Categories Poll Print Media

British Actors With the Best American Accents – Feb 25, 2021

Hall of Fame

by Vince Mancini | Uproxx | February 25, 2021

Mastering an American accent has become a rite of passage for British and Australian actors, and assorted other former British colonies. It’s an interesting phenomenon: in America we send most of our young actors through the teenybopper homogenizing machine, which spits out enough semi-interchangeable over-coiffed influencers every year to fill Disney Channel sitcoms and country music contracts. The downside of which is that casting directors looking for someone “authentic” looking frequently land on actors born and raised thousands of miles away. Half of our superheroes are English and Australian.

This, in turn, has led to a class of actors so good at American accents that hearing their natural ones in interviews is downright shocking. This past month alone has seen the release of Judas And The Black Messiah, starring British actor Daniel Kaluuya as American revolutionary Fred Hampton, and now Cherry, starring Brit Tom Holland as an Ohioan with an opiate addiction (actually Holland’s second turn as an Ohioan after Devil All The Time). Kaluuya looks like a lock for a Best Actor nomination, but both are quickly proving themselves masters of the American accent, and American regional accents.

Continue reading British Actors With the Best American Accents – Feb 25, 2021

Categories Billions Interviews Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Print Media

Damian Lewis: Financial Times Interview – April 5, 2019

The ‘Billions’ star on schooldays with David Cameron, playing conflicted characters — and rumours of 007

by Janan Ganesh | Financial Times | April 5, 2019

“What am I?” demands Damian Lewis, in the Yonkers vowels of Bobby Axelrod, the hedge fund manager he plays in Billions. “Chopped liver?” We have not fallen out. It is the presence of the item on the menu that sets up his riff on the Americanism.

The actor you also know as a Renaissance king (Wolf Hall) and an al-Qaeda convert (Homeland) is seated under a wall-mounted ram’s head in Fischer’s, a portal into antiquated Mitteleuropa on London’s Marylebone High Street, where it all but heckles the modernities around it. From a room that suggests an Orient Express dining carriage, Lewis looks out on to a Diptyque, an Aesop and a Bang & Olufsen as I ask him why British actors do so well in America. “It’s luck, it’s innate, it’s a bit of hard work,” he guesses. “It’s nothing to do with being classically trained.”

He admires Christian Bale (“There’s something quite extreme innately in him”) and vies with Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba in the bookies’ guesswork as to the next James Bond. Politely, he smiles through my thesis that Brits grow up hearing more accents than almost any other nation, honing an ear for them that amounts to a thespian advantage. If he is not quite sold, he is at least open to the idea of performance as a national trait. “Is there a clown in the British character that there isn’t in America? I think there is. There’s a clown in us somewhere.”

Continue reading Damian Lewis: Financial Times Interview – April 5, 2019