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"Don't you hate it when you find out some really cool actor you like is actually Canadian?"

Fake Americans are usually Canadians, British or Irish (although Aussies, New Zealanders, and even South Africans have been known to fake American). This is usually done for biographical reasons, to allow for a familial relationship with another character with an American accent, or to portray a character as stereotypically American.

According to a documentary, in 2008 one-third of all piloted American TV series had British people in a starring or main supporting role, so this is expanding almost beyond the boundaries of trope. There are honestly so many actors playing fake Americans in games, tv shows, and movies as of late, most people that aren't familiar with many of the actors from across the pond assume they're American.

Britons who essay an American accent will usually opt to make the accent "colourful", and preferably Eastern. Expect to hear something along the lines of a) "salty" New Englander; b) Connecticut "blue-blood"; c) New Yorker, typically of the "Brooklyn" variety; or d) Southern, usually something from Georgia or the Carolinas but occasionally Appalachian, Ozark, or even Texan. This is because the Eastern accents share many phonetic quirks with British dialects, such as the broadening of vowels or the dropping of "r's." It is rare to hear one of these actors attempt, say, a California accent - but it is not unheard of.

Note that this trope does not apply to non-American actors who are not trying to disguise their accent or origin. America is a nation of immigrants after all, and it isn't all that unusual to meet people who were born or raised overseas, or natural-born Americans who carry an accent from growing up in an ethnic neighborhood. Expect such situations to be Lampshaded, however, especially if the actor in question has a relatively heavy accent, like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A version of Fake Nationality, along with Fake Brit and Fake Irish. If the character is called upon to "fake" the accent that's really theirs, it's a case of Lampshade Hanging, of the sub-type How's Your British Accent. Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping is quite common, and a few careless examples end up Not Even Bothering with the Accent.

This can also be done within the United States, if someone is expected to speak with a very distinctive accent other than their own, e.g. actors with "neutral" accents doing a Minnesota or Georgia accent.

Examples of Fake American include:


Anime and Manga Edit

  • Patlabor's Kanuka Clancy is supposed to be a NYC cop of Hawaiian descent, but her voice actor's awkward, heavily accented English says otherwise.
  • Cary Elwes does a terrible Texas accent playing Donald Curtis in the Disney dub of Porco Rosso.
    • Cary Elwes doing an unconvincing American accent? In what universe?
  • Revy in Black Lagoon a Chinese-American, born in New York. In the episodes set in Japan, she gets a few lines in thickly-accented and stilted English, laden with profanity.
  • The English Dub for "Mad Bull 34" was done by a British company, thus the VAs speak in really cheesy (and profanity-laden) New Yorker accents.


