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British accents

Old 10-11-2019, 10:41 AM
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Default British accents

Why are there so many British actors that can, and frequently, do American English accents (and brilliantly I might add), while American actors hardly ever successfully do the opposite? When I found out McNulty from "The Wire" was not 'Merican, it kinda blew my mind. I recently watched Don Cheadle from Oceans 13 and was very impressed. But the ratio seems to be grossly unproportional.

Is there an obvious answer and I'm just a bloody idiot?
Old 10-11-2019, 10:46 AM
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What sorta bugs me is so many of the experts on TV and Radio (even on American issues) seem to have the accent. I think they believe it either grabs attention or adds an air of greater authority or superiority? Haven't noticed on movies but I do watch a lot of Netflix British shows. Interesting to me is how varied the accent across the UK. Many places are very American and others are almost not understandable.
Old 10-11-2019, 10:48 AM
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Agree. Hugh Laurey, from "House" is another good example.
I think if you're already used to hearing an Americans actors voice, it seems "fake" when they do a role with an English accent. I also think some of the older American actors from say the 50's were more talented with accents.
Old 10-11-2019, 10:52 AM
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I totally agree. And because you noticed it, just like I have, it probably translates to exactly what you said to the general populace. Are you smarter because you speak like a bloody brit? I'm kidding of course, but it really does intrigue me.
Old 10-11-2019, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by catch232 View Post
Agree. Hugh Laurey, from "House" is another good example.
I think if you're already used to hearing an Americans actors voice, it seems "fake" when they do a role with an English accent. I also think some of the older American actors from say the 50's were more talented with accents.
That's another great example. It floored me when I heard an interview with that guy. And what a legit genius he is...
I cannot comment on actors from the 50's but it would surprise me that "we" have gotten worse at British accents.
Old 10-11-2019, 11:08 AM
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I'm going to speculate that Hollywood is the answer. British actors may be more likely to practice an American accent to land more roles in Hollywood. Americans may be less likely to practice British accents as they are less likely to land a role requiring a British accent
Old 10-11-2019, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by catch232 View Post
I think if you're already used to hearing an Americans actors voice, it seems "fake" when they do a role with an English accent.
I hate to diarrhea on a thread but I missed this and will give contemplation because it sounds very plausible.
Old 10-11-2019, 11:17 AM
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It seems like about half of the original cast of 'The Walking Dead' was either British or Australian.....
Old 10-11-2019, 11:18 AM
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May be easier to squelch a British accent than to acquire one when acting

Same with the Aussies which is yet a further iteration of the dialect
Old 10-11-2019, 11:22 AM
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You might ask the same about Australians doing US roles.

Christian Bale
Russell Crowe
Hugh Jackman
Hemsworth brothers
Hugo Weaving
Mel Gibson
Margot Robbie mmm


Oh sorry, where was I?

Nicole Kidman
Cate Blanchett
Rose Byrne ...
Old 10-11-2019, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by loverofshells View Post
May be easier to squelch a British accent than to acquire one when acting

Same with the Aussies which is yet a further iteration of the dialect
How can squelching a British accent be a thing when we revolted to become who we are? It would seem the British accent would have been primary, then our dialect developed afterwards. But I'm not a linguist so... Any info appreciated
Old 10-11-2019, 11:31 AM
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Here you go


All kidding aside, I think Christoph Waltz is brilliant.
Old 10-11-2019, 11:37 AM
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There are a lot more tv shows and movies that get shown in Brit media than vice versa so Brits are exposed to American accents more often than vice versa, I’m thinking.
Old 10-11-2019, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by stimpson.j.cat View Post
You might ask the same about Australians doing US roles.

Christian Bale
Russell Crowe
Hugh Jackman
Hemsworth brothers
Hugo Weaving
Mel Gibson
Margot Robbie mmm


Oh sorry, where was I?

Nicole Kidman
Cate Blanchett
Rose Byrne ...
Mel Gibson wasn’t Australian. He’s American. He just happened to land his first big role in an Australian film.
Old 10-11-2019, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by stokes_landing View Post
How can squelching a British accent be a thing when we revolted to become who we are? It would seem the British accent would have been primary, then our dialect developed afterwards. But I'm not a linguist so... Any info appreciated
In general our blended American dialect was formed over many years with many different countries influences - it is always evolving

We also within our country have many regional dialects as well - Similar to the Brits with various accents & usage depending their region of origin

The Brits have a similar disparaging attitude towards people from what they consider to be less desirable regions whether it be low on the totem pole of class or towns etc
Old 10-11-2019, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by stimpson.j.cat View Post
You might ask the same about Australians doing US roles.

Christian Bale
Russell Crowe
Hugh Jackman
Hemsworth brothers
Hugo Weaving
Mel Gibson
Margot Robbie mmm


Oh sorry, where was I?

Nicole Kidman
Cate Blanchett
Rose Byrne ...
Nicole Kidman is American she was born in Hawaii.
Christian Bale is Welch, born in Wales.
Old 10-11-2019, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Belzelbub View Post
Mel Gibson wasn’t Australian. He’s American. He just happened to land his first big role in an Australian film.
He lived in Australia from the age of 12 & his mom was Irish
Old 10-11-2019, 11:45 AM
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Dont get me started on bad southern accents
Old 10-11-2019, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Reel 007 View Post
Nicole Kidman is American she was born in Hawaii.
Christian Bale is Welch, born in Wales.
Nicole Kidman's parents were both Australian & they moved back to Australia when she was 4 after living in Hawaii
Old 10-11-2019, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by loverofshells View Post
In general our blended American dialect was formed over many years with many different countries influences - it is always evolving

We also within our country have many regional dialects as well - Similar to the Brits with various accents & usage depending their region of origin

The Brits have a similar disparaging attitude towards people from what they consider to be less desirable regions whether it be low on the totem pole of class or towns etc
I can relate to this on a dialect equivalent from living in Costa Rica. There are several different dialects relating to each province. I couldn't understand the Spanish from Saprissa but another province was easy. Mas despacio was my favorite phrase.

Language is fascinating.

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