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Top 10 Actors You Totally Forgot Were British

VO: Richard Bush
They’re paid to pretend, and they certainly fooled us. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 actors you totally forgot were British. For this list, we’re celebrating those talented Brits who are regularly wrongly thought of as American or Canadian. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Actors You Totally Forgot Were British


They’re paid to pretend, and they certainly fooled us. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 actors you totally forgot were British.

For this list, we’re celebrating those talented Brits who are regularly wrongly thought of as American or Canadian.

#10: Laura Fraser

Best known for her role as Lydia in “Breaking Bad”, fans of the smash hit, meth-making series may be surprised to discover that this actress is actually from Glasgow. And for evidence of Fraser’s Scottish roots, just re-watch “A Knight’s Tale”, where she plays the blacksmith Kate, or the celebrated drama series “Lip Service”, where she leads as Cat MacKenzie. And then there are crime dramas “The Missing” and “The Loch”, where her native accent is back in full force.

#9: Dominic West

This actor is arguably best known for his role as Jimmy McNulty in Baltimore-based detective series “The Wire”, and he also starred as American novelist Noah Solloway in “The Affair”. So, it’s easy to see why his Britishness may have been buried deep beneath such prominent Stateside parts. We’re reminded of his roots with various Brit-based films, though - including “Testament of Youth” and “Pride”. West has a reputation as an exceptionally versatile performer, and it’s easy to see why.

#8: Charlie Hunnam

If you see Charlie Hunnam and think “Sons of Anarchy” - where he plays California’s Jax Teller - then you’d likely never guess that this actor is actually English. And, though Hunnam’s early career was crammed with notably British characters, he has since worked on his fair share of Hollywood blockbusters. That said, he did play Brit explorer Percy Fawcett in “The Lost City of Z” and the title character in “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” - so he hasn’t exactly hidden his heritage!

#7: Christian Bale

This guy really has done it all. From Batman to “The Big Short” - we’re more used to seeing this Oscar-nominated actor on American soil than we are anywhere else. But Bale was born in South-West Wales, and most closely identifies as English - after spending large parts of his childhood in Surrey and Dorset. His CV is packed full of Hollywood blockbusters such as “American Hustle” and “The Fighter”, so he clearly feels at home in the States too - but he’s a Brit through and through.

#6: Carey Mulligan

Another actress whose CV offers endless US movies, one of Carey Mulligan’s most prominent roles sees her star as Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of that great American novel, “The Great Gatsby”. What with that and her performances in “Drive”, “Shame” and “Mudbound”, she might seem a definite American to some. But let’s not forget she has also starred in British films like “An Education”, she takes the lead in the BBC miniseries “Collateral”, and she’ll always be Sally Sparrow to “Doctor Who” fans.

#5: Kiefer Sutherland

Star of the definitive US crime series “24”, Kiefer Sutherland was born in London and is in fact British-Canadian. Even so, Jack Bauer has earned his spot on the top table for twenty-first century American TV characters. In truth, most of Sutherland’s career has played out on the other side of the pond, with further TV credits in hit shows like “Designated Survivor”. And, for what’s surely a career highlight, he even brought Bauer to “ The Simpsons” - where he was on the receiving end of one of Bart’s prank phone calls.

#4: Andrew Garfield

Spiderman has roots in Surrey; who would’ve thought it. Garfield grabbed a worldwide fanbase for his take on the iconic Marvel superhero, and he actually boasts dual nationality between the US and the UK. While he was born in LA, he moved to Britain when he was three - where large parts of his family already lived. And, thanks to his Epsom upbringing, he also harbours a well-rounded British accent. Those things are difficult to fake, so Garfield’s definitely the real deal!

#3: Aaron Taylor-Johnson

This Brit caught global attention in the “Kick-Ass” films, where he played the title character - a have-a-go hero from New York. Then came star-making turns in films like “Nocturnal Animals”, where Taylor-Johnson plays Ray Marcus who causes carnage along Texan highways, as well a memorable stint as Quicksilver in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. There are some Brit films in his back-catalogue, but it’s hardly surprising that film fans tend to forget he’s not American.

#2: Andrew Lincoln

He might have stolen the show in “Love Actually” for his role as the love-struck Mark, but it’s his part in AMC’s zombie apocalypse TV series, “The Walking Dead”, that really sticks in our minds. Andrew Lincoln has become so recognisable as the all-action protagonist Rick Grimes, he’s earned his own unique spot in American TV history. However, dig a little deeper into Lincoln’s performing past, and you’ll find that he played Simon in “Teachers” and even starred in shows like “Holby City”. It doesn’t get more British than that.

#1: Damian Lewis

For lots of us, “Homeland” is still the first thing we think of whenever Damian Lewis comes to mind. Lewis plays US Marine Nicholas Brody in the show, who returns to America after eight years kept in captivity, in the Middle East. And then, for another prominent role, Lewis plays Bobby Axelrod, an American hedge fund manager in “Billions”. But don’t be fooled by his Stateside characters. The actor was actually born and raised in London, and has been part of various British productions too, including “Wolf Hall” and even “The Vicar of Dibley”.
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