Film Edit

  • Perhaps one of the best known is Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara and Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes in the film Gone with the Wind. When the film came out, it shocked many Americans to see an English actress play a Southern Belle, but now it's hard for us to NOT see them play those roles.
    • And let's not forget that she kept going with it playing Southern Belle Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire.
    • Ironically, Thomas Mitchell who played Irish-born Gerald O'Hara was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, making him a real American giving a Fake Irish portrayal. (Although his parents were from Ireland.)
  • Alfred Molina, who plays Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2, is from London.
    • When he says the line, "I should've known Osborn wouldn't have the spine to finish you!," he slips up a bit.
    • Rosemary Harris, who plays Aunt May in the films, is also English.
    • Daniel Gillies, who play John Jameson in the second film, is Canadian born and grew up in New Zealand.
    • Rhys Ifans, who will be playing Dr. Curt Conners/The Lizard in the 2012 reboot film, is Welsh.
    • The new Spiderman, Andrew Garfield was born in Los Angeles to a British mother and an American father, but has spent much of his life in the UK.
  • Jenn Proske, who plays Becca in Vampires Suck, is Canadian, although her mother is American and she grew up in the US.
  • Daniel Craig in Road to Perdition.
  • Furthermore, Mr. LaPaglia is in a film called Empire Records, playing a very American small-town record store owner.
    • Although he's all but lost his Aussie accent as a price. Just listen to him here, and compare him to everyone else.
  • Heath Ledger (Australian by birth) in a fair few of his movies- Brokeback Mountain, The Dark Knight Saga, Lords Of Dogtown, The Patriot, and Monster's Ball.
  • Several in the X-Men movies:
    • Hugh Jackman (Australian) as Wolverine though that's technically a Fake Canadian. And a very good approximation of a rural Alberta accent.
    • Patrick Stewart (English) and James McAvoy (Scottish) as Professor X (though before First Class, where he spends his childhood in NY, it's never stated if he's still American).
    • Famke Janssen (Dutch) as Jean Grey
    • Shawn Ashmore (Canadian) as Iceman
    • Brian Cox (Scottish) as Stryker in X2: X-Men United.
    • Ellen Page (Canadian) as Kitty Pryde
    • Canadian/New Zealander Anna Paquin doing a Southern accent as Rogue
    • In X Men First Class, Rose Byrne (Australian) as Moira MacTaggert (where the Scottish scientist of the comics is instead a CIA agent), and Nicolas Hoult (English) as Beast
  • Bob Hoskins' portrayal of Eddie in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. He does a fairly convincing hardboiled New York accent, which would have been great if the film didn't take place in Los Angeles.
    • The same accent worked for Mario in Super Mario Bros. One of the few things that worked there.
  • Emma Thompson's pastiche of Hillary Clinton in Primary Colors.
  • Kate Winslet's portrayal of American debutante Rose Dewitt Bukater in Titanic.
      • Kate admitted being "appalled" by her accent when she watched the movie 15 years later for it's 3-D release and wishes she could redo it with all her years of experience she's had since then.
    • And again as Long Island resident Clementine Kruczynski in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
    • Once more in The Life of David Gale, rather convincingly. She doesn't sound Texan, but then, they never explicitly say that the character is Texan.
    • She also plays Americans in Little Children, Revolutionary Road, Mildred Pierce, Contagion and Carnage.
  • Christian Bale (Batman), Gary Oldman (Detective Jim Gordon), Tom Wilkinson (Carmine Falcone) all hid their UK accents to play Gotham City citizens in Batman Begins, as did Cillian Murphy (Dr. Jonathan Crane) with his Irish one. In fact, most of the crew were British. Liam Neeson (Henri Ducard) also put on such a convincing American accent in Darkman.
    • Cillian Murphy in Red Eye. Wes Craven was initially wary about casting him as Rippner, since Rippner was explicitly written as American. When Murphy walked into the audition, he actually fooled the casting agent with his accent. (The film also has Canadian Rachel McAdams and Scottish Brian Cox as Americans.)
    • Wilkinson also puts on a convincing American accent in Michael Clayton.
  • Gary Oldman has practically made a career out of playing fake Americans: he puts on a Southern accent for The Fifth Element, a Texan accent for The Book of Eli, a New York accent in The Professional; he even played Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK.
  • In Die Hard, the director decided to extend the scene where Hans Gruber pretends to be a hostage in order to show it off.
  • Peter Sellers as President Merkin Muffley in Dr. Strangelove. He affects a sort of flat Midwestern accent that is as "generic" as American accents get.(He also plays a fake German and an actual Brit in the same film.)
    • Sellers also played Americans in Lolita (and that character masquerades as a German at one point!) The World of Henry Orient, I Love You, Alice B. Toklas!, Where Does It Hurt?, and Being There. (In the last case, it's an accent whose region can't be identified by the CIA or FBI. Sellers created it by applying an American accent to an imitation of (British) Stan Laurel's voice.) He's one of the more convincing fake Americans when he's "on".
  • Clive Owen hides his natural Scottish drawl in Sin City.
    • Critical Research Failure? Clive Owen was born and raised in Coventry and doesn't have a Scottish accent.
    • He hides it but it seems that he can only create a slight American accent if he slows his dialogue to a low, wooden crawl that sounds vaguely British at times.
  • Many characters of actor Colin Farrell. The most notable was in Phone Booth, in which he slips in and out of his Irish accent, which becomes especially glaring when Kiefer Sutherland mentions "the Bronx in [his] voice."
    • Also in Phone Booth, you have Australian Radha Mitchell as Colin's American wife; see also Silent Hill, in which she played the main role (and Sean Bean, below, played her husband, both with American accents).
  • Sean Bean pulls off a very frightening generic American accent as the main character in the 2007 remake of The Hitcher.
  • Red Leader in Star Wars Episode IV has a quite convincing "mountain twang" pilot accent (à la Chuck Yeager, Tom Wolfe must have smiled); despite being played by Brit Drewe Henley.
  • In The Matrix trilogy, Australian actor Hugo Weaving puts on a slightly exaggerated, sneering Midwestern accent when playing the role of Agent Smith.
    • And he's almost as bad at it as Rachel Weisz in Confidence. They both swallow their rhotic vowels trying to pronounce the letter 'R,' betraying their original accents.
      • Though his imitation of Carl Sagan's distinctive vocal patterns and pauses was dead on.
    • His accent sounds strikingly like Canadian actor Henry Czerny, best known for roles in Mission Impossible and Clear and Present Danger.
    • The way Weaving's Rs came out stumbling and drawn-out makes Smith all the more bizarre and creepy. "Good evening, Misterrrr Anderrrrson..."
      • Word of God is that he was trying to imitate director Larry Wachowski.
    • More convincingly, from Enter The Matrix and a brief bit in The Matrix Revolutions, is Sparks, the operator of the hovership Logos.
    • On the other hand, Weaving's voice for Megatron in the new Transformers movies does a good job of disguising his accent under a growling tone of voice that well fits this particular incarnation of the character.
  • Mel Gibson. While he was born in the US, early in his career you can tell he had to make an effort to cover up the Aussie in his speech. You can definitely hear his American accent slip a couple of times in the first two Lethal Weapon films. These days, when he gives interviews, you would be convinced he never left the US since his birth.
  • No Country for Old Men is chock full of convincing Texan accent and dialect from non-Texan actors (although several actors, like Woody Harrelson and Tommy Lee Jones, were Texan)... but perhaps the most surprising is that of Kelly Macdonald, who's Scottish.
