Watching a celebrity give a red carpet interview and hearing their accent can be mind-blowing. Since when did Hugh Laurie speak with an English accent so well? And when did Margot Robbie start speaking with an Aussie accent? Well, guess what, those are their real accents!
It’s amazing to learn which of our favorite celebrities have been putting on an absolutely believably American accent and fooling everyone. For example, Christian Bale is actually English! And Rose Byrne comes from Australia. It's surprising that David Tennant is actually from Scotland.
Take a look at our gallery of celebrities and where their honest-to-goodness real accents originally come from and compare their on-screen accent to their off-screen one.
1. Margot Robbie.
Margot Robbie plays a realistic Harley Quinn, but beneath all that make up beats the heart of an Australian. According to Vanity Fair, Robbie grew up on the Gold Coast — a city on Australia’s Pacific shore — around 500 miles north of Sydney with her mom and sisters. She even acted in a local kids TV show alongside fellow Aussie Liam Hemsworth. Watch as Robbie teaches slang in her native accent.
2. Alice Eve.
Alice Eve is a British actress who can do a perfect American accent. According to Diply, Eve — who’s appeared in big projects like Entourage and Star Trek: Into Darkness — admits to speaking with a California valley girl accent because she was tired of being misunderstood while she went to school in LA. Check out Eve explaining the differences between American & UK dating.
3. Riz Ahmed.
One of the stars of Rogue One and HBO’s The Night Of, Riz Ahmed has been making a name for himself in TV, movies and even as a hip-hop artist. But according to Thrillist, Ahmed comes from northwest London. So how did he nail the New York accent he used to perfection? He spent time talking to actual prisoners at Rikers as well as attending classes in the Bronx and Queens. Check out Ahmed discussing changing his accents.
4. Pedro Pascal.
The Game Of Thrones star Pedro Pascal does a great Latino accent. According to EmpireOnline, he actually hails originally from Santiago, Chile. But because his family fled the dictatorship there when he was young, Pascal was raised in both Texas and California, so his natural accent became American. Listen to Pedro Pascal’s accent here.
5. David Tennant.
David Tennant played Doctor Who to perfection. He looked and sounded just right for the role. It wasn’t until years later that the character spoke with a Scottish accent (thanks to Peter Capaldi). But according to HuffPo, Tennant was hiding his real Scottish accent all along. Watch Tennant as Doctor Who goes from speaking with an English accent to his native Scottish accent.
6. Hugh Laurie.
7. Idris Elba.
Idris Elba burst onto American TV screens in HBO’s The Wire and, according to BBC America, didn’t just nail an American accent but did a pitch-perfect Baltimore accent to boot. But it wasn’t always that way. According to an interview on the Graham Norton Show, Elba admitted they had to dub over his American accent in the 1994 film Space Precinct because it was so bad. Watch Elba on The View talk about perfecting his American accent.
8. Tom Hardy.
As Bane, he was the weirdly high-pitched thorn in Batman’s side. In Venom, he portrayed two completely different voices. Tom Hardy’s actual accent couldn’t be further away from any of them. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, Hardy — born in Britain — doesn’t always go for accuracy saying, “Accents, dialect and vocal stuff is multilayered depending on whether I want to translate as opposed to how accurate I sound," adding that absolute accuracy is "not essential, necessarily." To hear a variety of Tom Hardy’s accents including his real one watch this.
9. Toni Collette.
The star of the United States of Tara, Toni Collette actually comes from Sydney, Australia. But, according to The Boston Herald, Collette has become so used to using an American accent that she was thrown when asked to perform in a movie using her original Aussie accent. Collette said, “At first I was so used to playing American I found it a little weird. Watching the film, it’s jarring to me.” To hear Collette discuss accents in her original accent — alongside Irish actress Saoirse Ronan — watch this.
10. Jamie Dornen.
Mr. Grey himself, Jamie Dornan, is actually from Ireland. According to the Daily Edge, Dornan acknowledged how thick his original Irish can be to Conan O’Brien saying, “I think I’m quite good at softening it when it needs to be. Then there’s some times I really want something like an In n Out burger or something, I’ll do an American accent just because there’s some things I don’t want them to get wrong.” To hear Dornan do a series of different accents including his own watch this.
11. Christian Bale.
12. Sacha Baron Cohen.
Sacha Baron Cohen is a man of many faces and accents. As Borat, he speaks with a fake Kazakh accent. As Bruno, he speaks with an Austrian accent. And he’s also been heard doing Finnish accents (just ask Joe Arpaio), Italian accents and American ones — so it might be surprising to learn he’s English. According to Rolling Stone, Cohen began forming his now famous characters while attending Cambridge University. Hear Cohen doing loads of fun accents alongside his own here.
13. Katherine Langford.
14. Henry Cavill.
Superman's Henry Cavill has a not-so-secret identity ... he’s English. According to ThoughtCo, he can speak four different languages (English, French, Spanish and Italian), but the American accent isn’t easy for him. Cavill says, "Sometimes it can sound great for a long period of time, sometimes your inflection is wrong. It all depends.” To hear Cavill switch between his English and American accents, check this out.
15. Rose Byrne.
In films such as Bridesmaids and the X-Men franchise, Rose Byrne sounds as American as the next American, but she actually comes from Australia. She even did a perfect British accent for the movie Peter Rabbit, telling the Standard that “I wanted to make sure I did a convincing job.” She did. You can watch her talking to Ellen in both her native Australian accent and her American accent here.