Eldin Raigmore wrote:

> I have been struck in the last several movies and TV series
> I've seen by the 
> British actors whose American accents are convincingly
> really American.
> (e.g. Robert Pattinton in "Twilight", Helena
> Bonham Carter in "Fight Club", the 
> various actors in "House" and "The
> Wire", etc.)

Generally true, yes, esp. Hugh Laurie on "House". It used to be said that Brits were better at accents because they encountered so many different ones in their daily lives. Don't know about that....

The only actor I've noticed lately is Gabiel Byrne of "In Treatment" (HBO)-- in the first season last year, he had a pretty convinving Amer. accent (I think his character is supposed to be American-born, though I don't recall that being established in the show.)  In the season now beginning he seems to have a much more noticeable Irish (?) accent.

As a general rule, unless I've read or heard something about an actor's background, if their accent is good (to my non-professional ears), I assume they're native speakers.