Mastering another accent is never an easy task. Even top satellite TV actors who receive professional coaching make blunders on occasion that can be detected by shrewd audience members. But there are some British actors who play American characters on satellite TV so well that many loyal viewers might have no idea of their national origin! Here are some of the best actors from across the pond:
Hugh Laurie (Gregory House)
When this medical drama first debuted on satellite TV in 2004, Hugh Laurie was a virtual unknown in the United States. Now in its seventh season and still one of the top-rated shows in the country, the Oxford-born actor is one of the most recognizable faces in America. Critics have praised Laurie specifically for how he is able to mimic the accent of an East Coast American while he plays the shows title character, the Vicodin-addicted misanthrope/medical genius Gregory House. According to Jesse Spence, the Australian actor who plays Dr. Robert Chase, his character was originally supposed to be a Brit, but he convinced producers to change it to an Aussie after he had difficulty mastering the accent.
Linus Roache (EADA Michael Cutter)
When Sam Waterstons longtime Law & Order character Jack McCoy was promoted to the role of District Attorney in the 18th season, the shows producers knew that they had big shoes to fill in the role of Executive Assistant District Attorney. They finally settled in British character actor Linus Roache, whose parents William Roache and Anna Cropper were both successful actors in England. Roaches character, Michael Cutter, could be nothing further from British theater royalty, however. He comes from an outer-boroughs, working-class background and attended an unnamed state school and a city law school. He is tactical and aggressive yet committed to justice, and anything but genteel! But Roache is able to nail the part without the slightest hint of his well-heeled background. Most Law & Order fans probably have no idea that he is not from the United States!
Joely Richardson (Julia McNamara)
Like Roache, Richardson comes from a family of British actors. She is the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave and Tony Richardson and the sister of the late Natasha Richardson, and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. But her most famous have her playing Americans, such as her turn as the plastic surgeons wife who gave up med school dreams to become a mother on Nip/Tuck.
Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass)
The 23-year-old actor Ed Westwick first made a splash with American audiences when he began his role as the devious rich kid Chuck Bass on the hit satellite TV show Gossip Girl in 2007. As a child, he had trained at the National Youth Theatre in London, and starred in the British series Doctors. He also had minor roles in movies like Children of Men in 2006. But now he is best known for playing Bass. Only his most obsessive teen stalker-fans probably know about his British origins, because he masters the Upper East Side snobby accent so perfectly!
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