what is it about British actors?

Last night I was watching the American TV series “Lie to Me” on French TV – therefore dubbed in French – trying to put a name to the central character . . . but pretty sure it was an English actor.  Light bulb went on above my head as I realised it WAS an English actor, and none other than Tim Roth . . . so I fiddled with buttons on TV and was able to follow the series in its original soundtrack and enjoy Tim’s voice rather than the French actor dubbing.

It made me think of all the American (and sometimes Canadian) series, where British actors play the central characters . . . but how, in France, many viewers think they are American because it’s a US series.  They only hear the French dubbing, so I suppose it’s normal they assume US series = US actors.

So I just wanted to wave my patriotic little flag, while wondering what is it about British actors that makes them so “hot” on the US market?  Is it the accent that US audiences like so much? or do British actors have that extra “je ne sais quoi” that gives them the edge?

Just a few examples of some charismatic Brits on our TV and cinema screens who most French people don’t even realise are British.

So . . . first up, Tim Roth, who is currently on TV in  “Lie to Me”

The sexy Hugh Laurie who everyone knows as Doctor House Alan Rickman (who plays such gorgeous bad guys)

The brothers, Joseph Fiennes, who is on French TV in “Flash Forward” (but who had me going weak at the knees in “Martha – meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence”)and Ralph Fiennes

Rufus Sewell (who also played in “Martha – meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence”) but who is best known on French TV because of “Eleventh Hour” and “The Pillars of the Earth”

and, last but not least, Damian Lewis, who is on French screens in the series “Life”


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