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Gillian Anderson gave explanation on why she switches between an American and British accent

Gillian Anderson gave explanation on why she switches between an American and British accent

Did you know the actor uses two different accents?

Gillian Anderson has revealed why her accent often shifts between British and American.

The actor, 55, has been in heaps of popular TV shows and movies, and depending on which ones you've watched, you might have assumed she was British, or perhaps American.

But actually, Anderson switches her accent constantly, despite being born in Chicago.

And not just when playing characters on-screen, as she has been known to speak in both British and American accents at awards ceremonies and in interviews too.

For instance, at the 2021 Golden Globes, which take place in the US, she spoke with an American accent, while at the 2024 BAFTA awards, a UK awards ceremony, she spoke with a British accent.

It's something that often confuses fans. For example, in Netflix's new movie, Scoop, Anderson plays BBC journalist Emily Maitlis, who famously secured the Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew, Duke of York in November 2019.

The film follows the behind-the-scenes story of how the Newsnight team negotiated the interview, which was later described as 'a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion'.

The interview focused around Prince Andrew's relationship with American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who he had known from 1999 until Epstein's death by suicide while in custody, three months before the BBC interview.

In the movie, Anderson has a British accent and if you watched the actor in The Fall or The Crown, this wouldn't be surprising.

In fact, you might not have even realised that Anderson also uses an American accent quite often.

Gillian Anderson as Emily Maitlis.

But those more familiar with hearing Anderson's American dialect were quite surprised.

One person wrote on social media: "I was today years old when I found out Gillian Anderson had a British accent. HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?!"

While another said: "Heard of a bit of a British accent when Gillian Anderson spoke... never knew she grew up in London."

In the past, Anderson has actually revealed what her true accent is, and why she switches between.

In an interview with Scott Lawrence back in 2021, she explained she changes it depending who she's with.

Anderson explained that she changes her accent depending on the setting.
Kate Green/Getty Images

"It goes back and forth because I grew up in both places, so it depends who I'm talking to," she said.

"So usually when I'm talking to Brits it slides into British and vice versa for American.

"Sometimes it's conscious because I know someone will be thrown by it so I'll consciously do it, but the majority of time... if I'm at a dinner party and I'm sat between one of each on either side I literally can't help it."

It's something called code switching, which is the process of shifting from one language or dialect to the other.

This often occurs depending on the social context and the company you're in.

Featured Image Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage/Netflix

Topics: Celebrity, TV and Film