History Main / PlaysGreatEthnics

26th Jun '16 7:58:12 PM sayaleviathan
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* Keisha Castle-Hughes is a New Zealander with Polynesian roots and her roles are usually American, Australian, European, [[Film/TheNativityStory Hebrew]] and [[Series/GameOfThrones Dornish]].


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* Israeli actress Creator/GalGadot usually played as a European, American and recently, a Greek Amazonian BadassPrincess [[Comicbook/WonderWoman superheroine]].


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* Creator/JasonMomoa has Polynesian ancestry and has played several mixed raced characters. His latest roles are [[Series/GameOfThrones the Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo]] and the King of Atlantis Comicbook/{{Aquaman}} who is blonde and Caucasian in the comics.


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* Creator/IndiraVarma is half-Indian, half-Swiss with Italian ancestry and usually played characters who are in the Mediterranean area.
18th Jun '16 8:02:04 PM Teysa
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* Nepalese-Ukrainian actress Amrita Acharia, who played the Dothraki handmaiden Irri on ''Series/GameOfThrones'' for two seasons, describes herself on her Twitter page as "ambiguously foreign".
* Creator/JoaquimdeAlmeida is Portuguese, but has also played Mexicans, [[Film/TheCountOfMonteCristo Frenchmen]], [[Film/OnlyYou Italians]], Englishmen and Brazilians. Given that Portugal and Brazil speak the same language, he did a much better accent in [[Franchise/TheFastAndTheFurious Fast Five]] than Creator/ElsaPataky, a Spaniard of Romanian ancestry.



* Indian-born American actor Creator/ErickAvari has made a career out of this: he's played British characters, Arab characters (even an ''alien'' arab in the original ''Film/{{Stargate}}'' movie and the [[Series/StargateSG1 follow-up TV show]]), Egyptians, Russians, Spaniards, and so on. He's even occasionally played the odd American here or there. TheOtherWiki, in point of fact, says that he's "portrayed representatives of more than 24 different nationalities".

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* Indian-born American actor Creator/ErickAvari has made a career out of this: he's played British characters, Arab characters (even an ''alien'' arab Arab in the original ''Film/{{Stargate}}'' movie and the [[Series/StargateSG1 follow-up TV show]]), Egyptians, Russians, Spaniards, and so on. He's even occasionally played the odd American here or there. TheOtherWiki, in point of fact, says that he's "portrayed representatives of more than 24 different nationalities".nationalities".
* Justin Baldoni is an Italian Jew who mostly plays Arabs and [[LatinLover Latin Lovers]] (most notably Rafael Solano on Series/JaneTheVirgin).



* Creator/CharlesBronson was often cast as Native Americans in various Westerns (''Apache'', ''Run of the Arrow'') before becoming a star. His StarMakingRole, of course, came playing the Mexican-Irish Bernardo O'Reilly in ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven''.
** Also applies to Bronson's costar, Eli Wallach. His film debut was ''Film/BabyDoll'' playing a Sicilian gangster; he played a Mexican bandit in not only ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven'' but ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly''; an Asian warlord in ''Literature/LordJim''; another Italian-American crime boss in ''Film/TheGodfatherPartIII''. Wallach seemed to play every ethnicity except his actual Jewish-American background.



* Chinese-American actress Melissa Marsala is perhaps best known for her recurring role as a Puerto Rican on Series/SixFeetUnder. In addition to countless [[SpicyLatina Spicy Latinas]], she also played Toby's Greek-American personal assistant on Series/TheWestWing, the sister of a Mafia goon on Series/TheSopranos, and a black woman pretending to be white on {{Series/Angel}}. (She would rather you not mention her [[IWasYoungAndNeededTheMoney sordid past]] as a [[Series/VanPires crime-fighting vampire robot]].)
* Canadian actress Creator/TatianaMaslany has Ukrainian, Polish, German, Austrian, and Romanian ancestry, amongst others. Amongst the nationalities she's played include American, English, German, Ukrainian, and Finnish. In ''[[Series/OrphanBlack a single series]]''. [[spoiler:The fact that all of her characters are clones helps explain their similar appearances somewhat]], but Maslany could credibly pass for any of these nationalities, which also helps make it more believable.



* Italian-British actor Carlo Rota made a career out of playing Hispanics, and even played a Lebanese Muslim in ''Series/LittleMosqueOnThePrairie''.



* Woody Strode, African-American football player-turned-actor, was cast as Native Americans or other ethnicities in a curious number of films, perhaps most egregiously playing a Mongol warlord in Creator/JohnFord's ''Seven Women''. Admittedly, Strode was part-Cherokee so the former's somewhat justified.



