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Added by cal331 on 21 May 2011 03:41
9963 Views 38 Comments
77
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 4558 Average listal rating (3404 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.7
House M.D. (2004)
Englishman Hugh Laurie is the poster boy for this category.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 1285 Average listal rating (896 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.2
Chuck (2007)
Aussie Yvonne Strahovski plays American spy Sarah Walker. Fun fact: her native language is Polish!
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 1704 Average listal rating (1221 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 2304 Average listal rating (1760 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 320 Average listal rating (220 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
Hawaii Five-0 (2010)
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 2651 Average listal rating (1976 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 1059 Average listal rating (748 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.1
The Mentalist (2008)
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 1476 Average listal rating (939 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.4
Fringe (2008)
Both Anna Torv (Olivia) and John Noble (Walter) play Americans but are from Down Under.

cal331's rating:
People who added this item 2217 Average listal rating (1540 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 (227 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 2689 Average listal rating (1853 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.2
Delicious Brit Andrew Lincoln plays Sheriff Rick.

Also starring Lennie James, who hails from the UK.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 307 Average listal rating (195 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 331 Average listal rating (223 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 1756 Average listal rating (1135 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.7
...as Brenda Chenowith.
People who added this item 1126 Average listal rating (633 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 9.3
The Wire (2002)
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 673 Average listal rating (420 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 506 Average listal rating (357 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
Burn Notice (2007)
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 1610 Average listal rating (1083 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 574 Average listal rating (382 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.9
Eureka (2006)
James Callis is English; he plays time-traveling Dr. Grant on this show.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 235 Average listal rating (143 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 321 Average listal rating (223 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 108 Average listal rating (67 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
Aussie Rose Byrne is American Ellen Parsons.
People who added this item 3060 Average listal rating (2227 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.3
Prison Break (2005)
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 236 Average listal rating (158 ratings) 5.9 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 649 Average listal rating (473 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.7
Law & Order (1990)
Englishman Linus Roache gamely tried on an American accent in the latter years of this program.
People who added this item 1478 Average listal rating (1197 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 8
Frasier (1993)
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 1405 Average listal rating (981 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.6
Nip/Tuck (2003)
Starred British Joely Richardson and Aussie Julian McMahon as Americans.

People who added this item 167 Average listal rating (94 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 121 Average listal rating (74 ratings) 7.2 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 1267 Average listal rating (836 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 1353 Average listal rating (980 ratings) 6.2 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 170 Average listal rating (110 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 106 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 901 Average listal rating (709 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 817 Average listal rating (449 ratings) 8.1 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 1577 Average listal rating (1020 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 9.5
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 538 Average listal rating (402 ratings) 6.6 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 643 Average listal rating (425 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 412 Average listal rating (268 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 116 Average listal rating (88 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 62 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 6.8 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 60 Average listal rating (35 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
Eleventh Hour (2008)
Rufus Sewell is British, though his character wasn't.
People who added this item 892 Average listal rating (609 ratings) 6.6 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 278 Average listal rating (197 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.7
Jewelry purveyor and British person Jane Seymour portrayed the old-west Doc.
People who added this item 1513 Average listal rating (1093 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.7
Lucy Lawless dropped her Kiwi accent to play action-heroine Xena.
People who added this item 550 Average listal rating (400 ratings) 7.6 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 445 Average listal rating (284 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.3
Bad witch Faye is played by Aussie Phoebe Tonkin.
cal331's rating:
People who added this item 379 Average listal rating (240 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 98 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.

Added to

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