[[quoteright:320:[[Creator/SeanConnery http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Sean_Connery_X4_5593.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:320:Clockwise from top right: Egyptian, Irish, [[NoTrueScotsman A True Scotsman]] and [[PaperThinDisguise Japanese]] Film/JamesBond.[[note]]Franchise/{{Highlander}}, Film/TheUntouchables, Film/TheAvengers1998, Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice[[/note]]]]-]

->'''Chandler:''' Alright boys, I confess. I was Abie the fish peddler.\\
'''Ravelli:''' How did you get to be Roscoe W. Chandler?\\
'''Chandler:''' Say, how did you get to be an Italian?\\
'''Ravelli:''' Never mind. Whose confession is this?
-->-- ''Theatre/AnimalCrackers''
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When an actor plays a native of a nationality or area other than their own. Not counting those actors who play an [[AlienTropes extraterrestrial]], who are ''never'' from the same place as their character. Probably.

Israeli and Arab actors tend to wind up playing each other quite frequently (though Israeli-for-Arab is more common than the other way around). Gung-ho movies made during World War II featured every kind of Asian ''except'' Japanese, since the Japanese-American actors [[PoliticallyCorrectHistory were otherwise occupied.]] And very few Russian characters during the ColdWar were played by native Russians. For foreign actors who are frequently employed to play foreign characters, see PlaysGreatEthnics.

The most common examples have their own tropes: FakeAmerican, FakeBrit, FakeIrish, FakeScot, FakeRussian, {{Yellowface}}, {{Brownface}}, and FakeMixedRace. See also: {{Fauxreigner}} where the ''character'' is pretending to be a nationality they aren't (or acting more stereotypical than they actually usually do).

If you are actually from the area in question, you may remember one or more of these examples as "That foreigner with a strange accent. [[WhatTheHellIsThatAccent Where are they supposed to be from]]?" On the other hand, some actors are really good at it. An added complication is that human appearance varies even within nationalities and ethnicities as a result when playing a historical character the foreigner might have been selected because s/he greatly resembled the original.

Often the result of the WTHCastingAgency or the desire for a director to have someone who speaks his or her language in the cast.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]



[[folder:Film]]
* The 2000 Korean movie ''Film/JointSecurityArea'':
** Korean actress Yeong-ae Lee plays Swiss army Major Sophie E. Jean, who's supposed to have grown up bilingual in Switzerland. The film includes some daring stunt linguistics with Sophie opposite a more senior Swiss officer, played by Christoph Hofrichter (who is German.) For some reason, they speak mainly English - he in a reasonable approximation of a Swiss accent, she, well, rather not. You could make the excuse that she had been poorly schooled in the local language by her Korean parents, but she's supposed to be a high-flying military legal specialist, and it doesn't work well.
** The same movie has a Swedish officer played by a German actor. The looks work, the [[MisplacedAccent accent doesn't]].
* Very cleverly and subtly spoofed in the Jim Carrey film ''TheMajestic'', set in [[TheFifties the 1950's]]. In the [[ShowWithinAShow movie-within-the-movie]], ''Sand Pirates of the Sahara'', the villain is "The Evil but Handsome Prince Khalid" who is played by B-movie actor "Ramon Jamon". "Ramon Jamon" is played by Cliff Curtis, a Polynesian Maori from New Zealand, who has made a career out of playing Latin Americans (''Blow'', ''Training Day'', ''Live Free or Die Hard'') and Middle Easterners (''Film/ThreeKings'', ''The Insider'')...
** ...and has also played a Spaniard (''The Fountain'') and a Chechen (''Traffic'').
* Creator/PeterSellers played ...
** ...an Indian character in ''Film/TheParty''.
*** ...and ''Film/TheMillionairess'' and ''[[RoadTo The Road to Hong Kong]]''...
** a Viennese psychiatrist in ''What's New, Pussycat?''.
** ...the eponymous German MadScientist and the US President in ''Film/DoctorStrangelove'' (as well as British Group Captain Mandrake, though that one wasn't ''fake''),
** ...the American playwright Clare Quilty in ''{{Lolita}}'', and the American gardener Chance in ''BeingThere'',
** ...the French [[PinkPanther Inspector Clouseau]],
** ...the Chinese Sidney Wang and FuManchu in the parodies ''Film/MurderByDeath'' and ''The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu'', respectively (acknowledging how common this trope was in the days of Asian characters like CharlieChan),
** ...the Spaniard hero in ''Film/TheBobo''.
** ...the Italian thief in ''Film/AfterTheFox''.
*** ...who impersonates an American tourist at one point...
** ...the Japanese Hirohito in ''Soft Beds, Hard Battles'' (one of 6 roles, also including a Frenchman, 1 German, 1 Austrian - Hitler)
* Mickey Rooney as Holly's awfully stereotyped, YellowFace Japanese neighbor in ''Film/BreakfastAtTiffanys''.
* BenKingsley, a Brit of Russian Jewish and Kenyan Indian ancestry, has played...
** ...Lenin in ''Lenin: The Train''.
** ...Moses in ''Moses''.
** ...Gandhi in ''Film/{{Gandhi}}''.
** ...A Hispanic in ''DeathAndTheMaiden''.
** ...an Iranian in ''Literature/HouseOfSandAndFog''.
** ...a Polish Jew in ''Film/SchindlersList''.
** ...Otto Frank (father of [[Theatre/TheDiaryOfAnneFrank Anne]]) in ''Series/AnneFrankTheWholeStory''.
** ...a half-Maori in the ''Film/EndersGame'' film.
** ...a Persian in ''Film/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'' and ''The Physician''.
** ...the French Georges Meliès in {{Film/Hugo}}.
** ...Regent of Hungary Miklós Horthy in ''Walking with the Enemy''.
** The Mandarin (A character usually associated with the region in China) in ''Film/IronMan3''. [[spoiler:Though it's a ruse, and the Mandarin is actually a hired British actor, making this an in-story example.]]
** ...and an American in half a dozen movies.
* The American actor Tony Shalhoub, who is of Lebanese descent, is often hired to play Italians (''Series/{{Wings}}'', ''Big Night'', ''Cars'') due to his curly dark hair and swarthy Mediterranean features.
** Lampshaded in a ''Series/{{Wings}}'' episode: "Joe, please explain to the nice man with the gun that I am not a Libyan terrorist."
** Shalhoub memorably created an entire language ''and'' accent for his cab-driver character in the comedy film ''Film/QuickChange''. (Or it would be memorable if anyone had ever seen the flick.)
** Tony Shalhoub's character of Fred Kwan spoofed this practice in ''Film/GalaxyQuest'' when he mentioned that Kwan is a stage name used to fit his character of Tech Sergeant Chen's Asian nationality. Interestingly, when the Thermians are naming the crew, he narrows his eyes when his character's name is spoken. Apparently, that's supposed to be enough to make him seem Chinese.
* Film example: 1999's ''[[Film/TheMummy1999 The Mummy]]'' is a festival of Fake Nationality. Its Egyptian/Arabic characters include Ardeth Bey (portrayed by Israeli Oded Fehr), professor Terrance Bey (Erick Avari, British-Indian), Gad Hassan (Omid Djalili, British-Iranian), and of course its titular mummy Imhotep, played by Arnold Vosloo (Afrikaner South African) as well as his ancient girlfriend Anck Su Namun (Patricia Velasquez, Venezuelan).
** It gets better: Arab-English Evelyn Carnahan (she states her mother was Egyptian) is played by Jewish-English actress Rachel Weisz. Fehr himself is something of an expert in Fake Nationality, as he also played Saudi terror mastermind Faris Al-Farik in the TV show ''Sleeper Cell''. His character in ''Sleeper Cell'' even lampshades this by pretending to be Jewish, saying many people from the Middle East seem to look alike so he's passed as Iranian, Kurd, Jew, etc.
** There's also Benny, who according to [[AllThereInTheManual supplemental materials]] is supposed to be Hungarian, is played by Chicago-born Irish-American Kevin J. O'Connor.
* Creator/AlPacino (American of Italian descent) as Cuban Tony Montana in ''Film/{{Scarface 1983}}'', although there were some actual Hispanic actors. Also in the credits they denounce all the criminal acts of Scarface, and state that Hispanics are hard working people.
* Yet another Israeli, Mark Ivanir, a Russian-born immigrant, is a master of Fake Nationality. A partial list follows: a Pole in ''Film/SchindlersList'', a French mercenary in ''Walker Texas Ranger'', a German in ''Series/{{Monk}}'', a Yugoslavian in ''Film/TheTerminal'', and a Greek in ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}''. I'm leaving out all of his appearances as a Russian, since they're (sort of) justified.
* ''Film/TheMaskOfZorro'' gives us Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones (both Welsh) as the original Don Diego and his daughter.
** Spanish-born Antonio Banderas plays a Mexican... who goes undercover as a Spaniard. The antagonists of the film - evil governor Don Rafael Montero (probably Spanish as it takes place during the war of independence) - and its sequel - FrenchJerk Count Armand - are played by Englishmen.
** Banderas playing a Mexican struck again in ''Film/{{Desperado}}'', in which he played El Mariachi.
* In the first and third ''Film/DieHard'' movies, Englishmen Alan Rickman and Creator/JeremyIrons played German terrorist brothers Hans and Simon Gruber. A scene was added to the first film when the producers discovered how well Rickman could also fake an ''American'' accent.
* Creator/SeanConnery has portrayed so many non-Scottish characters [[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent (almost all with his own distinctive Scottish accent)]] that there is simply no point in listing them all. Ironically enough, in the one movie he starred in that was at least partially set in Scotland (''Film/{{Highlander}}''), he played an Egyptian. Not only was he an Egyptian, but he was an Egyptian who was pretending to be a Spaniard and had at one point been married to a Japanese princess. Who appeared to be a Scot of course...
** For that matter, Connor [=MacLeod=] was played by Christopher Lambert, French accent and all. And the Kurgan is played by an American, Creator/ClancyBrown.
*** According to director commentary they worked with a voice coach try to give him a non-specific "European" accent for the "modern" parts of the film, to show how he must have moved from country to country over the centuries, picking up scraps of accents here and there.
** There's a missed opportunity for a BondOneLiner in the scene in ''Film/TheRock'' where a bad guy beats Connery, calls him English and refers to his own Irish parentage -- why didn't Sean say something along the lines of "I'm Shcottish, arshhole!" Though it's particularly annoying when he's [[{{Scotireland}} playing Irish-Americans]], such as in ''Film/FamilyBusiness'', ''Darby O'Gill and the Little People'' or ''Film/TheUntouchables''. Or ''Film/TheLongestDay'' ("It takes an Irishman to play the pipes").
** In ''Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice'', a portion of the plot revolved around making Connery into a Japanese guy. All they really did was dye his hair black, use eyeliner to fake epicanthic folds, and dress him in a kimono.
** Amusingly, in ''Film/TheNameOfTheRose'' he might be the only one with the right nationality (though caused by Creator/UmbertoEco making his Literature/SherlockHolmes {{Expy}} William of Baskerville a Scot).
* Wide-eyed actor Creator/MichaelJFox has been [[DawsonCasting cast like Dawson]] so many times into the average American child, perhaps most famously [=SoCal=] teenager [[Film/BackToTheFuture Marty McFly]], that no one can tell that he's (and ''[[StupidSexyFlanders she's]]'' in ''Part II'') actually Canadian.
** And in ''Part III'', he dons an Irish accent when he plays Marty's [[IdenticalGrandson great-great-grandfather]] Seamus [=McFly=].
* The only time Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger has ever been ''without'' his trademark accent is in a deleted scene from ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines''. In the scene, Arnold plays an American sergeant that is supposedly the future inspiration for the T-800's appearance. However, he has a very broad Southern accent. The general in charge mentions the accent. A technician says, in Arnold's own voice: "We can fix it." [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kayFrIR-Qfw Seen in this hilarious clip.]]
** Though he's a former East German in ''Film/{{Commando}}'', which mostly explains his accent.
** The only other he's given a non-American clear nationality is ''Film/RedHeat'', as [[FakeRussian a Russian]].
** Not true that he's never been without his trademark accent. His first film, ''Film/HerculesInNewYork'' had him billed as "Arnold Strong", and all his lines dubbed by another actor due to his thick accent and poor English. His next role was in ''The Long Goodbye'', where he had no lines at all, playing a deaf-and-mute hitman.
*** He even played an American cowboy in ''Film/TheVillain'' who had an unexplained Austrian accent.
** In the first ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' film, he at least tries to shake off his accent and use a regular American one. It doesn't quite work as [[OohMeAccentsSlipping his usual accent always keeps slipping in]] but he tries, and his lines are few anyway. After this though he became a star and his accent was so well known he was told to never lose it. But compare his first "I'll be back." in Terminator to later ones.
** After ''Film/TheTerminator'', he hired an accent trainer, so he didn't lose his trademark accent and start sounding too American. This is probably after his accent became well-established in the American mind as part of his image.
