The British invasion: U.K. actresses cross the pond for American TV


Whenever I turn on my TV these

days, I get the strange urge to pull a Paul Revere in my living room

and start screaming, “The British are coming! The British are coming!”

Until I realize, oh wait, they’re already here. This season a brigade

of British actresses are breaking out their best American accents to

star in new prime-time shows. Among them are a bionic woman, an undead girl,

a Terminator fighter and a vampire helper. Here’s a look at the U.K. actresses

making time on American TV screens.

I think you’ve already met

Bionic Woman Michelle Ryan and her abs. In the last episode, they put her

real accent to good use undercover as a British exchange student. An

Englishwoman playing an American girl pretending to be a British student?

It was like Victor/Victoria with accents instead of gender.

Another actress who needs no

introduction here is Lena Headey. For Terminator: The Sarah

Connor Chronicles
, she drops her English accent and picks up some big guns. Accent, no accent. Gun, no guns.

I’m not picky: I’ll take my Lena any way I can get her.

On the other hand, I had no

idea the adorable Anna Friel

from Pushing Daisies was British. This is probably because

I had no idea who Anna Friel was, period. I do now, which is officially

reason 3,000,001 I am happy I own a television.

I did recognize Sophia Myles

from Moonlight. But her role in the new vampire drama gave

me pause. Seems she has a thing for the blood suckers. She played

one in Underworld and Underworld: Evolution. She has played

one of their victims in the U.K. TV adaptation of Dracula. And

now she is playing a reporter working with (and falling for) a vampire.

Someone check to see if she has an aversion to garlic and crosses —

I’m starting to worry.

And two more actresses from

across the pond: Anastasia Griffith, Katie from Damages,

and Zuleikha Robinson, from the mid-season replacement

New Amsterdam

So, why all the outsourced

talent this season? And why hire a Brit only to make her talk like a

Yank? And, more important, would any of these lovely ladies read to

me in their original accents? The newspaper, a phonebook, anything —

like I said, I’m not picky.

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