I just saw the excellent movie "Star Trek" again (which I saw earlier this year with a very disillusioned hardcore Trekkie) and I have to say that I had no idea that the actor who plays Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban) is from New Zealand. His portrayal of Bones isn't just good, but his American accent is as well. And I didn't realize until I did a search online that he was also in "Lord of the Rings", which is one of my favorite movies.
Check out the clip below--you'll agree that he's a good actor and sounds American.
Non-American actors are often very good at American accents - not so often the other way around. E.g.: compare and contrast Colin Farrell (Irish) in 'Phonebox' -v- close to his usual accent in 'In Bruges'; Hugh Laurie (English) in 'House'; or Kevin McKidd (Scottish) in 'Rome' or 'Grey's Anatomy' with Brad Pitt's or Johnny Depp's dreadful Irish accents.
Whether this is due to a difference in exposure to different accents, or motivation to learn them (I imagine an actor has more opportunities with an American accent than without) would be an interesting question.
Americans are even bad at their own accents--ie, American actors from the northern part of the country who try to speak with southern accents. Why not just hire southern actors? I want to do a post about this sometime.
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