->''"Americans don't notice if I'm actually acting or not, as long as I do it with an English accent!"''
-->-- ''Theatre/ForbiddenBroadway'', "Creator/JudiDench"

A rather common thing for British actors and those of other nationalities to do: decide that they could be better served in their career by going to UsefulNotes/LosAngeles.

It's the most influential and pervasive film industry in the world. If you want to be not just a national but an international star you pretty much have to spend at least some time there.

The popularity of British actors is also due to the fact that they are a) cheaper, b) less likely to be doing films and c) less likely to be barred from gay roles by their agents. And then there's this final selling point for the Hollywood studios, probably the most important: They speak English!

Oddly, Brits and Europeans seem to have an above average chance of [[EvilBrit playing villains]] or [[MeanBrit jerks]]... See FakeAmerican for when they put on the accent as well.


* On ''{{Series/Extras}}'', Andy tells his agent he want to get on "cool shows- American shows". In the Christmas special, Andy's agent tells him he's had an offer for a movie (Andy perks up)... a British movie (Andy wilts).
* In ''TheTVSet'' Ioan Gruffudd plays Richard [=McCallister=], a TV executive who moves from England to UsefulNotes/LosAngeles to take a job as second-in-command at a fictional TV network, which is headed by Lenny (Creator/SigourneyWeaver). Richard tries to counter-balance Lenny's fervent desire for high ratings by emphasizing the need for quality programming and preserving the writer's wishes. Richard's wife Chloe, played by Lucy Davis, hates UsefulNotes/LosAngeles and eventually leaves Richard to return to England.
* The dream of the titular (Irish) character from ''Film/BadlyDrawnRoy'' is to go to Hollywood and try to make it big. [[spoiler: He's eventually able to go because of donations from the community and he's shown doing odd jobs at the Walk of Fame. Whether or not he actually becomes famous is left up in the air]].
* The premise of ''Series/{{Episodes}}'' is that of a husband-and-wife team of British television writers finding themselves living this trope, with all its attendant pitfalls.
* In ''Literature/MostlyHarmless'', Tricia [=McMillan=] moves to New York since British accents being in demand on American television. (Ironically, in both the TV and movie adaptations [but not the original radio show] Tricia's played by an American actress ''as'' American.)


Successful ones are listed below; in fact, thousands of non-American actors go over each pilot season hoping to make it big, to the point documentaries get made about it.