* In the film ''Film/ThePeacemaker'', with George Clooney, the Bosnian terrorist trying to nuke the UN building is played by Marcel Iureº, a Romanian.
* Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme is another actor that's prone to playing other nationalities than his own Belgian, especially American. Much like Arnold, he rarely [[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent bothers with anything but his own Belgian accent]], even when playing American Colonel Guile in the ''Film/StreetFighter'' movie.
** Very few Belgians have the 'Belgian accents' depicted in movies. Most Belgian Francophones have an accent similar to that of Northern France (not including Paris). In Belgium, the stereotypical 'Belgian accent' tends to be either played for the laugh or bashed mercilessly; the few people who do have this accent often face prejudice.
** Van Damme has used a few variations of his French accent including Cajun (''Film/UniversalSoldier'', ''Film/HardTarget'') or French-Canadian (''Film/SuddenDeath''). Not mentioning ''Legionnaire'', where he is French.
* Erick Avari, an Indian who grew up in the Himalayan foothills, has played members of over 24 nationalities, including ancient Egyptian in both the original ''Film/{{Stargate}}'' movie and in ''Series/StargateSG1''.
* Similarly, Creator/VinDiesel's indeterminate ethnic phenotype allows him to convincingly play many different nationalities, from Italian-American to ancient Carthaginian.
* Aussie western ''Film/TheProposition'' has a primarily English cast, most of whom speak in their natural accents; justified, as during the time period it's set, Australia was still entirely made up of English convicts and the accent hadn't shifted to its modern version. However, Aussie David Wenham spoke with a put-on British accent, and English-born Aussie Guy Pearce and American Danny Huston both spoke with Irish accents. At least that makes sense as many of the convicts were Irish.
** CriticalResearchFailure? Australia has never been entirely made up of convicts. Convict transportation ended in 1868 (well before the 1880s setting of the film) and the population quadrupled during the gold rush of the 1850s-1870s. However it was largely made up of people who had left the UK fairly recently.
** The Australian accent became much like it current form very early on in Australian history, as shown by recordings [[OlderThanTheyThink from that era]]. Plus the majority of the original convicts were anything but English, the major English influence on the Australian accents came from the soldiers. Most of the first fleet were Irish, Cornish or from an Eastern European country.
* Peter Stormare, a Swede, has made a career out of playing just about every European nationality, from Spanish to Russian; has also been FakeAmerican and even Fake Mexican.
** Most famously, he's known for Fake German in VW commercials.
* ''Film/JamesBond'' has many examples.
** Both ''Film/LiveAndLetDie'' and ''Film/LicenceToKill'' features many characters who are nationals of fictitious countries.
** ''Film/ForYourEyesOnly'' has three fake Greeks, a fake Belgian, two fake East Germans and a fake Russian, at least. That's before we get to the Liverpudlian character who's putting on an Austrian accent.
** ''Film/GoldenEye'' has lots of Fake Russians...
** Not to mention Bond himself, who has only been played by an Englishman by two actors of the six (Connery was already mentioned, Lazenby is Australian, Dalton is Welsh and Brosnan is Irish). Three if you include [[Film/CasinoRoyale1967 David Niven.]]
*** Except, canonically, Bond is not English. He's Scottish (or, at least half-Scottish)!
*** Actually averted with Creator/SeanConnery. James Bond was born to a Scottish father and a Swiss mother. Ian Fleming actually created this background as a nod to Connery.
* American Don Cheadle played a fake Rwandan in the movie ''Film/HotelRwanda''. And got an Oscar nomination for it. He also played Basher Tarr in ''Film/OceansEleven'', ''Oceans Twelve'' and ''Oceans Thirteen'', with possibly the worst British accent in a film since Creator/DickVanDyke in ''Film/MaryPoppins''.
** The worst, or at least most egregious, ''before'' Dick Van Dyke, was probably Creator/IngridBergman's attempt to do a Cockney accent when playing Ivy Peterson in the 1941 version of ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde''. It is especially silly, because there were a lot of Swedish immigrants living in the poorer areas of London at the time the story is set, so there was nothing wrong with her own accent, and on top of that neither of her American co-stars, Lana Turner and Spencer Tracy, are making the slightest attempt at even a Hollywood generic British accent. The only redeeming factor, is that most of the time, Bergman seems to forget she is supposed to be doing the accent, so there's some relief. When she is doing it, it's every bit as grating as Dick Van Dyke's.
* It's inexplicably common for young female leads in films set in Ireland to be played by non-Irish actresses. For instance: Kate Hudson and Frances O'Connor in ''Film/AboutAdam'', Creator/KellyMacdonald and ShirleyHenderson in ''Film/{{Intermission}}'', Laura Fraser in ''Film/DivorcingJack'' and Minnie Driver in ''Circle of Friends'' (all British except Hudson interestingly enough). It even applies to slightly older 'Irish' female characters - witness Julia Roberts in ''Film/MichaelCollins'' and Samantha Morton in ''In America''. There might be something of a vicious circle in play: there are few prominent young Irish actresses to cast for major roles leading to the filmmakers to cast foreign actresses, leading to even ''fewer'' young Irish actresses achieving a breakthrough to prominence in the first place.
** Actually, while Frances O'Connor was born in England, she grew up in Australia from age two.
** In a rather amusing inversion of this, Irish actor Jason O'Mara portrays an American cop in the U.S. adaptation of English cop show ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2008}}''. His real Irish accent is shown with one episode...where he's "faking" it undercover, infiltrating an Irish gang.
*** O'Mara also played an American secret agent in ''Series/TheAgency''. In one episode, he went undercover as an IRA operative. Viewers criticized his "phony" accent.
** So strong is this trope that Saoirse Ronan (of ''Atonement'' and ''Film/TheLovelyBones''), arguably one of the most prominent young Irish actresses has yet to be cast as an Irish character in a film.
*** Ms. Ronan was born in the United States, but she moved to Ireland when she was three.
** Maureen O'Hara flagrantly averted this subtrope in ''The Quiet Man'', but she may be '''the''' exception.
* Speaking of FakeIrish, one of the main characters in the movie Michael Collins, that of Éamon de Valera, an Irishman who authored the present Irish constitution and who took part in one of the biggest events of modern Irish history (the Easter Rising)... was played by an Englishman, Alan Rickman. Though, at least Rickman had some Irish Catholic background. Still, given that the movie had a less than flattering portrayal of de Valera, it could be intentional to cast someone who was English.
* Creator/BradPitt played something in ''Film/{{Snatch}}''. It was originally meant to be steretypical East End cockney, but Pitt apparently sounded like the legendary Dick Van Dyke. So instead he put on something approximating Irish to portray a "pikey", i.e. FunnyForeigner stereotype of an {{UsefulNotes/Irish Traveller|s}}.
* In ''[[Film/ThreeHundred 300]]'', a good part of the million man Persian army is made up of blacks, samurai-masked warriors, and 7 feet tall monsters, but very few of them actually look Persian (though a lot of faces were hidden). Indeed, the emperor himself was played by a Brazilian. This probably made the whole controversy surrounding the film a lot worse.
** This is partly justified in that the Persian army is explicitly said to be made up of people from all over the empire, not just native Persians. That doesn't stop Gerard Butler's Scottish accent from being absolutely hilarious.
*** Which is also TruthInTelevision, to an extent. One of the few things about the movie that is...
*** Butler's accent is actually entirely consistent with traditional TranslationConvention- in English-language adaptations of Ancient Greek plays, a Laconic (Spartan) accent is traditionally depicted as Scottish, as it carries appropriate connotations of cultural austerity, dry wit and [[ViolentGlaswegian barely controlled rage]]; furthermore, a Scottish accent was often called the "Doric" back in the day...and as it happens, the Spartans were Dorians. [[JustifiedTrope It works, too]].
** Of course, ''it's not meant to be realistic'', though it's somewhat jarring when [[TheQueensLatin The Queen's Greek]] is otherwise in effect.
* The atrocious film ''{{Sniper}} 2'' had Tom Berenger as the titular sniper battling villainous Hungarian-speaking Serbs in Cuban-style military uniforms through the streets of Budapest, Serbia (the actual capital is Belgrade, Budapest is the capital of ''Hungary''). Three cheers for looking up basic facts on the Internet...
* In Owen Wilson's film ''Film/BehindEnemyLines'', all of the Serbian characters were portrayed by Croatian actors, probably because no Westerner can tell the difference and no self-respecting Serbian actor would play the stereotypical role of the bad guy terrorist.
** To be honest, no Serbian or Croatian person could tell the difference, either. Not even by accent, since accents depend on where the person is from, rather than what ethnicity they are - a person born in Belgrade is going to have a different accent from a person born in Bosnia or Croatia, but people from a certain part of Croatia or Bosnia will have the same accents regardless of their ethnicity.
* Any film set in AncientRome will invariably cast [[TheQueensLatin British actors as Romans]].
* Gerard Butler, a Scot, as Attila the Hun, who historically would have come from as far East as modern Mongolia, in the dramatized ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0259127/ Attila]]''.
* Not to mention ''The Conqueror'', where JohnWayne [[WTHCastingAgency of all people]] played Genghis Effing Khan!
* Who can forget Esteban Colberto from the ''[[Series/TheColbertReport Colberto Reporto Gigante]]''?
* Subverted by Peter [=MacNicol's=] character Janosz in ''GhostbustersII'': He spouts a bizarre accent throughout the movie, and when someone finally asks him where he's from, he replies in confusion: "The upper vest side."
* PierceBrosnan is so well known for playing Film/JamesBond that many people are surprised to find out he is actually Irish (and not British). Brosnan himself seems to have [[IAmNotSpock gotten tired of this]] and most of his more recent films have him play Irish, or Irish-American, or simply an [[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent Irish accented American]]. {{Lampshaded}} in ''After the Sunset'':
-->'''Woody Harrelson:''' It's okay to be happy to see me. Just because you're English doesn't mean you need to hide your emotions.\\
'''Pierce Brosnan:''' I'm Irish. We let people know how we feel. Now f*ck off.
** Although, in Brosnan's case, he could be an Un-FakedNationality, since he became an American citizen, which would make him the only American who played (notice the tense) Franchise/JamesBond were it not for ''genuinely'' American actor Barry Nelson (he was the first actor to play Bond onscreen in a 1954 CBS TV adaptation of ''Casino Royale'').
* The tendency of RobinHood not to be played by an actual Brit has been lampshaded in ''Film/RobinHoodMenInTights'' when Cary Elwes (British) remarks, "Unlike other Robin Hoods, ''I'' can speak with an English accent." Ironically, he is also well-known for his Southern American accent in ''Film/{{Twister}}'' and ''Film/KissTheGirls''.
** Elwes also played stereotypical blond Californian jet pilot Kent Gregory in ''Film/HotShots'' Pretty impressive, since Californians are among the most daunting Americans for foreigners to play.
** It's a particular indictment of Kevin Costner's atrocious semi-attempt at a British accent in the then-recently-released ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves'', which a good part of the film was a parody of.
** This is particularly ironic considering the fact that the real Robin Hood didn't speak English at all, or at least not modern English. English language as we know it didn't even exist at the time, let alone a British accent. Robin Hood was more likely to speak the Norman version of French (spoken by the Norman nobility) and early Middle English (spoken by the lower classes). The widespread insistence on having actors speak RP ('posh' British accent) when playing characters in period dramas set in Middle Ages or Renaissance is also amusing, since such an accent did not exist at the time. An accent tinged with Anglo-French would be pretty much impossible to simulate, as Anglo-Norman French probably sounded like French, Italian, and Icelandic jammed awkwardly through a meat grinder and would be nails-across-a-blackboard to any modern French speaker.
*** Maybe, but the same "or at least not modern X" could be a problem with any work set more than 200 years ago or so, and yet it's still a convention that actors generally speak with an accent similar to a modern person of the nationality of their character. So it's funny that that is ignored so often for Robin Hood for some reason. Especially when other actors in the same work do match their character's modern equivalent, but not the title character.
*** That convention does not really makes sense in too old times as nations and their citizens changed a lot in history. [[RealisticDictionIsUnrealistic The accents' choices]] can lead to [[YouFailHistoryForever fail history]], as in ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'' with the "Germanic" using a German accent (the actor ''is'' German). But old Germanic peoples did not live only on modern Germany but also on parts of modern France, Netherlands or Russia, so it makes as much sense to make a Germanic character speak with a German accent as [[Film/ThePassionOfTheChrist for a Latin character to speak with an Italian one]] or for an Anglo-Norman-French character with an English one, though it is certainly more [[RealityIsUnrealistic realistic]].
* ''Film/YoungFrankenstein'' has three Transylvanian characters (Transylvania is part of Romania). In ascending order: Inga (Teri Garr, American), Frau Blucher *WHINNY* (Cloris Leachman, American) and Inspector Kemp (Kenneth Mars, American). Plus all the folks playing the villagers.
* ''Film/YouDontMessWithTheZohan''
** Creator/AdamSandler plays a fake Israeli, quite horribly.
** Also Emmanuelle Chriqui, a Canadian of Sephardic (Jewish) Morrocan descent plays the Palestinian hair salon owner and love interest of Adam Sandler.