    • The other big one is Javier Bardem, who is Spanish. In fact the voice he used for Anton Chigurh came about by accident when he tried to tone down the accent during a run-through of the script.
    • Watch the bonus features on the Blu-ray. There's a featurette which contains interviews with the cast in which you can hear Kelly Macdonald and Javier Bardem speak with their real accents.
  • Patrick Stewart in King of Texas which is King Lear IN TEXAS.
  • Many members of the cast of Black Hawk Down: Ewan Bremner and Ewan McGregor (Scottish), Eric Bana (Australian), Ioan Gruffudd (Welsh), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Danish), and Orlando Bloom, Hugh Dancy, Tom Hardy, Jason Isaacs and Matthew Marsden (all English). Out of those actors, several have portrayed Americans in other movies, with Ewan McGregor and Matthew Marsden having the most Fake American roles under their belts so far.
  • Robert Shaw in General Custer of the West. He does a pretty good job, but his accent falls through a couple times.
  • Max Carrigan, the incorrigible draftee and brother of the female lead in Across the Universe, was played by British actor Joe Anderson with a sardonic, nasal, and reasonably convincing American accent.
    • Even more impressive is that he does a great job of singing in the fake American accent.
  • The Austrian Charles Rooner (born Ernst Robitschek) pretty much made a career out of playing these ones in old Mexican films.
  • Pretty much the entire cast of Cold Mountain, excluding Renee Zellweger, hailed from anywhere but the American South. Nicole Kidman (Australian), Jude Law, Ray Winstone, Eileen Atkins, and Charlie Hunman (English), Brendan Gleason and Cillian Murphy (Irish), Donald Sutherland (Canadian).
  • Parodied in Tropic Thunder, which casts an American as an Australian cast as an (African) American. (Originally, the character was supposed to be "truly" Irish, but Robert Downey Jr. found it easier to improvise with an Aussie accent.)
  • James McAvoy as the "hero" in Wanted. The voice James McAvoy uses normally in his roles (Southish England) is not his real accent anyway (McAvoy is Scottish).
  • Do double-fakes count? In Blown Away, Tommy Lee Jones (from Texas) plays an Irish terrorist who in one scene fakes a Minnesota accent.
  • Michael Caine had to play a Texan in Secondhand Lions. And he did a terrible job, too. In promotional interviews Caine said the secret to the Texas drawl is "to let the syllables lean on each other." He also pulled off lousy American Accents in Bullseye! (in one of his two roles in that film) and The Cider House Rules. And he won an Oscar for the latter, yet! Compare to Charlize Theron's far more convincing tones in the same movie (and, in fact, every other film the South African Miss Theron has made - she has yet to play her own nationality on screen).
  • Christopher Lee did a nice flat Californian accent in the movie Serial-- and floating around out there is a recording of him singing Ghost Riders in the Sky with a Southern drawl.
  • Averted in Shortbus, where the director tried to get Sook-Yin Lee to not sound so Canadian, and finally gave up and wrote into the script an explanation that her character was Chinese-Canadian.
  • Robert Pattinson does an American accent in Twilight. He discusses it here.
  • Jude Law's ridiculously bad American accent in I Heart Huckabees. It's painful. He repeats his performance in All The King's Men.
    • So we're forgiving him for that monstrosity of a southern accent in Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil? I think not.
      • His American accent in an SNL sketch spoofing the classic Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 ft." was also atrocious.
  • By that same token, the villain "Red" from Hancock puts on a truly terrible fake Midwestern Texan American something accent; he seems to have a hard time settling on which one he wants to use.
  • Before House, Laurie played the father in the film Stuart Little, American accent included. Not to mention his role as Internal Affairs Captain James Biggs in Street Kings (in which his character is remarkably similar to House, sans beard or bad leg).
  • Minnie Driver as Debi Newberry in Grosse Pointe Blank.
  • Dominic West does a pretty good American accent in Chicago (though it isn't a Chicago accent). In Punisher: War Zone however, he attempts a New York Italian accent and the results are not pretty. But it's a Large Ham role anyway.
    • And let's not forget Catherine Zeta-Jones in the same movie.
  • In the original cast recording of Mamma Mia the travel writer's voice is considerably louder and more "Texan" then the other two Disappeared Dad characters. The fact that the musical originated in England probably has something to do with it. Getting back to the film itself, the Irish Pierce Brosnan played an American character, using essentially his real accent.
  • Cary Elwes did such a fine job playing Major Cabot Forbes in Glory that he probably should have been cast as the lead given that he resembles the real Colonel Robert Gould Shaw a lot more than Mathew Broderick does. He did a hideous Midwesternish-Southernish accent for Twister though, with just a hint of still being British.
    • His accent in Liar Liar always makes me cringe.
    • He did a great southern accent in Kiss the Girls as Det. Nick Ruskin but later when he is revealed to be the bad guy and drops the southern accent for a deeper "standard" American one he slips back into his British accent almost immediately.
    • Incredibly, he managed to play pilot Kent Gregory in Hot Shots in a "blond Californian surfer dude" style (paying tribute to Val Kilmer as "Iceman", of course).
    • In The Crush, his accent slips to British many times throughout the movie.
    • In Days Of Thunder, Cary Elwes puts on a decent Southern accent for his role as Russ Wheeler.
  • Ewan McGregor was technically using a Southern accent in Big Fish, but the result was not authentic-sounding at all.
    • Ditto for his midwest American accent in The Men Who Stare at Goats.
      • More to the fact, his accent for that film sounded identical to his accent in Big Fish. The least he could've done is tried to make the two sound different, even if they didn't sound authentic.
    • He also played American rocker Curt Wild in Velvet Goldmine.
    • And Oliver (with an American accent and American parents) in Beginners, which was filmed in Los Angeles.
    • He uses both a fake American accent and his natural Scottish accent in The Island.
  • Virtually everyone except the main cast in the Film of the Book Bridge to Terabithia was a New Zealander playing an American.
  • Jim Sturgess adopts a hilariously bad American accent in Twenty One, and completely forgoes holding his Rs throughout the second half of the movie.
  • Simon Pegg puts on a fairly convincing American accent in Big Nothing.
  • Used to varying effect in Bugsy Malone: The movie was filmed in England and used local children for bit parts.
  • Raoul Bova, an Italian, does this in Avenging Angelo and Alien vs. Predator.
  • Rebecca Hall, an English actress, as Vicky in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
  • In Star Trek, Karl Urban (New Zealander) does a flawless (as in so close that Leonard Nimoy cried when he first heard it) "DeForest Kelley Southern Country Doctor" accent.
  • In the film version of Street Fighter, the All American Air Force Colonel Guile was played by Belgian martial artist Jean Claude Van Damme.
    • Van Damme, like Schwarzenegger, is Not Even Bothering with the Accent in his movies. 80's action film producers really had a thing for foreign-sounding stars for some reason and ran with it, resulting in some awkward moments later on their careers.
  • Jason Isaacs did the worst American accent in Black Hawk Down.
  • Kate Beckinsale in Pearl Harbor.
  • Sam Worthington (Australian) uses a pretty tortured American accent in Avatar.
    • It is somewhat justified. This is the future and the only proof we have that he's from the US is that he's said to be an 'ex-marine' which could mean anything. It would've been more realistic for him to keep his Australian accent considering the fact that the US wouldn't be the main controller of Pandora, far from it, assuming they're still a main power until then (unlikely).
