Australian actors in American TV shows and movies
I've been noticing that quite a significant number of Aussie actors are working on American TV, playing...Americans. Most of them are detectives, sheriffs, or other tough-guy types. Recently the action-adventure series Longmire debuted here, in which actor Robert Taylor (no relation to the one from earlier Hollywood movies) plays a Wyoming sheriff. Another law enforcement show, The Glades, stars the charming Matt Passmore as a Midwesterner who relocates to the Florida Everglades region. In The Mentalist, Simon Baker of Australia plays a Californian. The most surprising one (I nearly tipped over off my chair when I heard the guy speak as himself in a public service announcement) is Alex O'Loughlin, who has recreated the role of Steve McGarrett in the archetypal American cop show, Hawaii Five-O. All from Australia, all having put on impeccable American accents. You wouldn't know unless you heard them talk as themselves that they were from way, way far away.
And then there are the two Hemsworth brothers, Liam (who played opposite Miley Cyrus in her movies) and Chris (who plays Thor in the movies). I can't remember what accent Chris uses as Thor. I guess we can't consider Thor American. He's from Asgard. Still, in the interest of completeness, I mention him.
So what gives? Can't they find gorgeous muscular American guys to play these parts? It seems a bit tough that so many young aspiring actors from the States would be closed out of such good roles. Maybe our guys aren't as convincing playing young American men? I'm not saying this to express anger or anything; all these guys are good, and they're easy on the eyes as well. (Though for me, sidekick Scott Caan is a far more interesting actor than O'Loughlin, despite being about a foot shorter. Caan just eats up the screen when he's on.)
Anyone have any ideas about this?
Last edited by Olympia; 06-08-2012 at 09:26 PM.
Mel Gibson also has ties to Australia, don't forget... and that "Country" singer Keith Urban... oh and Nicole Kidman...
How many times have our guys played russians, brits, aussies, etc? what goes around comes around. Australia's film industry isn't as big as ours yet, though more and more talent is coming out of there. It's not that we don't have talent, it's just that everyone auditions and it goes from there. Plus some have better agents than others.
Simon Baker's paid his dues. He played a rich east coaster in The Guardian in the late 90s Early 00's... I've loved him since then...
And while not an Aussie, Hugh Laurie came in as House... I can't imagine anyone doing better with that part.
I don't watch much TV but a few years ago I remarked that the formula for making an American hit TV show was to cast an Australian or two in the lead.
My current favorite is Simon Baker. Anthony LaPaglia was hilarious on Frasier as a British, Daphne Moon's brother Simon, before he went on to star in Without A Trace with fellow Australian Poppy Montgomery who now stars in Unforgettable. Isn't Anna Torv of Fringe an Australian too? I'm sure there are many more. In movies Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman are big names. For someone who hardly goes to movies and watches few TV shows, I come up with these just off the top of my head. Then there are singers.
eta Russell Crowe though I checked and found out he was born in New Zealand.
Last edited by SkateFiguring; 06-08-2012 at 10:05 PM.
It's amazing when you add all those other names.
Funny, when I was growing up, it seemed as if the American accent was the hardest one for anyone to fake. Brits almost never seemed to get it right, and many didn't even try. (Remember Hayley Mills in The Parent Trap?) Vivien Leigh did a great Southern accent in Gone with the Wind, of course. There were a lot of Brits and some Aussies in Hollywood from the thirties on, including Errol Flynn and Judith Anderson, but they used their born accents and didn't adapt American ones. Even the first group of recent Aussie actors and actresses, incluiding Olivia Newton-John and Mel Gibson (who was actually born in New York State; his parents emigrated to Oz when he was a kid) kept their original accents. Hugh Jackman is an exception to all known rules. He acts, he sings, he does theater, he does comedy, he does superheroes. It's not like he's a dime a dozen. Can you wait to see him in the film of Les Miserables?
I guess it's just a new trend that I suddenly noticed. It is kind of intriguing.
Heath Ledger played in a lot of American movies.
Ack! How quickly we forget!
Originally Posted by DianaSelene
Yipes! My brain is full of holes. Thanks for adding that important name.
It's not just Australians. Matthew Rhys who portrayed Kevin Walker on ABC's Brothers & Sisters is originally from Wales.
Here he is with his native accent... http://www.hulu.com/watch/45308
Why can Australian and British actors do American accents better than American actors doing Australian and British accents? Actor Balthazar Getty had to have his voiced dubbed when he was younger and couldn't get the accent right as a British lad.
because English accents are hard! And they get dialect coaches that are American lol
Originally Posted by Johar
btw, Olympia - is this the first thread you've started? I know you said once you didn't know how!
The star of Crocodile Dundee has not had any follow-up success.
Yes, my first thread! It turns out to be very simple. I just pressed the "new thread" button, and there I was.
Originally Posted by Tonichelle
I disagree that a British accent is harder. The American vowels (which are mostly diphthongs--long "o" has a "w" at the end, for example) and that hard "r" are very tough. I think the problem with American actors is that they mostly don't learn technique. If they're handsome and have a personal trainer who can get them into good physical shape, bingo, they're actors. (This is a broad generalization, of course.) Relatively few actors go to drama school. A trained actor can do dialects, accents, anythinig. Meryl Streep is of course the primary example: she was eerily accurate as Margaret Thatcher. Some actors don't have training but have a good ear and a good vocal coach. One of the most impressive British accents in years was done by Lindsay Lohan in her first movie, the remake of The Parent Trap. It's really heartbreaking how talented she was. When I watch that excellent remake these days, I tear up, between Lohan and the actress who played the twins' mother, Natasha Richardson, who died so suddenly and so young.
Last edited by Olympia; 06-11-2012 at 09:13 AM.