`MDs' actor voiced concern over accent

October 08, 2002|By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

Actor John Hannah, whose Scottish brogue is thicker than haggis, always had to convince British casting agents that he could muster an English accent.

He never got to play an Englishman until the American production of The Mummy.

"It was a goofy kind of part," he says. "I debated for a long time whether or not I should take it because I thought if I do this badly it's going to be the end of my career, you know, and it would be rubbish."

On ABC's new satire, MDs, he gets to roll his `R's, round out his vowels and clip his sentences as much as he wants.

"For years when I would go to auditions, I was constantly coming up against the barrier, `Can you do an English accent? Can you lose the Scot?' ... And every interview after I did Four Weddings and a Funeral, boy, did they love my accent!"

It's a real advantage in his role as the iconoclastic and roguish surgeon in MDs. He and William Fichtner do their best to dance around the sticky red tape of the creaky HMO they work for.

Hannah, 40, and his wife of 6 1/2 years, actress Joanna Roth, have a home in England. But while the series goes they're living in Los Angeles.

"We're hoping the show will run for years. I'm kind of a natural pessimist," he says. "It's been hundreds of years since anything went right for a Scotsman. I can't remember the last time we qualified for the World Cup."

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