    • Not as bad as it was in Terminator Salvation, particularly when he was surrounded by other Fake Americans who did a much better job, including Christian Bale.
    • One really has to suspend their disbelief in Black Ops. For some reason, casting directors think Sam Worthington's insuppressible Down Under twang is perfect for playing American servicemen.
    • The producers of the movie tried to cover up his accent slips by saying that Jake Sully was from Boston. While Bostonians, like people from the Canadian Maritimes, tend to blend together American and British accents (Australian accents for all intents and purposes are close enough to British in this example to be considered the same), no one in the Boston area speaks like Jake Sully did in that film.
  • Brian Cox in Super Troopers portrays the Irish-American Captain John O'Hagen, whose accent wobbles between the generic American and Irish depending on his mood, but never sounds Scottish.
  • While the lead character is played by an American playing a Brit, all the American characters in the newest Sherlock Holmes are played by Canadians. You can really tell with their accents, especially against the British ones.
  • Aaron Johnson as Dave Lizewski in Kick-Ass.
  • Emilie de Ravin (best known for playing Claire on Lost) did an excellent job at concealing her accent in Brick; ironically, early on during Lost's run some thought that her natural Australian accent sounded fake.
  • In his final movie appearance, Charles Laughton effectively pulled off a Southern accent playing a wily senator in Advise And Consent.
  • Austrian Theodore Bikel played a redneck sheriff in The Defiant Ones.
  • Molly, played by Londoner Alice Eve, in She's Out of My League. In addition, Molly's parents in the film are played by Eve's real-life parents, who are (of course) also British.
  • Dev Patel in The Last Airbender. Zuko himself isn't American, but Patel was imitating Dante Basco's normal accent.
  • Freddie Highmore's adorably awful American accent in August Rush. Although to be fair, he was only about eleven or twelve at the time.
  • Tim Roth did a convincing American, though ambiguous, accent in Reservoir Dogs.
    • Tarrantino thought it was too much of a hassle, and had him use his regular accent in Pulp Fiction
  • Canadian actress Laura Harris puts on a downright painful Southern drawl in The Faculty. Fridge Brilliance comes in when it's revealed that her character is an alien, meaning that she's a Fake American in-universe as well. In fact, in the original script her character drops her accent shortly before The Reveal.
  • Sharlto Copley and Liam Neeson are both Fake Americans in the film version of The a Team. Copley's wanders through several different Southern accents, but given that it's Murdock it fits quite well, and he deliberately fakes a lot of other throughout the movie. Neeson's more or less works as well, though his brogue tends to slip a bit whenever he says anything with an "oo" sound (such as when he tells Face, "You are really tan.")
  • Isla Fisher, born in Oman and raised in Australia, only ever seems to play Americans. This is somewhat justified, however, as if she ever did use her real accent, the result would be so cute, the universe would collapse in on itself.
    • Australians seem to be the most successful at mimicking American accents. Naomi Watts, Guy Pearce, Judy Davis, and Melissa George have all made careers out of playing Americans.
    • Fisher offered a good explanation of this during a Chelsea Lately appearance: "Nobody wants our real accents".
  • Cate Blanchett in The Gift, with a rather weak Southern accent that results in her being outacted by Katie Holmes.
  • German movie Locked Up features the main character meeting and falling in love with the "American" Mike while in prison. Mike is just a British guy who has apparently never heard an American speak and wagers no Germans have either. He doesn't even make a flimsy, half-hearted attempt to use anything but his normal speaking voice. Must be a graduate from the Sean Connery School of Accents.
  • Radha Mitchell (Australian) and Joe Anderson (English) did passable American accents in the Iowa-set The Crazies.
  • Brit Emily Blunt used a convincing American accent to play Amy Adams sister in Sunshine Cleaning.
  • Aussie Emily Browning in A Series of Unfortunate Events. She did initially audition in her role as Violet Baudelaire in a British accent, although it eventually winded up in her using an American accent.
  • The 1948 film No Orchids for Miss Blandish was made in the UK but is full of fake Americanisms--left-hand drive cars, a vaguely New York setting, and American accents of varying quality. The original novel was written by an Englishman (James Hadley Chase, who wrote a number of novels set in America - although he never lived there) but so thoroughly riddled with Americanisms that English readers mistook it for an American import.
  • City Island has Emily Mortimer taking part in the exact same twist she did in 30 Rock (that she's "really" an American pretending to be British). Actor Allusion?.
  • Julian Glover as Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
  • British actor Eric Idle as Paul "Dibbs" Plutzker in: Casper.
  • Thandie Newton(British) as President Danny Glover's daughter in 2012.
  • Ralph Fiennes (English) playing the American Charles Van Doren in Quiz Show.
    • That's more of a Mid-Atlantic/preppy New England accent, though, with notable English influences.
    • Mark Van Doren father of Charles Van Doren was played by Paul Scofield also English.
  • Andrew Garfield (English) as Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network, and the upcoming Spider-Man reboot as Peter Parker.
    • Subverted somewhat. Garfield was born in Los Angeles, but mostly grew up in Britain.
  • Jim Carrey, who is Canadian, in far too many roles to list.
  • The Irish Colin Farrell played not only an American, but an American Country Singer in Crazy Heart.
  • Kenneth Branagh affects a hilarious southern accent for his role in Wild Wild West.
  • Dan Aykroyd (Canadian) does a convincing Chicago accent in The Blues Brothers and Tommy Boy.
  • For the handful lines Anthony Head actually speaks in Repo! The Genetic Opera he puts on a fairly convincing American accent. He slips a bit when he sings, though.
  • The exploitation film American Kickboxer 1 is false advertising on three counts; it wasn't the first of a series, it was filmed in South Africa with the entire cast trying and failing to sound American, and as for the kickboxing...
  • Aquamarine was set in Florida but filmed in Australia (a change from the novel, where the plot involves one of the main characters moving to Florida - in the movie she's going to Australia), and with the exceptions of Emma Roberts, Sara Paxton, Joanna Levesque, Arielle Kebbel and Jake Mc Dorman, the entire cast affected US accents.
  • Dark City had Brit Rufus Sewell putting on a pretty good accent as well as Australian Melissa George and British-born Canadian Kiefer Sutherland.
  • In perhaps one of the biggest examples of this trope, British Henry Cavill will play Superman (who, while an alien, is an embodiment of the "Truth, Justice and the American Way") in the upcoming Man of Steel.
  • Lucy Punch does such an effective Chicago accent in Bad Teacher.
  • Scotsman Alan Cumming had a bit part as an American hotel clerk in Eyes Wide Shut. He tells an awesome story of how director Stanley Kubrick was first annoyed upon discovering on the day they were to shoot his scenes that Cumming was Scottish and not American. Kubrick grumbled: "You were American on the tape!" Cumming cooly responded: "I know. That's because I'm an actor Stanley." Cumming's chutzpah earned the notoriously intimidating director's respect.
  • Australian Simon Baker in Margin Call, though it's not always ideal (Given that the film has two British characters and it wouldn't be unrealistic for an Australian to be part of the mix as well in a Wall Street investment bank, it's not clear why it was necessary).


