 449 Average listal rating (286 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.3
Bad witch Faye is played by Aussie Phoebe Tonkin.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 390 Average listal rating (247 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.7
Terra Nova (2011)
Here's Jason O'Mara again, this time as the father figure in the time-traveling family drama "Terra Nova."

cal331's rating:
People who added this item 101 Average listal rating (60 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.8
The River (2012)
Joe Anderson, who hails from the UK, stars as American Lincoln Cole in this show.
cal331's rating:
Load more items (7 more in this list)

In the past couple years, there seemed to be a rash of Brits and Australians and others copping an American accent (unnecessarily, in some cases) to play characters on American TV. According to a documentary, in 2008 one-third of all piloted American TV series had British people in a starring or main supporting role. Most of the shows on this list were on the air at the same time!

Here are some of them.

(Not rated in order of accent's effectiveness.)

Suggestions welcome; I'm still working on it. Note: I'm really looking at main characters, not guest spots, and trying to put in one picture per actor, even though some play more than one American role.

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