Starring in The Walking Dead as Rick Grimes, a sheriff from a small Georgia town, Andrew Lincoln is actually an Englishman, born in London and raised in Bath, England. Maybe you've forgotten his accent in "Love Actually" although to be fair, he didn't speak in his most famous scene in that movie, he just held cue cards.
Natalie Portman is one of the most accomplished actresses in Hollywood today. She's won major awards, she's starred in huge blockbusters like Thor and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. She was also born in Israel and holds Israeli citizenship.
Daniel Day-Lewis is universally hailed as one of the greatest actors of all time. He's played an Irishman accused of terrorism, a gang leader in New York, the 16th President of The United States, an American oil tycoon, a Mohican warrior... the only character he seems to almost never play is an Englishman, which is what he is by birth!
He might have played a revolutionary in The Patriot and the most iconic of American villains, The Joker, in The Dark Knight, but Heath Ledger was actually Australian, just like his Patriot co-star, Mel Gibson. Ledger grew up in the suburbs outside Perth and moved to Sydney when he graduated high school to start his career.
The ravishing Mila Kunis got her start starring in the all-American sitcom That 70's Show, but Ms. Kunis is in fact, Ukrainian by birth. Soviet, in fact, as she was born in 1983 in Chernivtsi, USSR, of which the Ukraine was still part in 1983. She moved with her family to Los Angeles in 1991 and the rest is history.
He's played an America soldier in World War II, an American terrorist, and an American financial genius, but Damian Lewis is actually British. It sure seems like he's played more Yanks than Brits, but he was born and raised London. His grandfather was even Lord Mayor of London in the 1930s.
Jordana Brewster, the Yale-educated star of The Fast And The Furious, playing the sister of proud American Dominic Toretto, was born in Panama City, Panama and raised in Europe and Brazil as well as New York City.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's first major role was an American Medal of Honor-winning soldier in "Black Hawk Down," and now he is most famous as a Lannister from Lannisport, Westeros, on Game Of Thrones. And while he might have played an American soldier, Coster-Waldau is Danish. He was born in Rudkøbing, Denmark and raised in small town called Tybjerg.
The award-winning actress best known for her character "Rose" on "Two And A Half Men," Melanie Lynskey has also had all-American roles in movies like Flags Of Our Fathers, though she is actually a Kiwi. She was born and raised in New Zealand, getting her start in the award-winning New Zealand film "Heavenly Creatures," directed by fellow Kiwi, Peter Jackson.
It's hard to believe, but Charlize Theron is actually South African, born in a small city called Benoni, in the Gauteng province of South Africa. In fact, her first language is Afrikaans. She had a pretty rough upbringing in South Africa though. When she was just 15, her mother shot and killed her alcoholic father when he tried to beat Theron's mother.
House was one of the most successful shows of the first decade of the 21st century and that was due mostly in large part to Hugh Laurie. Laurie played the mercurial, know-it-all, egotistical Dr. Gregory House. Longtime fans of the show that don't already know will be surely be shocked to find out that Laurie is English. It only makes his performance as House all the more impressive.
It's hard to pin down just what nationality Keanu Reeves would consider himself to be, but American is likely only a small part of it. Reeves was born Beirut, Lebanon in 1964, to an English mother and an American father from Hawaii. His parents divorced when he was very young, and his mother went on to have 4 different husbands, in a number of cities around the world, while Reeves was growing up. Most of his childhood was spent in Toronto.
Charlie Hunnam may have played an all-American biker in an FX drama series, but he himself is actually an Englishman from Newcastle. While his breakout role as Jax Teller in Sons of Anarchy is American, most of his roles have been English in movies like Green Street Hooligans and Nicholas Nickleby.
Anna Paquin has played a superhero in the X-Men movies, an American poet in "Bury Me At Wounded Knee," a polish social worker in "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler," a southern part-faerie beauty in True Blood, and was the 2nd youngest Oscar winner at age 11 for her role in "The Piano," which was the only one of those movies to be set in her home country, New Zealand. Paquin was born in Canada but raised in Wellington, NZ.
