November 20, 2008

American and British Houses


Even knowing that Hugh Laurie played Bertie Wooster (one of the funniest television series ever), I have a hard time associating his current persona with anybody but House. So hearing him speak in his "normal" voice makes me think he's "acting." I never even suspected that some of the other actors mentioned in this story were British or Australian. I saw Anthony LaPaglia a couple of years ago in an Aussie arthouse flick (Lantana) and thought at the time, "What'd they cast an American for?"

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Comments:

# posted by Blogger Joe
Band of Brothers threw me off; every now and then someone from the show appears in a TV show and I'm surprised to hear their accents (or not.)

What's funny is hearing people who don't speak with a specific accent, pass judgment on one. I've hear a lot of criticisms of Laurie's House accent, but the critics don't realize just how varied east coast accents are. And explain George Plimpton's accent.

The funniest situation, though, was a discussion trashing an actor's colloquial British accent. Someone finally pointed out that the actor in question was not only British, but the accent was actually his natural one--he grew up in that area, but had previously used regional accents for his parts.

(That said, Hugh Grant's attempts at American accents are as cringe-worthy as Zellweger's British accent.)
11/20/2008 11:49 AM
 

# posted by Blogger Eugene
Another funny example is Craig Ferguson. He says he played "Mr. Wick" on The Drew Carey Show with a "ludicrously posh English accent" in order to make up for the "generations of English actors doing crap Scottish accents." He had me convinced.
11/20/2008 3:37 PM
 

# posted by Blogger Kate Woodbury
Critics trashing the "real" accent of an actor reminds me of Angel fans criticizing Glenn Quinn's Irish accent. Well, Glenn Quinn is/was Irish. In one of the commentaries, a writer, Jane Espenson I believe, points out that Glenn's accent was SO real, he sometimes had to come in and rerecord dialog so American viewers could understand it.

Which brings me to how cool I think it is that unfiltered British accents are becoming more and more common. Everything from Britain used to be BBC. No more! Although it does mean, I have to put the subtitles on sometimes just to understand what is being said (Torchwood is a notable example.)
11/22/2008 6:41 AM