Every so often, usually around election time, the conservative contingent in this country revamps their diatribe about foreigners coming to ‘Merica and stealing our jobs. I don’t typically participate in this discussion because it’s tiring and ridiculous and I’ve yet to meet an out-of-work American dying to pick lettuce for $7 an hour.
But this time it’s different.
I have discovered a whole new wave of American jobs being covertly filled by non-Americans, specifically, Brits. That’s right; the Brits are taking our jobs…in Hollywood. What makes this practice particularly insidious is that British people are light-colored and can fake an American accent and we don’t even know it’s happened until it’s too late.
Allow me to elaborate.
Remember the first time you saw Hugh Laurie outside of his title role on House M.D.? Maybe you were a little surprised to hear his British accent. I know I was, but I didn’t think much of it other than, “Wow, he does a really good American accent on that show. Huh.” That program began in 2004, and in the nearly ten years since, this British invasion has only escalated.
Example #1: A British ginger plays a Muslim terrorist pretending to be an American hero. (Got that?)
Those of you who watch Homeland on HBO, when you aren’t distracted by Claire Danes’ ugly cry-face, are probably impressed with Damian Lewis’s portrayal of the multifaceted character Nicholas Brody. You’re not the only one; Lewis has won several awards for his turn as the tortured American soldier with questionable allegiance.
But did you know that not only is Nicholas Brody a Muslim terrorist, he’s also…British? Not just British, but like, super British. The first time I saw him accept an award for his role in Homeland, I couldn’t figure out why his voice was being dubbed by the Queen of England. (That’s how British he sounds.)
See for yourself. (You can skip ahead to about the 1:20 mark for his speech.)
Example #2: After the Zombiepocalypse, the South is overrun with Brits.
There are at least two British actors on The Walking Dead pretending to be good ol’ American zombie hunters. Not only are they playing American, but they are portraying small-town southerners. (I have a theory on this that I will get to shortly.)
Sheriff Rick Grimes? Brit. Sweet Maggie, the farmer’s daughter? BRIT! There may be more! I don’t even know.
Maggie, played by Lauren Cohan:
Sheriff Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln. (That’s not even his real name! President Abe is rolling in his grave!)
Example #3: Badass Biker Brits
I recently started binge-watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix. For those of you unacquainted with the show, at least for the ladies, one of the highlights of this program is the amount of time Jax Teller, played by Charlie Hunnam spends in the buff. (AMC is the new HBO y’all.)
Being that I’m developing a bit of a crush on Mr. Hunnam, I did a little googling to see what else he’s been in. I can’t explain why or how, but right before I clicked on his IMDB profile, I thought to myself, “How funny would it be if this quintessential American biker dude was played by a Brit?” And there it was: Charlie Hunnam, born in Newcastle, England. You’ve got to be kidding me.
Nope, it’s true. (Although to be fair, it doesn’t appear that the badassery is an act.)
Jax Teller, played by Charlie Hunnam:
In summation, I have basically two takeaways from this:
- White foreigners are taking our acting jobs. Right now, we’re looking at a primarily British attack. In the 1980’ss and 1990’s it was those pesky Canadians and their love of American sitcoms. (If you’re old enough to remember “Dead or Canadian?” on the Mtv game show Remote Control then you know what I’m talking about. I’m looking at you Michael J. Fox, Pamela Anderson, and every awkward male comedian who has ever done sketch comedy.)
- Brits typically play southerners. Not always, but frequently, and I think I’ve figured out why. My friend Kristy is married to a Brit named Steve. I once tried to get Steve to put on an American accent for me, but he refused. (We Americans are always trying to sound cute by attempting a British accent, so I wanted to see what that sounded like in reverse.) Anyway, Steve was too embarrassed to do it because he said he couldn’t do an American accent without sounding like a hick. Finally, I think he managed a “Y’all”. And that’s it! A Midwestern accent is difficult because it’s so nondescript, but the opposite of a cultured British accent is a Honey Boo Boo-esque redneck affectation. It’s easier for Brits. That’s why even though Jax Teller, motorcycle hottie, who lives in California on Sons of Anarchy, often calls the ladies, “Darlin’”.
So, next time you’re watching your favorite television show, look and listen a little more closely, y’all. Because the British are coming…to a theatre near you.
One thought on “The British Invasion…of Hollywood”
It has come to my attention that Lauren Cohen is actually an American born in Pennsylvania and raised in the UK. So, she’s an American with a British accent playing an American. Or something. She may even be an extra-terrestrial. I’m really not sure.