Posts Tagged ‘anthony stewart-head’

I was watching a House Season 8 first look video today.

Beneath it were the comments such as “so weird to hear him talking in his normal voice.” By ‘him’, of course, they meant the very, very English Hugh Laurie, whose American accent was so convincing when he auditioned for House, even the casting people didn’t realise he wasn’t from those parts.

Even for me, someone who has watched Blackadder and some scenes from Fry and Laurie, it is odd listening to Hugh’s normal voice.

But reading those comments, I felt a little bit of pride. It was an odd sense of something like patriotism, but not quite. I felt almost like I, and other British people, were lending Hugh to the Americans. We were letting them have a taste of true British style, humour and talent, and soon, we would pull it out from under their feet, just to remind them that they’re our talented actors, not theirs.

It is perhaps unthinkable that anyone could play the dry, witty, sarcastic House as well as a British actor. After all, are we not famed for that? Indeed, it has been said that people don’t always understand our sense of humour. A simple: “oh great, rain,” could be taken as though the person was genuinely happy for it to be raining. (Unlikely. We in Britain complain when it rains, and we complain when it’s 28 degrees Celsius, as it has been the last few days).

British talent is beginning to seep into the very corners of American television. Whether they’re happy about it or not remains to be seen, but a number of British actors are acting in some very high-profile roles. Hugh was one of the first of this new boom, but there was Anthony Stewart-Head before him in Buffy, and currently there is Scottish-born Kelly Macdonald in Boardwalk Empire, Jaime Murray, previously of Dexter and now in Ringer, starring alongside Welshman Ioan Gruffudd. The Walking Dead stars Andrew Lincoln of Love Actually fame, Stephen Fry has popped onto Bones for some guest appearances and Game of Thrones starred Sean Bean. Even some of America’s most loved reality shows are merely the children of British ideas: both American Idol (now the X Factor) and Dancing with the Stars are Britsh imports. And Downton Abbey came away with 4 wins at the recent Emmy Awards (beaten only by Modern Family with 5 wins). And I haven’t even started on two people who are bizarrely popular in America and presumably despised by equal amounts: Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan.

The truth is, the Brits are taking over, and are being very successful too.

There is a lot of talent sitting here on our shores. Matt Smith has walked in the shoes of some incredible Doctors in Doctor Who and the BBC have started a new iPad app in Australia, similar to BBC iPlayer so those Down Under can enjoy our programmes. Our shows are being broadcast worldwide, and the BBC is one of the most respected broadcasters.

But, just as with Hugh Laurie, our great actors are only out on loan. Because although I still feel a tiny bit proud that our British stars are being so successful over the pond, I want them back in our great award-winning shows too, eventually.


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