* Creator/JoaquimdeAlmeida is Portuguese, but has also played [[Film/Desperado Mexicans]], [[Film/TheCountOfMonteCristo Frenchmen]], [[Film/OnlyYou Italians]], Englishmen and Brazilians. Given that Portugal and Brazil speak the same language, he did a much better accent in [[Franchise/TheFastAndTheFurious Fast Five]] than Creator/Elsa Pataky, a Spaniard of Romanian ancestry.
* Creator/CharlesBronson was often cast as Native Americans in various Westerns (''Apache'', ''Run of the Arrow'') before becoming a star. His StarMakingRole, of course, came playing the Mexican-Irish Bernardo O'Reilly in ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven''.
* Also applies to Bronson's costar, Eli Wallach. His film debut was ''Film/BabyDoll'' playing a Sicilian gangster; he played a Mexican bandit in not only ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven'' but ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly''; an Asian warlord in ''Literature/LordJim''; another Italian-American crime boss in ''Film/TheGodfatherPartIII''. Wallach seemed to play every ethnicity except his actual Jewish-American background.
* Woody Strode, African-American football player-turned-actor, was cast as Native Americans or other ethnicities in a curious number of films, perhaps most egregiously playing a Mongol warlord in Creator/JohnFord's ''Seven Women''. Admittedly, Strode was part-Cherokee so the former's somewhat justified.
* Nepalese-Ukrainian actress Amrita Acharia, who played the Dothraki handmaiden Irri on ''Series/GameOfThrones'' for two seasons, describes herself on her Twitter page as "ambiguously foreign".
* Canadian actress Creator/TatianaMaslany has Ukrainian, Polish, German, Austrian, and Romanian ancestry, amongst others. Amongst the nationalities she's played include American, English, German, Ukrainian, and what appears to be an as-yet-unspecified Nordic country. In ''[[Series/OrphanBlack a single series]]''. [[spoiler:The fact that all of her characters are clones helps explain their similar appearances somewhat]], but Maslany could credibly pass for any of these nationalities, which also helps make it more believable.
22nd May '16 1:25:33 PM lakingsif
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* Subverted by Rashida Jones. She is the daughter of the Black musician Quincy Jones and the Ashkenazi Jewish actress Peggy Lipton and looks like she could play any kind of ethnicity except East Asian. However, her most famous roles (Karen Filippelli in ''Series/{{The Office|US}}'' and Ann Perkins in ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'') have simply been AmbiguouslyBrown blends ethnically and emphatically American nationally.

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* Subverted by Rashida Jones.Creator/RashidaJones. She is the daughter of the Black musician Quincy Jones and the Ashkenazi Jewish actress Peggy Lipton and looks like she could play any kind of ethnicity except East Asian. However, her most famous roles (Karen Filippelli in ''Series/{{The Office|US}}'' and Ann Perkins in ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'') have simply been AmbiguouslyBrown blends ethnically and emphatically American nationally.
22nd Apr '16 3:07:35 AM TheOneWhoTropes
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Often these actors were originally successful abroad before they were discovered by Hollywood. Might result in ClassicallyTrainedExtra. Some have achieved HeyItsThatGuy status. May be played with by having the character himself be

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Often these actors were originally successful abroad before they were discovered by Hollywood. Might result in ClassicallyTrainedExtra. Some have achieved HeyItsThatGuy status. May be played with by having the character himself be



* Creator/TonyShalhoub was born in Wisconsin but has a Lebanese background. Hollywood doesn't need too many Lebanese characters so why not branch out to Italian characters when you have the looks? Often, his characters' ethnic backgrounds are intentionally vague - but definitely somewhat foreign ([[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in ''Film/GalaxyQuest''). [[Series/{{Monk}} Adrian Monk]] is of Welsh ancestry, in case you wondered. For a more complete breakdown of Shalhoub's roles see HeyItsThatGuy.

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* Creator/TonyShalhoub was born in Wisconsin but has a Lebanese background. Hollywood doesn't need too many Lebanese characters so why not branch out to Italian characters when you have the looks? Often, his characters' ethnic backgrounds are intentionally vague - but definitely somewhat foreign ([[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in ''Film/GalaxyQuest''). [[Series/{{Monk}} Adrian Monk]] is of Welsh ancestry, in case you wondered. For a more complete breakdown of Shalhoub's roles see HeyItsThatGuy.
14th Apr '16 11:34:55 PM CassandraLeo
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* Canadian actress Creator/TatianaMaslany has Ukrainian, Polish, German, Austrian, and Romanian ancestry, amongst others. Amongst the nationalities she's played include American, English, German, Ukrainian, and what appears to be an as-yet-unspecified Nordic country. In ''[[Series/OrphanBlack a single series]]''. [[spoiler:The fact that all of her characters are clones helps explain their similar appearances somewhat]], but Maslany could credibly pass for any of these nationalities, which also helps make it more believable.
25th Mar '16 1:29:11 PM Prfnoff
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* Also applies to Bronson's costar, Eli Wallach. His film debut was ''Baby Doll'' playing a Sicilian gangster; he played a Mexican bandit in not only ''Magnificent Seven'' but ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly''; an Asian warlord in ''Literature/LordJim''; another Italian-American crime boss in ''Film/TheGodfatherPartIII''. Wallach seemed to play every ethnicity except his actual Jewish-American background.

