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“As anyone who’s ever tried to fake an accent knows, it’s hard to be convincing. But actors are masters at this, and many of them have built solid careers using fake accents. Some are so good that they may even surprise you.” Read more at: BuddyTV Slideshow | Faking It: TV Actors Who Don’t Use Their Real Accents.

What?! Alex O’Loughlin is Australian?? And Anna Friel is British? I was totally fooled.

I’m always impressed when a non-American English-speaker can nail the vague General American accent that passes for “standard” in TV & films. A lot of British/Australian/New Zealand actors try to cover with either a vague Eastern or vague Southern accent, and just end up sounding fake. Or they aren’t quite certain of the General American accent and throw in random pronunciations from other regions.

I’m betting this goes the other way as well, but I”m lucky if I can correctly pick out regional British accents from native speakers, so I’m not a good judge. As much a fan as I am of James Marsters, I do know his British accents are always a little off. Alexis Denisof does a more consistent, if not as colourful British accent.

I’ll be watching Mr. O’Loughlin and Ms. Friel now, though. I know a few “tell” words that accent-fakers tend to screw up.