Salma Hayak has been a star in the United States since her American debut in Desperado. But she was already a star in the making in her native Mexico, where she starred in two very successful movies before breaking out in Hollywood.
That's right, all-American teenager Peter Parker was played by a bloke from Surrey, England! Andrew Garfield made his name playing the icon American superhero, Spider-man and the role for which he has received the most critical acclaim was of American war hero Desmond Doss in "Hacksaw Ridge."
Okay, okay, Dave Matthews is technically a musician but he has down a bit of acting. He starred as a patient on House and he's been in a handful of movies over the years. And he's not American, even though he got his start at the University of Virginia, he was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He moved around, to England, then New York as a child but eventually his family ended up back in Johannesburg for his high school years. He finally left South Africa for good when he graduated and faced the prospect of conscription in the South African Army.
Rose McGowan may have an Irish name and may look Irish with her ginger trusses, but she was actually born in Italy and spent the first ten years of her life there and elsewhere across Europe. Her parents were members of a cult called The Children Of God and her father was in charge of the Italian chapter.
Gillian Anderson is all mixed up. Though she was technically born in Chicago, she lived in Puerto Rico for a while and then moved to London for 10 years when she just a young girl. Her family moved back to the States when she was a teen, but somehow she retained her English accent, which she speaks with while she is in England. When in America, she speaks with an American accent. It's really pretty weird.
Margot Robbie is a bad girl in her two most famous roles, one as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, the other as the naughty lover (with a Brooklyn accent no less) to Leo's character in The Wolf Of Wall Street. But really, she's just a nice girl from the town of Dalby, Queensland, Australia.
Famke Janssen is most famous for playing Jean Grey in the X-Men franchise. The character Jean Grey is from upsate New York. Famke Janssen is from The Netherlands. You'd never know by watching her in those movies that English is not her first language.
The man that plays the toughest cop in the toughest city in the future, Judge Dredd may be patrolling the futuristic super city of Mega-City One and who plays Bones McCoy in the rebooted Star Trek flicks is really a Kiwi, born and raised in Wellington, New Zealand. He also had blonde hair when he starred in Xena: Warrior Princess
The tough and beautiful CIA agent on the NBC show "Chuck?" She's Australian. Her name, of course, is Yvonne Strahovski. She's also played Americans on "Dexter," and in the movies "Manhattan Night" and "The Astronauts Wives Club." But before all that, she grew up in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, the daughter of Polish immigrants.
Michael Fassbender has played an American soldier on TV, he's played Steve Jobs in the movies, and he's probably most famous as Magneto in the X-Men franchise. But despite playing all those Americans, he is actually an Irishman who was born in Germany.
Naomi Watts struggled for years as an actress in both Hollywood and in her home country, Australia. She finally broke into the A-list with her role in "Mulholland Drive." Watts was born in England and moved to Sydney as a teenager.
Okay, we know, Richard E. Grant often plays an Englishmen, how could he be confused. But, the Gosford Park actor is not really English either. Grant was born and raised in Swaziland, where he holds dual citizenship (along with UK citizenship).
Isla Fisher is a chameleon as an actress, especially when it comes to accents and voice work. Maybe that is because she is what one might call a citizen of the world. She was born in Oman, lived in Scotland as small child, and finally spent most of her youth in Australia.
One of the great bad guys in movies and one of the stars of The Good Wife, Alan Cumming has been nominated for all kinds of awards in his career. He plays Americans, Germans, Russians, Englishmen and just about everything else it seems. But he is actually Scottish by birth.
Malin Åkerman is a fantastic actress that has starred in a whole slew of hits from The Heartbreak Kid to Watchmen. Many are surprised to learn that she was born in Sweden and moved to Canada as a young child. After her parents divorced, she split time between Canada with her mother and Sweden with her father.
The biggest star on the biggest show around, Tyrion Lannister of House Lannister on Game Of Thrones, a series full of non-Americans. Many people are surprised to learn that Dinklage is, in fact... American! Wait, what? This was a list of people that play Americans so what gives? Well, we thought it would fun to point out that on a show that is almost all U.K., and even though Tyrion has an English accent, Dinklage was born and raised in New Jersey.
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