The British Aren’t Coming…They’re Here
From the 1770s to Word War II to the Beatles in the mid-1960s to…now. The British have a history of being connected with the United States of America (before & after formally becoming the U.S.), and in one way or another, changing the course of our country for years to come. Whether it be a revolution of historic consequence or a partnership against evil or a cultural transformation played out by four well-dressed gents from Liverpool, those with the classy and dignified accents seem to have a permanent corner reserved in the hearts of the American people. However, there is one major difference between ‘British Invasions’ of yesteryear to what has been occurring throughout the past decade or so. Can you hear it? Not always.
Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, Simon Cowell, Kate Beckinsale, Chris Martin + his mates in Coldplay, David Beckham, Sienna Miller, Daniel Radcliffe, Ricky Gervais, Sacha Baron Cohen, Adele, Russell Brand, Daniel Craig and Christopher Nolan are just a few names of people who hail from England and have made quite a popular connection with the American people in the first decade of the 21st century. When Kate Beckinsale begins talking (about anything really), it’s nearly impossible not to be fully seduced by her amazingly adorable accent and equally cute smile. For anyone who has seen and/or heard Coldplay knows about their universally relatable storytelling weaved throughout their lyrics and their power to inspire an audience of one in a bedroom or twenty thousand at the Hollywood Bowl.
There is no doubt that despite disagreements over preferring a democracy to a monarchy (with the exceptions of Duchess Kate and her sister Pippa), our love affair with those from across the pond will surely forever be a bridge between our two cultures. This regardless of the fact we can’t always hear them coming.
What do Spiderman, Superman and Batman all have in common? They are all trademark characters and heroes born and raised in American culture. But in the past ten or so years, each of these characters have, are or are going to be played by British actors. How? They lost the accent.
Andrew Garfield first wowed American audiences with his brilliant portrayal of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin in “The Social Network” by submerging his natural speak of the tongue to convincingly sound like an American college student who helped define social networking from his dorm room. Now having taken on Spiderman, the reviews are in and they are glowing. From their performances on screen, I have never heard of any observations, let alone complaints, as to whether Christian Bale or Gary Oldman didn’t genuinely sound as if they were residents of the Gotham universe. They did and were fantastic.
With complete sincerity from an American movie fan of the listed heroes above, all of the actors connected to these parts have done an excellent job, and should note we are still waiting on Brit Henry Cavill to debut as Superman in the summer of 2013. If they were American citizens (yes, I know Garfield was born in LA), this article wouldn’t exist. This entry is not about their performances because they have all been incredible and memorable. It’s just an observation that the first decade of the 21st century in America has showcased the newest “British Invasion” and its players, some to standing ovations of sorts.
It must be noted that in the middle of an economic recession/depression in America where a superhero to save the day is wished more with every passing night, I must confess that despite my views of each actors’ wonderful portrayals, it is still an unnerving feeling knowing American icons Batman, Spiderman and Superman have been outsourced to England. I just don’t think anybody heard it coming.