15 British Actors Hiding in Plain Sight

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Did you spot the Brits? Don’t tell anyone, but these British actors are stealing scenes in blockbuster movies and TV shows, and nobody realizes.

The actors you know and love are American — right? No, they’re not; they are British actors hiding in plain sight!

British actors have been making big waves in Hollywood for decades, but some have flown under the radar. From big-name blockbuster stars to character actors, these 15 Brits have perfected their American accents and have been hiding in plain sight in some of your favorite movies and TV shows.

Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy, Image source: Depositphotos

You may know this famous actor from the villainous Bane in “Dark Knight,” Eames in “Inception,” and John Fitzgerald in “The Revenant,” but did you know that Tom Hardy is British? 

The chiseled jaw-lined actor lives in London and the Cotswolds in England but has become a household name in Hollywood. 

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Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill looking serious.
Henry Cavill: Image source: Depositphotos: IMAGINECHINA LIMITED

Superman can’t be British – can he? In “Superman Man of Steel,” Brit actor Henry Cavill plays the iconic American superhero. He also appears in “Black Adam,” “Mission Impossible,” and “Hellraiser.” For the Superman films, he had to bulk up his body and said in a GQ interview that he would eat many times a day, including steak and protein drinks, but he says sweet potatoes are not one of his favorites food. 

It’s obvious that Henry is an actor who’s here to stay in the USA.

Naomie Harris

Naomie Harris at film premiere.
Naomie Harris: Image source: Depositphotos: Tatiana Volobueva

This time it’s a British actress that’s taken Hollywood by storm. Naomie Harris appeared in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Miami Vice,” and “Swan Song.” She’s also known for her role as the first black actress to play Moneypenny in the Daniel Craig-era James Bond films. 

Rosamund Pike

Rosamund Pike sitting on a chair at film festival.
Rosamund Pike: Image source: Depositphotos: IMAGINECHINA LIMITED

Rosamund Pike is a talented British actress who you may remember for her role as Amy Dunin in the critically acclaimed film “Gone Girl.” To prepare for the role, she ate low-carb foods to lose weight, foods such as broccoli casserole, avocado, and salmon. She’s also starred in a wide range of films, from big-budget blockbusters like “Die Another Day” to independent films like “Pride & Prejudice.”

Tom Hiddleston

Tom Hiddlestone smiling.
Tom Hiddleston: Image source: Depositphotos

Did you watch the movie ‘I Saw the Light’ about Hank Marvin’s life? Did you realize that the actor who played the country-Western singer was British? 

Tom Hiddleston is British-born and went to the same school as Prince William, Eton College. You may also know him as Loki in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” and Captain Hook in “The Pirate Fairy.”

Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt in a white dress.
Emily Blunt: Image source: Depositphotos

Talented young British actress Emily Blunt played her namesake Emily in “The Devil Wears Prada” alongside Meryl Streep in a film about bitchy fashion office politics. Her other high-profile roles include “Jungle Cruise” and “A Quiet Place.”

Idris Elba

Idris Elba holding up his awards.
Idris Elba: Image source: Depositphotos: Kathy Hutchins

Remember the HBO TV series The Wire? Set in downtown Baltimore, this gritty drama showed the difficulties of crime prevention units, politics, and the drug world. One of its featured characters was Stringer Bell, and yes, you’ve guessed it, he’s British.

Idris Elba is a multi-talented British actor, DJ, and R&B singer. He’s also starred in a wide range of films, from big-budget blockbusters like Thor to independent films like Beasts of No Nation. 

Dominic West

Dominic West at Cannes.
Dominic West: Image source: Depositphotos: Denis Makarenko

Just when you’re looking at “The Wire” through different eyes, we drop another bombshell; Detective Jimmy McNulty is Brit actor Dominic West – incredible, right? You may have also spotted him playing Noah in “The Affair” and Jigsaw in “The Punisher.”

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch at film premiere.
Benedict Cumberbatch: Image source: Depositphotos

You’d be forgiven for thinking Benedict Cumberbatch is American; after all, he convincingly played Ford in “12 Years a Slave,” the ranch owner in “The Power of the Dog,” and William in “Black Mass,” but he’s yet another British talent. Check out the English TV series “Sherlock” to hear his natural accent. 

Emily Mortimer

Emily Mortimer at film premiere.
Emily Mortimer: Image source: Depositphotos: Denis Makarenko

From Woody Allen films to the cult film “Scream 3,” British actress Emily Mortimer has convincingly played American characters. An Oxford University graduate, one of the top universities in the UK, now lives in Brooklyn and is an American citizen.

Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender at an awards ceremony.
Michael Fassbender: Image source: Depositphotos

Think “X-Men,” and you think of the evil supervillain Magneto, but did you know he was from the UK? He was born in Germany to a German father and Nothern Irish mother and moved to Killarney in Nothern, Ireland. 

Apart from playing a supervillain, you’ll also see him in the lead role in “Steve Jobs,” as David in the film “Prometheus,” and he once performed at the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the part of Michael Collins, his great-great-great uncle. 

Andrew Lincoln 

Andrew Lincoln at Walking Dead 100th episode celebration.
Andrew Lincoln: Image source: Depositphotos: Kathy Hutchins

Andrew Lincoln starred as Rick in the hit TV series “The Walking Dead,” but he’s another English actor who successfully plays an American role. After a hard day of filming, he was known to go out for an Italian meal. Rick used to live in London but now lives in Atlanta. In the UK, he’s known for his role in “Love Actually” and the cult classic “This Life.”

Christian Bale 

Christian Bale looking at the camera.
Christian Bale: Image source: Depositphotos: IMAGINECHINA LIMITED

Surely the actor playing Batman in “Dark Knight” isn’t British? Oh yes, he is! Christian is from a small town in Wales, yet he manages to fool everyone into thinking he is the American superhero. You may have also spotted him in “American Psycho” and “The Fighter.” 

David Morrissey

David Morrissey smiling.
David Morrissey: Image source: Depositphotos: Kathy Hutchin

The evil ‘Governor’ of “The Walking Dead” is another Brit actor hiding in plain sight. He’s also known for his role in “Basic Instinct 2” and appears in “Slingshot,” an American science fiction film. David lives with Esther Freud, a descendant of Sigmund Freud, a successful novelist in London. 

Rachel Weisz

Rachel Weisz by a palm tree.
Rachel Weisz Image source: Depositphotos: Denis Makarenko

Known for her roles in “Constantine,” “The Bourne Legacy,” and “The Mummy,” Rachel Weisz is a talented British actress that has made her mark on American movies. Married to fellow Brit Daniel Craig, she now lives in America. 

These 15 British actors have made a name for themselves in the American entertainment industry, proving that talent knows no borders. Whether starring in big-budget Hollywood blockbusters or critically acclaimed TV shows, these actors have shown that they can hold their own against any competition. 

The next time you watch one of your favorite American films or TV shows, keep an eye out for these talented actors hiding in plain sight.

Mandy is the enthusiastic creator of the vegetarian website Splash of Taste; she makes meat-free cooking fun and easy. When Mandy’s not cooking and writing, you’ll find her traveling, exploring countries and cuisines, and spending time with her chihuahua. Download her free 5 x Easy Vegetarian Meals Ebook.

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