Literature Edit

  • Australian Nick Cave wrote And the Ass Saw the Angel, really demonstrating his fascination with the American south, going as far as to write, at least partially, in American south phonetics.
  • Hugh Laurie also wrote a novel called The Gun Seller, in which certain of the American characters speak in a distinctly 'American' way, essentially by cursing excessively. Others talk completely normally. It's all based on whether or not we're meant to like them.
    • Eddie Izzard's American imitation also ends up like this. Americans apparently talk very loudly and swear every other word.
      • And are also Texan. ("Talk Bri'ish t' mah kidz!")
      • In the comicbook Preacher (Comic Book), an Irish vampire on one occasion impersonates his Texan friend, le stories.
      • There are also a disproportionate number of indeterminate Southerners. Apparently a really broad Texa Georgiana accent is easier than New England or Midwestern speech.


Live Action TV Edit

  • In the second episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus (the marriage counsellor sketch), John Cleese attempts (unsuccessfully) a cowboy drawl. (Significantly, the version of this sketch included in And Now For Something Completely Different, a Compilation Movie targeted at American audiences, replaced the cowboy character with the voice of God.) In the third episode, the "Bicycle Repair Man" sketch features deliberately exaggerated American accents.
    • Apparently all you have to do is add r's there and there.
      • Nope, that's just the Pythons. Even Terry Gilliam, who is an American, can't do a convincing American accent.
      • Chapman manages an accent that sounds fairly American in that clip, it's just that he can't seem to settle on one region: It's a weird mix of John Wayne (Iowa), JFK ("idear", Boston), and something vaguely Texan.
      • Michael Palin is possibly the worst here, though he has pretty stiff competition from both Terry Jones and the guy at the end (name escapes me), Mike doesn't even bother for most of his lines.
        • As Time Goes By had and arc where Lionel and Jean work on an American miniseries. The producer the associate with has and American accent that's just as bad.
  • Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House. When he auditioned for the part, his accent was disguised so well one of the producers of the series thought he was an American from the same region as the character. Maybe it had to do something with the fact that his American voice sounds really, really creepy and ominous.
    • People who'd seen him in the live action film of 101 Dalmatians (he plays one of Cruella's henchmen) have heard his native accent.
    • Bryan Singer actually held him up to the other producers as a shining example of what a 'real American actor' was. It's quite jarring to hear Laurie au naturel these days. It takes quite a while to realize that the Blackadder Laurie and the House Laurie were the Same Laurie[1].
    • Laurie does however do his 'George (Blackadder) voice' in an episode where he tries to convince someone over the phone that he is English.
    • Lampshaded in an episode of House called "Poison", in which Chase uses a horrible fake American accent (Southern, of course) to trick a patient's mother. When he demonstrates the accent, House replies, "You fooled her with that?"
      • He also does a reasonably good American accent in season six when House told him women were only interested in him for his looks, and challenged him to try speed-dating without the accent or mentioning his profession.
    • A recurring skit on A Bit of Fry and Laurie had Laurie and his co-star Stephen Fry both playing overbearing American tycoons; which typically consisted of horribly, and obviously, fake American accents, and cursing at high volume.
    • Laurie has released a blues album called Let Them Talk, on which he sings with an very twangy American accent.
  • Jaime Murray in the Poirot mystery "Mystery of the Blue Train"
  • Anthony LaPaglia (Jack Malone), Poppy Montgomery (Sam Spade), and Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Vivian Johnson) from Without a Trace. The first two are Aussies, the latter British.
    • Although LaPaglia and Montgomery have been putting on the American accent for so long that they scarcely sound Australian any more. In fact, Montgomery once said that her Australian accent has atrophied so much that when she attempts it with her family, they tell her to just give up.
  • The late Irish actor Glenn Quinn portrayed for several seasons the American Mark Healy, the reviled son-in-law of the title character on Roseanne.
  • American Kyra Sedgwick (a New York Blue Blood if there ever was one) fakes the Southern specifically Georgia (it's good enough!) accent of her character Brenda Johnson in The Closer.
  • Claudia Black on Farscape has a pretty feeble accent when she plays Crichton inhabiting Aeryn's body. Her body language, though? Pure Ben Browder.
    • In another episode where John and Chiana are trapped inside a video game Claudia Black plays a princess and affects a ridiculous Southern accent (with a lisp for some reason). Since it's a fairly silly episode anyways, it's a bit more forgivable
    • Gigi Edgley (who played Chiana) drifted between an American accent and her native Australian accent, depending on the episode. Anthony Simcoe (who played D'Argo) did a better job, though
    • Canadian Michael Shanks is similarly feeble as distinctly Texan Crichton on Stargate SG-1's 200th episode. He says 4 words, but is plenty horrible anyhow. May have been intentional, given the scene's intent was to parody Farscape.
    • The inversion from the same series, where Ben Browder tries to sound vaguely British when Crichton is masquerading as a Peacekeeper officer, is really no better, either.
    • Of course, considering where Farscape was filmed, most of the regular Peacekeepers were Fake Brits.
  • The Sandbaggers avoided the problem of Fake American by having American characters Jeff Ross and Karen Milner played by American actors.
  • Fringe, set mainly in Massachusetts, stars two Australians and a Canadian in the lead roles.
  • The Wire has several non-US actors including Dominic West (who plays Jimmy McNulty; is from Sheffield, England), Idris Elba (Stringer Bell; London, England) and Aiden Gillen (Tommy Carcetti; Dublin, Ireland) who attempt American accents with varying degrees of success.
  • Speaking of Idris Elba, he played the dry but quite American Dunder-Mifflin executive Charles Miner on the American version of The Office.
  • Every season of Power Rangers from Ninja Storm through RPM, due to a move to New Zealand, has had a number of New Zealanders with Fake Californian accents, including with it a certain amount of slippage (in such a way that, famously, Xander had to be handwaved as a native Aussie in Mystic Force because Richard Brancatisano couldn't hide his accent). The most obviously Fake American is probably Bede Skinner (who plays Jarrod in Jungle Fury). Beginning with Samurai, Americans were cast as the Rangers themselves, but all of the extras are still Kiwi.
    • It's a little bit more complex than that. Most seasons there's a mix of Aussie and Kiwi amongst the cast, and there have been occasional Canadians (Kevin Duhaney as Ethan in Dino Thunder, a big percentage of the SPD cast), British (Samuell Benta as Will and Rhoda Montemayor as Rose in Operation Overdrive) and even a few Americans (Monica May as Z in SPD).
    • James Napier's horrible and incessant accent slipping inspired a drinking game circa Dino Thunder. This is especially noticeable when he has to say anything fast or lengthy (or both). The "Conner was attacked by giant lizard-things" speech in Wave Goodbye sounds downright COCKNEY as the Kiwi and American accents jockey for control.
  • British TV detective series, such as Mystery, Sherlock Holmes, etc., have American characters turn up every so often. You can usually tell when a British actor is doing a Fake American, because he is SPEAKING FIVE DECIBELS LOUDER THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE SCENE. Also, the minor American characters in these shows tend to be pushy and obnoxious, sometimes ludicrously so.
