Hollywood is the newest battle ground for the return of the British, as a growing number of its leading men are now hailing from the UK. But what’s more interesting is their roles require some extensive accent work. It seems the standard lately is British actors taking on American roles, and their accents prove to be so good, most don’t realize they aren’t actually American.
Superheroes like Batman, Superman and Spiderman, who’s characters represent the epitome of the American dream, are roles that have all been snatched up by Brits who fake an American accent. For instance, Christian Bale is more recently known for his role as Bruce Wayne in the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy. Bale speaks with an unwavering American accent, but his true accent stems from his hometown of Pembrokeshire, Wales. Andrew Garfield, who plays the nerdy Peter Parker by day and Spiderman by night, actually grew up in Surrey, UK, and manages to perfectly hides his British accent. Henry Cavill, the latest Superman, is from the Channel Islands in the United Kindgom. But you’ll only hear his flawless American accent in ‘Man of Steel’.
Superhero movies aren’t the only roles who have been taken by the British. TV shows have also been snatched up by British leading men. In Gossip Girl, the CW hit, Ed Westwick plays Manhattan wealthy bad boy Chuck Bass, with no sign of his true British accent. Hugh Laurie is another Englishman who you would never guess was anything but American. His impressive execution of the American accent as the doctor in ‘House’ lasted for eight seasons.
Other great accent work
While these next two actors are not British born, it seems right to give their accent work an honorable mention. The late Heath Ledger, who hails originally from Australia, was frighteningly good hiding his accent in his roles as both an American western cowboy in ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and his Oscar winning role as the Joker in the ‘Dark Knight Rises’. Zellwegger, who is actually from Texas and normally speaks with a sweet twang, is most known for her role as British Bridget Jones in ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’. She does an incredible job at both a British accent, and being the most embarrassing leading lady alive.
While the slogan “the British are coming, the British are coming!” may be an exaggeration of what’s happening in Hollywood, it is impressive how many leading men are now hailing from the UK, and that their accent work is so on point.