** Don't forget the Italian-American John Turturro playing a Palestinian terrorist.
* Olivia Colman plays the AxCrazy Polish secretary in the radio sitcom ''Hut 33''; she does so with an accent that sounds more [[FakeRussian Russian]] than Polish, possibly justified by the RuleOfFunny.
* Jean Reno was born in Morocco to Spanish Andalusian parents and is commonly known as a French actor. Apparently, that range has driven producers to see fit to cast him as Italian (in ''Film/TheProfessional''), German (in ''Film/MissionImpossible'') and Belgian (in ''HotelRwanda''). He also played an Italian (Enzo) in ''Film/TheBigBlue'' (which was produced in France).
* Creator/GerardButler (a Scot) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (an American) play Irishmen (with varying degrees of success) in the film ''Film/PSILoveYou''.
* Has FamkeJanssen ever played a Dutch character?
* Juliette Binoche played a Bosnian woman in Creator/AnthonyMinghella's ''BreakingAndEntering'', occasionally speaking her "native language" with a strong French accent. She was also the French-accented Czech (or Slovak?) Tereza in ''The Unbearable Lightness of Being''.
* Australian NicoleKidman and French actors Vincent Cassel and Matthew Kassovitz played Russian gangsters in ''Film/BirthdayGirl''.
* Vincent Cassel again played a Russian gangster in Cronenberg's ''Film/EasternPromises'', with other Russians being portrayed by a Danish/American (Viggo Mortensen), a British-Australian (Naomi Watts), a German (Armin Mueller-Stahl), and a Pole (Jerzy Skolimowski).
* Rade Serbedzija's international career has consisted of playing all kinds of fake nationalities, usually Russians (''Film/TheSaint'', ''Film/MissionImpossibleII'', ''Film/{{Snatch}}'', ''Film/SpaceCowboys'', ''[[Series/TwentyFour 24]]''), but he's also played a Czech (''Film/{{Duet}}''), a Greek (''Film/TheTruce''), and an Italian (''Film/{{Stigmata}}''). He's actually Croatian.
** ...[[MyFriendsAndZoidberg and the]] FakeAmerican homeless guy from ''Film/BatmanBegins'' !
* Russian Oleg Menshikov and Lithuanian Ingeborga Dapkunaite played a Bosnian Serb and a Bosnian Muslim, respectively, in ''PrimeSuspect 6: The Last Witness''.
* In an opposite example, Serbian actors Branka Katic and Dragan Micanovic played Russians in the UK TV series ''Auf Wiedersehn, Pet''. Katic has also played Russians on ''Trial and Retribution'' and ''H G Wells: War With The World''. In the upcoming John Dillinger biopic ''Film/PublicEnemies'', she plays Romanian-born Anna Sage.
* Creator/ChristopherLee has played all kinds of fake nationalities, including Chinese. Being a prolific actor capable of speaking many languages helps.
** His favorite role he's ever played was the Gujarati-born founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. And despite not being remotely South Asian, he pulled it off pretty well.
*** Mainly because he was a dead ringer (http://www.asiancommunity.net/Assets%20Folder/Jinnah%203_r.jpg) for Jinnah (http://www.dfp.gov.pk/UploadedPhotos/QuaidAzimMuhammadAliJinnah%20(5).jpg)
* Creator/MandyPatinkin, a Jewish guy, plays Inigo, a [[DashingHispanic Spaniard]] in ''Film/ThePrincessBride''. American Wallace Shawn played Italian Vizzini, and French wrestler/actor Wrestling/AndreTheGiant played the Turk Fezzik.
* ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven'' and ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly'' have a Jewish American actor and a native New Yorker (Creator/EliWallach,) playing Latino characters in Wild West settings.
* The Welsh actor Hugh Griffith played various English characters in Shakespearean theater and English and French characters on film. He had a ''tour de force'' performance as the Arab Sheikh Ilderim in Film/BenHur and was nominated for a Tony for playing American Southerner W.O. Gant in ''LookHomewardAngel''. He did get to play Welshmen now and then.
* John Rhys-Davies, the Anglo-Welsh actor, has played a Portuguese sea captain (Rodrigues in ''Shogun''), an Egyptian (Sallah in ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''), a Frenchman (Porthos in two different productions, and a Norman knight in one production of Film/{{Ivanhoe}}), a [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings Dwarf]], Americans, [[Series/StarTrekVoyager Leonardo Da Vinci]] and occasionally a generic Englishman. Despite all this, he's still respectful of his heritage and has even performed in Welsh for TV. Something about that dark Brythonic complexion which says 'Mediterranean coast' to casting directors (or 'cover him in latex' to Peter Jackson)....
** He especially insists he's English in several ''Series/{{Sliders}}'' episodes. Once, when he's mistaken for LucianoPavarotti, and again when he's asked by Rembrandt if he can fish. "I'm English. We invented fishing."
* While we're in ''Franchise/IndianaJones'': Alison Doody said she didn't expect to play Elsa in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'', "since they were asking for an Austrian 30-year old, not an Irish 22-year old". Also, the only villain with its own nationality is Mola Ram: Paul Freeman and Ronald Lacey are British, Belloq is French and Toht is [[ThoseWackyNazis German]]; Julian Glover is British, Donovan is American (but considering he played a Greek ''Film/JamesBond'' [[Film/ForYourEyesOnly villain]]...); and Creator/CateBlanchett is Australian, [[Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull Irina Spalko]] is [[DirtyCommunists Soviet]] - [[FakeRussian Ukraine]], actually.
** Glover's (natural?) Scottish-sounding accent [[OohMeAccentsSlipping slips]] in a scene near the end, when he is saying: "The Nazis want to write themselves into the Grail legend....take on the world." I don't think this hurts the film too much; I just took it to mean that Donovan either was an immigrant or had one or two foreign-born parents, and so grew up with that accent before he tried to change it.
* Nearly every SpaghettiWestern ever filmed has Spaniards playing Mexicans, since they were shot in Spain and Spanish actors were more readily available than genuine Mexicans. Also, for obvious reasons, Italians played characters from both sides of the border. And then, in a class by himself, we have New Yorker [[LargeHam Eli Wallach]] as Tuco Ramirez, "[[Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly The Ugly]]".
* Alfred Molina is a London-born actor whose father and mother are from Spain and Italy, respectively. He has played:
** Russian in ''Anna Karenina'' and ''Letter to Brezhnev''.
** South American in ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''.
** Iranian in ''Film/NotWithoutMyDaughter'' (and claims he was punched in the face by an actual Iranian as a result).
** Cuban in ''Film/ThePerezFamily''.
** French in ''Film/{{Chocolat}}''.
** Mexican in ''Film/{{Frida}}'' and ''Film/{{Maverick}}''
** Puerto Rican in ''Film/NothingLikeTheHolidays''.
** American in ''Film/SpiderMan2'' and ''Film/{{Identity}}''.
** Canadian in ''Film/DudleyDoRight''.
** Spanish in ''Film/TheDaVinciCode''.
** And Molina's character in ''Film/BoogieNights'', Rahad Jackson, was loosely based on Palestinian-born Eddie Nash (née Adel Gharib Nasrallah).
** Russian Jew in ''FiddlerOnTheRoof'' (On stage.)
* The 1998 adaptation of ''Film/TheManInTheIronMask'' featured an eclectic array of fake Frenchmen. Most notable were Englishman Creator/JeremyIrons as Aramis, Irishman Gabriel Byrne as D'Artagnan, American Creator/JohnMalkovich as Athos, American Peter Sarsgaard as his son, and American Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio as King Louis XIV, none of whom particularly bothered to disguise their country of origin. This was made particularly noticeable by having an actual Frenchman, Creator/GerardDepardieu, round out the cast. Hilariously, the only accents that ''did'' match were John Malkovich and Peter Sarsgaard, playing father and son, and only because both men happen to hail from St. Louis.
* In ''[[Creator/MarcelProust Time Regained]]'', JohnMalkovich plays Baron de Charlus, ''entirely in French'', going the trope one better. Some reviewers noted that the halting style of a non-native speaker worked in his favor for a scene late in the film, in its present, where Charlus has gone senile.
* Conversely, Creator/JeremyIrons' turn in the title role in ''Swann in Love'' almost two decades earlier was dubbed into French, along with that of the Italian who played Odette, because neither of them spoke the language well enough.
* JohnMalkovich also played le Vicomte de Valmont in ''Literature/DangerousLiaisons'' but then topped his two French characters by playing the ''King of France'' Charles VII in ''The Messenger : Story Of Joan Of Arc''.
* He also played Uruguayan Carlitos at the beginning of ''Film/{{Alive}}''.
* Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård has played characters who are German (conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler in ''Taking Sides''), Saxon (Cerdic in ''Film/KingArthur''), ambiguously French (Lambeau in ''Film/GoodWillHunting''), presumably British (Bootstrap Bill Turner in ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean''), and Spanish (Francisco Goya in ''Goya's Ghosts''). He also has several {{Fake Russian}}s on his resume.
** Yet Skarsgård is the sole Swede in the main cast of the American remake of ''[[TheMillenniumTrilogy The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo]]'' (four others, including [[Series/TheKilling Joel]] [[Film/{{Robocop2014}} Kinnaman]], have smaller roles), which features lots of Brits and Americans speaking with Swedish accents.
* An odd aversion occurred in the film ''Film/ShatteredGlass''. The real Kambiz Foroohar is Iranian-American. Upon watching himself portrayed in the movie, he posted an entry on a popular Iranian-American blog lamenting that although he was the first Iranian character depicted on film after 9/11, he had been portrayed as "generic ethnic guy", by an actor he had been told by the film's producers was Indian-Canadian. The "Indian-Canadian" actor in question then wrote into the same blog and clarified that actually, he ''was'' Iranian as well. Awkward...
* Tony Randall played the titular Chinese wizard in ''SevenFacesOfDrLao''. Although as the title also implies, the character can appear in pretty much whatever form he wants.
* Creator/HalleBerry attempted a strange Kenyan accent for Storm (an actual African) in the first ''Film/XMen1'' film, though she dropped it after this film.
** It seemed to be a (poor) imitation of the rather odd British-African accent American Iona Morris used for [[WesternAnimation/{{X-Men}} the 1992 cartoon series]].
** While we're on ''Film/{{X-Men}}'': Canadian {{Wolverine}} is played by an Australian; Professor X/Juggernaut(Americans) and Magneto (Polish) are played by Englishmen; German Nightcrawler is Scottish; American Rogue is played by a New Zealander; American Jean Grey is played by a Dutchwoman; both Iceman (American) and Colossus (Russian) are Canadian.
** In ''Film/XMenFirstClass'', Scottish James [=McAvoy=] as Oxford English speaking Xavier, British Jason Flemying as the [[FakeRussian Russian Azazel]], and arguably German-Irish Creator/MichaelFassbender as Magneto (who according to the comics is either German or Polish, but definitely not Irish) and both Moira [=McTaggert=] (Australian) and Beast (Brit) are FakeAmerican.
** Played straight in ''Film/TheWolverine'' with Korean Will Yun Lee playing Japanese Kenuichio Harada. Averted with all the other plot-important Japanese characters being played by actual Japanese people.
** In addition to the ones from the previous movies, ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'' has Australian Josh Helman as the young William Stryker (American), French Omar Sy as Bishop (Australian-American), Chinese Fan Bingbing as Blink (Bahamian-American), Mexican Adan Canto as Sunspot (Brazillian), Canadian Mark Camacho as UsefulNotes/RichardNixon (American, obviously) and Canadian Brendan Pedder as Apocalypse (Egyptian).
* The Australian who played Wolverine, HughJackman, has been a FakeBrit (''Film/KateAndLeopold'', ''Film/ThePrestige'', a voice role in ''WesternAnimation/FlushedAway''), FakeAmerican (most of his roles, such as ''Film/{{Swordfish}}''), Dutch (if ''Film/VanHelsing'' is like [[{{Literature/Dracula}} Van Helsing]]) and French (''Film/LesMiserables2012''). Probably his only post-Wolverine role featuring his true nationality is, appropriatedly, ''Film/{{Australia}}''.
** Not only, if you include an [[WesternAnimation/RiseOfTheGuardians Australian Easter Bunny]].
* Subverted somewhat in ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'', in which Disney used Native American actors as the voice talent for the main Native American characters (Irene Bedard, Michelle St. John and Russell Means). But of course they cast Creator/MelGibson as the Englishman John Smith. The main (British) villain is also played by an American, David Ogden Stiers.
* Fisher Stevens played Ben, dubbed "[[FanNickname Racist Indian Guy]]" in ''Film/ShortCircuit'' and its sequel. Stevens is very, very white.
** It could also be read as an early attempt at subverting Indian stereotypes. Sure, he mangles the language for laughs but on the other hand he's technically the smartest character in the movie and ended up becoming the focus of the sequel, in part because the character was so popular.
