Thursday, January 10, 2008

British Invasion

It makes us wonder – aren’t there enough good actors in America that TV has to cull Britain’s acting pool.

Today we watched Eli Stone, a new ABC series (which is just eh, btw), and it stars the former Mr. Angelina Jolie, Jonny Lee Miller.

Beautiful Anna Friel, who is “Chuck” on Pushing Daisies, has made many films in her native accent.

Neither of the stars of Moonlight are American. Sophia Myles is English, and hottie star Alex O’Laughlin is an Aussie.

The star of NBC’s Life, Damien Lewis hails from – you guessed it. He was great as icky Soames Forsyte in the most recent Forsyte Saga. The star of the underrated Journeyman, Scot Kevin McKidd has the most dead-on American accent since Olivia d’Abo in Wonder Years.

The long-running CBS series Without a Trace stars two Aussies, Poppy Montgomery and Anthony LaPaglia. Marianne Jean-Baptiste (who BeansTalk saw once at the West L.A. Gyu-Ka-Ku) is English.

Meanwhile, the super short-lived Viva Laughlin (which was taken from the British series Viva Blackpool), featured a Brit star (London RADA trained Lloyd Owen) spouting an American accent.

The dreadful Cashmere Jungle (why does Lucy Liu still get work?) stars two wonderful actresses, Miranda Otto (actually an Aussie, as is Brothers and Sisters star Rachel Griffiths) and Frances O’Connor, who hails from Oxfordshire, England. Julian Ovenden, who plays O’Connor’s character’s “American” husband, is – big surprise – English.

Medium’s Jake Weber (plays husband to Patricia Arquette’s character) was born and raised in London and attended Middlebury college.

Weber’s (kind of) look-a-like, Linus Roache, a Manchester boy, just joined the cast of Law and Order as the new (New Yorker) attorney.

Did you know that Bionic Woman Michelle Ryan was a regular on EastEnders and Jeckyll? Bionic Woman was her first American (albeit Canadian-shot) series.

Chuck’s Sarah Walker, actress Yvonne Strahovski, is an Aussie.

Paul Blackthorne, who was American in Sci-Fi’s Dresden Files, as well as ABC’s defunct Big Shots, and is also in Lipstick Jungle, comes from Shropshire. Surprise! Blackthorne actually uses his real accent.

For four years, York (England)-native Mark Addy played the super American dad opposite Jami Gertz in “Still Standing.”

Born and bred Brit Greg Ellis of the upcoming Knight Rider has done quite a bit of U.S. television, including 24 and CSI.

Did you also know that Big Shots star Michael Vartan was born and raised in France, and only moved to the U.S. at 16? (OK, he’s not British, but he’s not American, either, and always plays them).

Matthew Rhys, who is Kevin on Brothers and Sisters, is from Cardiff, Wales and also studied at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts).

Emily Bergl, who plays spunky Annie on Men in Trees, is half English and Irish, but did move to the U.S. when she was a kid.

Nasty bully Ray Caldo of October Road is played by Warren Christie who was born in Ireland, but was raised in Canada (there are a lot of Canadians in American television, too).

Remember Saffron Burrows was Minnie Driver’s “bad” friend in Circle of Friends, where they all played Irish Lasses? Well, the too-thin Burrows, who now stars on Boston Legal, is a London native.

Undoubtedly we’ve forgotten someone, but trust us, it was NOT on purpose. Really. We mean it.