This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab.

Fake Scot

A non-Scottish actor pretending to be a Scottish character.

Scottish people in particular get very tetchy about foreign actors trying to pull off their accent, probably because we're so conditioned to it being done badly that we can't accept that someone might actually be good at it.

Not to be confused with No True Scotsman.


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  • Emily Watson in Breaking the Waves.
  • Mel Gibson in Braveheart.
  • Mike Myers in So I Married an Axe Murderer, Shrek, as Fat Bastard in the Austin Powers series, and his "All Things Scottish" recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live.
  • Christopher Lambert and Adrian Paul in Highlander.
  • Jonny Lee Miller in Trainspotting.
  • In-Universe: Indiana Jones tries to affect the accent in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The (German!) butler he's talking to doesn't buy it for a second ("If you are Scottish, sir, then I am Mickey Mouse."), so Indy goes for an alternate route. And the funniest thing is Indy's dad is Sean Connery, whose Scottishness is impossible to doubt.
  • Another Time, Another Place has an internal example with Glaswegian actors Phyllis Logan and Gregor Fisher putting on fake north-eastern accents.
  • The whole cast of The Body Snatcher (starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi). The play's set in Scotland, and the characters use bits of Scottish dialect - "the wee dog," "we highlanders have what we call the Second Sight," "you're a wild lass, Meg," etc...but they don't even try to do the accents. (Which is better than trying and doing them badly.) The one exception is the street singer, but we never hear her speak.
  • English actors Amelia Bullmore and Ben Miller as Scottish relatives living in the Highlands in What We Did On Our Holiday.
  • The Loch Ness Horror was filmed at Lake Tahoe, and has a bunch of American actors pretending to be Scottish, very badly.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Maggie Smith puts on a Scottish accent to play Minerva McGonagall, whose nationality wasn't stated in the books but was later confirmed by Word of God to be Scottish. But averted with the Scottish Robbie Coltrane playing Hagrid - who had a Funetik Accent in the book to tell readers he was Scottish.
    • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has Dublin native Brendan Gleeson as Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody. The really weird part is that in this movie, Mad-Eye Moody is being impersonated by a non-Scottish impostor, who's paradoxically played by the very Scottish David Tennant doing an English accent. Now that's confusing.
    • A curious inversion happens with Kelly Macdonald playing Helena Ravenclaw. She is Scottish but puts on an I Am Very British accent. But her natural accent slips through on occasion, which some fans have taken to be deliberate. Her mother is referred to as "fair Ravenclaw from Glen", implying that Rowena Ravenclaw was Scottish herself.
  • The film adaptation of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie has only one Scottish actor in the main cast - Gordon Jackson. Maggie Smith, Pamela Franklin and Celia Johnson are all English but speak with Scottish accents. Robert Stephens, who plays Teddy Lloyd, keeps his English accent.
  • The Wicker Man has English actor Edward Woodward as Scottish policeman Sgt Howie. Most of the supporting cast were English, Britt Eckland (Willow) was Swedish and Ingrid Pitt (the librarian) Polish.

    Live Action TV 
  • James Doohan as Scotty in Star Trek: The Original Series.
    • He was actually able to do extremely good Scottish accents. It was Gene Roddenberry and the show's producers who made him tone it down to the cod-Scottish accent you hear on Star Trek. In his audition, he first did Glasgow. Bad move. He then tried the different Aberdeen accent. Still unintelligible to non-Scottish ears. Finally, on the Daphne-Moon-out-of-Frasier principle, he had to adopt a compromise accent that was vaguely there somewhere (just as Daphne Moon's Manchester accent does what it's meant to - except in Manchester). We who actually live in Manchester accepted that Daphne's Manchester accent isn't meant for us - it's to convey the general impression to Americans, while being intelligible to them. Same thing with James Doohan's Scotty: conveying the general idea of Scottishness while still comprehensible to Yanks. Not meant for genuine Scottish people to listen to, alas. Just think how Americans would take to a real Glasgow accent (it's why Billy Connolly's American sitcom went tits up. (For that, could you imagine Daphne Moon having a REAL Manchester-area accent, let's say the sort of broad Boltonian of Peter Kay?)
    • Later, Simon Pegg (which unlike the Canadian Doohan, is at least British - though from England) in the Star Trek reboot. His accent was heavier to highlight Scotty's Plucky Comic Relief nature.
  • A rather weird example in Doctor Who, where the actor David Tennant has a Scottish accent in real life, then plays a character with an English accent, who in universe fakes a Scottish accent.
    • Doctor Who also has a standard example in the Second Doctor's Scottish companion Jamie McCrimmon, played by the English actor Frazer Hines. (Funnily enough, David Tennant's character used Jamie's name while faking that Scottish accident - giving us an English-accented character played by a Scottish actor who goes by the name of a Scottish-accented character who was played by an English actor!)
  • Discussed here by Tom Hanks in an appearance on The Late Late Show. Hanks claims you can do a stereotypical Scottish accent by saying "silver plate" in a particular way.
  • Emma Thompson in a couple of roles, but most notably in Tutti Frutti. Distinct from most other examples in that she's actually pretty good at it.
  • Once Upon a Time features the kingdom from Brave in the fifth season. Although Merida is played by Scottish actress Amy Manson, her parents are both played by Irish actors.
  • Kiwi actor Ari Boyland plays the Scottish Flynn in Power Rangers RPM. His father is also played by a New Zealand actor.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Roddy Piper is billed as being from Glasgow, Scotland, and even wears a kilt. He's actually from Canada.

  • Barry Cryer as Hamish and Alison Steadman as Mrs Naughtie in Hamish and Dougal. Dougal is an interesting case, because Graeme Garden is from Aberdeenshire, but grew up in England and doesn't have a noticable Scottish accent normally ... and in any case is clearly matching his performance to the comedy accent used by Cryer.

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