* ''TheEnglishPatient'' has Juliet Binoche (French) as Hana (French-Canadian); Willem Dafoe (US American) as Caravaggio (Canadian); and Naveen Andrews (British Indian) as Kip (an Indian Sikh). Creator/RalphFiennes, who plays the title character, actually is English.
** Actually, Fiennes qualifies here as well because, despite the title, his character is actually Hungarian.
** While we're on Naveen Andrews, in ''Mighty Joe Young'' he plays an African. Add [[Series/{{Lost}} an Arab]], that's three ethnicities by the same guy.
** Elsewhere, Willem Dafoe has played a Mexican in ''OnceUponATimeInMexico'' and Jesus in ''TheLastTemptationofChrist''.
* The early '80s film ''Film/NightCrossing'', about a family that escaped EastGermany by balloon, featured British actors in the main adult roles, Americans as the kids, and Germans in practically every other role.
* ''Film/SlumdogMillionaire'' 's titular Mumbai "slumdog" is played by (ethnically Indian) Briton Dev Patel.
* The pan-Scandinavian movie ''Film/IAmDina'', set in nineteenth century rural Norway, featured illustrious actors from all three countries and then some - like Gérard Depardieu, playing one of the male leads. For the sake of realism (one assumes), it was decided to do this in English. The result was hotly debated, but the biggest irony was probably that the only English actor, Christopher Eccleston, was cast as a ''Russian''.
* This caused a mild uproar in the US (and a huge uproar in Asia) when Chinese actresses Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li and Chinese-Malaysian Michelle Yeoh were cast as Japanese characters in ''Film/MemoirsOfAGeisha''. The film was BannedInChina and Ziyi stated that it was like an American faking a French accent while speaking Russian (they performed in English with fake Japanese accents).
* Off-hand references in other examples notwithstanding, there deserves to be a primary mention of Creator/DickVanDyke's legendary performance as the cockney chimney sweep in ''Film/MaryPoppins''. This and Mickey Rooney's performance in ''Film/BreakfastAtTiffanys'' are probably the ultimate examples of this trope in filmdom. Incidentally, in Mr. Van Dyke's ''Biography'' episode, he stated that the hatred of his accent in the film is responsible for more pain during his acting career than anything else he's ever done; he believed that his performance should be memorable -- not his horrible accent. (Which he didn't think was that horrible anyway.)
* ''Film/BramStokersDracula'' has significant examples. Canadian KeanuReeves and American WinonaRyder stand out with the worst fake British accents since Dick van Dyke, and Englishman GaryOldman plays the title character -- the Romanian {{Dracula}}.
** Also, Welshman Anthony Hopkins is the Dutch vampire killer Van Helsing.
* The cast of the 2006 film adaptation of ''Literature/{{Perfume}}: Story of a Murderer'' has British actors/actresses, and German actresses playing Frenchmen/women. Only Dustin Hoffman, an American, was playing an Italian living in France.
* Kelly [=McDonald=] traded her very pronounced Scottish brogue for a West Texas twang in ''NoCountryForOldMen''. Made even stranger by the fact that, with the exception of Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh, [=McDonald=] was the only non-Texan who had a major role in the film. (Bardem, who is from Spain, probably also qualifies for his portrayal of Chigurh, in spite of Chigurh's mysterious origins, although he supposedly has a "Dallas" accent. {{Eyeroll}}...)
* ''Film/TheBoysFromBrazil'' features GregoryPeck (American) as the German Josef Mengele and LaurenceOlivier (British) as Austrian Jew Ezra Lieberman.
* In Ridley Scott's ''Film/KingdomOfHeaven'', Kurdish Saladin is played by Syrian Arab Ghassan Massoud. Closer than many portrayals. The same region at least...
** Also, the French characters were played by Orlando Bloom (English), Creator/LiamNeeson (Irish), Brendan Gleeson (Irish), Marton Czokas (New Zealander), Creator/JeremyIrons (English), David Thewlis (English), Kevin [=McKidd=] (Scottish) and Michael Sheen (Welsh) to name a few. The only actual French person was Eva Green.
* ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'' is another such festival of Fake Nationality, mostly of [[FakeAmerican British actors pretending to be American]], such as Creator/ChristianBale, Creator/GaryOldman, and Tom Wilkinson. Others Fake Americans include Irishmen Creator/CillianMurphy and Creator/LiamNeeson (note: it was never stated Ducard was American, but Neeson uses an American accent), Dutch Rutger Hauer, and Australian HeathLedger. In fact, the only actual principal American actors on set were MorganFreeman, Katie Holmes, MaggieGyllenhaal and Aaron Eckhart. Singaporean Chinese actor Chin Han played the Chinese Lau, and French actress Beatric Rosen pulled a FakeRussian as Natascha, prima ballerina of the Moscow Ballet.
** Heath Ledger played American characters quite a bit.
*** Not to mention a FakeBrit in ''AKnightsTale''.
**** And, although the majority of the cast was British, ''Casanova'' was Italian.
** Also, we can't know that the Joker is American; nothing is solid about his past.
** The third film retcons Ducard as vaguely Middle Eastern, though he doesn't look the part. It's also possible he was simply an American in the employ of the warlord. [[spoiler:And his daughter is played by a Frenchwoman who passes as FakeAmerican.]] And from the same place comes Bane, played by a Brit.
* Creator/AndrewGarfield is a very interesting case. He was born in Los Angeles to a British mother and American father, but then moved to Britain when he was three. His three most famous roles include an American (''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan''), a Brazilian (''Film/TheSocialNetwork''), and a Brit (''Film/NeverLetMeGo'', bonus points for being a clone in the movie)
* The aforementioned Irishman Liam Neeson also played a Scot in ''Film/RobRoy'', a German in ''Film/SchindlersList'' a Frenchman in ''Film/LesMiserables1998'', and a (presumably) Spanish Jesuit in ''Film/TheMission''.
* Liam Neeson and Arnold Vosloo ''both'' played (presumably) American biochemist Dr. Peyton Westlake aka Film/{{Darkman}}.
* This whole long list and not one person has cited MerylStreep's multiple portrayals of nationalities other than her American one:
** Polish in ''Film/SophiesChoice''.
** Italian in ''The Bridges of Madison County''.
** Australian in ''A Cry in the Dark''.
** Danish in ''Film/OutOfAfrica''.
** British in ''The French Lieutenant's Woman'' (though only her ShowWithinAShow character) and as MargaretThatcher in ''TheIronLady''.
** Irish in ''Dancing at Lughnasa''.
* Creator/AudreyHepburn, born to British and Dutch parents played American (''Film/BreakfastAtTiffanys''), Russian (''WarAndPeace''), French (''Film/LoveInTheAfternoon'') Belgian (''The Nun's Story''), and Native American (''The Unforgiven'') characters.
* Creator/RalphFiennes and KateWinslet, both English, play Germans in ''Literature/TheReader'' with accents.
** Fiennes played an Austrian in ''Film/SchindlersList''.
** Fiennes played a Hungarian at least twice, both from the same era: in ''TheEnglishPatient'', as noted above, and also in the less-well known ''Sunshine'', which was about a Hungarian Jewish family during World War II.
** And he plays another Central European (this time of unknown nationality) in GrandBudapestHotel.
* In 2006's ''All the King's Men'', Brits Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins and Kate Winslet try to play southern Americans. Only Law comes out sounding respectable as far as accents go.
* Creator/MelGibson, an American raised in Australia plays the Scottish William Wallace in ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'' with an accent.
** Ditto for him and Creator/HeathLedger in ''Film/ThePatriot''. And since we're talking Australians playing Americans, Creator/RussellCrowe and Creator/GuyPearce in ''Film/LAConfidential''
*** Pearce also does a creditable American as Lenny in ''Film/{{Memento}}''.
* Pete Postlethwaite plays Kobayashi in ''Film/TheUsualSuspects''. Not much can be said about the character for certain due to an UnreliableNarrator, but the name sounds Japanese and the actor is very white. It could be a code name of course.
* Averted in ''Film/InglouriousBasterds''. Tarantino pulls off the applaudable feat of casting all characters with actors of the right nationality. This comes in handy during long stretches of dialogue in French, English, and German, respectively. Recognition of fake accents is even an important plot point in the movie.
** Except for MikeMyers (Canadian) who was cast as an Englishman.
*** Of English descent though.
** The English Hicox is played by half-Irish, half-German (Irish raised) Michael Fassbender.
*** Justified as he spoke fluent and perfect German.
*** And Fassbender actually wanted the part of Landa, but was told by Tarantino that any guy who was cast as [[Literature/WutheringHeights Heathcliff]] was "not fuckin' German enough to play Landa." (The plans for him to portray Heathcliff have since been scrapped, although he is going to play [[Literature/JaneEyre Mr. Rochester]]. Which is a good thing, because [[RaceLift we really don't need another Aryan Heathcliff]].)
* Most of PeterLorre's (an Austrian-Hungarian Jew) career is built on this trope. A small list of the nationalities he was casted as:
** Japanese (the ''Mr. Moto'' series) - although he reportedly refused heavy makeup and relying on stereotypes
** Chinese (''They Met in Bombay'') - where he did wear heavy makeup and rely on stereotypes
** French (''Mad Love'', ''Passage to Marseilles'')
** Russian (''Background to Danger'') - bizarrely, frequent costar Sidney Greenstreet (an Englishman) plays a German agent
** Mexican (''Secret Agent'') - although another character states he's [[{{Fauxreigner}} "not really a Mexican..."]]
** German - innumerable movies made in WWII, with the then all-too-common irony of a Nazi character being played by a ''Jewish'' actor who ''fled Germany when Hitler came to power''
* Lee Meredith, an American actress from New Jersey, played the Swedish Ulla in Mel Brooks' ''Film/TheProducers''. In an interview, she said that her use of stilted, formal Swedish, and her fake vaguely Scandanavian accent, made Norwegians assume she was rural/small town Swedish; while the Swedes thought she was Norwegian.
** In the 2005 musical remake, the film version of Ulla was played by Uma Thurman; who, although American-born, is at least half-Swedish.
** The first stage version of Ulla was played by Cady Huffman, another American.
* Most of Lou Diamond Phillips' early roles were Mexican-American characters (''La Bamba'', ''Stand and Deliver'', ''Young Guns''), but his ancestry is quite mixed [[note]] Phillips' father is a Scots-Irish American with one-quarter Cherokee blood, and his mother is a Filipina with Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese ancestry[[/note]]. More recently, he has played both KingArthur and the [[TheKingAndI King of Siam]] on stage.
* Vincent Schiavelli, an Italian-American, stole his brief scene in Bond movie ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'' as the German Dr. Kaufman.
* The 1943 film adaptation of Creator/ErnestHemingway's novel ''Literature/ForWhomTheBellTolls'', (which is about the UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar) had all kinds of foreign actors playing Spanish characters: Swedish (Creator/IngridBergman), Greek, Russian, Mexican, Maltese, German, Hungarian. There was one Spanish actor too.
* ''Film/{{Machete}}'' brings us American Steven Seagal as a Mexican drug lord. And no, [[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent he doesn't try at an accent]].
* ''AngelsAndDemons'' has quite a bit of this, notably Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer as the Italian Vittoria Vetra. The character of the camerlengo had his nationality changed from Italian to Irish in the film, where he is played by the Scottish EwanMcGregor.
* The film version of AndrewLloydWebber's ''ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' has this all over the place. It is set in France, and it is assumed that most characters are French. While the Phantom's nationality and family background is never explicitly stated, it can be assumed that he probably wasn't Scottish like his actor Gerard Butler. The British Miranda Richardson plays the French Madame Giry, her daughter Meg is played also by a British actress (PageThreeStunna Jennifer Ellison), Christine Daae, of Swedish descent, is played by the American Emmy Rossum and the Italian diva Carlotta is played by the British Minnie Driver.
* The little-known lowish-budget Christian film ''Hansie'', about South African cricketer Hansie Cronjé, was shot almost entirely in South Africa, with some scenes intended to be in India; all the characters in the movie are either South African or Indian, and most if not all the actors, writers, etc., are South African. Inexplicably, Hansie Cronjé's wife, Bertha, is played by American actress Sarah Thompson. Her Afrikaans accent is, quite frankly, terrible to the point of causing the audience's ears to bleed (it's like something between Dutch and German and maybe a little Australian). To be fair, the Afrikaans accent ''can'' be described as something between Dutch, German and Australian, ... but not in the way she portrayed it. ''At all''. But ja, at least she tried, hey.
** If it wasn't painfully obvious how hard she was trying, her accent would have fallen under AsLongAsItSoundsForeign.
* Most of the Tibetians in ''Film/TwentyTwelve'' were not played by actual Tibetians: Tenzin is played by Singaporean Chinese actor Chin Han, and his brother Nima by Canadian Chinese actor Osric Chau. Also, the Croat-Danish actor Zlatko Buric portrays the Russian Yuri, and his also-Russian girlfriend Tamara is played by French actress Beatrice Rosen, who also pulled a FakeRussian in ''Film/TheDarkKnight''.
