Some actors’ greatest talent is their… fake American accent? Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but many actors’ American accent is so good that you’d be surprised to discover they are in fact most certainly not Americans. Here are ten actors who can pass as red-blooded Americans any day (BTW, watching them reveal their real accents in interviews is a real treat):
1. Christian Bale (British)
Academy Award winner Christian Bale is one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, with famous roles such as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho and Batman, the all-American hero, in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. But, as some of us sometimes tend to forget, despite his flawless American accent, Bale is actually very British.
He was born in Wales, UK, and only moved to Los Angeles at the age of 17, to peruse his acting dream. Bales has previously admitted that he enjoys surprising fans with his British accent.
2. Charlize Theron (South African)
The beautiful Charlize Theron was born and raised in South Africa, and was the first South African to receive an Academy Award, which she got for her role as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster.
Growing up on a farm in South Africa, Theron grew up speaking Afrikaans (the country's third mother tongue) and only learned English from watching American TV. That is why her American accent sounds so genuine.
3. Andrew Lincoln (British)
Andrew Lincoln was already an established actor in his native England when he landed the role of Rick Grimes in the hit post-apocalyptic show The Walking Dead.
He immediately started to work on transforming his English accent to a Southern one, and - as any fan of the show knows by now - has done an amazing job perfecting it.
4. Idris Elba (British)
Idris Elba came to international fame when portraying the role of Russel “Stringer” Bell on The Wire, regarded one of the best TV shows of all times. Stringer Bell was a hard-core Baltimore gangster, with a matching Baltimore accent, and American viewers were stunned to realize that Elba is in fact British.
Elba has starred in many more American roles since, and also reverted to his native accent for his lead role on crime show Luther.
5. KJ Apa (New Zealander)
Even though teen-drama Riverdale tells an all-American story of group of high-school friends, the show’s lead star, redhead KJ Apa, was actually born in New Zealand – and sports a lovely Kiwi accent in real life.
In 2020 Apa starred in I still believe, based on the life of Christian-musician Jeremy Camp – where he not only spoke in an American accent but also sang.
6. Hugh Jackman (Australian)
Hugh Jackman is a huge film star who is best known for playing Wolverine in The X-Men film series. But even though he belongs in American super-hero mythology, Jackman is in fact Australian through and through.
According to the book “3000 Facts about Superhero Movies”, when preparing for the role Jackman studied Johnny Depp’s voice, to help him create his own American accent.
7. Chris Hemsworth (Australian)
Interestingly enough, the aforementioned Hugh Jackman is not the only Marvel superhero who’s actually Australian. Chris Hemsworth, who portrays Thor, god of thunder, is also an Aussie - even though you wouldn’t suspect it from watching his films.
Hemsworth, who began his successful Hollywood career in his mid-20s, admitted that suddenly returning to act in his native accent for the movie Ghostbusters (2016) was a very weird experience for him.
8. Isla Fisher (Australian)
Isla Fisher was born in Oman, where her father worked as a banker, and moved to Australia with her parents when she was 6. She began her career on Australian TV, on long-running soap opera Home and Away, and made a successful transition to Hollywood with films like The Wedding Crashers and Now You See Me – with a spot-on American accent.
Fisher is married to British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen - another master-of-accents.
9. Millie Bobby Brown (British)
Millie Bobby Brown was only 9 when she landed her first role, and at age 12 was cast as Eleven in the hit sci-fi show Stranger Things.
Brown, who was born in Spain and grew up in England, revealed that when auditioning for the role she decided to hide her British accent and audition with her fake American instead, in order to increase her chances of getting the role – and it worked. Brown has also shared that she perfected her American accent by watching Miley Cyrus in Hannah Montana.
10. Rosamund Pike (British)
Hit film Gone Girl was full of twists – with one of them being the fact that Rosamund Pike, who plays the mysterious Amy Dunn, is in fact British and not American.
Like many other actors, Pike - whose previous work in the UK included classic British titles such as Pride and Prejudice - worked with a dialect coach to achieve the desired result. The hard work paid off and her role was met with critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination.