11 US Stars Who Made Random Appearances In British TV Shows

Alien meets Doc Martin.

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Is there anything stranger, or more jarring, than when you're watching a UK television show and, out of the blue, a Hollywood A-lister suddenly pops up and starts being an international superstar all over the place?

It's not a regular occurrence but, as you will see below, the acting elite from across the Pond do like to venture abroad for a thoroughly British adventure.

1. Liv Tyler in Gunpowder

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Kit Harington's violent and bloody take on the treacherous machinations of Guy Fawkes has been burning up Saturday nights on BBC One. And not least of all because, amongst its cast, you'll find The Lord of the Rings actress Liv Tyler.

Next year sees the 20th anniversary of one of her other big movies, Armageddon.

2. Jon Hamm in Toast of London

Hamm is no stranger to UK telly having appeared in an episode of Black Mirror before its jump to Netflix and also Sky Arts' A Young Doctor's Notebook with Daniel Radcliffe.

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But this guest role on the critically-acclaimed but not exactly ratings-busting C4 show does rate high on the surprise-o-meter.

3. Sigourney Weaver in Doc Martin

This is the very definition of "juxtaposition".

Weaver, whose impressive credits won't fit on this page but let's just mention the Alien and Ghostbusters franchises for a start, shocked everyone with this role as a tourist on the charmingly inoffensive Martin Clunes ITV series.

Sigourney, according to Martin, was a big fan of the show and asked for a part. It would be rude, as they say, to refuse.

4. Johnny Depp in The Vicar of Dibley

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Back when Depp was liked by everyone, the American actor took part in a special edition of The Vicar of Dibley for Comic Relief in 1999.

Johnny also returned to the world of the Britcom the following year for the 2000 "finale" of The Fast Show.

5. Jessica Chastain in Poirot

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Just one year before 2011's The Help (for which she was Oscar-nommed), Chastain certainly wasn't the name she is now. In this small screen adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express, Jessica played bad girl Mary Debenham.

Chastain then goes from strength-to-strength with box-office smashes such as Zero Dark Thirty, The Martian and Interstellar.

6. Andy Samberg in Cuckoo

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Even at the time Samberg was already a decent name in the States; he'd made appearances in numerous comedy shows, animations and films, not to mention his regular stints on SNL.

His choice to come to Blightly was an odd one and, given that it was BBC Three where the show aired, was even odder. Samberg, however, was only around for one series due to the success of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Which reminds us...

7. Taylor Lautner in Cuckoo

Twilight star Lautner figuratively replaced Samberg, albeit in a different role.

It was even more surprising than Samberg, given that most of BBC Three's audience had actually seen the actor previously.

8. Carrie Fisher in Catastrophe

The outspoken and hilarious Star Wars actress managed to bring even more laughs to the C4 show already packed with the formidable comedic duo of Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney.

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9. Paul Dano in War & Peace

12 Years a Slave, There Will Be Blood and Little Miss Sunshine – an impressive movie résumé, we think you'll agree.

Dano returned to television (he had previously guested in HBO's The Sopranos) but crossed the water to team up with the BBC on its epic take on the Tolstoy classic, which also starred Brits Lily James and James Norton.

10. Gillian Anderson in Bleak House

Dickens' house was made less bleak and more starry with the casting of X-Files alum Gillian Anderson.

She was BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated for her role as Lady Dedlock, and would go on to feature in many more UK productions such as Great Expectations and, most recently, BBC Two's The Fall.

11. Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Honourable Woman

For over 20 years, Gyllenhaal built up a fascinating big-screen CV, going from challenging characters in the likes of Secretary to more mainstream box-office fodder in The Dark Knight. Maggie's first foray into the world of television series came with this 2014 BBC Two eight-part drama.

Gyllenhaal won her first Golden Globe for her troubles.

From: Digital Spy