20 Celebrities You Didn’t Realize Had Accents

Rose Byrne, Christian Bale, Riz Ahmed, and Ruth Wilson all have played Americans on prominent shows and in films, but it turns out all of them were hiding surprising accents. Here are the celebrities you didn't know had accents.

'A Private War' European Premiere - 62nd BFI London Film Festival
'A Private War' European Premiere - 62nd BFI London Film Festival
(Image credit: Getty Images/ John Phillips)

It’s a pretty jarring sensation when you’re watching the Oscars and you hear an actor accept an award in an accent that’s totally different from what you were expecting. (Christian Bale, hello.) Maybe blame it on casting: It’s not certain actors’ faults that their American accent is so good that we’re surprised to find out they’re actually Australian or Welsh or Scottish. So you're not caught off-guard next time, here’s a list of actors who have accents that you totally forgot about.

1. Riz Ahmed

EE British Academy Film Awards - Red Carpet Arrivals

(Image credit: Getty Images/Karwai Tang)

I’m embarrassed to admit that it took a really long time to realize that our collective boyfriend, Riz Ahmed, is in fact English. You’d never know this from his role on Girls or The Night Of but his real accent is English. The more you know!

2. Toni Collette

2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Red Carpet

(Image credit: Getty Images/Amy Sussman)

Genuinely shook about this one. Her role in Hereditary is so jarring, so wounded, so terrifying...and she was faking an American accent that whole time? Yup, Collette is Australian. Wow.

3. Jamie Dornan

Aviron Pictures' Los Angeles Premiere Of 'A Private War' - Red Carpet

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Tibrina Hobson)

That's right: Christian Grey is secretly Irish. (He's from a town called Holywood—one "l"—in Northern Ireland.) I'm very comfortable with this information.

4. KJ Apa

FOX's Teen Choice Awards 2018 - Red Carpet

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Kevin Mazur)

If your Riverdale knowledge is limited to the show and does not include the ravenous consumption of each actors’ social media and interview appearances, then you might be surprised to learn that Apa is actually from New Zealand, cute Kiwi accent and all.

5. Katherine Langford

Women In Film 2018 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented By Max Mara And Lancome - Arrivals

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Michael Tran)

The 13 Reasons Why star may have a convincing as heck American accent on the show, but Langford is secretly Australian.

6. Alfred Enoch

The Olivier Awards With Mastercard - Inside

(Image credit: Getty Images/David M. Benett)

Perhaps you watched Enoch on How To Get Away With Murder and forgot that he was also Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter films (glow up!)—in that case, you might not have realized that he’s been suppressing his English accent on the show.

7. Charlie Hunnam

Celebrity Sightings At 2017 Toronto International Film Festival

(Image credit: Getty Images/J. Merritt)

The Sons of Anarchy babe is also an American accent faker. He’s from Newcastle in England. Yeah, he’s that hot and he has an accent. Swoon.

8. Yael Stone

24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Frederick M. Brown)

Stone’s amazing New York accent on Orange Is the New Black is so convincing that you may not realize she's hiding a genuine Australian accent. That’s good acting!

9. Rosamund Pike

Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences' 10th Annual Governors Awards - Arrivals

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Frederick M. Brown)

Speaking of great acting, Pike has been an American in a lot of movies and shows. But it’s a ruse: She’s English.

10. Margot Robbie

25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Jon Kopaloff)

Margot Robbie is a total chameleon in her roles, but her actual accent is Australian. Jeez, there are a lot of secret Australians running around Hollywood.

11. Damian Lewis

2018 British Academy Britannia Awards presented by Jaguar Land Rover and American Airlines - Inside

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Rich Fury/BAFTA LA)

The Billions and Homeland star hasn’t used his real-life English accent much on-screen at this point, but when he does now you’ll know to expect it.

12. Christian Bale

'Vice' Press Conference - 69th Berlinale International Film Festival

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Sean Gallup)

There he is! Remember how confused everyone was earlier this year, when Bale went to accept his Best Actor Golden Globe for Vice and he had an accent? Yup he was born in Wales to English parents, so he definitely doesn't sound American.

13. Catherine Zeta-Jones

Michael Douglas Honored With Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

(Image credit: Getty Images/Jean Baptiste Lacroix)

I don’t know why it took so long to realize how frequently Zeta-Jones masks her actual Welsh accent. Maybe it’s because she’s just that good.

14. Dominic West

55th New York Film Festival - 'The Square'

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Dia Dipasupil)

The star of HBO’s The Affair may have the Brooklyn dad accent down, but he’s actually English.

15. Ruth Wilson

Masterpiece Photo Call

(Image credit: Getty Images /Jean Baptiste Lacroix)

And the other half of The Affair’s leading duo is also hiding a British accent. Jeez, were no Americans available, HBO?

16. Daniel Day Lewis

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

(Image credit: Getty Images/Jeffrey Mayer)

Daniel Day Lewis is one of the most lauded actors of his generation, so it makes sense that his methodical character studies would effectively hide his real English accent.

17. Simon Baker

Celebrities Visit Build - May 23, 2018

(Image credit: Getty Images/Dia Dipasupil)

Wait, what? The Mentalist? The guy Andie cheats on her boyfriend with in The Devil Wears Prada? That guy was Australian?!

Well then. My entire understanding of the world just changed. It's fine, I'm fine.

18. Stephen Moyer

2019 Winter TCA Tour - FOX - Arrivals

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Jean Baptiste Lacroix)

I understand that True Blood star Moyer is in fact English, but he will always have Bill’s sexy Southern drawl to me and there’s nothing he can do to change my mind. Sorry, Stephen Moyer!

19. Rose Byrne

Celebrities Visit Build - August 15, 2018

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Daniel Zuchnik)

Byrne can play anything—she absolutely slayed it as a meek British curator in the supremely underrated Juliet, Naked—but she’s actually Australian.

20. Henry Cavill

'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' U.S. Premiere

(Image credit: Getty Images/ James Devaney)

Superman is British! Did we know this? Is this okay? I think it's okay.


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