Some British actors really make being British their thing. Nobody on Earth knows who Hugh Grant is and doesn’t know he’s English, ya feel? But some British actors adopt such great American accents and rarely-to-never walk around draped with the Union Jack, and we call these actors the “Secret British”. Here are eight actors you might not know actually sound like Downton Abbey when they talk.
1) Andrew Lincoln
Obviously if you’re a big fan of The Walking Dead or Love Actually, you’ve probably caught on to Andrew Lincoln’s Britishness, but for casual viewers of the show, this is shocking. Rick is BRITISH. WHAT. On The Walking Dead, sounds just like half the guys I know from back home and all those people ride tractors on the regular.
2) Jamie Bamber
That’s right, Battlestar Galactica fans, Apollo is English. His American accent is perfect. And of course, it needed to be, since Capricans have to have American/Canadian accents. That just makes sense. Brits in space? No way.
3) Christian Bale
Did I know Christian Bale was British? I honestly don’t know anymore. He rarely uses his British accent in his acting roles. I wasn’t sure if most people knew he was British so I ran a poll on my Twitter and 2/3 of people had no idea so I feel justified putting him on this list. Batman is British.
4) Daniel Day-Lewis
I am still surprised Daniel Day Lewis isn’t actual Abe Lincoln. I feel like it’s equally shocking that in real life he is British and wears an earring and lots of scarves.
5) Damian Lewis
In shows like Homeland and Band of Brothers, Damian Lewis’ American accent is impeccable. You’d never know he isn’t just a secret double agent (is he? I only watched the first season), but also a SECRET BRITISH GUY.
6) Charlie Hunnam
The fact that Jax Teller and Nicholas Nickleby are played by the same person will never stop making me laugh. I once saw Charlie Hunnam at a very hippieish grocery store in LA and he dresses just like Jax Teller in real life and sounds like Prince William.
7) Matthew Rhys
If you love The Americans, you’ll know Matthew Rhys. It’s impressive that the character is Russian with a perfect American accent, but knowing that he’s actually Welsh makes it even more amazing. But what does his hair really look like? Does he wear glasses? That’s the real question here.
8) Dominic West
Most people probably know Idris Elba is British, but so is his Wire costar Jimmy McNulty. It’s… it’s almost like The Wire is fiction?! I don’t get it.
Any other actors you were surprised to find out are British? Tweet at me @erikaheidewald and let me know! But don’t tweet at me just to tell me you already knew these actors were British. That’s annoying.