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November 2, 2012 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Looking for scenes (television or film) in which an actor plays a character with a different accent and then that character puts on the actor's native accent.

I have not been able to come up with a single example, but surely they exist. Like, if Dr. House did his best British accent in one episode. Or if Don Cheadle had put on an American accent while talking on the phone in Hotel Rwanda.

posted by 256 to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Gosford Park. American pretending to be a Scot servant. His cover is blown midway through the film.
posted by effluvia at 7:06 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Buffy, the episode "Doomed." American James Marsters, playing British vampire Spike, who briefly puts on a (terrible) American accent to hide his identity.

Oh god why do I remember that GET OUT OF MY HEAD WHEDON.
posted by Stacey at 7:08 PM on November 2, 2012 [12 favorites]

In the tv show Alias, the character Sark (an American actor playing a Brit) adopts a 'fake' American accent at least once.
I have no idea what season or episode that would be, though.
posted by janell at 7:08 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

The only thing I can think of is Yvonne Strahovski's character on "Chuck" when she impersonated the Australian ambassador's assistant. Don't remember which episode or season tho.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:08 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Daniel Davis, known best as Niles the butler on The Nanny, is actually American and has a bit of a southern accent. I know that there's a moment somewhere in the six seasons where he "puts on" an American accent. He also apes Fran's nasal tones regularly, but that's not his natural voice. You can best hear his natural voice from the same era when he appeared as a doctor on Frasier.
posted by Mizu at 7:08 PM on November 2, 2012

In one of the David Tennant episodes of Doctor Who ("Tooth and Claw"), the Doctor puts on a Scottish accent.
posted by therewithal at 7:09 PM on November 2, 2012 [5 favorites]

Maybe too subtle a distinction, but the character of Giles on Buffy The Vampire Slayer (played by Anthony Head, an English actor) has an English accent. However, Giles' accent is one that's different than the actor's actual English accent. In the episode "Band Candy", Giles reverts to a teenaged version of himself, and the accent he uses then is much closer to Anthony Head's true accent.
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 7:09 PM on November 2, 2012 [6 favorites]

Spike was what I was thinking of, too.

I found a whole list of them on TV Tropes.
posted by something something at 7:10 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Jimmy McNulty (played by Dominic West) does a really fake sounding British accent during the 2nd season of the wire, as part of a prostitution sting ("spot on!").
posted by rossination at 7:13 PM on November 2, 2012 [9 favorites]

In True Blood, Brit Stephen Moyer plays a US southerner, but one scene had his character impersonating a British punk in the late 70s
posted by LionIndex at 7:19 PM on November 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Owain Yeoman did it on The Mentalist.
posted by gudrun at 7:20 PM on November 2, 2012

On the most recent episode of Revenge, the actor who plays Daniel, who I believe is British, but plays an American, "faked" a British accent to be a silly.
posted by thebazilist at 7:24 PM on November 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

In the third season of White Collar, American-born FBI agent Diana (played by English actress Marsha Thomason) goes undercover and uses a Manchester accent.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:24 PM on November 2, 2012

In Alphas, the English actor playing the autistic kid speaks in his native accent when his character is being impersonated by another Alpha.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:07 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ewan McGregor in The Island. His main character speaks with an American accent, and then his other character has a Scottish accent. It's been a while since I saw this movie, but at some point, I think the main character pretends to be the other character, and "fakes" the Scottish accent.
posted by Xere at 9:00 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

fiercekitten: "The only thing I can think of is Yvonne Strahovski's character on "Chuck" when she impersonated the Australian ambassador's assistant. Don't remember which episode or season tho."

She also screamed at another spy in Polish sometime in the first season.
posted by notsnot at 9:25 PM on November 2, 2012

On Burn Notice Jeffery Donovan (American) playing an American is using the cover identity of Irishman Michael McBride. As part of that cover identity he needs to "pretend" to be American an adopts an American accent. One of the Irish characters calls him on his "dodgy" American accent.
posted by Mitheral at 10:47 PM on November 2, 2012

In the American version of Life on Mars, the Irish lead actor, Jason O'Mara, used an Irish "accent" in an undercover assignment.
posted by sundaydriver at 3:11 AM on November 3, 2012

In the A-Team movie, Sharlto Copley spends the entire film with a thick Southern American accent, except for a quick scene where he impersonates a South African cameraman.

It didn't make the movie entertaining, but it was a delightful surprise.
posted by Katemonkey at 5:39 AM on November 3, 2012

I know of one time Toni Colette did something similar. In Velvet Goldmine, she plays an American and puts on a British accent in parts of the movie where her character is showing off. She's Australian, and I feel like I've seen her do this before in other roles.
posted by lunalaguna at 6:51 AM on November 3, 2012

Came here to say Life on Mars, so I'll add my 2nd thought: Damian Lewis in the film Dreamcatcher, has an American accent for his regular character, but he has a second-personality / alien-in-his-head / who-understood-the-movie-anyway that had a evil British accent.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:24 AM on November 3, 2012

There is always the extremely convoluted but amusing ways that 'Allo 'Allo used to indicate which character was speaking in which language. There were at least five different techniques employed to show to the audience how these British actors who were playing French, German and Italian characters were conversing in the various different languages at different times, including theatrically exaggerated accents, non-word nonsense sounds, and so on-- all suitably hilarious in a low-brow way. One of my favorites was how they showed one character having a strong Swedish accent when speaking German, and he pronounced "Heil Hitler!" as "Oil Jesus!"
posted by seasparrow at 8:08 AM on November 3, 2012

How about Tropic Thunder - Robert Downey, Jr. plays an Australian playing an American (black) man.
posted by Ms. Toad at 8:43 AM on November 3, 2012

A young Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap (who plays two twins) has one twin raised in Britain with a plummy accent fake an American one. For bonus points she also plays an American faking a British accent. All four accents are fairly distinct.
posted by Sparx at 2:03 PM on November 3, 2012

There's an episode of Cheers ("The Magnificent Six", episode 4 from season 11) in which the Frenchman Henri challenges Sam to a contest on who can get more phone numbers from women. When one woman tells Henri that she doesn't like French men he turns on an American accent (his real one) and tells her his name is Chuck and he's from Pittsburgh or something.
posted by fso at 3:07 PM on November 3, 2012

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