Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicOther - Entertainment · 1 decade ago

Americans: what do you think of Brits putting on American accents on TV / films?

When I watch American TV, especially sitcoms, there are often some American actors playing English parts, and putting on seriously awful English accents.

They're always stereotyped - either cockney (ie working class London) or posh Hugh Grant style accents. And they're rarely believable.

A few good actors can do them - I was surprised at how good Johnny Depp's English accent is - but not many.

What do you Americans think of Brits putting on American accents? How about:

Hugh Laurie in "House"

Anna Friel in "Pushing Up Daisies"

Michelle Ryan in "Bionic Woman"

15 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Well, we think the same over here. I actually could not stop laughing at one Brit detective show that had the "typical loud American character" - you know, all the cliches, loud, on the cell phone at all times, brash...and with the WORST faux American accent I had ever heard. It was so funny! I almost felt bad for the actor. A British person trying to do a southern or "New York" - Bugs Bunny type accent is always very very funny.

    A few actors do a good job, some flatten the accent out too much and sound wooden and phony. Some are just BAD - hey sound like Madonna must sound to you with her new accent. Most are passable at best but we forgive them. Hugh Laurie sounds nasal to me, as if he had a clothes pin on his nose, I don't think he's very good at it. I don't watch the other two shows, sorry.

    People usually mess up unfamiliar accents, even when they think they are doing a decent job of it. Usually Americans are fairly polite about it and don't make a big deal out of it and just watch the show. Often people will compliment actors on their accent to be polite - even though it's awful. That is one thing I find - non Americans always need to set someone straight on pronunciation or some small detail - an American generally will not go out of their way to insist on a correction as we would consider it rude to do so. We just live and let live... and let you go on mispronouncing place names, etc...Actors do the best they can, it isn't an easy thing to do.

    But no, most actors cannot do a decent American accent. Hell, some American actors can't manage a convincing one either.

    Cate Blanchette can do anything, but she's Australian. Australians seem to be better at American accents than Brits for some reason. Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe are very good at American accents for the most part.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hugh Laurie's "american accent" is completely amazing!!..I am an actress..local, some professional theatre, and accents are always a a challenge..there is nothing worse then a BAD accent..I do a really good British and Irish's all about the dialect..I recently saw an Irish play and the actors were all really good..but I had a hard time getting the dialect.(you know, where they're from in the context of the play) was rather draining just trying to listen really carefully to what they were saying( and they were all from New Jersey!!)'s a talent that not everyone need to have a "good ear" for it. Cheerio!...Ellen

  • 1 decade ago

    I think Hugh Laurie, Anna Friel, and Michelle Ryan do an excellent job with their accents. Yes, I have noticed and will admit that Britons rule the acting empire, accents included!

    I still can't forget Ben Kingsley's Arab accent in House of Sand and Fog.

    I think we should give credit to the linguists that coach them too.

    I don't judge a movie, however, by how good the accents are. . I try not to let it annoy me. It's the story these actors are trying to tell that's important.

    In my opinion, Willem DeFoe is not that good with accents, but his acting more than makes up for it. Paul Bettany does a great job with accents.

    Then again, I don't hear the British accent as often as you do.

    Here in America, our speech patterns are so varied among culture, educational and economic status--like many other countries, including yours.

    I adore the British accent, I fall into a trance, ahhhhhhhh.

    I do not like the way some American's talk--they sound very uneducated, and that worries me, it even embarrasses me as an American. That is why I make my son read a lot of books by British authors, and he loves movies made in your country. Not bad for a 13-year-old!

  • Mirza
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Considering how we American mangle the pronounciation of English words, I am rather sure that most British citizens are generally appalled. We like their accent because it sounds sophisticated. So the opposite must be true: we probably sound tremendously UNsophisticated... then combine that with out typical informal behavior and comportment... Well, there is a reason that there used to be in common usage the term: the Ugly American. The only American accent that is tolerable to the British might be the Harvard/high society ilk.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    Hugh Laurie does a great job! He really sounds American!

    Michelle does pretty good herself. I always wondered what Brits faux american accents sounded like, just like our faux

    British accents.

  • cerol3
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Brits do it better in American accents than Americans doing Brit accents. I hope I can be one of the few who can do a believable British accent. I agree with you on Johnny Depp since recently seeing "Sweeny Todd".

  • 1 decade ago

    I do not care if any one changes their accents for movies or TV. This has been going on for a long time. It allows an actor from being pigeon holed as a character actor.

  • In the end its just work for the actors, and they do there best, there is usually a voice coach, but in the end someone decides that it’s an OK attempt, as I say its just a days work

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hugh Laurie's accent is good. Friel's is ok. Ryan's is awful.

    Still, anything's better than a Southern American drawl.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    All a Brit has to do to simulate an American accent is repeatedly bash his head into the nearest wall until he's lost 95% of his mental capacity.

    Source(s): (only joking - I don't actually mind Yanks. Sterling bunch)
Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.