British Stars Who Played Quintessential American Characters on Screen
Tom Hiddleston in 'I Saw the Light'
London native Hiddleston takes on the role of legendary country singer Hank Williams in 2015's I Saw the Light. He plays the Alabama-born performer in Marc Abraham's biopic, putting on his best Southern drawl to bring the story of Williams' life to the big screen.
Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
Pike picked up a haunting American accent to play Gone Girl lead "Amazing" Amy Elliott-Dunne. The Londoner became the archetypical New York City cool girl in the 2014 adaptation of Gillian Flynn's best-selling novel, starring opposite Ben Affleck.
Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln
The role of one of the most famous U.S. presidents in history went to London native Day-Lewis. The Brit booked the gig as former President Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's 2012 drama Lincoln, donning the politician's trademark hat, beard, and intonation for the part.
Jack O'Connell in Unbroken
Born in the Derby, England suburb of Alvaston, O'Connell played Italian-American Olympic athlete and WWII veteran Louis Zamperini in Unbroken. The British actor appeared as the New York native in Angelina Jolie's sophomore directorial effort.
Emily Blunt in Sicario
Blunt dropped her British accent to play FBI agent Kate Macy in the 2015 crime thriller Sicario. Born in London, the actress is shown as an American government worker on the U.S.-Mexico border in the film, starring alongside Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, and Victor Garber, among others.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave
London's Cumberbatch and Ejiofor signed on to play 19th century Americans in the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave. Ejiofor took on the lead role of Solomon Northup, a musician who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, while Cumberbatch appeared as William Prince Ford, a slave owner and plantation owner. (Michael Fassbender, of German-Irish descent, also starred in the film as a terrifying slave owner.)
Daniel Radcliffe in Kill Your Darlings
Radcliffe graduated from Hogwarts and became Columbia University alum Allen Ginsberg. The London-born actor played the famed New Jersey Beat poet in 2013's Kill Your Darlings, filming much of the drama in New York City.
Jeremy Irvine in Stonewall
Irvine was transported from his native home of Gamlingay, England to New York City for his role in 2015's Stonewall. The young British actor stars as a man named Danny Winters in the historical drama, playing a fictional character in the adapted story of the riots that took place in 1969 following the police raid of Manhattan's legendary bar Stonewall Inn.
Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs
Born in Germany to an Irish mother and German father, Fassbender relocated to London in his teens. The European star plays Apple co-founder and California native Steve Jobs in the late innovator's 2015 namesake biopic, written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle.
Henry Cavill in Man of Steel
Who better to play the ultimate American superhero than an actor born in England's Channel Islands? Bailiwick of Jersey native Cavill donned a cape to play the high-flying Superman in 2013's Man of Steel, continuing his turn as Clark Kent's alter ego in 2016's Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby
London's Mulligan took on the famed American character of Daisy Buchanan in the 2013 adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's beloved novel The Great Gatsby. Mulligan starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Joel Edgerton as the East Coast-dwelling socialite.
Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey
Born in England's neighbor to the west, Northern Ireland, UK resident Dornan became one infamous fictional American for the big-screen adaptation of E L James' Fifty Shades of Grey. The Irish actor put on a deep accent to play Seattle-based businessman and S&M enthusiast Christian Grey in the erotic drama.
Christian Bale in American Hustle
Born in the UK town of Harverfordwest, Bale found himself in 1970s America for American Hustle. The British actor played con man Irving Rosenfeld in the star-studded Oscar winner, taking on a persona based on Bronx native Mel Weinberg. Bale also busted out his American accent for his role of Massachusetts' Dicky Eklund in The Fighter and, most famously, for his turn as Batman in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises.
David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, and Tim Roth in Selma
Four of the biggest stars in the celebrated film about the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. are Brits. Oxford native Oyelowo, Leeds-born Wilkinson, and Londoners Ejogo and Roth played the famous historical Americans Martin Luther King, Jr., President Lyndon B. Johnson, Coretta Scott King, and Alabama governor George Wallace, respectively, in 2014's Selma.
Emilia Clarke in Terminator Genisys
London-born Clarke joined the Terminator franchise as Sarah Connor. The English actress stars alongside Arnold Schwarzengger, Jason Clarke, and Jai Courtney as one of the fighters against the cyborgs.
Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man
Garfield showed his U.S. citizenship and fine-tuned his Spider-Sense to star in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man. Born in Los Angeles to a British mother and American father, Garfield relocated to the UK when he was a toddler, hiding his British accent to play the web-slinging superhero. Garfield recently handed the reins over to fellow Brit Tom Holland, who is inheriting the role of Spider-Man in Marvel's upcoming projects.