How's Your British Accent?
What's this? Jonas:
Student ID. You're going to college. You're transferring in from England. How's your British accent?
A former English soap opera actress, now working in Vancouver
on an American show, naturally needs to put on an American accent when playing an American character. This she can do, because she's an actress, y'know?
The bonus comes when her character has to go undercover as a Brit
, complete with an eerily accurate "fake" English accent...
Happens surprisingly often, with the fake-fake accent sometimes being intentionally poor. It's fairly easy for actual Brits to spot a fake accent that would probably fool most othersExplanation
. Pushing the accent too far is also a great way to make it obviously fake; not every single word ought to be thickly processed.
Of course fake-fake accent is common with the Deep Cover Agent
as well. When done badly (or sometimes the American accent isn't up to scratch) then you might find Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping
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- There's at least one piece of fanfiction that claims House was faking again to allow for a crossover with a Friends episode in which Laurie briefly appears, with his native accent.
- For Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, British creator LittleKuriboh uses a convincingly fake British accent for Bakura.
Films — Live-Action
- In The Island, Lincoln Six Echo is a clone of a Scottish man named Tom Lincoln. All clones are brought up speaking with an American accent to avoid confusion. So when Lincoln Six Echo first encounters Tom Lincoln, he's surprised by the other's strange accent. Later on, he "fakes" the accent to trick a mercenary hunting him and makes sure to insert "shite" into a sentence. Ewan McGregor, the actor playing the Lincolns, is Scottish.
- In The A-Team, South African actor Sharlto Copley plays Capt. H. M. "Howling Mad" Murdock, a character known more for his bouts of insanity but also an aptitude for putting on accents and speaking foreign languages. In one scene, he shows off his "chops" by pretending to be a cameraman for a South African news team with a pitch-perfect accent. In another, he and B.A. Baracus inadvertently switch passports at the airport, forcing Murdock to pretend to speak Swahili, which Copley does in real life. After the ploy works, Murdock turns to his amazed comrades, asking "What, you don't speak Swahili?"
- An in-universe variation in Rock Star: Steel Dragon's guitarist Kirk (played by Englishman Dominic West — see The Wire example) calls Chris to invite him to audition to be the band's new lead singer, but Chris thinks it's his own band's guitarist pranking him and says "your English accent is even worse than your guitar playing" and hangs up. Kirk calls him again and says "there's not much I can do about the accent, but what do you suggest I do about the guitar playing?"
- The film City Island features an aspring actress who does this as part of an identity makeover. Like in the 30 Rock example further down, she is played by Emily Mortimer.
- In the 1998 version of The Parent Trap, one of Lindsey Lohan's twin characters is British-raised, and so must "fake" Lohan's American accent when they secretly switch places.
- The Merry Widow involves Capt. Danilo, from the tiny, Eastern European, Ruritania-style country of "Marshovia" being sent to Paris to romance the eponymous widow (It Makes Sense in Context). The king says "How's your French?", and Danilo rattles off some French dialogue. Actor Maurice Chevalier, of course, was French.
- In the sixth season episode "Joust Like a Woman" from King of the Hill, Alan Rickman guest stars as the owner of a Renaissance fair, and spends most of the episode speaking in his natural British accent. At the end, when he's defeated and some coworkers launch a lawsuit, the character slips back into his natural voice...which is a terrible attempt from Rickman at a Texan accent.