* A most absurd one in the Thai superhero film ''Mercury Man''. The BigBad is an Afghan terrorist named ''Osama bin Ali'', but he is played by a Thai actor. No effort is made to change his appearance or voice to remotely sound Middle-Eastern.
* British actor Orlando Bloom has played:
** American (Oregon) Drew Baylor in ''Elizabethtown''.
** American (North Carolina) Harris Parker in ''Main Street''.
** Scottish Will Turner in ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean''.
** Irish Australian Joe Byrne in ''Ned Kelly''.
** American Todd Blackburn in ''Blackhawk Down''.
** Cayman Island native Shy in ''Haven'' (but with his British accent).
** Frenchman Balian in ''Film/KingdomOfHeaven'' (again, with his British accent).
** Played for laughs in the DVD extras of ''Film/KnockedUp'', where he participated in a skit in which Judd Apatow hired him for the male lead role (played in the movie by Seth Rogen) thinking he would use an American accent, which he refuses to do, leading Apatow to assume that he just can't. Bloom tries to play it off by saying that a British man can get a woman pregnant just as easily as an American man can.
* ZoeSaldana, who was born in New Jersey and spent her teen years in the Dominican Republic has played:
** African Nyota Uhura in the 2009 Film/StarTrek reboot.
** Cayman Island native Andrea in ''Haven''.
** Caribbean Annamaria in ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean''.
** Colombian Cataleya in ''Colombiana''.
* Let's be sure to mention {{India}}-born British VivienLeigh, whose most memorable roles were as a SouthernBelle in both GoneWithTheWind and AStreetcarNamedDesire. The role of Scarlett O'Hara has also been played by England-born JoanneWhalley.
* ''Troy'' (2004) featured Greek and other Mediterranean characters, but not a single Greek actor. A sampling:
** American Brad Pitt as Achilles (with an atrocious British accent).
** British Orlando Bloom as Paris.
** German Diane Krueger as Helen of Troy.
** Australian Eric Bana as Hector.
** Irish Brendan Gleeson as Menelaus.
** Irish Peter O'Toole as Priam.
** Scottish Brian Cox as Agamemnon.
** Australian Rose Byrne as Briseis.
** Welsh Owain Yeoman as Lysander.
** British Saffron Burrows as Andromache.
** And so on...
* ''Film/TheBrothersGrimm'' had Jonathan Pryce playing the French baddie, complete with an hilarious French accent.
-->'''Gnl. Delatombe:''' ''Zis'' is what I call Victorhy!
** Pretty much ''everyone'' in the film is this trope: Creator/MattDamon (American) and Creator/HeathLedger (Australian) as the titular German brothers, PeterStormare (Swedish) as the Italian Mercurio Cavaldi, Creator/LenaHeadey (English) as Angelika (German), and Creator/MonicaBellucci (Italian) as the Mirror Queen (presumably German).
* Pat Morita's heavy Japanese accent in ''TheKarateKid'' franchise is notable due to his natural American accent.
** Supposedly, he didn't have this accent during his first audition and was rejected as a result. He then went to his uncle, who coached him in the "proper" Japanese accent and came back for a second try.
* Johnny Depp '''is''' this trope. Aside from his legendary portrayal of English pirate [[InsistentTerminology Captain]] [[Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean Jack Sparrow]], he's broken out the British accent for several roles; better still, in ''Don Juan de Marco'', he played--ready for this?--an Italian-American who reinvented himself as a Mexican lothario--''who speaks with a Castillian accent''.
* Creator/RobertDowneyJr is an American who in ''Film/TropicThunder ''played an Australian who was [[UncleTomFoolery playing a black American]] and while that [[spoiler: briefly pretended to be a Asian farmer.]]
** He also played a very convincing Australian reporter in ''Film/NaturalBornKillers''. It wasn't intended at first but his performance was inspired by an Australian journalist and he and Oliver Stone decided to work with it.
** Not to mention ''Film/SherlockHolmes'' and his first Oscar nom as Creator/CharlieChaplin.
* Pick an old Western with Indians in it. Any of them. Mostly portrayed by Jews and Italians in brownface, for the characteristic plains Indian big nose (this also leads to unusual [[http://screenshadowsgroup.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/1978-16780.gif blue-eyed Indian]], such as the one from ''Film/TheSearchers''). More recently, Asian actors have had such roles, as evidenced by ''BrotherhoodOfTheWolf''. At the same time, white actors have claimed indigenous ancestry to make it seem "less racist" that they're playing nonwhite characters. Examples include JohnnyDepp (''Tonto'') and Noah Ringer (''TheLastAirbender'').
* Mike Todd's 1956 film of ''AroundTheWorldInEightyDays'' had Creator/ShirleyMacLaine as an Indian princess.
* In ''TakingLives'', most of the main French-Canadian characters are played by French actors using their own French accents. The difference between Quebec French and France French is as big as the one between British English and American English. Even more bizarre, the movie itself was shot in Quebec City and there are some bona fide French-Canadian as secondary characters.
* Creator/AngelinaJolie has played several non-American characters:
** British in ''TheTourist'' and the ''Film/LaraCroftTombRaider'' films
** Greek in ''Film/{{Alexander}}''.
** French, as Mariane Pearl in ''Film/AMightyHeart''.
** Russian in ''Film/{{Salt}}'' (but it fits as Salt is supposed to be a DeepCoverAgent... and she is one among many {{Fake Russian}}s there)
* MichaelMann's adaption ''Film/TheLastOfTheMohicans'' cast the English Creator/DanielDayLewis as American Hawkeye and the American Madeleine Stowe as English Cora (although Cora's sister Alice was played by genuinely English actress Jodhi May).
* ''Film/MyBigFatGreekWedding'' is full of this.
** Nia Vardalos is a Greek-Canadian playing a Greek-American.
** Lainie Kazan is Russian Jewish on her father's side and Turkish Jewish on her mother's side.
** Michael Constantine was born in the United States to Greek immigrant parents.
** Andrea Martin is an Armenian-American; the scene where Rodney & Harriet try to recall the ethnicity of Rodney's secretary, which turns out to be Armenian, may be a reference to this.
** Joey Fatone is Italian-American.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshiko_%C5%8Ctaka Yoshiko Otaka]] (aka Shirley Yamaguchi) made a career under the false identity Li Xianglan, playing the role of a Chinese woman in [[http://fyeahasianhistory.tumblr.com/post/6322790557/the-colonial-romance-from-imperial-japan propaganda films]] in colonial Manchuria. In fact, most people at the time believed she ''was'' Chinese because her grasp of the language was that good.
* ''Colombiana'' has a pair of these. The first being the already mentioned Zoe Saldana as a Colombian. The second being Maori actor Cliff Curtis playing a Colombian-American gangster.
* Creator/RonPerlman is an American who played French strongman One in the French film ''Film/TheCityOfLostChildren'', [[FauxFluency since he is the only American who memorized all his lines and didn't speak French]].
* Most of the cast in the American remake of ''Film/TheDebt'' (the main Israeli characters are played at various points in the film by England's Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkinson, Ireland's Ciarán Hinds, Australia's Sam Worthington, New Zealand's Marton Csokas and the USA's Jessica Chastain).
* The "Somali" pirates in ''TheExpendables'' are ''very'' obviously not Somali, but played by Americans of West African descent. Peoples from those two regions look nothing alike.
* UsefulNotes/{{South Africa}}n actress Creator/CharlizeTheron has yet to play a South African character.
* Most non-French film adaptations of ''Literature/TheThreeMusketeers'' qualify; ''Film/TheThreeMusketeers1993'' had exactly ''one'' French person in the cast (Julie Delpy), which is still one more than ''Film/TheThreeMusketeers2011'' (and neither of them were even filmed in France, going for Austria
* In ''War, Inc.'' HilaryDuff plays a Central Asian pop star, and unlike some people with Fake Nationality she ''doesn't'' drop the accent when singing.
* ''TheManchurianCandidate'' original, in addition to Khigh Dhiegh, had Henry Silva (Sicilian-American) as a Korean, and Creator/AngelaLansbury and Laurence Harvey as Americans, NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent. The 2004 remake didn't follow this trope, and cast Americans as Americans, Englishmen as Englishmen, and this one guy of European extraction played by a Swiss actor.
* ''Film/MortalKombat'' has an interesting, if complicated example with the character of Kano. In the video game his character was supposed to be of Japanese/American decent, but for the film his character was played by the white, Australian accented Trevor Goddard. Unfortunately Goddard was a Brit who only pretended to be an Australian in the belief that it would further his acting career, and his fake Australian accent makes Kano sound more like some sort of iffy Cockney. Thus not only did the character have a fake nationality but the man portraying him did as well. If that wasn't enough, the game developers liked Goddard's performance so much that they eventually decided to {{Retcon}} the character to be wholly Australian, but since the actor's nationality was fake it meant that the character's still was too.
* Egyptian-Lebanese Omar Sharif had a hard-time finding suitable roles in Hollywood. Among others, he played:
** A Spaniard in ''Behold a Pale Horse''
** GenghisKhan in ''Genghis Khan''
** The King of Armenia in ''Fall of the Roman Empire''
** A Russian in ''Film/DoctorZhivago''
** A Serbian in ''The Yellow Rolls-Royce''
** A Jewish-American in ''FunnyGirl'' and ''FunnyLady''
** A Mexican bandit in ''[[Film/MackennasGold Mackenna's Gold]]''
** Perhaps most egregiously, a [[WhatTheHellCastingAgency German SS officer]] in ''Night of the Generals''.
** But his first major role was an aversion, an actual Arab tribesman in LawrenceOfArabia, someone who was actually named Sharif, to boot.
* The 2002 remake of ''Film/TheFourFeathers'' has HeathLedger (Australian), Kate Hudson and Wes Bentley (American) playing upper class Victorian Englishmen. In a movie directed by Shekhar Kapur (Indian), to boot.
* Alec Guinness played, among others:
** Fagin in ''Film/OliverTwist''
** A Japanese man in ''A Majority of One''
** An Arab in ''Film/LawrenceOfArabia''
** A Russian in ''Film/DoctorZhivago'' (Omar Sharif's brother, at that)
** AdolfHitler
** An Indian in ''Literature/APassageToIndia''
* Genghis Khan is rarely played by an actual Mongol in movies. He has been played by an Egyptian (Omar Shariff), an American (John Wayne), and a Japanese (Tananobu Asano), among others.
* ''SuperTroopers'' has BrianCox (Scottish) play Captain John O'Hagan of the Vermont [[SoCalization Highway Patrol]], an American of Irish descent, based on his last name and his catch phrase being "I'll believe that when me shit turns purple and smells like rainbow sherbet" in a fake Irish accent. The catch phrase and the accent are later mocked by [[spoiler:Farva]] near the end of the film.
** One of the {{Running Gag}}s in the film is the fact that no one can quite figure out Ramathorn's ethnicity, if only by the process of elimination, due to him being AmbiguouslyBrown (he's not black, Mexican, or Arab). The actor Jay Chandrasekhar is actually American of Tamil descent.
* British actor Mark Strong, who is of Austrian and Italian descent, is often cast in Middle Eastern roles, playing an Iranian in ''Syriana'', a Jordanian in ''Body of Lies'', and an Arab in ''Black Gold''.
* Omar Sharif and Keenan Wynn as Mexicans, and Julie Newmar and Ted Cassidy as Apaches in ''Film/MackennasGold.''
* Almost everyone in ''Film/{{Hugo}}'' is British playing a French character. The exceptions are Americans playing French characters with English accents, the fake nationality triple play.
** Lead actor Creator/AsaButterfield is English and has played [[Literature/TheBoyInTheStripedPajamas a German]], [[Film/{{Hugo}} a Frenchman]] and [[EndersGame an American]] ''before his fifteenth birthday''[[labelnote:*]]Based on filming dates, with Ender's getting 18 months' post-production[[/labelnote]]. Kid's gunning for Christian Bale's record.
* In ''21 and Over'', the Korean-American Justin Chon plays the Chinese-American Jeff Chang. Furthermore, the version released in China changes him from an American-born Chinese to a Chinese-born exchange student.
* Japanese-American actor [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sessue_Hayakawa Sessue Hayakawa]] was early Hollywood's go-to guy for any ethnic minority. He was offered roles as Asians, Native Americans, and Arabs.
* ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra'' and ''Film/GIJoeRetaliation'' have quite a few (given they went from "real american heroes" to multinational, not surprising):
** Both Jonathan Pryce (Welsh) and Sienna Miller (English, born in NYC) are FakeAmerican (the President of the US and Anna Lewis/'''[[TropeNamer The]]''' [[TheBaroness Baroness]]).
** Snake-Eyes is American but is played by the Scottish Ray Park.
** Lee Byung-Hun is a Korean actor playing the Japanese Storm Shadow. As a boy, he's played by a Chinese-American, Brandon Soo Hoo (who also played a Vietnamese drug lord in ''Film/TropicThunder'').