    • In Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, John Cleese, as the Grim Reaper, collects four people from a dinner party. When the American, played by real American Terry Gilliam, objects, Death tells him off: "Shut up, you American! You Americans, all you do is talk, and talk, and say 'let me tell you something' and 'I just wanna say'. Well, you're dead now, so shut up!"
  • Parodied, in Frasier by Daphne only being able to say one word like an American. ("Sure.")
    • Jane Leeves, who plays Daphne, was born in Essex and brought up in Sussex, but puts on a Mancunian (i.e. from Manchester) accent throughout the series. See Fake Brit for more details.
    • A later episode shows that Daphne has gotten "better" at her fake American accent when she holds an entire phone conversation with it. Frasier compares her deep-voiced attempt to the voice of a drag queen.
  • Double Parody: Non-Brit James Marsters playing (British vampire) Spike attempting a bad American accent, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("No, sirr, eye'm a frrend o' Xanderrrs.")
  • An unusual version of this was seen on Thirty Rock where British actress Emily Mortimer played a character who was ultimately revealed to be an American posing as a Brit. Naturally, her character's "fake" British accent was completely flawless and she only did one line with an American accent.
  • Kevin McKidd's perpetually slipping American accent on Journeyman can be grating on the ears.
  • Jewel Staite (Canadian) as Dr. Jennifer Keller in Stargate Atlantis.
      • To Be Fair, Keller is supposed to be from Chippewa Falls, WI -- and a lot of us from the region really do have pretty much the same accent.
    • On the other hand, in Staite's other famous science fiction role as Kaylee Frye on Firefly, the Oklahoma-esque accent she seems to be attempting slips constantly.
    • Also Samantha Carter, played by English-Canadian actress Amanda Tapping.
      • Particularly glaring in one scene where Carter comments on Rodney's and his sister's Canadian pronunciation of "sorry," then immediately says the word with the exact same pronunciation herself.
    • The majority of the Stargate Verse characters are Canadians playing Americans, because a lot of shoots--and almost all outdoor shoots--are done in and around Vancouver.
  • Anna Friel, who is English, pulls off a very convincing American accent as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles in Pushing Daisies.
  • Mark Addy, the 'fat bastard' from The Full Monty, did a fake American accent for four years on Still Standing.
    • The same one he did while playing Fred Flintstone, basically. Of course, in that case, he was supposed to sound like a cartoon...
  • The entire cast of Sy Fy Channel Original Movie Volcano in New York had [badly] put on "Noo Yawk" accents.
  • The Cat in Red Dwarf was supposed to be portrayed as a flashy American type. Danny John-Jules had a decent accent, marked by occasional cat-like yowls, but once in a while, British usage would slip in. e.g., "What I don't understand is why he went through the trouble of having to use his kidney as a full-stop." (A full-stop is a period.)
    • Then again, the Cat's race presumably learned English from documents on board the Dwarf - which seemed to be staffed almost entirely by Brits.
      • One major exception being the Captain, who was an American played by real American Mac MacDonald. (Who has made a career of playing Americans on British TV.)
    • Craig Ferguson, in one of his earliest TV acting roles, played Confidence in "Confidence & Paranoia" who Lister described as sounding like "Bing Baxter, the American quiz show host".
    • In the same series, Robert Llewellyn who plays Kryten. Like the Cat, he is technically not an American (or human) but he speaks with an "American" sounding accent. IIRC, he said he was trying to do a "bad Canadian accent."
  • Alan Dale, a New Zealander, has played several American characters, including a Vice-President of the United States in 24, and the patriarch of the Meade family in Ugly Betty. He seems to be the guy you break out for evil American roles.
    • Not to mention his role as devious patriarch Caleb Nichol in The OC.
  • Nip Tuck stars Julian McMahon (who is from Australia) and Joely Richardson (from England) as Americans. In general, Richardson's American accent is much more accurate than McMahon's (except when she says the word "family").
  • Nikolaj Coster Waldau plays John Amsterdam in New Amsterdam and has a good American accent, despite the fact that both he and (technically) his character are Fake Americans: the character was born in the Netherlands and the actor is Danish. Oh, and John's parter Eva Marquez is played by a Brit, and therefore is also a Fake American.
  • In the Something Completely Different episode of The Prisoner, Patrick McGoohan affects an American accent that even an online transcript points out as unconvincing.
    • Oddly, McGoohan actually was born in America. His character on the 1959-60 Danger Man series, John Drake, was in theory supposed to be an American working for NATO, but he basically sounded like McGoohan.
  • Jane Seymour has played many American characters[2], most notably Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.
    • In fact, as Dr. Quinn, she spoke with an old-world Boston accent -- which is similar to a British accent, at least as far as American accents go.
  • Australian Portia DeRossi as American Veronica in Better Off Ted.
  • The creators of Deadwood were unsure whether Ian McShane could completely pull off an American accent for his role as Al Swearengen. They added English ancestry to his past, something untrue of the real Swearengen, to explain any slips.
    • Paula Malcomson, who plays Trixie is from Northern Ireland but manages very well.
    • Immigrant backgrounds are a good way to cover up any accent problems in the plot and are entirely plausible, historically. Hence Russian Izabella Miko and South African Alice Krige play transient prostitute characters in the third season.
  • Lennie James as Rob Hawkins in Jericho.
  • Evangeline Lilly, a Canadian, plays Kate, who is from Iowa, on Lost. In an early flashback, before we knew much about her backstory, Kate mentioned being from Canada, but she turned out to be lying. Since then, Canada has become a Running Gag, in that every time Canada is mentioned, the character who does so is lying about something.
  • Matthew Rhys (Welsh) and Rachel Griffiths (Australian) put on a very convincing American accent in Brothers and Sisters.
  • On Gossip Girl, Ed Westwick is a Brit who plays American Chuck Bass.
    • Parodied early in the second season, when Chuck fakes the (very bad) English accent of the aristocrat who's romancing Blair (instead of using his own natural accent).
  • Eli Stone is supposed to be an American lawyer, who is played by British actor Jonny Lee Miller, who also faked a Scottish accent in Trainspotting, but that's a different trope altogether.
  • Simon Baker (Australian) and Owain Yeoman (Welsh) in The Mentalist.
  • An old episode of SCTV featured John Candy in a parody of Midnight Cowboy with a bizarre, hooting accent that was evidently supposed to be Southern US. It was intentional though, as the character's brain-meltingly awful accent (where "y'all" came out as a bizarre, howling "yole") was mocked at least once in the sketch.
  • Linus Roache's sort-of New York accent in Law and Order. It has improved since he started...
  • Rufus Sewell seems to be doing an American Standard accent in Eleventh Hour.
  • Yvonne Strahovski (Australian) plays a CIA agent in Chuck. She uses her native accent in one of the episodes when she's posing as an Australian scientist.
  • In an episode of Are You Being Served?, Mrs. Slocombe's American uncle is played by a Brit with a very unconvincing accent.
    • A very unconvincing New York accent. And he is shown wearing a Stetson hat!
  • On Thunderbirds, Gerry Anderson made a conscious effort to make most of the characters American, in order to improve his chances of selling the show internationally. The voice actors who provided the performances were almost all British (the number of actual Americans who provide voices for the Anderson shows can literally be counted on one hand - David Holliday, David Healy, Robert Easton (Stingray) and Ed Bishop), and while the accents themselves are convincing, the dialogue is marked by word usages and slang exclusive to the UK.
    • Have you ever heard a Fake American pull off a Fake Brit?

