Related Videos

Top 10 Iconic Americans Played By Brits

VO: Richard Bush
Written by Richard Bush They fly the flag for the U.S., and for Britain. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our top picks for the top 10 American Icons Played by Brits. For this list, we’re looking at real or fictitious icons, who have been instrumental in shaping American history and culture - but have been portrayed by a British or Irish actor in film. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript

Top 10 Iconic Americans Played By Brits


They fly the flag for the U.S., and for Britain. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our top picks for the top 10 American Icons Played by Brits.

For this list, we’re looking at real or fictitious icons, who have been instrumental in shaping American history and culture - but have been portrayed by a British or Irish actor in film.

#10: Tom Holland as Spider-Man
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017)


Brits are no strangers to the MCU. We’ve seen Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and, to the delight of fans everywhere, Tom Holland as the comic book favourite, Spider-Man. As a kid, pretty much everyone wanted to be Spidey at some point, and Tom Holland’s portrayal of the wall-crawler embodied the ‘average joe with greatness thrust upon them’ brilliantly. And it was finally a true-to-the-comics depiction. He’s likeable, his accent is convincing and, well he’s your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

#9: Tom Hiddleston as Hank Williams
“I Saw the Light” (2015)


Playing a musician for a film can be difficult. As well as sounding like them, your mannerisms and stage presence has got to be on the money. Thankfully, Tom Hiddleston brought his A-game when he played country and blues legend Hank Williams. From his convincing southern tones and singing voice, to his subtle foot-tapping, hip-jiving nuisances, it’s clear that Hiddleston did his homework. Okay, so the film as a whole wasn't great, but Tom nailed it.

#8: Jared Harris as Andy Warhol
“I Shot Andy Warhol” (1996)


Considering how influential, controversial and experimental Andy Warhol’s work is, he was a surprisingly placid guy - which makes accurately playing him in a film rather difficult. But Jared Harris was up to the challenge. Sporting a platinum wig and coolly flitting in and out of scenes, Harris captures the coy attitude of Warhol perfectly. The famed pop artist was known for his reserved, but enigmatic, personality, with followers hanging on his every word. And that certainly comes across in Harris’ performance.

#7: Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly
“Breakfast at Tiffany's” (1961)


Take your pick of memorable moments and iconic images from this film. The fashion, the hair, the dress, the cigarette, “Moon River” sang out of a window. “Breakfast at Tiffany's” is crammed full of standout scenes, and it’s all tied together by Audrey Hepburn’s unforgettable stint as Holly Golightly, who was described by writer Truman Capote as an “American Geisha”. For many, the role will forever serve as a reference point for style and culture.

#6: Sir Anthony Hopkins as Richard Nixon
“Nixon” (1995)


Certainly one of the more complex personalities to ever ever be US President, Nixon was known for being cynical and secretive. Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal lies somewhere in between the real Nixon - and the exaggerated character in the media, giving us an insight into who he was, and who people perceived him to be. From his hunched body language to his unforgettable speeches, it’s an honest take on the man - and one well-deserving of Hopkins’ Academy Award nomination.

#5: Christian Bale as Batman
“The Dark Knight Trilogy” (2005-2012)


No, we haven't forgot Henry Cavill as Superman, but for the DC universe, our vote goes to Christian Bale as Batman. Christopher Nolan’s realistic take on the comic book character demanded a versatile performance, and Bale had the acting chops for the job. Whether he was having an emotional heart-to-heart with Alfred as Bruce Wayne or interrogating The Joker as the caped crusader, Bale’s Batman explored every facet of the character - giving us a hero that kids and adults alike can look up to.

#4: Charlie Chaplin as The Tramp
Various (1914-1936)


Undeniably Chaplin’s best known persona, The Tramp was the little guy always thriving to succeed and fit in - and in many ways, he represented the quintessential struggle for The American Dream. Chaplin intended for the character to be American, be relatable, and to provide social commentary on U.S. culture - so much so that he refused to create a talkie film featuring the character, as he was afraid his strong British accent would ruin the illusion. Since his first appearance in 1914, The Tramp has set the benchmark for slapstick and improvisational comedy.

#3: Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs
“Steve Jobs” (2015)


Nothing says ‘American icon’ like an entrepreneur setting up shop in a garage and laying the foundations for one of the biggest tech companies of the last 50 years. Steve Jobs has been portrayed in film before, but arguably the most entertaining - albeit over-dramatised version - is Danny Boyle’s 2015 effort, featuring Ireland’s finest Michael Fassbender as the eponymous tech mogul. A hunger for greatness, determination, frustration, it’s all there. The characteristics that got Jobs to the top.

#2: David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr.
“Selma” (2014)


Watch any speech by Luther King and it’s hard not to be enthused and inspired - and thankfully British actor David Oyelowo was able to bring that kind of powerful delivery to the table. King helped change American Civil Rights forever, and with each of this film’s passionate outbursts, it’s clear that Oyelowo understands that. Along with a brilliant supporting cast, Oyelowo does an excellent job of accurately conveying the hardship of the era - which at times, is difficult to watch, yet captivating all the same.

#1: Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln
“Lincoln” (2012)


To another political hero, with the 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln claiming our top spot, as portrayed by the superb Daniel Day-Lewis. Telling of Lincoln’s struggle with the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, the 2012 film showcases one of Day-Lewis’ most fascinating performances, conveying the calm and collected, yet courageously determined, personality of the former President. As is usually the case, Day-Lewis went all out with this one, playing the character on and off set, and even inventing a unique accent for the role.

Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs