British and Irish actors American accents

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  1. Shinkicker profile image94
    Shinkickerposted 3 years ago

    I often wonder what Americans think when they hear British and Irish actors and actresses speaking in American accents.

    Do they sound genuine or fake? AND who is the best and worst at carrying off the US accent.

    Here's a list of some of the most prominent I can think of at the moment, maybe you have other favourites

    Hugh Laurie (House), English

    Anthony Hopkins, (e,g Silence of the Lambs) Welsh

    Ewan McGregor, (e,g Black Hawk Down) Scottish

    Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk about Kevin), Scottish

    Albert Finney (e.g Ellen Brokovich), English

    Colin Farrell, (e,g Miami Vice) Irish

    Liam Neeson,(e,g, Taken) Irish

    Brian Cox (e.g. X Men II) Scottish

    Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex) , Welsh

    Emma Thompson, (e.g Primary Colors) English/Scottish

    Gerard Butler, (e.g The Bounty Hunter), Scottish

    Kevin McKidd , (Greys Anatomy), Scottish

    1. Sed-me profile image82
      Sed-meposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      What a great topic. Yes, Hugh Laurie and all those mentioned are fantastic. The funny thing is... when you have an American doing and Irish or British accent, there is one thing I've always noticed. Even though they work with dialect coaches and speak impeccably, there is one very common giveaway... and that is that they think about the way they sound. In other words, when someone with a natural Irish accent speaks, their words flow. There is no thought to pronunciation b/c they are focusing on the msg they are trying to convey... but when an American speaks with the accent, they are aware of their own voice. It is less fluid and natural no matter how well they do.

      I have heard the most difficult accent by far is the Bostonian accent and very few natives appreciate the attempts that are made, as they feel most actors fall short, even with a coach.

      1. Shinkicker profile image94
        Shinkickerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Interesting view of the opposite and insightful analysis. I must admit that Brad Pitt's Irish accent in 'Snatch' sounded really genuine. But then I'm not Irish :-)

        The best accents from Americans I can remember were all the 'Spinal Tap' actors back in the 80's. I couldn't believe it when I heard they were actually from the USA. Superb regional English I thought.

  2. Writer Fox profile image45
    Writer Foxposted 3 years ago

    Vivien Leigh, 'Gone With the Wind', English.

    1. Shinkicker profile image94
      Shinkickerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      A classic example from vintage Hollywood


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