* Michelle Ryan (''Series/BionicWoman'')
* Jaime Murray (formerly of ''Series/{{Hustle}}'', she played Lila in ''Series/{{Dexter}}'')
* Creator/HughLaurie
* Writer Creator/TerryNation, though he was more successful in England--he worked on shows in the US, but in the UK he created ''Series/BlakesSeven'' and ''Series/{{Survivors}}'', and he put ''Series/DoctorWho'' on the map.
** A number of British writers have also done this, some (like Brian Clemens and Leigh Vance) more successfully than others (like Dennis Spooner).
* Creator/TimRoth did it so well there's people who forget he's English. Not in ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'', though!
--> "He trained with the ''ROYAL MARINES''!"
* Creator/ChristopherEccleston did it after leaving Series/DoctorWho,
** Creator/DavidTennant tried with ''Rex Is Not Your Lawyer'', an NBC pilot not ordered to series and succeeded with ''Series/{{Gracepoint}}'' and ''Series/JessicaJones''.
* Matthew Macfadyen did it after he left ''Series/{{Spooks}}'' before giving up and came back to the UK.
** David Oyelowo, also of ''Spooks'', did it and actually succeeded, starring as Martin Luther King Jr. in the critical darling ''Film/{{Selma}}''.
* Creator/PatrickStewart
* Two OlderThanTelevision examples: Creator/CharlieChaplin in the silent era and Creator/BorisKarloff in the early talkies.
* More or less mandatory in ProfessionalWrestling, although going to Japan is a common variant.
* Creator/GordonRamsay, of "Hell's Kitchen"
* Liz Taylor, Roddy [=McDowall=] and other British child actors of the UsefulNotes/WorldWarII era did this, overlapping with BlitzEvacuees. Taylor was born in the U.K. of U.S. parents.
* Creator/PeterSellers divided his time between American and English productions from the 1960s onwards; the English films were generally "smaller" than the American ones.
* Creator/CliveOwen.
* Creator/CaryGrant.
* Creator/DavidNiven.
* C. Aubrey Smith
* Creator/ClaudeRains
* Creator/GaryOldman
* Creator/GideonEmery, which he was teased for by the announcer at the MCM Expo in London during his [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnjtx4obqDA Q&A panel]].
* Stephen Moyer of ''Series/TrueBlood'', although his accent is VERY convincing.
* Creator/AnthonyHopkins, said he didn't fit in well in the theater world in England and lived in the States for a time in the Seventies, then moved back after his success after ''Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs'' in 1990.
** He has since moved back to the U.S. and become an American citizen.
* The high income tax rates in the Britain forced Creater/MichaelCaine to leave and move to Hollywood in the late Seventies. He moved back to the UK a decade later.
* Appropriately enough considering the aforementioned ''Extras'' example, Creator/RickyGervais himself has been getting in some American movies, like ''Film/NightAtTheMuseum'' and a starring role in ''Film/GhostTown''. He has made repeated references to this trope in real life, like appearing by satellite when Creator/StephenMerchant won a Bafta to congratulate him -- and to casually point out that he himself has won bigger awards, "...American ones."
* A directing example is Creator/ChristopherNolan. He was born in London but spends a lot of his time in Chicago.
* Creator/AlfredHitchcock
* Creator/DeborahKerr made five films in her native UK before jumping ship to Hollywood in 1944. She stayed there for twenty years and didn't move back to the UK until she retired from movies.
* Jane Seymour has taken to it so well that she's now an American citizen.
* Tracey Ullman. She also became an American citizen.
* Creator/EmilyBlunt. [[RuleOfThree She]] ''[[RuleOfThree also]]'' [[RuleOfThree became an American citizen.]]
* It hasn't been lost on people that the three biggest American superheroes, for a while, were all played by Brits. The American-British Andrew Garfield is Spiderman, Henry Cavill is Superman, and Christian Bale used to be Batman. Sadly for ''[[UsefulNotes/BritishNewspapers Daily Mail]]'' readers, Israeli actress Gal Gadot thwarted hopes for a full house by being cast as Wonder Woman.
* Musical examples:
** Music/DavidBowie, but became disillusioned after only a few years and moved to West Berlin straight after.
** Albert Hammond, who sung of a less-than idealised experience in "It Never Rains in Southern California".
** Music/TomJones
** Music/RodStewart
** [[Music/TheWho Keith Moon]]
** [[Music/ElectricLightOrchestra Jeff Lynne]]
** Music/SexPistols members Music/JohnLydon and Steve Jones.
** Music/SClub7 with the result that they were pushed more as ballad singers than they had been in their native UK. In America their signature songs were the likes of "Two In A Million" and "Never Had A Dream Come True". In the UK it was the more up-tempo "S Club Party", "Bring It All Back" and "Reach".
** Music/AtomicKitten tried, their covers of "The Tide Is High" and "Eternal Flame" getting attached to a few movie soundtracks. It didn't take and they remained in the UK for the rest of their time.
* Video gaming example: JeffMinter lived in Los Angeles for some years.
* Creator/AlexKingston, who played a starring role on ''Series/{{ER}}'' and guest starred on ''PrivatePractice''. Confirmed to appear in ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' with fellow former ''Series/DoctorWho'' star Creator/JohnBarrowman (who is a dual national). She now divides her time between the UK and US.
* Inverted by Creator/TerryGilliam. Gilliam is an American who moved to England and became a British citizen.