** The possibly European Zartan is played by the already mentioned South African actor Arnold Vosloo.
** French actress Elodie Yung plays the Japanese Jinx.
** The Irish Ray Stevenson plays a Southern-American, Firefly.
* In ''Film/PacificRim'', Max Martini (American) and Robert Kazinsky (British) portray Hercules and Chuck Hanson, the Australian pilots of Striker Eureka. American Raleigh Becket is portrayed by the British Charlie Hunnam.
** The Chinese Wei triplets are played by the Vietnamese Luu triplets.
** [[Wrestling/{{Kurrgan}} Robert Maillet]] and Heather Doersken (both Canadian) play the Russian pilots Aleksis and Sasha Kaidanovsky.
** Newt and Hermann (both German) are played by an American (Charlie Day) and a Brit (Burn Gorman but born in the states)
* ''Film/{{Congo}}'' tries to pass [[Creator/TimCurry Tim Freaking Curry]] off as Romanian. It is ''[[{{Narm}} hilarious]].''
* ''Film/CloudAtlas'': In a way, since multiple non-Asian actors, including Hugo Weaving and Halle Berry, appear in heavy makeup as Koreans in the Neo Seoul storyline. Also, actress Doona Bae, a South Korean, appears as a Hispanic in the San Francisco story and as a Caucasian in the 1849 story.
* In ''Film/TheHeat'' [[Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia Kaitlin Olson]] cameos as Tatiana, a Bulgarian prostitute.
* In the 1982 film version of ''[[{{Film/Annie1982}} Annie]]'', Trinidadian actor/choreographer Geoffrey Holder played Warbucks' Indian bodyguard Punjab.
* The Creator/ClintEastwood-Creator/CharlieSheen vehicle ''The Rookie'' cast Puerto Rican Raul Julia and Brazilian Sonia Braga as Germans. To repeat, the Clint Eastwood-Charlie Sheen vehicle ''The Rookie'' cast Puerto Rican Raul Julia and Brazilian Sonia Braga [[WTHCastingAgency as Germans]].
* ''Film/TheDamned'' provides one of the more extreme examples. While a few of the main cast (Helmut Griem, Albrecht Schoenthals, Rene Koldehoff) are German, most are a bizarrely eclectic mix of nationalities. Most speaking English in their native accents, at that!
** Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling (English);
** Helmut Berger (Austrian);
** Ingrid Thulin (Swedish);
** Umberto Orsini and Nora Ricci (Italian);
** Renaud Varley (French);
** Florinda Balkan (Brazilian);
** John Frederick (American)
* Creator/DolphLundgren is Swedish, but has played mostly Americans as well as a couple of Russians (in ''{{Rocky}} IV'' and ''Red Scorpion'') and a German (in ''Film/TheExpendables'').
* ''Film/CinemaParadiso'' has three French actors playing Italian characters - including star Philippe Noiret as Alfredo, as well and Jacques Perrin and Brigitte Fossey as the adult Salvatore and Elena.
* A lot of the cast of ''Film/IntoTheStorm''. Brendan Gleeson is an Irishman portraying the Englishman Churchill, the actor who portrays FDR is actually Canadian, the King of England is portrayed by Iain Glein, a Scot, India-born Englishman Ismay is portrayed by a Welshman, and Clement Attlee is played by another Scot.
* Averted in ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}''. Alongside Serizawa, the power plant workers, Ford Brody's teacher, the teenage Yanki boy, his parents, and the boy (who Ford Brody bonds with in the train scenes) and his parents are all actually Japanese. Played straight with Aaron Taylor-Johnson himself, who is from England.
* ''Film/WestSideStory'': Maria is a Puerto Rican character. The folks in charge of casting looked at the Ukrainian Natalie Wood and said, "Eh, close enough." Maria's brother, Bernardo, is played by George Chakiris, a Greek-American.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''TheHeroesOfOlympus'', Piper's famous Cherokee father has never played any Native American roles in his movies.
* PBS made three TV adaptations of Creator/TonyHillerman's Leaphorn/Chee series. Although the series is about the Navajo Tribal Police, not a single lead role was played by a Navajo actor; instead we had the Cherokee Wes Studi as Joe Leaphorn, Canadian Saulteaux Creator/AdamBeach as Jim Chee, Mohawk Alex Rice as Janet Pete, and several others. This is ironic because of an in-universe example of this trope in ''Sacred Clowns'': Jim Chee, Janet Pete, and a Comanche agent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs attend a screening of a film about Comanches that actually used all Navajo. It is commented that Hollywood apparently thinks all Native Americans look alike.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' has a lot of these:
** The character of Khan Noonien Singh, a Punjabi Sikh played by Mexican Ricardo Montalban. His chiseled features, made up darker, worked, even while not remotely from "northern India". His [[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent accent]], [[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench pimping]] as it was, didn't.
** [[spoiler: In ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', Khan is played by the white British BenedictCumberbatch. Though in the film, Khan briefly indicates that he may have simply been "given" that name and nationality, and that it was the world that was responsible for bringing him and his compatriots into existence. And not only he keeps the British accent, but the only time the Indian surnames are referenced is when Spock-Prime discusses Khan.]]
** Chicago-born Walter Koenig, son of two Russian Jews, as Russian Pavel Chekov. ([[ChekhovsGun He's the one with the gun.]])
** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' has, in addition to the aforementioned Chekov, a Canadian (William Shatner) playing an American (James T. Kirk), another Canadian (James Doohan) playing a Scotsman (Scotty), and an American (Nichelle Nichols) playing an African (Uhura). In fact, the only characters portrayed by an actor of the same nationality are [=McCoy=] and Sulu. [=McCoy=] was a U.S. Southerner played by a Georgia-born actor with a slight-but-legit Southern accent ([=DeForest=] Kelley) and Sulu was an Asian-American played by a Japanese-American (George Takei).
*** Although Sulu was intended as a "pan-Asian" character, and in fact "Sulu" is nonsensical as a Japanese name ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulu_Sea it was a]] LineOfSightName), so there is still some divergence from George Takei's actual ethnicity. The "name blatantly not matching the ethnicity" is part of the spoof of Tony Shalhoub's character in Film/GalaxyQuest.
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' has an Englishman (Patrick Stewart) playing a Frenchman (Picard), an American ([=LeVar=] Burton) playing an African (Geordi LaForge), and another American (Denise Crosby) playing someone of Ukrainian descent (Yar).
*** Yar was originally written as a Latina, "Macha Hernandez" and the Greco-Brit Marina Sirtis was slated to play her.
*** Yar was also not Earth-born, she was born and raised on a human colony on a completely different planet.
*** [=LaForge=]'s actual origins are deliberately vague--he's a MilitaryBrat whose parents moved wherever Starfleet sent them. All we know for sure is that his mother was in Africa when he was born.
**** The post-''Nemesis'' ExpandedUniverse puts Zefram Cochrane High School (as [=LaForge=] mentioned in ''First Contact'') in Mogadishu, Somalia. Yes, ''that'' Mogadishu. It must be better in the 24th century...
** ''[[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Enterprise]]'' has a Korean-American (Linda Park) playing a Japanese woman (Hoshi). But in general, the later series were more accurate, with human characters either played by actors of appropriate nationality, or being from worlds other than Earth.
** Spoofed in ''LiveActionTV/AllThat'' with one of Kenan Thompson's characters who is a black man in a blonde wig with a Scottish accent who claims to be Japanese. When asked why he has a Scottish accent, he answers "I don't know. It's been freakin' me out for years!"
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' has Briton (of Indian descent) Naveen Andrews as Iraqi Sayid Jarrah, New Zealander Alan Dale as the British Charles Widmore, and the Australians in flashbacks are overwhelmingly played by non-Australians faking the accent. Additionally, Frenchwoman Danielle Rousseau is played by Croatian actress Mira Furlan, while Russian Mikhail Bakunin is played by Venezuelan-born Andrew Divoff, but at least he's half-Russian and speaks the language. Nigerian Eko is played by British actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, but this is justified since his parents are Nigerian and he does the accent right for once. Similarly, Korean-born American Daniel Dae Kim plays a Korean...who can't speak English at first (ironically, [[FauxFluency he had to be taught Korean by his on-screen wife]] Yunjin Kin, similar to how in-character Sun teaches English to Jin).
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' 's third episode ''The Great Game'' has British actress Haydn Gwynne playing a Czech women. Gwynne is fluent in French and Italian, so she often plays different nationalities.
* Carlo Rota, a British-born actor of Italian ancestry, plays the Lebanese Yasir Hamoudi in ''Little Mosque on the Prairie'' (note that on ''Series/TwentyFour'' Rota plays Morris O'Brian, whose ethnicity has not been specified but is likely Irish, and on an episode of This is Wonderland he played an Italian hotdog vendor).
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}''
** The Israeli Ziva David is played by Cote de Pablo, whose parentage is Chilean.
** For that matter, Ari the BigBad is played by Rudolf Martin, a German.
** And American (of Irish and Italian ancestry) Armand Assante as Frenchman Rene Benoit, a.k.a. La Grenouille. ([[ComicallyMissingThePoint But then, France is between Ireland and Italy, so...]])
* Hispanic Michael Trevino plays the white Tyler Lockwood who is descended from Native Americans on ''Series/TheVampireDiaries''
** Also neither Paul Wesley or Ian Somerhalder who play the Italian-American Salvatores have any Italian in them and none of the actors who play the Originals have any Scandinavian ancestry.
* Betty's father in ''UglyBetty'' is Mexican , but the actor who played him, Tony Plana, is Cuban. Her extended family from the episode "A Tree Grows in Guadalajara" was composed of Justina Machado (Puerto Rican-American), Rita Moreno (Puerto Rican) and Lillian Hurst (Puerto Rican). The episode also had Lilyan Chauvin (''French!'') playing a Mexican native.
* The animal hunter in ''Series/{{Eureka}}'' has a horrific supposed Australian accent. To an actual Australian, it sounds like a strangled mix of South African, Irish and New Zealand accents using occasional Australian words.
** Played by Canadian American Matt Frewer, best known as MaxHeadroom.
* Briton Hugh Laurie as American Gregory House on ''Series/{{House}}''. In a season one episode House calls a doctor in the middle of the night and fakes a British accent, claiming he's from London and forgot what time it would be in America. For that scene, Laurie did not speak with his real accent, but with the accent he used when he played Bertie Wooster. It was meant to sound "over the top" and be a wink to people who know Laurie's work in ''Series/JeevesAndWooster''.
** This is also the accent he used for the extremely dim Prince of Wales in ''Blackadder III''. In fact, the BBC impersonation show ''DeadRingers'' played with the idea of Hugh Laurie doing House - in his Prince Regent accent from ''Blackadder''. A second sketch had him playing the Prince Regent - but in Gregory House's American accent.
** It's possible to find the occasional Brit complaining about Hugh Laurie's "horribly fake" American accent on House, though it sounds perfectly fine to people who are actually ''from'' the US (this is probably due to the fact they know he's ''not'' American, so his accent ''must'' be fake, right?). WordOfGod says that one of the producers was unfamiliar with Laurie and had been complaining about all the foreign actors being suggested for the part; when he heard Laurie's audition tape, he said something along the lines of "There, ''that's'' what I want, an American actor!"
* SFDebris humorously lampshades this tropes in his review of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' with the quote and video above where Brit Patrick Stewart plays Frenchman Jean-Luc Picard, with [[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent his own British accent]].
** The British accent is at least a decent second choice. A Frenchman who speaks English completely fluently will tend to sound British, as that's the accent taught in French schools.
*** For that matter, there's no real reason to suppose that a French accent of 200 years in the future would sound ''anything'' like a French accent of today. For all we know, all the other characters are thinking "Oh my God, he's ''such'' a Frog" every time he opens his mouth.
*** Stewart spoke French in just ''one'' episode of the entire series, which was passable but of course English-accented.
** Speaking of ''Franchise/StarTrek'', ''[[Series/StarTrekVoyager Voyager]]'' had Robert Beltran, who does not really identify as indigenous, play a Mayan.
* Kato in various adaptations of ''Franchise/TheGreenHornet'' has always been Filipino but has never been played by one. The first radio actor to voice the role was apparently Japanese (Raymond Hayashi), American Roland Parker voiced him for most of the series run, while American Mickey Tolan played the role towards the end. In the [[Film/TheGreenHornetSerials film serials]], Kato's nationality was specified as Korean, but the role was played by Chinese actor Keye Luke. And in the TV series Kato was played by Chinese-American actor Bruce Lee.
* Mixed with the FakeAmerican concept on the short-lived series ''Series/NewAmsterdam''. Creator/NikolajCosterWaldau, a Dane, plays John Amsterdam, [[spoiler: a NYC cop who is actually an immortal Dutchman doomed to walk the earth until he found his soul mate and went through an interesting string of relationships and Americanized aliases]]. His American accent was good enough to fool most viewers.
* German actor Horst Buchholz played a Polish man very convincingly in ''Film/TigerBay'' - his [[OohMeAccentsSlipping accent only slipped]] in a single scene.
