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Fake Scot

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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 they're so conditioned to it being done badly that they can't accept that someone might actually be good at it.

Compare Fake Irish, Fake Brit, and Fake Australian.

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. According to Myers, he bases his accent on that of his Scottish grandfather.
  • Christopher Lambert (French) and Adrian Paul (English) in Highlander. Making it even more egregious is that Sean Connery stars as an Egyptian pretending he's a Spaniard without even hiding his Scottish accent.
  • Jonny Lee Miller in Trainspotting. As the film caused the majority of the cast to break out in the '90s, they were referred to as the 'Jock Pack' - and Jonny Lee Miller got put with them, despite not being Scottish.
  • 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 northeastern 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. Meanwhile, in an inversion of this trope, the Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane puts on a West Country (South West England) accent to play Hagrid.
    • 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 (1973) 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.
  • The Eagle (2011) has a marginal example. Jamie Bell plays Esca, who is apparently a native of a tribe in what's now Scotland - he speaks the language. But he uses his natural Manchester accent. Additionally, the seal tribe has one child that's played by a Northern Irish actor. This is excusable though as it predates Scotland, Scottish people, or the English language. People at the time there were Picts.
  • Centurion's Arianne is played by English actress Imogen Poots doing a good Scottish accent. Ukrainian-French actress Olga Kurylenko also plays the Scottish Etain. But since Etain is a mute who had her tongue cut out, this is less obvious.
  • Ryan Phillippe plays the apparently Scottish Henry Denton in Gosford Park. He's actually an actor from America. Lampshaded as the one real Scottish character (who's played by an actual Scot) says his accent isn't from anywhere in Scotland she knows.
  • Julie Walters as the Scottish Mrs Bird in Paddington.
  • Macbeth:
    • Orson Welles's 1948 film version had the cast speaking in Scottish accents. The majority were American alongside English (Roddy McDowall) and Irish (Dan O'Herlihy). Executive Meddling had them record a different audio track in their own voices. The only one who doesn't do an accent in either version is Orson Welles's young daughter.
    • Roman Polanski's 1971 version averts the trope by having all the characters speak in English accents.
    • The 2015 film version has Michael Fassbender and Jack Reynor (Irish), David Thewlis, Sean Harris and Paddy Considine (English), and Elizabeth Debicki (Australian). Averted for Marion Cotillard - as they made Lady Macbeth French to accommodate her.
  • John Hammond in Jurassic Park is Scottish; his actor Richard Attenborough was not, hailing from Cambridge. The accent was attempted, but kind of comes and goes.
  • Eve Austin and Sally Messham, who play Kay and Manda in Our Ladies (2019), are both English.
  • Australian singer-songwriter Sia as Scottish Mrs. Tiggy Winkle in Peter Rabbit and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.

    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 Star Trek (2009). His accent was heavier to highlight Scotty's Plucky Comic Relief nature.
  • Doctor Who featured English actor Frazer Hines putting on a Scottish accent to play 18th century Highlander Jamie McCrimmon, who debuted in "The Highlanders" and became the longest-serving companion in the show's history by episode count. Hines' mother was Scottish, which helped him to get the accent right.
  • 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 Tutti Frutti. She has Scottish ancestry on her mother's side and grew up there for a time, so she's quite 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.
  • Joanna Lumley considered making Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous Scottish and played around with the accent during the table read. She went with her natural voice.
  • Parodied in Sabrina the Teenage Witch when Mr Pool is revealed to be of Scottish descent. He's played by the Jewish Paul Feig. Not to say that you can’t be both Scottish and Jewish.
  • Lip Service: Most cast members are English, not Scottish, even the ones who are supposedly natives of Glasgow. The main exception is Laura Fraser, who's really from there.
  • Adrian Paul in Highlander. Paul is half British but English rather than Scottish. He used a Scottish accent in the flashbacks.

    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 noticeable Scottish accent normally ... and in any case is clearly matching his performance to the comedy accent used by Cryer. Jeremy Hardy as the Laird, meanwhile, uses the same voice he always does when playing an Upper-Class Twit, presumably on the basis that most posh Scots do sound much the same as posh English because they went to Boarding School.

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    Western Animation 
  • Alan Young as Scrooge McDuck and Hal Smith as Flintheart Glomgold in DuckTales (1987).
  • Dan Castellaneta as Groundskeeper Willie in The Simpsons. Amusingly enough, one episode has Homer (voiced by the same actor) trying to fake a Scottish accent to fool Willie.
  • How to Train Your Dragon:
    • The spin-off TV series has Nolan North as Stoick and Chris Edgerly as Gobber are Fake Vikings With Scottish Accents since they voice characters originally played by Gerard Butler and Craig Ferguson, repectively.
    • The second theatrical film features the Australian Cate Blanchett putting on the same 'Scots Viking' accent as Valka.
  • Brave features the above-mentioned Emma Thompson putting on a Scottish accent as Queen Elinor. Julie Walters - who hails from Liverpool - also dons a Scots accent for her small role as the Witch. Narrowly averted with the protagonist Princess Merida; the American Reese Witherspoon was originally hired to voice her, but she ended up played by Kelly Macdonald.