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See the foreign TV stars who have the most convincing American accents

Shaun Harrison
1 of 30 Mark Schafer/Showtime

1. Ruth Wilson (The Affair)

British born-and-bred, Wilson adopts a convincing East Coast accent as Alison, the mysterious woman who falls for a man other than her husband. Her British costar Dominic West (The Wire) has a long history of donning American accents, too.

2 of 30 HBO

2. Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire)

You may not recognize Graham by name but he's easy to spot in his transformative role as Al Capone on HBO's Boardwalk Empire. His take on the infamous gangster is especially notable since Graham originally hails from England.

3 of 30 Jack Rowand/The CW

3. John Barrowman (Arrow)

Known for playing villain Malcolm Merlyn and hero Jack Harkness with an American lilt, Barrowman's natural voice is much more complicated. Born in Scotland and raised in the States, Barrowman boasts the unique feature of two natural accents, one American and the other Scottish, specifically Glaswegian.

4 of 30 Jeff Neira/CBS/Landov

4. Toni Collette (Hostages)

Australian acting phenom Collette shows off her knack for nailing accents in Hostages and The United States of Tara, taking on a multitude of voices but not her real one.

5 of 30 JoJo Whilden/CBS

5. Alan Cumming (The Good Wife)

Cumming often tackles his roles like a chameleon, fully immersing himself in the role. That's why hearing him outside of his performances in a thick Scottish accent is a bit jarring.

6 of 30 Adam Taylor/ABC

6. Kevin McKidd (Grey's Anatomy)

As no-nonsense Chief of Surgery Dr. Owen Hunt, McKidd exudes confidence, authority and all-American ingenuity. As himself, McKidd sounds like the true Scotsman he is, even contributing to the Scottish folk music scene.

7 of 30 Fox/Photofest

7. Hugh Laurie (House)

Despite winning two Golden Globes for playing America's favorite curmudgeonly, pill-popping genius doctor, Laurie still surprises fans with his natural, distinctly British accent.

8 of 30 Gavin Bond/Syfy

8. Chris Egan (Dominion)

The show's central premise about a post-apocalyptic war between angels and humans might seem unbelievable. But the show's dashing Aussie star's American accent is definitely credible.

9 of 30 Craig Blankenhorn/FX

9. Matthew Rhys (The Americans)

On The Americans, Welsh actor Rhys plays a Soviet spy playing an American husband and businessman. Rhys deals with so many layers of accents and dialects it makes our heads spin just thinking about it.

10 of 30 John P. Johnson/HBO

10. Ryan Kwanten (True Blood)

Though some of the Southern accents on True Blood are just terrible (we're looking at you, Paquin!), Kwanten's role as lovable-but-dumb good ol' boy Jason is so spot-on, we never would have guessed he's from Australia. Well played, mate.

11 of 30 Amblin Entertainment/Chenin Entertainment/The Kobal Collection

11. Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova)

His last name should have tipped us off, but we completely buy O'Mara in all of his roles, from Terra Nova, Life on Mars and Band of Brothers to guest spots on Grey's Anatomy and The Closer. Maybe he's just got the luck of the Irish.

12 of 30 David Giesbrecht/The CW

12. Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl)

As smooth-talking womanizer Chuck Bass, Westwick already has the ladies of the Upper East Side under his spell. So just imagine the amount of swooning that would go down if he were to use his thick English accent. Yeah, baby.

13 of 30 ABC/Photofest

13. Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies)

This British beauty probably owes her accent-masking skills to her father, who is a linguist. Friel's method acting kept her from dropping the accent even during breaks on the set, causing confusion and shock among the crew when she used her natural speaking voice. Glad we're not the only ones.

14 of 30 Sonja Flemming/CBS

14. Simon Baker (The Mentalist)

Maybe we're just easily distracted by his golden locks and blue eyes, but we rarely hear Baker's Australian accent on camera. Even so, he's conscious of the work it takes. He once told David Letterman, "As long as I don't sound like someone from Alaska, I'm happy."

15 of 30 NBC/Photofest

15. Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck)

If the script for "Chuck Versus The Ex" hadn't called for Strahovski to use her real Aussie accent, we may have never known Yvonne's true roots. Then again, she's also spoken fluent Polish on the show. Confused yet?

16 of 30 Kent Smith/Showtime

16. Damian Lewis (Homeland)

Although Lewis' recent acceptance speech at the Emmys gave away his British accent, the actor hides it effortlessly as American Marine-turned-terrorist Nick Brody on Homeland. (Of course, he had practice playing an American soldier on Band of Brothers.) We may never know whether or not Brody can be trusted, but we can always count on an authentic performance from Lewis.

17 of 30 CBS/Photofest

17. Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Without a Trace)

She was born to Antiguan and St. Lucian parents and raised in London. But you'd never guess it based on her work as American FBI agent Vivian Johnson.