* David Carradine, who is an American of Cherokee, English, Irish, Italian, Scottish, German, Spanish, Ukrainian and Welsh descent, played the half-Chinese Shaolin Master Kwai Chang Caine in ''KungFu''. Carradine's half-brother Keith portrayed a teenage Caine, while an equally non-Asian Radames Perá played young Caine.
** And contrary to popular belief, BruceLee was ''never'' attached to the series.
* In the 1987 British made-for-television film ''{{Scoop}}l'', Norwegian actor Sverre Anker Ousdal plays insane Swede Erik Olafsen. Funny thing is, Olafsen is a rather Norwegian spelling, the most common Swedish equivalent would be Olofsson. Not to mention that there is nothing in the plot that requires the character to be a Swede - making him Norwegian would at least be more accurate.
* In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', we have the Indian-American actor Sendhil Ramamurthy playing the Indian character Mohinder Suresh; at the beginning of the show he attempted to do some kind of Indian accent (possibly Tamil?), but after a few episodes he settled on a (relatively good) straight British accent. We also have the Korean-American actor James Kyson Lee playing the Japanese (and Japanese-speaking) character Ando Masahashi, presumably under the tutelage of his authentically Japanese colleague Masi Oka.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' and ''Series/{{Angel}}'' used this, most obviously with Americans DavidBoreanaz, JamesMarsters, Creator/JulietLandau and AlexisDenisof playing the Irish Angel and English Spike, Drusilla and Wesley Windham-Price respectively.
** California-born JamesMarsters took this to an extreme in the Buffy episode "Doomed" (4x11). Playing the British vampire Spike, he replicates a Brit's very poor imitation of an American accent when Spike tries to change his speech to avoid detection by the vampire-capturing Initiative. This rather remarkable feat can be considered the linguistic equivalent of "chicken-fried chicken": chicken pretending to be cube steak pretending to be chicken.
** In Boreanaz's case his character's nationality wasn't revealed until two seasons in, while he had been speaking with a basic American accent and his Irish accent in flashbacks was rather poor, so he continued to speak with his regular accent.
** See [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0219206/board/thread/67815602?d=90619232&p=1#90619232 here]] for some of the natter about how Alexis Denisof's American accent sounds fake and put-on...
* On ''Series/{{Mash}}'', Asians of every nationality and descent were used to play the native Koreans.
** In the later part of that series, Korea ''itself'' was cast [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything to play Vietnam]].
* The ''Play of the Week'' adaptation of ''Rashomon'' (not to be confused with the Creator/AkiraKurosawa film) had actors of several nationalities playing Japanese characters. None of the actors were Asian, let alone Japanese. Among them: Ricardo Montalban (Mexican), Carol Lawrence (Italian-American), James Mitchell (Anglo-Portuguese), and Oskar Homolka (Austrian with a Czech surname).
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' featured a Finnish character... using a [[FakeRussian Russian]] accent[[note]]Despite the geographical proximity and shared history, Finnish sounds nothing like Russian: even something like Spanish or Japanese or Turkish would actually be closer (though if you want the best wrong Finnish accent try Hungarian which sounds surprisingly similar (Finnish and Hungarian are related, yes, but only as much as English and Russian are related: the similarities are mostly coincidental))[[/note]].
* ''Series/HogansHeroes'' is actually a surprisingly complete aversion. Of the main cast, which included French, British, American and German characters, only Sgt. Shultz was representing a different country-he was Austrian.
** In the time the series is set, Austria wasn't exactly "a different country"-it had been annexed by Germany.
* In ''Series/FawltyTowers'', Manuel, who's from Barcelona, is played by a German-born British actor.
** Who is also Jewish, and in fact ''escaped'' Germany right after Kristallnacht.
** The "American" in the ''Waldorf Salad'' was a Canadian actor that made a career of being the token North American on British shows.
* Swedish actress Helena Mattsson was recently cast as a Russian gold-digger on ''DesperateHousewives''.
* Daniel Davis of Arkansas has made a career playing proper Brits, most notably on ''Series/TheNanny''. According to his Website/IMDb profile, during the run of that series viewers would write in saying that his castmate Charles Shaughnessy (who actually ''is'' British) should take lessons from Davis on how to do a proper British accent!
* ''[[Series/TwentyFour 24]]'' has produced several examples:
** The above-mentioned Vosloo as Habib Marwan, a terrorist BigBad of Turkish origin.
** British-Sudanese actor Alexander Siddig played Hamri al-Assad, a [[AnonymousRinger presumably Lebanese]] terrorist mastermind turned [[TheAtoner Atoner]].
** Sean Majumder played an Arab terrorist on the show, despite being half East Indian and half Newfie.
** In a particularly jarring example, American Dennis Hopper played BigBad Victor Drazen, a ''Serbian'' warlord.
** Don't forget Indian-American actor Kal Penn playing an Arab of indeterminate origin.
** Aki Avni, an Israeli, plays an Arab terrorist. [[spoiler: For about twelve seconds.]]
** And Jack Bauer is played by a Canadian actor of British ancestry. [[CatchPhrase Damn it!!!]]
** Anil Kapoor, a Bollywood (Indian) superstar, is playing a character of presumably Iranian origin, though not a terrorist, but a foreign President.
** Australian John Noble played a minor antagonist on the series who was Russian.
** Australian actor Nick Jameson also played a Russian character: Yuri Suvarov, the president of the country.
** Peter Wingfield played David Emerson, a bad guy from the African nation of "Sangala," without his native-born Welsh accent. (He has also used, with varying degrees of success, an Irish accent on "NCIS:LA" and Russian on an episode of "Endgame".)
* American Richard Basehart portrayed a British stage actor on an episode of ''Columbo''.
* New Yorker Bernie Kopell was over-the-top German villain Siegfried on ''Series/GetSmart''.
* Khigh Dhiegh made a career out of playing "yellow peril" Asian villains, like Yen Lo in ''TheManchurianCandidate'' and Wo Fat on ''Series/HawaiiFiveO''. In real life, he founded the Taoist Institute in Hollywood. But he was born Kenneth Dickerson in New Jersey, of mixed Anglo and North African/Arab heritage, with no trace of East Asian-ness.
* The TrueJackson movie has an actor sloppily juggling an American and Scottish accent...while playing a Frenchman.
* ''{{Numb3rs}}'' features Amita Ramanujan - a Tamil character played by a Rajput actress. More egregious than it sounds, since the two groups look significantly different.
** Plus Navi Rawat (the actress) is half-German...and the actors who play her parents look nothing alike.
* ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' has a New Zealander playing the extremely Scottish Flynn [=McAlisteir=]. He made a game effort on the accent, at least. Not to mention the full cast of {{Fake American}}s in every season since 2003.
** Now that Saban has the series back, Americans are playing the Rangers again, though filming's still taking place in New Zealand and there will probably still be some Fake Americans involved.
** ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'' has the Mexican-American Antonio played by an actor who is Thai-German.
* Subverted in an episode of the ElleryQueen TV series, in which an Indian man is obviously played by a white guy with makeup. It turns out that, in-universe, he ''is'' a white guy in makeup playing an Indian.
* In Season 1 of ''Series/TheCloser'', [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000642/ Marina Sirtis]], of [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Deanna Troi]] fame, plays an Iranian woman. Though Greek, she plays a sleuth of Middle Eastern and Levant characters.
* MargaretCho's ''Series/AllAmericanGirl'' did this in spades: Margaret Cho was the only Korean-American in the main cast of the show. The actress playing the grandmother (Amy Hill) was Japanese-American, as was father Clyde Kusatsu; mother Jodi Long and brother B.D. Wong were Chinese-American.
* In ''RescueMe'', African-American Daniel Sunjata plays the Puerto Rican Franco Rivera.
* The cast of ''Series/AlloAllo'' is made up of dozens of Englishmen playing Frenchmen, Germans, Austrians, Italians and Swedes. Only three characters in the show are British. Despite that, everyone talks English, but they pretend they can't understand each other and speak with different accents.
* In a very early episode of ''Series/TheSaint'', Simon Templar has to rescue a kidnapped American girl in Rome. Said girl, played by English actress Sally Bazely, is the definition of NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent.
* On ''Series/{{Community}}'' Abed and his dad are Arab-Americans: Danny Pudi (Abed) is half-Indian and half-Polish (and grew up speaking Polish), while Iqbal Theba (Abed's dad) is Pakistani. The Arabic they speak, however, is real.
** Señor Chang, a.k.a. ''El Tigre Chino'' ("The Chinese Tiger"), is played by ''Korean''-American actor Ken Jeong.
* In Series/MissionImpossible, Leonard Nimoy, as the MasterOfDisguise, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg76TOodagI went undercover as a Japanese person and did kabuki]].
** And as ''The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier'' pointed out, when he disguised himself as the villain (played by [[Series/HawaiiFiveO Wo Fat]] himself, Khigh Dheigh) he somehow became several inches shorter...
* On ''{{Ringer}}'' Henry's American wife Gemma is [[spoiler: - well, ''was'' -]] played by British actress Tara Summers. Averted on the same show by Ioan Gruffudd and Jaime Murray, however, who do indeed play Brits.
* Adelai Niska on ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', a crime boss of indeterminate Eastern European ethnicity ([[http://fireflychinese.kevinsullivansite.net/episode3.html#ws though he tells his henchman to cut off Mal's ear in Czech]]), is played by New Yorker Michael Fairman.
* In ''Series/ThirtyRock'', Fred Armisen guest-stars as Liz's Middle Eastern neighbor whom she immediately suspects is a terrorist. [[spoiler: He just wants to participate in ''Series/TheAmazingRace''.]]
* Done with each of the leads on StrikeBack. American Philip Winchester plays [[FakeBrit British Sgt. Michael Stonebridge]], while Aussie Sullivan Stapleton plays [[FakeAmerican Ex-Delta Force soldier Damien Scott]].
* Ahmad Kahn on ''Series/NYC22'' is an Afghan refugee-turned-[[NewMeat NYPD rookie]]. His actor is British of Arab or Persian descent.
* On ''Series/{{Glee}}'', the Irish/Filipino DarrenCriss plays white American Blaine Anderson.
* On ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'', the white MarkSheppard plays Graham Tanaka, a white FBI agent with an Asian last name.
* The Japanese Suki from ''TowerPrep'' is played by a Taiwanese-American.
* Ricardo Montalban (again) gets it twice in ''Series/HawaiiFiveO'': as European race car driver Alex Pareno in "Death Wish On Tantalus Mountain" and as a ''Japanese'' man named Tokura in "Samurai".
** Montalban was a frequent victim of this trope. He often complained that he was cast as just about every nationality ''but'' Mexican in productions not made in his native country (in ''Series/TheWildWildWest'''s "The Night of the Lord of Limbo" he played a Confederate soldier called Noel Bartley Vautrain!).
* Also on ''Series/HawaiiFiveO'': among the many roles played by Mark Lenard was an amnesiac Japanese ''ninja''. Really.
* The Honduran comedian Carlos Mencia (real name Ned Holness) made a career out of exploiting Mexican and Mexican-American stereotypes. He did this in both his stand-up routine and on the show MindOfMencia. In his early stand-up career he tried to avert this by telling jokes about how he was always mistaken for Mexican. However he eventually decided to embrace the confusion, and identify himself as Mexican.
* Ross Martin, a Polish-American Jew, was so convincing as the Hispanic [[Series/MrLucky Andamo]] that he became typecast for a time in such roles.
* In ''Series/CodeLyokoEvolution'', Yumi, a Japanese girl, is played by Mélanie Tran, an actress of Vietnamese descent.
* The second season of ''Series/OnceUponATime'' added the character of Disney/{{Mulan}}, based on the Chinese ''Ballad of Hua Mulan'', played by a Korean-American.
* Both played straight and subverted in "The Night Of The Inferno," the pilot of ''Series/TheWildWildWest'': Nehemiah Persoff, born in Jerusalem, plays a Mexican; Victor Buono plays a Chinaman... who turns out to be another Mexican in disguise, making this a case of Fake Nationality in-universe (but still being a Fake Nationality). (While the nationality of Buono's villain Count Manzeppi was never made clear, he definitely plays an American in one of the two [[ReunionShow reunion movies]]; Persoff, on the other hand, plays a Chinaman in "The Night of the Deadly Blossom" and an American in "The Night of the Underground Terror.")
* The [[InternationalCoproduction US-UK]] MadeForTVMovie ''Murder By Moonlight'' (or ''[[MarketBasedTitle Murder On The Moon]]'', depending on which country you watch it in) is a Fake Nationality fiesta - set on a joint American-Russian lunar colony, the cast has Danish Brigitte Nielsen as an American investigator with other Americans played by Brits (and some actual Americans, like Gerald [=McRaney=]), and British Julian Sands as a Russian investigator with other Russians played by Brits, Poles and even the odd American.
* In ''TheGeorgeLopezShow'', Carmen, who is Mexican and Cuban, is played by the Albanian Masiela Lusha. Her Cuban-American mother Angie is played by Constance Marie, who is Mexican.
