The other day I sat down to watch TV for the first time in ages. I was flicking through some dramas available on series view and as I looked at clips and casts I noticed a trend that seems to be growing more and more lately….. Brits playing Americans in big US shows.
Now then, Britain is only a little island compared to the vastness and population of the States. Surely they can’t be running out of population to play roles in their own twang? Well I did some looking into why and found that the answer is simple, it’s cheaper labour. Why pay the high demands of a well known American actor when a Brit or Aussie etc can be paid at a much cheaper rate and all they have to do is use their skills to practice an accent. What is great is that many are going down a storm, Robert Pattinson (pic) comes to mind.
Most are already famous on their own side of the pond before making the transition, like for instance Hugh Laurie (House), very very well known alongside Stephen Fry and Blackadder on British screens. Jason Statham has come a long way from Lock stock and Two Smoking Barrells too hasn’t he? Others like Tim Roth started over the pond and Tarantino has him using both his English and American accents. Mr Orange in Reservoir Dogs and the opening scene of Pulp Fiction as the Cafe Robber he has his London accent.
Which is the biggest change for me? Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) her real accent is mine, ee bye gum!
Thats not to say that Americans haven’t tried their hand at a leading English role. Some great, some forgettable, some erm.. well.. chim chim-en-ey 😉
I have put together a montage below to show just a ‘few’ examples going either way. Sorry Mr Costner I didn’t include you as we can’t decide if you tried.
(Clips from youtube)