This was brought home to me again recently when I caught British actor Paul Blackthorne in two very different roles. In the Sci Fi network's magical new series THE DRESDEN FILES, Blackthorne plays a slightly bumbling wizard detective with an American accent. And in Season 3 of "24", he played an evil British terrorist out to unleash a deadly plague on American soil. Now any way you go, Mr. Blackthorne is very easy on the eyes--think young Sean Connery with a twist of Warren Beatty. But I found him to be vastly more attractive with the British accent. (Even as an evil terrorist out to destroy America!) Of course, just like British actor Hugh Laurie, we have to give him props for being able to "do an American accent" because after all, we Americans don't HAVE accents, right?
Speaking of "24", there's a running joke that Kiefer Sutherland's "Jack Bauer" has only two extremes of speaking--yelling or whispering. I recently discovered over at http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/ that Jack's husky whisper is known to his devoted fans as "The Velvet". Apparently both terrorists and women are completely defenseless against "The Velvet" and if Jack uses it on you, you have no choice but to spill all of your government secrets to him. (Of course if you don't, he'll probably just cut off one of your fingers or shoot you in the head.)
And what about Hugh Grant? Sure he's got an abundance of self-effacing humor and boyish charm, but would you have ever forgiven him for that whole Divine Brown incident if his upscale Brit accent didn't make him sound as if he's always on the verge of offering us tea and crumpets? I mean, the man was dumb enough to cheat on Elizabeth Hurley and we still ended up patting him on the head and cooing, "Aw, isn't he just adorable?"
And let's not forget those Southern boys. Would Don Johnson as Sonny Crockett on MIAMI VICE have been nearly as compelling without that beguiling hint of gravel in his voice? And what about Josh Holloway, my beloved "Sawyer" on LOST? Every time he looks at Kate and drawls "Freckles", I forget all about muscular and noble Dr. Jack.
Any time I do think about calling Dr. Love, I think about ER's gorgeous Goran Visnjic. With his soulful dark eyes and soaring cheekbones, he's a beautiful man by anyone's standards. But that Croatian accent of his gives him an exotic charm that makes me think about snowy nights wrapped in bear pelts in front of a crackling fire.