Torquemada

Something I Wonder

Why do movies portray non-English speakers as speaking English, but with the accents of the land they are from? What does the English or American accent sound like spoken in Russian?

For instance, I am watching this movie Vlad and it stars two Americans who are supposed to be Romanians, but they are speaking English in what is supposed to be their own country. I know it's so the viewing audience can understand it, but how does that work exactly?

It's like Cloris Leachman said in History of the World, Part 1, "We are so poor, we do not even have a language! Just this stupid accent!"
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I like it better when they do it that way rather than just having anyone from a European country speak in a British accent.

Still, I like what Kenneth Branaugh did with Much Ado About Nothing, letting everyone speak in their own accent rather than trying to affect one.
Oh, I don't not like it, it's just that I find things curious. Like, how does a French person affect someone from America in a movie? What do we sound like to them? But I'm really very sensitive to accents in particular. It comes from mixed-family locale and my fascination with the Ontario accent (long story).
There used to be a Britcom on PBS called Allo Allo where the action was in France with people who were supposed to be speaking in French, but of course really in English for the audience, so they made the non-native French speakers bizarrely mispronounce a lot of random words. Not sure it always was as funny as the writers seemed to think, but it was a clever idea.