VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Jesse Singer
These actors never use their real accent. For this list, we'll be looking at, and listening to actors whose accent we hear most on screen isn't the one they use in their real lives. Our countdown includes Hugh Jackman, Andrew Garfield, Toni Collette, and more!
Top 10 Actors Who Never Use Their Real Accent
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Actors Who Never Use Their Real Accent.
For this list, we’ll be looking at, and listening to actors whose accent we hear most on screen isn’t the one they use in their real lives.
Which of these sounded the most surprising to you? Leave us a comment below in whatever accent you want.
#10: Hugh Jackman
If you were just looking at his movie roles, you might think that Hugh Jackman is American and has adamantium claws. But neither is true. And while his parents are English, the British accent he puts on in films like “Kate & Leopold” is also not his real accent. Jackman was born in Australia, and throughout his career, he actually hasn’t had that many opportunities to act in his native voice. The 2008 film “Australia,” in which he co-starred alongside fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman, is one of the few exceptions.
#9: Matthew Rhys
In the critically acclaimed series “The Americans,” Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell played a couple of Russian agents living in the United States, posing as an American couple. However, while Russell’s voice came naturally, Rhys was actually putting on an American accent for the role, albeit hiding his Welsh accent, rather than a Russian one. In “Perry Mason,” Rhys plays the titular character and again puts his Welsh voice aside for an American one. His accent is so good, and his roles as an “American” are so many, that you might think he was putting on a Welsh accent in interviews, like this one with Robert Downey Jr.
#8: Daniel Kaluuya
At the beginning of his career, British actor Daniel Kaluuya primarily used his real accent - portraying many British characters in multiple BBC shows, including Posh Kenneth on “Skins” and Michael "Tealeaf" Fry in “Psychoville.” However, Kaluuya is probably best known to audiences on this side of the pond for his breakout performance as American photographer Chris Washington in Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, “Get Out.” And we can’t forget the many non-British-accented characters he’s portrayed since. Including W'Kabi in “Black Panther” and his Oscar-winning turn as Fred Hampton in “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
#7: Saoirse Ronan
If you watched the movie “Brooklyn” and were impressed with Saoirse Ronan’s Irish accent, don’t be. Of all the accents she’s put on in movies, that one was the easiest - because it’s the one she uses every day. Although born in the United States, both of Ronan’s parents were Irish and the family moved back to Dublin when Saoirse was just three years old. Ergo the Irish accent she sports in real life. Although, if we’re talking movies (besides “Brooklyn”), Ronan has made a career of British and American accents, from “Atonement” to “Little Women.”
#6: Andrew Garfield
With the success of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “The Social Network,” and his Oscar-nominated performances in films like “Hacksaw Ridge,” audiences have seen and heard a lot from Andrew Garfield over the last 10+ years. However, in none of those films have we heard his real accent. In fact, the question of what his real accent is may be one of the most googled queries regarding the actor. The answer is British, which makes sense given that the American-born actor was raised in the UK. It only took Madonna a few years living in England to start speaking with an accent, so imagine living there from the time you were three years old as Garfield did.
#5: Millie Bobby Brown
There are many adult actors who have a hard time putting on an accent other than their own. So, when any actor is able to hide their real accent for a role it’s impressive. But maybe more so when that actor is only 12 years old, which was how old British actress Millie Bobby Brown was in 2016 when “Stranger Things” premiered. And that wasn’t even the first time either. The previous year she had a little moment on “Modern Family” - and again, no British accent to be heard.
#4: Tom Holland
Yes, that’s right, there’s another British Spider-Man on the list. And unlike Garfield, who only played the web-slinger in three films, Holland has appeared in six MCU movies after having been bitten by a radioactive spider. And in each one, his British accent is far from home. But it isn’t just his superhero roles that have seen him sounding different than he does IRL. In the 2020 crime drama “The Devil All the Time,” Holland also puts on an American accent for his role in the movie opposite fellow Brit Robert Pattinson.
#3: Margot Robbie
Did you know that Harley Quinn was from Australia? Well, she isn’t, but Margot Robbie - the actress who brought her to life in the DCEU - is. And it’s not just that the beautiful and talented Robbie has rarely used her real accent on film since “The Wolf of Wall Street” made her a star. But even more so is her ability to put on an impressive variety of voices and accents depending on the role - a number of which have been based on real people. Harley Quinn doesn’t sound quite like Tonya Harding and neither of them sounds like Queen Elizabeth I.
#2: Toni Collette
Unlike most of the actors on our list, Toni Collette actually had her first big moment using her real accent. Born in Sydney, Australia, Colette had her breakout role playing the titular Muriel in 1994’s “Muriel's Wedding.” However, since then, you’d be hard pressed to remember a time you heard her speaking with an Australian accent on screen. Instead, she’s made her career slipping perfectly into American accents in such films as “The Sixth Sense” and “Little Miss Sunshine,” and British accents in “Emma” and “About a Boy,” to name a few.
#1: Christian Bale
We know he can sound like Dick Cheney and Dicky Eklund, and to many of us, he is Batman. But would it surprise you to know that Christian Bale was born in Wales? Well, it would surprise a lot of people, even people in Britain. In fact, back in 2019, Bale was on a BBC morning show promoting “Ford v Ferrari”, and a number of viewers tweeted that that was the first time they realized Bale wasn’t American. Some even thought he was putting on a fake accent during the interview.