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Use of so many British & Australian actors/actresses? (1 Viewer)

todd s

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Let me start this by saying I have no problem with the using British & Australian actors in tv shows. I just find it funny that so many shows are using actors from Australia in shows. I am not talking big names. But, unknowns. The lead from Fringe and Chuck. Both are unknown actresses from outside the US. I just find it funny that they can't find actors/actresses from the US.

(Awaiting replies asking why I am bigoted towards foreign actors) :D
 

ThomasC

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You've only listed Fringe and Chuck. That isn't "so many." If anyone has a problem with Yvonne Strahovski, they need to be dealt with. ;)

You've got Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, and Hugh Jackman from Australia in the film industry, to say the least. We're just diversifying the talent pool. There's tons of talent out there, so it comes to the point of choosing from the best of the best. Sure, they can find actresses from the U.S. It's not like U.S. television is being dominated by foreign actors.
 

Marty M

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I can guarantee that I have no problem with Yvonne Strahovski. Todd is making an observation that I have made to my wife. There are a few TV shows with foreign born leads that I can think of, off the top of my head - Hugh Laurie in House is from England; on Without A Trace there is Anthony LaPaglia from Australia and Marianne Jean-Baptise from England; on Life Damian Lewis is from England. Again, just making an observation, not a criticism.
 

Jason Seaver

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Hey, you're selling Without a Trace short - Poppy Montgomery is also Australian.
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I think Thomas has basically got it: Hollywood productions will pay for the best and don't much care where they find it. There is a ridiculous amount of money in Hollywood, so if you can speak English and (optionally) do a passable American accent, you might as well try your luck there. If living far from home/the workload/the competition doesn't agree with you, the rest of the world isn't going away, but the rewards for success in Hollywood are global stardom and pretty good money.

It's akin to Japanese players showing up in Major League Baseball - the money in MLB is pretty darn good, not just for the superstars, but I doubt Hideki Okajima would be making anything close to $3M/year as a reliever if he were still with the Yomiyuri Giants.

Hollywood is the big leagues, and it's hardly surprising that people around the world want a piece of the ridiculous amount of money America throws around for its entertainment or that the individual producers will throw it at whoever can help their team the most.
 

Scott-S

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I just found out that the woman who plays Chuck in Pushing Daisies is British.

I think they are forced to use foreign talent because a lot of American actresses are like Lohan etc.
 

Walter C

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I wonder if there are any foreign actors/actresses whose first language is not English, but can speak with an American accent?
 

Hugh Jackes

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I have theorized for a couple of years now that American producers are so concerned that their actors be "pretty" enough (men and women alike), that eventually pretty edged out a lot of talent. So, when the producers need someone who can act, they frequently have to look elsewhere.

Add to the list:
o Kevin McKidd from the late, lamented Rome and Journeyman
o Michelle Ryan from the unmissed Bionic Woman (though her "acting" does not mesh with my theory)
o Jaime Bamber from Battlestar Galactica (I don't count James Callis, who plays Baltar, he has kept his accent)
o Jonathon LaPaglia (Anthony's brother), who starred in 7 Days, and did a guest stint in NCIS last week as an FBI agent
 

KevinGress

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I think that's the crux of it. The funny thing is that while this goes on, the reverse is true as well - Alexis Denisof and James Marsters acting 'English' on Buffy/Angel (while not current, is recent).
 

Kevin Hewell

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Alexander Skarsgård, son of Stellan Skarsgård, and whose first language is Swedish, had a role in Generation Kill as an All-American soldier and plays the role of the oldest vampire Eric in True Blood. He has an excellent American accent.
 

Nick Martin

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Jonny Lee Miller (British) - Eli Stone

Simon Baker (Australian) - The Mentalist

Dominic Purcell (British) - Prison Break

Alex O'Laughlin (Australian) &
Sophia Myles (British) - Moonlight

Linus Roache (British) - Law & Order

Lena Headley (British) - Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

To name a few.
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Joseph DeMartino

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Louise Lombard, CSI, British. (Caught a few minutes of an old movie she was in the other day and was briefly startled by hearing her speak with her own action - same reaction I have to Hugh Laurie when he appears on talk shows, even though I've been a fan of his since his Blackadder days and Jeeves and Wooster. I just see him and expect to hear Greg House. ;))

Regards,

Joe
 

Marianne

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Eddie Izzard (Wayne Malloy) and Minnie Driver (Dahlia Malloy) in "The Riches" are both Brits.
 

Joseph DeMartino

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I generally have a pretty good ear for dialects and voices and am a decent mimic myself, for a non-pro. Lombard's accent has never struck me as "bad". In fact, I don't notice it, which to me is the hallmark of a good accent. Nothing about her delivery on CSI calls attention to itself or screams "non-American" to me. I suppose there might be a word from time to time that stands out, but the same is true when I listen to most actual Americans, since all of us have some regional or local highlights in our accents. Trust me, I've heard plenty of bad American accents from British actors (generally shows shot in the U.K. that have maybe one American character in them. There was a production of Dracula a few years ago that I couldn't watch because I'd start laughing every time the guy playing Quincy Morris opened his mouth.)

Regards,

Joe
 

Jason Seaver

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I wonder why he doesn't use that accent on the show itself.
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I really want to know just where Greg House is from, as his voice doesn't sound like any region I recognize (though in a different way from the "I'm from nowhere" accent Lucy Lawless used on Xena).

Add the star of New Amsterdam (Nikolaj Costas-Warner, or something like that) to the list of non-native speakers who did OK, although I kind of liked it when his Dutch accent slipped in more.
 

Nick Martin

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I can say the exact same thing about myself, and to me Lombard couldn't mask it. Same can be said of Freddie Highmore in "The Spiderwick Chronicles", a film where the young Brit played American twins, and there were certain words he just couldn't say without his accent showing through. The same could not be said of his Irish co-star who played his sister in the film, because I didn't know she was Irish until seeing the making-of extras where her accent was quite strong. Flawless.

Jonny Lee Miller, who plays Eli Stone on um, Eli Stone, I had no idea he used to be Mr. Angelina Jolie and therefore knew nothing about him or his heavy British accent, completely gone for the TV series.
 

Walter C

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And there is the Japanese actor Masi Oka from Heroes. I remember being impressed when he spoke with a perfect American accent, when playing future Hiro.

There are a few others that someone said on another forum, but I'm not sure if their natural accent is American or that of their native country.
 

todd s

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Actually, he was supposed to have a bit of a Dutch accent. Since he was a Dutch settler in NYC who is immortal and came to the NY in the 1600's.
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Well in the American as Brit. Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones. Which I remember being a big stink in the UK about an American being cast as a Brit. Turnabout is fair play. :D
 

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