 Jeff Tracy: [badly pulling off a british accent] "Oh, bang on. Jolly good show."

  • Montreal's William Shatner in Star Trek and Boston Legal.
    • To be fair, speaking like Shatner is an accent unto itself.
  • Spooks has various CIA agents who generally sound half New York City, half Midwestern, and thoroughly Jerkass, as well as an anti-abortion terrorist in the pilot who was apparently supposed to be from the Deep South. The recurring American Christine Dale was portrayed by an authentic American, but even she seems to be exaggerating her accent.
    • It didn't sound exaggerated, just New England Nasal.
    • Long Islander Lisa Eichhorn played the Deep South terrorist. She played a Fake Brit in Yanks.
    • The later series have some dreadful accents (so bad even British people can tell). Most notably Irish-Australian actress, Genevieve O'Reilly as CIA operative, Sarah Caulfield.
  • In Generation Kill, Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgard plays US Marine Brad Colbert. His accent isn't entirely accurate at times, but it lends itself toward Colbert's status as Bravo Company's "Iceman" and Cultured Warrior.
    • Likewise, in True Blood, Skarsgard sports an American accent to play Eric Northman, a vampire who had lived in America for many years. British actor Stephen Moyer and Canadian-New Zealand actress Anna Paquin also both sport southern American accents to play Bill and Sookie, respectively. Though Moyer's had a few instances where his real accent slipped through.
      • Also, Australian actor Ryan Kwanten, who plays Sookie's brother Jason. However, Sam Trammell (who plays -- naturally -- Sam) presumably uses his native accent, being a Louisiana native.
  • In Jonathan Creek, British Anthony Head portrayed Adam Klaus with an American accent. His replacement, Stuart Milligan, actually is American.
    • Oddly, Adam Klaus is himself a Fake American and is really Scottish, and Milligan's American accent convincingly "slips" every once in a while.
  • In the Fawlty Towers episode "Waldorf Salad", the ugly American, Mr. Hamilton, is played by the Canadian actor Bruce Boa, with an audible Canadian accent.
  • In Season 4 of Boston Legal, the English actress Saffron Burrows joined the show as lawyer Lorraine Weller, with a really bad fake American accent. After a few episodes (presumably after the producers realized the tremendous mistake they had made by casting her as an American), they used a hastily concocted plot twist (she was in hiding from her past life as a high-class British madam) that enabled her to revert to her natural speech, and the horrible American accent was never heard again.
  • In the last episode of Season 5 of Numb3rs, James Callis, a Brit, plays cult leader Mason Duryea with a believable Southern drawl.
  • Melanie Lynskey from Two and A Half Men and Drive. On Psych she used her native New Zealand accent.
  • In-show, Angel is a Fake American (using David Boreanaz's own accent) from Ireland.
  • Roswell had the Australian Emilie de Ravin playing Tess. Emilie's accent slipped a couple of times during her first appearance on the show, but was otherwise convincing.
  • In Damages, Rose Byrne (an Aussie) plays Ellen Parsons, a young American lawyer, with a great American accent.
  • Kiwi Lucy Lawless uses a flawless American accent in Xena: Warrior Princess, and it's startling to hear her native, higher-pitched accent in interviews.
    • Some of other regulars, such as Karl Urban (Caesar) and the late Kevin Smith (Ares) also can pull this off well. But there are plenty of other minor villains who...don't.
    • The characters in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena all use American accents; a particularly jarring example is Claudia Black as a minor character in both. For people used to her normal accent (which is already a strange conglomeration of Australian and English anyway), her attempts at speaking with an American accent are even more distressing.
  • So many people from Jeeves and Wooster. Some of them are just talking British with an American accent.
  • In the English TV movie The Last Days Of Lehman Brothers, James Bolam puts on an atrocious "Southern" accent.
  • Benny Hill tried to affect a New York accent in a few sketches playing an Archie Bunker-like character. He didn't even come close.
  • Lampshaded in an SCTV sketch lampooning Midnight Cowboy, in which John Candy affected a "Southern" accent so tortured that "y'all" came out "yole" and the entire effect was weirdly similar to yodeling.
  • Robert Lee, the narrator of Myth Busters and other shows, is a borderline example--he was born in England, but raised in America, and now lives in Australia. He does his voice-over with an American accent, but uses many, many Britishisms, such as "aluminium" or a person being "in hospital," to name just two.
  • British Gabrielle Anwar normally does a pretty darn good job of pretending to be an Irishwoman pretending to be American. Her accent works very well. Only rarely does it slip, usually when overpronouncing arrs she'd normally leave out.
  • Two of the main characters in Moonlight are played by Fake Americans Alex O'Loughlin (Australian) and Sophia Myles (British). In a subversion, Shannyn Sossamon, who is American plays a Fake American character (Coraline was born in pre-revolutionary France). In fact, most of the older vampires can be considered to be Fake American characters, especially the 700-year old Lola (played by O'Loughlin's then-girlfriend Holly Valance, also an Aussie).
    • Josef Kostan, played by the Jason Dohring (American), was originally supposed to be played by Rade Šerbedžija (Croatian) and would've had a thick East-European accent.
  • David Ogden Stiers, from central Illinois, played Bostonian Major Winchester on MASH with a strong Brahmin accent. Roger Ebert, who went to high school with Stiers in Urbana, IL, once commented that he sounded "like that" even back then.
  • The Dresden Files TV series featured Fake American Paul Blackthorne (who was born in Shropshire, England and who grew up on British military bases in Germany and in England) as the very American wizard-private investigator Harry Dresden. The show also starred Fake Brit Terrence Mann (who was born in Ashland, Kentucky and who grew up in Largo, Florida) as ghost-with-a-Teutonic-name-and-a-British-accent Hrothbert of Bainbridge. Bainbridge, by the way, is a real town in North Yorkshire.
  • Paul Blackthorne also plays an American vampire in several episodes of The Gates.
  • Michelle Ryan who played Jaime Sommers in the 2007 TV series Bionic Woman fakes it. But this is also subverted in one episode where Jaime goes undercover at a college as a British student, with Michelle using her own accent. The episode also stretches the subversion to include a sequence where she continues to use the fake/real British accent while communicating with a fellow agent, who wonders why she's continuing to use the accent but admits he finds it sexy.
  • James Callis as Dr. Grant in Eureka. Since Grant is also a time-traveler, he has to affect an American accent from the 1940s. The accent is really terrible, although some of that is attributable to the occasionally narmtastic lines he has to deliver.
  • Battlestar Galactica: Jamie Bamber (a native Londoner) played Lee "Apollo" Adama with an American accent, though his character isn't identified as such since the series is set several hundred thousand years before "Britain," "America," or indeed "the English language" were things. The idea was to make the relationship with Edward James Olmos more believable, in combination with Olmos wearing blue contacts and Bamber dying his blond hair dark.
  • Natascha McElhone, born in London and raised in Brighton, plays Hank Moody's sassy, East Coast American for-all-intents-and-purposes-wife/ex-wife/lost love on Californication.
  • British actors Stephen Dillane, Tom Wilkinson, and Rufus Sewell played Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton in the HBO miniseries John Adams.
  • British actors Andrew Lincoln and Lennie James as, respectively, the southerners Rick and Morgan in The Walking Dead.
    • A borderline example is Laurie Holden as Andrea -- while she was born in the US, she was raised in Canada.
  • Brit Cary Elwes donned an American accent to play Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins (thought ironically, the real Collins was born in Rome, and raised as an army brat in various US towns), while Canadian Dave Foley faked a southern accent to play Apollo 12 moon-walker Al Bean in From the Earth to the Moon
    • Cary Elwes also used a passable southern American accent in Kiss the Girls. Sadly, when his accent changed to a more "standard" American when he was revealed as the villain, he couldn't keep his real British accent from slipping through.
  • The Riches starred the very British Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver as the patriarch and matriarch of a Southern family of con artists. Of the two, Driver does a much better job of it.
  • Band of Brothers is absolutely stuffed with British and other non-American actors, including but not limited to:
    • Damian Lewis (Winters)
    • Shane Taylor (Doc Roe)
    • Peter Youngblood Hills (Shifty Powers) - South African
    • Nicholas Aaron (Popeye Winn)
    • Dexter Fletcher (Sgt. Martin)
    • Robin Laing (Babe Heffron)
    • Rick Warden (Harry Welsh)
    • Matthew Leitch (Tab Talbert)
    • Marc Warren (Blythe)
    • Jamie Bamber (Lt. Foley)
    • Peter O'Meara (Lt. Dike) - Irish
    • Stephen Graham (Mike Ranney)
  • Hawaii Five-O (2010 version): Aussie Alex O'Loughlin as Steve McGarrett.
  • Smallville contains many Canadian actors, as it is filmed in Canada, despite taking place in Kansas and all characters listed here are from Kansas.
    • Erica Durance (Lois Lane)
    • Kristin Laura Kreuk (Lana Lang)
    • Aaron Ashmore (Jimmy Olsen)
    • Laura Vandervoort (Kara)
      • Actually, Kara's from Krypton.
  • Doctor Who has several examples.
    • Companion Peri Brown is played by British Nicola Bryant.
    • In "Dalek", the American characters are played by Kiwi Anna-Louise Plowman, Canadian Nigel Whitney and British Steven Beckingham.
    • "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks" had British Miranda Raison and Ghanaian-born, British-raised Hugh Quarshie as guests of that story.
    • Brits Mark Sheppard and William Morgan Sheppard play Canton Delaware in "The Imposssible Astronaut"/"Day of the Moon". Other guests include Nigerian Chukwudi Iwuji, British Mark Griffin and Canadian Kerry Shale.
    • In "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky", British actor Ryan Sampson plays Luke Rattigan.
    • In The Tomb of the Cybermen, Vienna-born George Roubicek and Welshman Clive Merrison play Captain Hopper and Jim Callum.
  • Kiwi Alan Dale's character Aaron Copley in the Torchwood episode "Reset".
  • Actress Tammin Sursok (of Australia soap opera Home and Away) was cast as Colleen Carlton on American soap opera The Young and The Restless which launched her North American career. She has been in various movies and tv shows since then using an American accent. Most recently, as the blind Jenna on Pretty Little Liars. Although having an Australian accent, the actress was actually born in South Africa (as was her co-star Sasha Pieterse, although unlike Tammin she was brought up in the US).
    • She also played an American super model in the final season of Hannah Montana. For the most part, she managed to sound pretty convincing, but she seemed to have trouble with certain words and sounds and you could tell she wasn't really from the states.
  • British actor Ryan Cartwright adopts an American accent on Alphas.
  • Sullivan Stapleton, an Australian, plays the allegedly American Damien Scott in the Cinemax action show Strike Back.
  • On Dollhouse, Dichen Lachman puts on an American accent when she is Sierra (and for various imprinted identities) and uses her natural Australian accent for Sierra's true identity, Priya Tsestang.
  • Strangely, both Castle and Beckett's actors, Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic, respectively, are Canadians.
  • Jake Weber on American Gothic and Medium does an impeccable American accent. You'd really never think He was from England.
  • Louise Lombard played Sofia Curtis on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and did such a poor job trying to sound American that it turned into a What the Hell Is That Accent? situation.


Music Videos Edit

  • In the music video for Genesis' Jesus He Knows Me, Phil Collins portrays an unscrupulous televangelist, complete with the American dialect. It is also a nod to his guest role as a televangelist in Miami Vice.


