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30 Actors Everyone Thinks Are American But Aren’t

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In recent years, Hollywood has experienced an invasion of foreign stars, and if you were asked to name a handful of leading actors and actresses, some would no doubt hail from overseas.

The British are a notable presence and have gained a reputation for taking acting roles from the Americans. Then there’s the Australians, the Irish, the Canadians, and the Spanish. The list is endless, but most viewers are oblivious to their actual nationalities. And with many films and TV shows set in America, an American accent is usually expected, leaving audiences none the wiser.

Here are some surprising examples.

1. Christian Bale

It may come as a shock to know that Christian Bale is British because even in his press interviews he sounds American.

But we promise you he’s British. After all, he’s an insane method actor, who can shout at people in a variety of accents.

2. Hugh Laurie

30 Actors Everyone Thinks Are American But Aren't


Everyone’s favorite grumpy doctor wasn’t always in the American medical profession. If you go back to Laurie’s earlier days, you’ll discover he was a pretty accomplished actor in his native Britain, having starred in the much-loved BBC comedy, Blackadder.

Laurie, who is also a talented musician and read social anthropology at Cambridge University, met fellow actors Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson when he joined the University’s famed drama society, Footlights. With that in mind, maybe it was his Cambridge education, combined with his natural acting abilities- that managed to convince House co-producer Bryan Singer to be fooled into thinking the British actor was an America. “See,” he is reported to have said after watching Laurie’s audition, “This is what I want: A genuine American guy.”

3. Chris Hemsworth

30 Actors Everyone Thinks Are American But Aren't


Thor is an all-American god, with arms that could send the entire female population into a state of blissful euphoria. But he’s not American.

He’s actually a cool, laid-back Aussie, who, like many of his fellow countrymen and women, started out in the Australian soap, Neighbours.

4. Alexander Skarsgard

30 Actors Everyone Thinks Are American But Aren't


The True Blood actor is a now a global star after portraying the smoulderingly dangerous vampire, Eric Northman in the tv series.

However, Skarsgard hails from Swedish acting royalty (his father is Stellan Skarsgard), and was born and raised in his native country and even undertook military service at the age of 18 before attending university in the English city of Leeds.

5. Idris Elba

30 Actors Everyone Thinks Are American But Aren't


Stringer Bell from The Wire was as Baltimore as they came, and we can’t imagine the corrupt cop being anything other than a Yank. But here’s the thing: He’s British!

Yes, Elba is just one of many leading actors leading the Brit invasion, hailing from London, England. Sadly for his female admirers, he recently proposed to his 29-year-lold girlfriend in his local London cinema.

6. Robert Pattinson

30 Actors Everyone Thinks Are American But Aren't


When Stephanie Meyer’s books got the Hollywood makeover, Twilight became one of the biggest movie franchises in history and spawned the screams of millions of girls worldwide. One man responsible for most of that delirium was the British actor, Robert Pattinson.

Indeed, Pattinson’s accent was so good we could only sit back and be ‘dazzled’ as he wooed Bella with a wide range of saccharine language.

7. Nina Dobrev

30 Actors Everyone Thinks Are American But Aren't


CW’s hit vampire show, ‘The Vampire Diaries’, isn’t short of steamy scenes and hot characters, and Nina Dobrev’s character is no exception. But like many actors in Hollywood, Dobrev moved to Los Angeles from Canada, having relocated there from her native Bulgaria when she was only 2-years-old.

Still, her accent would have you think otherwise, which may be down to gaining an array of American roles shortly after she moved to L.A. after being discovered on the Canadian teenybopper series, Degrassi.

8. Rachel McAdams

30 Actors Everyone Thinks Are American But Aren't


She has the all-Amerian girl looks, blonde hair, blue eyes, and a butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth voice that even Allie from the Notebook would be proud of. But McAdams is from Canada and studied theatre at Toronto’s York University before starring in a string of Canadian TV shows.

In fact, the blonde beauty only moved to Hollywood 2002 after landing her first significant American role in the Tom Brady comedy, The Hot Chick.

9. Charlie Hunnam

30 Actors Everyone Thinks Are American But Aren't


The ‘British’ hunk plays Jax Teller on AMC’s hit biker show, ‘Sons of Anarchy.’ It’s hard to believe, right? We can’t imagine Hunnam being anything other than a badass American biker searching for justice and revenge. Though like many before him, Hunnam was just another British actor making his way in Hollywood, and after managing to successfully audition for bit-part roles in big-budget flicks like Cold Mountain, the Englishman caught the attention of SOA creator, Kurt Sutter.

Incidentally,  E.L. James is also a fan of his work and was responsible for casting in the movie adaptation of her blockbuster novel, 50 Shades of Grey. However, the actor turned down the role, citing a string of personal issues.

10. Jamie Dornan

30 Actors Everyone Thinks Are American But Aren't


Jamie Dornan shot to international fame when he took the place of Charlie Hunnam in the BDSM trilogy, 50 Shades of Grey. It came after the former male model put in an array of powerful performances as the serial killer, Paul Spectre in the psychological BBC crime thriller, The Fall.

Surprisingly, Dornan’s only American role before Christian Grey came on ABC’s mythical series, ‘Once Upon a Time’ when he portrayed The Huntsman.

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