18 of 30 Sci Fi Channel/Photofest

18. Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica)

We knew this Battlestar Galactica hunk's character was out of this world, but we didn't know the actor himself hailed from across the pond. Even after Bamber starred in the early seasons of Law & Order: UK, it's difficult to imagine him as anyone but Edward James Olmos' spacey son.

19 of 30 CBS/Photofest

19. Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)

We kid, we kid. Smulders' Canadian-ness is played for laughs on How I Met Your Mother, but lovingly so. Who else but Robin Sparkles can tell you that the '80s didn't come to Canada until '93? Smulders masks her accent pretty well...unless Robin's drunk. Then it's all aboot Canada, eh?

20 of 30 Norman B. Shapiro/CBS

20. Alex O'Loughlin, (Hawaii Five-0)

Because Hawaii Five-0's Steve McGarrett is such a true American hero, it's sometimes difficult to remember that O'Loughlin is actually from a completely different island: Australia. Of course, when he takes his shirt off, we don't really care where he's from.

21 of 30 Jessica Miglio/Netflix

21. Yael Stone (Orange Is the New Black)

Orange fans have a hard enough time trying to place Lorna's Brooklyn-meets-Boston-meets-West Side Story-parody accent, so it rarely crosses anyone's mind what Stone's real accent sounds like. But maybe it's the fact that Stone is actually Australian that led to her bizarre interpretation of Lorna's speech.

22 of 30 Blake Tyers/Sundance Channel

22. Aden Young (Rectify)

Born in Canada but raised in Australia, Young's natural accent in an amalgam of regional eccentricities. Yet the actor streamlines it into an impeccable Georgia drawl to play former Death Row inmate Daniel Holden on Rectify. Despite living in the land down under, Young didn't take on the accent with a complete ignorance of the Southern lilt: His father grew up in Missouri.

23 of 30 Byron Cohen/FX Network

23. Diane Kruger (The Bridge)

FX's The Bridge is awash in mysteries, but one thing's for sure: Sonya Cross is unlike any other Texas cop we've seen on television before. As played by the German-born Kruger, Sonya may lack a stereotypical Southern drawl -- but her clipped manner of speaking aligns with her robotic personality as she manages the effects of Asperger's.

24 of 30 Elizabeth Morris/NBC

24. Eamonn Walker (Chicago Fire)

The man in charge of Firehouse 51 may not have an authentic Chicago accent, but it's still shocking to learn that Chief Boden's husky, gravely voice is masking a thick British accent. This also isn't the first time the London native has tricked viewers into thinking he was born stateside. He's sported impressive American accents on Oz, Kings, The Whole Truth and Lights Out, among many other roles. Walker has been doing American roles for so long, he now says that being able to use his natural British accent in productions across the pond feels "strange."

25 of 30 Ian Watson/USA Network

25. Nicholas Bishop (Covert Affairs)

The actor has played authoritative, American-types on Body of Proof and now Covert Affairs, but he's actually hiding not one but two accents. He was born in England before moving to Australia when he was six months old. Although Bishop joked that employing his American accent used to give him a sore jaw, he says the secret to his success is speaking in an American tongue all day on set.

26 of 30 Karen Neal/ABC

26. Josh Bowman (Revenge)

Given that Bowman studied method acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute, it's not that surprising that his native British accent rarely slips through his Hamptonite tongue. Fun fact: Bowman once dated his late fellow Brit Amy Winehouse.

27 of 30 Katherine Bomboy-Thornton/ABC

27. Clare Bowen (Nashville)

You'd never know it from her flawless Tennessee twang or her accent-masking singing voice on ABC's new country music drama, but Bowen is a born-and-bred Aussie. Learning the Southern accent was a piece of cake for her too. "It's actually one of my favorite accents. I love it," she says. "The Australian dialect has a drawl to it ... so maybe I got it a little easy."

28 of 30 Prashant Gupta/FX

28. Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy)

Although Hunnam admits to struggling with hiding his English accent in the show's earlier seasons, we've always believed him as bad boy biker Jax Teller. Sure, he can sometimes rely on gunshots and revving motorcycle engines to cover any slip-ups, but Jax's intimate scenes with Tara are always convincing.

29 of 30 HBO/Everett Collection

29. Idris Elba (The Wire)

Now that he's using his native British tongue on Luther, this one isn't so surprising anymore. But Elba's flawless work as Baltimore drug dealer Stringer Bell can't be overlooked.

30 of 30 Gene Page/AMC

30. Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead)

Anyone who's seen Love Actually knows that Lincoln is British, which makes his Southern drawl on the zombie drama all the more jarring. Some have called Lincoln's efforts spotty, but, Andrew, to us, your accent is perfect.