Video Games Edit

  • The American soldiers in Hogs of War were voiced (as were all the other character voices) by Rik Mayall and Marc Silk. (However, all the characters in the game are essentially a collection of stereotypes, anyway.)
  • In Fallout 3, US President John Henry Eden is voiced by Malcolm McDowell. He adds a slight folksy twang to his voice, but otherwise does nothing to hide his obviously British accent, even though John Henry Eden is supposed to be from Kentucky. Of course, the fact that he is an AI and supposed to be an amalgamation of all the best, past US presidents, the earliest two dozen or so would have been British citizens or the sons of British citizens could be to blame.
  • In the first couple Rainbow Six games, the operatives, despite coming from countless ethnic/language backgrounds, all have American accents. Although the terrorists in the second game do have foreign accents, and the announcer has a British accent.
  • Terry Bogard in Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters is an American character who speaks english. Unfortunately, his voice actor is clearly a Japanese man who does not even know english, thus resulting in such gems as "C'MAON! Gitseeeryus!" or "Laavwoire!" or "Ahyu okaeey? BUSTAH WURFU!"
  • Pretty much everyone in Heavy Rain is either French or British, with the notable exception of Madison's voice actor. It gets really bad when the children VAs show up.
    • To be fair, John and Scotty are canonically Irish-descended, so they probably picked up their parents' accents instead of the local American one.
    • To be even more fair, only an handful of characters are really Fake American. Most of the side characters are voiced by American voice actors living in France (like David Gasman, Christian Erikson, Leslie Clack, Tercelin Kirtley).
  • The voice actor for Barry Burton in the original Resident Evil, Barry Gjerde, is Danish, his accent only adding to the hilarity or the already poorly written and terribly acted story.
  • Mark Meer (the guy who plays Commander Shepard) is Canadian. He hides it pretty well, most of the time.
    • Though it's hypothetically possible that Shepard is Canadian...
      • At the beginning of Mass Effect 3, he has been staying at a military base in Vancouver for the past few months, so one can assume he is Canadian. Although Anderson is there too, even though he is British by birth.
  • Fox McCloud is this in Star Fox Adventures, but only that game. (Probably due to the game being both made and recorded in the UK.) He sounds fairly neutral most of the time, but makes a couple slip-ups with regards to British vs. American pronounciations. (American "been" rhymes with "when" or "pin," and not "clean", Fox!)
  • In Call of Duty Black Ops, American black ops operative Alex Mason is played by Australian Sam Worthington... whose strong Aussie accent slips through frequently. Though in his defence, when it doesn't slip, it's actually quite convincing.
  • As aggressively American as they otherwise, fully half the members of the Bad Company are played by non-Americans; Haggard's voice actor is Canadian, while Marlowe's is actually Norwegian.


Web Original Edit


Western Animation Edit

  • Anthony LaPaglia also did the voice of a Noo Yawk/Noo Joisey mafia-type skua in Happy Feet; Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman put on Southern accents as Elvis Memphis and Marilyn Monroe Norma Jean.
  • Rattrap in Transformers: Beast Wars has an American accent, but an Australian voice actor (Scott McNeil) who lives in Canada.
  • English actor Phil Hayes originally voiced Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog's Scratch with a New York-style accent. In fact, every major character in the series (except for Sonic) has a Canadian or British actor.
  • Alan Rickman guest stars on an episode of King of the Hill, playing the part of the "king" of the local Renaissance Faire, of course using his own British accent. At the end of the episode he drops that to reveal his "real" voice, which is a terrible attempt at a Texas accent.
  • In the 1990s animated series X-Men, most American characters, such as Cyclops, Jean Grey, or Jubilee are voiced by Canadian actors. Professor X is voiced by an Englishman, and Rogue is voiced by Lenore Zann, an Australian raised in Canada.
  • Jennifer Hale, Canadian by birth, in many of her roles, namely Spider-Man: The Animated Series as Black Cat and Justice League as Zatanna.
    • However, while she was born in Canada, she grew up in the US (Her parents are from Alabama).
  • Tara Strong, who is Canadian by birth, as Batgirl in Gotham Knights.
  • As opposed to his awful accent in Black Hawk Down, Jason Isaacs does a pretty convincing American accent as Admiral Zhao
    • Iroh's Japanese accent was never modified or explained in-series, however. But then again, as much as we love Mako, would we really have wanted to hear him attempt an American accent?
      • Mako's retained native accent is mostly justified, however, since the Fire Nation is basically an expy of imperial Japan.
  • Parodied on The Simpsons episode "Burns' Heir" where Mr. Burns hires fake Americans to play the Simpsons family. They fail to convince Bart. The kicker is they were all voiced by their original VA's. However, Yeardley Smith (Lisa) was originally born in France. Also apparently Burns got Cockney Michael Caine (voiced by Dan Castallaneta) to play Homer! It was a joke on Caine's tendency to take roles for the Money, Dear Boy.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, British actress Teresa Gallagher affects an american accent for her role of Nicole Watterson.
    • Actually, with the exception of the Watterson kids, every character on the show is played by a British actor doing an Amercian accent.


Real Life Edit

  • Most people outside of North America can't tell the difference between American and Canadian accents anyway. Besides, if we were to list every Canadian who's played an American on TV or in film we'd be here forever. Mostly Canadians from Ontario, British Columbia, and the prairies, and Anglophone Quebeckers sound American. Newfies, Maritimers, people from the territories, and (obviously) French Quebecois usually have more distinctive accents, though how apparent the difference is will vary widely among both speakers and listeners.
  • Gillian Anderson, oddly enough. Though she was born in America, she moved to England when she was two and didn't move back until she was eleven, and by then her speech patterns had been set. She had to work to lose it when she went into acting, and if you pay attention to the early episodes of The X-Files it slips through at times. Now that she's moved back to England, she's got the accent back in full-force.
    • She still puts on an American accent when she's interviewed in the U.S.
  • Though not technically the same thing, it is funny how so many British singers who, when they speak, can barely be understood, yet when they sing, it's clear as day.
    • Very much evident in the Pink Floyd song "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" where the boy's choir sings with their normal British accents, while Pink Floyd sing with somewhat Americanized accents.
    • Shirley Manson of Garbage sings with an American accent, even though her normal speaking voice is Scottish-accented.
  • Emily Blunt seems to play this for at least half of her roles.
  • Christian Bale, when playing an American character, will keep the accent during promotion and advertising. To hear his natural (and very prominent) English accent can be quite jarring.
  • Stan Laurel was born in England.
  • Bob Hope was born in England. His father was English and his mother was Welsh.
  • Jerry Springer was born in England.
  • Cary Grant, who was born in the UK and later took American citizenship. His British accent slowly dwindled over the course of his career, but he never quite sounded American. He almost always played one, however.
  • Malin Åkerman, who has portrayed many American roles, was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and raised in Ontario, Canada.
  • Troper with a terrible ear for accents has read Cary Elwes usually does a Midwestern-ish accent when playing American characters, though he did a vaguely Southern sounding one in Twister. Helena Bonham Carter, Nicholas Hoult, and Tim Roth have all done ambiguously American accents.
  • Pro Skater Bob Burnquist is from Brazil He seems to have lost his native accent.

Notes

  1. For those who don't follow British comedy, he also appears with full English accent in the Friends episode "The One with Ross's Wedding" (season 4, episode 23). Laurie's character spends most of his lines berating Rachel during her last-minute flight to London
  2. and became an American citizen in 2005