Brits: How is Gillian Anderson's British accent?

She really does do a good Thatcher, very impressive. But there was one scene in an episode I watched tonight, where she was talking to reporters about being a mother, and the way she said “mo-ther,” it sounded to me like a pretty solid Moira Rose impersonation.

I graduated from Macalester College in St Paul, MN. They used to have (maybe still do) a Highland Festival every spring, which naturally attacted a large immigrant contingent. I was talking to one middle-aged gentleman from Scotland who sounded like a native Minnesotan. He thanked me when I told him that, since it had taken twenty years for him to lose his accent.

I first heard Anderson doing Thatcher when my wife was watching the trailer on her iPad, and I couldn’t see the screen. My first thought was that it must be someone doing a parody of Thatcher, a la The Windsors or Spitting Image. Extremely stilted and unnatural.

My opinion of her performance didn’t change when I watched the show. She’s really not a very good actress, IMHO, nowhere near the caliber of the rest of the cast of The Crown. I imagined that Anderson among all those really good British actors probably felt a lot like Thatcher among the royals at Balmoral.

The other day, I just happened to see a trailer for Streep’s turn as Thatcher in The Iron Lady, and thought her take was much more natural.