One good mark of a great actor is that you don’t really know where they come from. British actors often have to work on creating an American accent. This is extremely tough considering that across the nation we have a wide variety of dialects to choose from. It also depends on the film or show the actor is engaged in on how they use that dialect or if they need to adopt something different to make the role believable. It’s not easy trying to be something you’re not, especially if the language barrier is so slight but just enough to be noticed.
Here are some honest to goodness Brits you may or may not have known about.
5. Charlie Hunnam
If you’ve only watched him in Pacific Rim or Sons of Anarchy then it’s understandable if you didn’t know. His accent comes through every now and again but otherwise he could be a good old California native. Let him speak in his own native accent however and you’ll know for certain that Hunnam is a Brit through and through.
4. Andrew Lincoln
It was quite a shock when everyone’s favorite zombie-killing sheriff suddenly opened his mouth off screen and revealed that he was in fact a smooth-talking Brit and not a southern boy like his role. But then if you’ve ever seen seen Lincoln in anything other than The Walking Dead you would have heard his accent already and known ahead of time. He definitely nails the southern role with ease though.
3. Idris Elba
Some people might have thought he was really doing good at faking a British accent in the movies, but all that time he was just talking straight up. That’s one of the greatest things about film is that you really don’t know anything about your favorite actors until you do some actual research. Idris is one of the top actors in the world right now and there are still people that don’t know he’s British. Watch a few of his films, he doesn’t really hold back the accent all that much.
2. Hugh Laurie
Compare his role in House to that of the corporate bigwig in the remake of The Flight of The Phoenix. It’s like night and day when his accent comes to play. In House he could be as American as the next guy and no one would know it. His biting sarcasm and his heartfelt conversations are all delivered in such an easy way that you could imagine that he was born and raised in the US. But once he drops the act you might find it hard to believe that he’s not acting still. His accent is that spot on.
1. Andrew Garfield
British actors are getting better and better at quelling their accent during their roles and it’s really quite impressive. Just think about it, can you consciously talk differently than you’ve always done and make it believable? Listening to Andrew Garfield you might have thought he was born and raised in Queens and had never set foot on British soil.
All it takes is a little research and you’ll know everything about a person that they want you to know. But masking their accent and making others believe that they’re anything but British, these guys are good.