Best Foreign Accent by a US Actor?

TV Arts

verysorrynocandocom
There are lots of examples of non-US actors nailing the US accent(s).
Which US actor has done the best foreign accent?  (Beyond Julianne
Moore's South Boston accent in 30 Rock :-)

???

PsS
                                            
Patty
I think both Gwyneth Paltrow and Gillian Anderson do very good
British accents--although I'd prefer to have a Brit weigh in on
that.


Patty
                                            
Adam
I wouldn't know if an actor was doing the wrong British accent;
they would.

Did you read Idris Elba commenting on Luther? He had to get into character
to get the accent and speech pattern right, and here I was thinking that
I might be hearing his normal way of speaking.
                                            
ralph
Right -- nobody beats Streep. And she’s about as good as English
accents get in that dreary mess “Plenty.” (It's fortuitous that in the
movie, where at some point she's a what? producer? of a dog food
commercial, she blasts an aid with this: "I've tried for months to
sink to the level of this enterprise." All sins forgiven for that
one.)

After her sloppiness in “Sliding Doors,” Paltrow is very much improved
in “Shakespeare in Love.”

We should include Jennifer Ehle, the daughter of Rosemary Harris.
Though born in North Carolina, Jennifer studied and performed in
London, and hit it big in “Pride and Prejudice” with Colin Firth.

And then there’s that zit on the ass of unappetizing sex Renée
Zellweger. Okay, got to hand it to her for “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”
Pretty convincing.
                                            
ralph
Right -- nobody beats Streep. And she’s about as good as English
accents gets in that dreary mess “Plenty.” (It's fortuitous that in
the movie, where at some point she's a what? producer? of a dog food
commercial, she blasts an aid with this: "I've tried for months to
sink to the level of this enterprise." All sins forgiven for that
line.)

After “Sliding Doors,” Paltrow is very much improved in “Shakespeare
in Love.”

We should include Jennifer Ehle, the daughter of Rosemary Harris.
Though born in North Carolina, Jennifer studied and performed in
London, and hit it big in “Pride and Prejudice” with Colin Firth.

And then there’s that zit on the ass of unappetizing sex Renée
Zellweger. Okay, got to hand it to her for “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”
Pretty convincing accent.
                                            
David
The thing about foreign accents, is that really, only people who have
that accent are fit to judge imitations.
                                            
Hunter
In article <adbdfb9a-81d7-43f0-87ce-
says...
---
I, as an American speaking to any Brits lurking, have heard some 
HORRIBLE American accents on British TV. I can even judge American 
accents that are not of my region. I am a New York Yankee (the region 
not the team although yes I am a Yankee fan) and there are some really 
bad southern accents heard there on British TV as well as Northern ones. 
They seem to think we are all nasally "honkies" almost like "The 
Penguin" on "Batman".

On the other hand Jamie Barber Apollo on "Battlestar Galactica" does an 
EXCELLENT American accent. And of course the better known Hugh Laurie
aka Dr. House of "House", does a excellent yank accent as well.
                                            
Mason
I just have to give a shout-out to Kate Winslet in "Little Children", even
though she doesn't do US television.
                                            
mikeos
How do you find Bob Hoskins when he does American? To me it sounds very 
"generic" like someone doing an accent he's learnt from other non-Americans.
                                            
Professor
It's difficult to get right.  A generation ago, the only Brit I knew of
who could do a good American accent (and he could do several) was Peter
Sellers.  Sebastian Cabot claimed to be able to do one, but his sucked. 
Now there's a slew of younger actors who have nailed it.  Henry Cavill,
the new Superman, is said to be among them.
                                            
Hunter
[email protected] says...
                                            
Sarah
True! If you'd like to hear Jamie Bamber's real accent rent the
excellent "Horatio Hornblower" miniseries produced by A&E television
back in 1999. There you'll see Bamber along with the star of the show,
Ioan Gruffudd, a Welsh actor doing a pretty good "posh" British accent
(as Horatio isn't Welsh!). He's also done American accents, in
"Century City" among other things.
                                            
Patty
Or just tune by "L&O: UK" any weekday on BBC America. He's one of
the stars of the show.