to:

* Also applies to Bronson's costar, Eli Wallach. His film debut was ''Baby Doll'' ''Film/BabyDoll'' playing a Sicilian gangster; he played a Mexican bandit in not only ''Magnificent Seven'' ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven'' but ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly''; an Asian warlord in ''Literature/LordJim''; another Italian-American crime boss in ''Film/TheGodfatherPartIII''. Wallach seemed to play every ethnicity except his actual Jewish-American background.
25th Mar '16 1:25:18 PM Prfnoff
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* The only films in which Ricardo Montalban played his actual nationality are the dozen he made in his native Mexico while caring for his sick mother ''after'' establishing a career playing generic 'Latin' characters on Broadway. Montalban frequently complained that Hollywood would cast him as any nationality ''other'' than Mexican. Consider his best-known roles: Khan Noonien Singh in ''Franchise/StarTrek'' and the presumably supernatural Mr. Roarke in ''Series/FantasyIsland''. The most extreme case, however, was in his guest roles on ''Series/HawaiiFiveO'' where he portrayed an Italian race car driver and a Japanese businessman in two separate episodes (thankfully not in the same season).

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* The only films in which Ricardo Montalban Creator/RicardoMontalban played his actual nationality are the dozen he made in his native Mexico while caring for his sick mother ''after'' establishing a career playing generic 'Latin' characters on Broadway. Montalban frequently complained that Hollywood would cast him as any nationality ''other'' than Mexican. Consider his best-known roles: Khan Noonien Singh in ''Franchise/StarTrek'' and the presumably supernatural Mr. Roarke in ''Series/FantasyIsland''. The most extreme case, however, was in his guest roles on ''Series/HawaiiFiveO'' where he portrayed an Italian race car driver and a Japanese businessman in two separate episodes (thankfully not in the same season).
12th Mar '16 10:22:56 AM AetherMaster
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* Rosario Dawson is mixed race and so she can play a variety of races in films. She passed herself off as Middle Eastern in ''{{Film/Alexander}}'' and Greek in the fist ''Percy Jackson'' film.

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* Rosario Dawson is mixed race and so she can play a variety of races in films. She passed herself off as Middle Eastern in ''{{Film/Alexander}}'' and Greek in the fist first ''Percy Jackson'' film.


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* Nepalese-Ukrainian actress Amrita Acharia, who played the Dothraki handmaiden Irri on ''Series/GameOfThrones'' for two seasons, describes herself on her Twitter page as "ambiguously foreign".
29th Feb '16 3:02:21 AM Anhamirak
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* French-Armenian Simon Abkarian has played Arabs, Greeks, Israeli, Afghani, Iranians and Gypsies.

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* French-Armenian Simon Abkarian has played Arabs, Greeks, Israeli, Afghani, Iranians and Gypsies.Romani.



* [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0888937/ Titos Vandis]], Greek, who played (among others) three unrelated characters of varying ethnicities on ''BarneyMiller'', none of whom were Greek; there was a Puerto Rican, a [[UsefulNotes/{{Romani}} Gypsy]], and another one.

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* [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0888937/ Titos Vandis]], Greek, who played (among others) three unrelated characters of varying ethnicities on ''BarneyMiller'', none of whom were Greek; there was a Puerto Rican, a [[UsefulNotes/{{Romani}} Gypsy]], Romani]], and another one.
15th Jan '16 2:47:41 PM Anddrix
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This refers to casting practice, and in the case of TropeCodifier Peter Stormare it has even achieved the status of CastingGag. It refers to "international" or "ethnic" - at any rate not American or British - actors who are considered to somehow look or be able to act so vaguely but conspicuously foreign that they can be used for any nationality. It's AsLongAsItSoundsForeign and GratuitousForeignLanguage applied to casting. However, ButNotTooForeign is often in effect because you'll want someone who speaks good English (even though intentionally accented) and rather panders to [[ViewersAreMorons viewers' expectations]] than give an accurate portrayal of a specific ethnic identity which also means that the character's background might be very vague as long as it's foreign. Note that PlaysGreatEthnics can have the same UnfortunateImplications as MistakenNationality.

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This refers to casting practice, and in the case of TropeCodifier Peter Stormare it has even achieved the status of CastingGag. It refers to "international" or "ethnic" - at any rate not American or British - actors who are considered to somehow look or be able to act so vaguely but conspicuously foreign that they can be used for any nationality. It's AsLongAsItSoundsForeign and GratuitousForeignLanguage applied to casting. However, ButNotTooForeign is often in effect because you'll want someone who speaks good English (even though intentionally accented) and rather panders to [[ViewersAreMorons viewers' expectations]] expectations than give an accurate portrayal of a specific ethnic identity which also means that the character's background might be very vague as long as it's foreign. Note that PlaysGreatEthnics can have the same UnfortunateImplications as MistakenNationality.
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