* In ''[[Series/TheBridgeUS The Bridge]]'' German actress Diane Kruger plays American Sonya Cross, while Colombian actress Catalina Sandino Moreno plays Mexican Alma Ruiz.
* On ''Series/HouseOfCardsUS'', the Cuban-American Linda Vazquez is played by Indian-American Sakina Jaffrey.
* ''Series/{{The100}}'' has among others Australian Eliza Taylor as Clarke, Canadian Marie Avgeropoulos as Octavia and Scottish-Peruvian Henry Ian Cusick as Kane.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* This is fairly common in pro wrestling, and it goes back to the earliest days of the sport. One of the first such angles involved "Cowboys vs. Indians," with well-tanned wrestlers playing the heel Indians and some well-crafted publicity stunts used to draw the desired media attention. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, ForeignWrestlingHeels became common, first with American wrestlers portraying Germans sympathetic to the Nazi cause (when in fact, several "pro-Nazi" wrestlers were Jewish or fought for the Allied forces), and later faux-Russians. Oriental heels also became common, with most of them actually being Native American, Hawaiian or Samoan (although a few were legitimately Asian); for instance, Mr. Fuji was actually Hawaiian. During the 1970's and 1980's, such as Wrestling/IvanKoloff and [[Wrestling/EdFarhat the original Sheik]] were two of the biggest stars; they were actually North Americans posing as foreigners. In addition, a number of Caucasian wrestlers, such as Paul Diamond and Jamie Noble, have posed as orientals wearing masks.
* Subverted when Wrestling/TheIronSheik, an Iranian, had a brief run in the early 90's as Col. Mustafa, an Iraqi. He was still identified as being the Iranian born Sheik but had changed his allegiance to the nation that was now America’s main enemy
* Although billed as being from the Soviet Union (specifically Lithuania), Wrestling/NikolaiVolkoff (born Josip Nikolai Peruzović) was actually from Yugoslavia ({{UsefulNotes/Croatia}}, to be exact). Boris Zhukov (born James Harell), his ostensibly Soviet tag team partner and later rival, was in fact born and raised in ''Virginia''.
* Burqua-clad Syrian valet Raisha Saeed is portrayed by American [[Wrestling/CheerleaderMelissa Melissa Anderson]], AKA [[IHaveManyNames "Future Legend" Cheerleader Melissa and Alissa Flash]].
* Canadian (though of Italian descent) Anthony Carelli playing Italian Wrestling/SantinoMarella.
* Parodied with the WWF/E's The Machines, a supposedly Japanese tag team whose membership included "Giant Machine" (obviously Wrestling/AndreTheGiant in a mask), and "Hulk Machine" ([[Wrestling/HulkHogan Guess Who?]]) The group was actually part of a CharlieBrownFromOuttaTown angle when Andre was suspended for no-showing an event. [[note]]The angle itself was a cover for Andre's filming of ''ThePrincessBride'', a tour of Japan and tending to health problems.[[/note]]
* Wrestling/{{Sabu}}, in reality an American-born wrestler of Lebanese descent, has been billed as hailing from Saudi Arabia, and from Bombay, India. Sabu attempts to maintain the illusion by not speaking in public, though he has been overheard speaking to his opponents during matches in a perfectly American accent. At one point, ECW were billing him as from "Bombay, Michigan" as an in-joke.
** While at the same time, his tag-team partner, Wrestling/RobVanDam, was billed as being from "Battle Creek, India".
* Wrestling/{{Yokozuna}}, depicted by Samoan-American Rodney Anoa'i. Somewhat subverted in that while he represented Japan and had the Japanese Wrestling/MrFuji in his corner, he actually was billed as being from Polynesia. This lead to a funny moment of irony during his match against Bret Hart at Wrestlemania IX when the fans chanted "USA" to taunt Yokozuna(as Bret isn't American and Yoko was).
** Incidentally, Mr. Fuji himself qualifies for this, as he's actually American born in Hawaii (though of Japanese descent).
* Wrestling/KofiKingston was originally billed as being from Jamaica, an artifact from NECW that probably got him hired since WWE apparently wanted Jamaican Wrestlers at the time. He was actually born in Ghana (and raised in America), which WWE finally admitted.
* New York Bodyguard Ezekiel Jackson, played by a Guyanese Wrestler, but eventually WWE decided to drop the charade.
* Also, Mexican wrestler Wrestling/{{Hunico}}'s new bodyguard/running buddy Camacho is billed from Juarez Mexico, but is played by the Tongan Tevita Fifita.
* Shantelle Taylor (real name: Shantelle Larissa Malawski), a Canadian of Polish descent, was originally meant to debut in WWE's Cruiserweight division under a mask and body suit as a supposed Japanese competitor and [[SamusIsAGirl would eventually be unmasked to be revealed as a woman]]. Taylor was released before she made it to TV. (She did spend time in Wrestling/{{TNA}} as Taylor Wilde but was billed from her hometown of Toronto.)
* In TNA the stable Mexican America had no Mexican members. On top of that only one of them was even ethnically Mexican, Anarquia, who was an American from California. Both Hernandez and Rosita are Americans of Puerto Rican decent, but were from Texas and New York. Hernandez was even still wearing tights with the Puerto Rican flag on them when the angle began. Finally Sarita is Canadian and not even Hispanic. However her inclusion can be justified because she was the only one that could fluently speak Spanish.
* Wrestling/KillerKhan, a Japanese wrestler playing a Mongolian.
* Wrestling/OneManGang, a white guy from South Carolina was portrayed as Akeem the African dream.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* The title character in ''Theatre/{{Othello}}'' has been played by a Caucasian (with or without blackface) more often than would make one [[http://newsletter.nlb.gov.sg/issue_Oct_nov06/hotvideos/images/q9.JPG comfortable.]] Do they figure [[ViewersAreMorons no one]] will notice?
** Indeed, this was how it was done in Shakespeare's day. The first black actor to play Othello was in 1825, but don't think just because they went black they never went back - Constantin Stanislavski played him in 1896, Sir LaurenceOlivier in 1964, Paul Scofield in 1980, Anthony Hopkins in 1981.
** All these examples are not necessarily "blackface" - Othello is described as a "moor", which some assume to mean black and some assume to mean Arab. The Anthony Hopkins and Orson Welles portrayals made use of this ambiguity. Laurence Olivier's, though? Definitely black, and a little weird.
** Yes, just because he uses the adjective 'black' on himself doesn't mean he was actually imagined as being any darker than leather. This is Shakespeare. It also helps that neither the writer nor the audience had had any extensive nuanced experience with other races.
** In an interesting twist on the play's theme, in an 1998 staging which was called the "photo-negative" version, Creator/PatrickStewart played Othello in an otherwise all-black cast.
* Similarly, Monostatos in ''Theatre/TheMagicFlute'' is referred to as a moor in the libretto, but is not always portrayed as black. It helps that (in North America, at least) operas rely on subtitles, so phrases like "the wicked moor" can be given as "the wicked Monostatos".
* Controversy surrounded ''MissSaigon'' when it was being transported to Broadway after a successful run in London. The Actor's Equity Association would not allow Jonathan Pryce, who had created the role of [[HonestJohnsDealership The Engineer]] in London, to play the role on Broadway. According to them, allowing Pryce, a Caucasian, made up to look like an Asian in the show, would be an affront to Asian actors. A counterargument was that the Engineer is of mixed descent (French-Vietnamese), and Pryce was being discriminated against for being Caucasian. After pressure from Cameron Mackintosh, the producer, the general public, and its own members, the AEA relented and Jonathan Pryce was allowed to recreate his role on Broadway. A controversy also sprung up related to Lea Salonga, the female lead, but it was not racially related.
** Parodied on a ''LittleBritain'' sketch in which a pushy stage mother desperately tries to get her son a part in Shakespeare's ''HenryV''. When she suggests him for the role of Henry V, the director tells her that Jonathan Pryce has already been cast in the lead, to which she replies "But he's Chinese!"
** And of course, Lea Salonga, who is Filipina, has been cast as Vietnamese (''MissSaigon''), French (''Theatre/LesMiserables''), Chinese (''Disney/{{Mulan}}'', ''FlowerDrumSong''), and Arab (''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'').
* The character of Christmas Eve in ''Theatre/AvenueQ'' is an immigrant who sings about how her life sucks, in part, because she worked in a Korean deli (or, in some versions, a Chinese restaurant) upon coming to America, despite being Japanese. In the Australia/New Zealand tour, she is played by Filipina Christina O'Neill.
* In ''Theatre/SundayInTheParkWithGeorge'', this is guaranteed to happen, because the first act is set entirely in France with French characters (with two Americans and two Germans in the company), and the second act is set in America, with American characters.
* In the premiere of ''Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World'', Musa, an Egyptian, was played by an East Indian actor, and Gamila, also Egyptian, was played by a white American actress.
* SoundHorizon usually does this for their live shows out of necessity. The band is Japanese, but almost all of the RockOpera albums are set outside of East Asia (Ancient Greece, 14th century Germany, France, etc). Obviously, it's rather difficult to find German or French performers that can sing live in fluent Japanese, so Japanese people playing Westerners it is.
* In Creator/HaroldPinter's ''Celebration'', Suki, who is of Japanese descent, is usually played by a Caucasian actress.
* In Book-It Repertory Theatre's adaptation of ''Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet'', the Chinese Henry Lee was played by a Filipino actor, while Keiko Okabe, who is obviously Japanese, was played by a Korean.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', there is not a single character who is of the same nationality as their voice actor. The Australian Sniper is actually American, the German Medic is actually a Brit, and so on. This was done on purpose, to make the characters' accents sound stereotypically exaggerated.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' has Sniper Wolf, a Kurdish sniper voiced by Tasia Valenza, a ''New Yorker''. She sounds like an American trying to sound like a ''Russian'' trying to do an Iraqi accent.
--> '''Sniper Wolf:''' Doz damn Amerikanz!
* It's probably not surprising that something as {{Camp}} as ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3'' has this as well. It features the English Creator/TimCurry as Russian, the Welsh Jonathan Pryce as English, the Swedish Peter Stormare also as a Russian, and the Native Hawaiian-Chinese-English Kelly Hu as Japanese. Averted by Japanese-American Creator/GeorgeTakei playing the Japanese Emperor. This is just fine, however, since the setting is non-stop HamToHamCombat, and Tim Curry's Russian accent is ''hilarious''.
* In ''SyphonFilter: The Omega Strain'' and ''Dark Mirror'', Canadian-American actress JenniferHale voices both Mara Aramov([[FakeRussian Russian]]) and Maggie Powers([[FakeBrit British]]).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Discussed in ''{{Website/Cracked}}'', which calls the accent dissonance arising from Fake Nationality [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18721_the-5-stupidest-ways-movies-deal-with-foreign-languages_p2.html The Single Stupidest Way Movies Deal with Foreign Languages]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Done in-universe in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', where Bolin (half-Fire Nation, half-Earth Kingdom) plays "Nuktuk, Hero of the South(ern Water Tribe)". His costar Ginger doesn't seem to have any Water Tribe racial traits either, though it's hard to tell her heritage for sure.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Universal]]
* Generally, almost all works that portray Indians, even if they hire Indians, do not pay attention to the regional accent of the actor. Most western viewers do not notice this, but it can get annoying to viewers who can pick out Indian regional accents. It's as annoying as watching an actor with a strong Texan accent play a character in Fargo. ''Series/{{Outsourced}}'' is a very egregious example. A lot of actors are from different backgrounds than the characters they play. For example, Rizwan Manji who is an Ismaili Muslim plays Rajeev Gidwani who is a Sindhi Hindu. Rebecca Hazelwood who plays Asha in ''Outsourced'' is part Indian-part English has played a lot of Indian characters of various backgrounds (although she is decent enough of an actress to pull it off). Generally, it's not a big deal because the specific regional background of the character doesn't really matter much to the story line. Generally averted in all movies directed by Mira Nair which is why she is able to pull off stories that are sensitive to the background of the characters (see Mississipi Masala).
* Children of a certain age can learn a new language without a "foreign" accent up to age 10-12.[[note]]though there are cases of this happening into the late teens. Pro Skater Bob Bob Burnquist is originally from Rio De Janeiro Brazil, but moved to Los Angeles at 16. Listening to him one wouldn't be able to tell he isn't from the United States.[[/note]] Up to age seven or so they change their regional accent within a language with very little apparent effort, and older ones frequently make a deliberate effort to do so right up to the age when romantic interest makes being the exotic foreigner a net positive.
** There are plenty of specific examples of this on the individual "Fake ____" pages. It seems this experience seems to lead to an interest in the performing arts...
* There is a medical condition known as Foreign Accent Syndrome in which victims of brain damage unknowingly [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin speak with what sounds like a foreign accent.]] This was once portrayed on an episode of ''RoyalPains''.
* Any example of a character coming from a country that doesn't exist in real life. Obviously, the actor ''couldn't'' come from that country.
[[/folder]]
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