Patty
                                            
Professor
In article



I don't think it matters, though.  All that really matters is whether
the mass audience finds the accent distracting.

For instance, I've heard plenty of American actors do a bad Brooklyn
accent, but I'll bet a bad Brooklyn accent doesn't bother that many
people outside of Brooklyn.  Maybe I'm the only one.
                                            
Sarah
That said, I always thought James Marsters, Spike on Buffy the Vampire
Slayer, did a great English accent. I was floored when I found out he
wasn't English!
                                            
Mason
What she said.  He actually struggled with it a bit in season 1 (if you go
back and watch you can hear some missteps) but really had it nailed by
Season 2.  It was a brilliant combination of English street-tough accent
and the dialogue written for him.
                                            
David
It helped that he had Anthony Head to imitate.
                                            
Sarah
Can people who have particular accents hear that accent in other
people? I was told that they can't - for instance, an Englishman from
Yorkshire can't hear what we'd call a Yorkshire accent in other
Yorkshiremen; to him they'd sound like they had no accent at all.

Is that true? Maybe I've been punk'd...
                                            
Barry
In article 


I think that's the point -- someone with that accent should be able to 
tell if the actor sounds "normal" to them.

However, I don't agree that they're the only ones fit to judge.  I don't 
have a Boston accent, but I've lived here long enough that I've met and 
worked with many people who do, so I can tell whether someone sounds 
authentic.  And I've seen enough movies and TV shows about southerners 
and British people that I can recognize these accents.

What I expect real British people would be better at is identifying all 
the different types of British accents: Cockney, public school, etc.
                                            
David
I can easily believe that you can tell the difference between a good
accent and a bad one.  But it seems to me that it is likely that many
people who can tell the difference between a good accent and a bad one
aren't going to be able to pick up the subtlest errors.  Then again
what do I know.  I can personally only tell the very worst of fake
accents and there's always the temptation to project one's own
weaknesses on others.
                                            
David
I've seen many movies and TV shows with about southerners and British
people as well.  But one thing I know, is that many of those accents
I've heard are fake and I don't necessarily know which ones.  One
thing that continues to amuse me is that Hugh Laurie managed to make
the top 10 in both best and worst accent categories in a poll of
British viewers.  Essentially what this really means is "Hugh Laurie
is really famous in Britain", but the British hear plenty of American
accents on TV and they're still not sure when they're hearing a really
good fake American accent.
                                            
Mason
I grew up in the deep South and I have never, EVER, heard an authentic
Southern accent on tv or in a movie. Andy Griffith might get a "C".

Unfortunately, the accent is disappearing in real life, as well.  It still
exists but in much diluted form.  Another accent I mourn the loss of is
that cultured New York accent you hear in old movies.  And you have to get
pretty far into the woods to hear a good New England accent.

If you want to hear a good Southern accent, find a video of Griffin Bell,
Carter's Attorney General.  Actually, Jimmy himself has a pretty good one.

They get "redneck" right sometimes, but mostly it's generic hick.  Just
another New York-LA misconception about a flyover area.
                                            
Hunter
[email protected] says...
                                            
verysorrynocandocom
Internet says Anderson lived in England for 5 years in childhood.  I
did not know that until about 5 minutes ago.  I haven't seen Bleak
House yet but it is on the list.

I enjoyed Paltrow very much in Young Shakespeare in Love.  Also, I
don't know if I am in the minority or not but I also really liked the
scene at the very end and when the credits are rolling and she is
walking ashore for what looks like half a mile.  The camera just keeps
pulling back and she's just a speck.

That and her down to earth demeanor in Spain, On the Road Again, a PBS
food travelouge made me a fan.


PsS
                                            
mikeos
Yes, when she's on a TV interview over here she reverts quite naturally 
to her British accent.
                                            
Michael
I thought Robert Downey Jr. does a good British accent, both as
Chaplin and Sherlock Holmes.