In the light of the (slighly unfair) savaging that Anne Hathaway has received for her wobbly rendition of a Yorkshire accent in Lone Scherfig’s recently released adaptation of David Nicholls’ bestseller One Day, I have decided to bring together a small collection of some of my personal favourite dodgy screen accents for your perusal. Enjoy:
Charlie Hunnam – Green Street (2004)
The absolute pits. In a film which has already put its neck on the line by casting the elfin Elijah Wood as a would-be football hooligan, you need, at the very least, a convincing supporting cast to bolster authenticity levels. Instead, you get Geordie-born Hunnam delivering a Cockney accent that’s more Dick van Dyke than Ray Winstone. Shameful.
Jon Voight – Anaconda (1997)
In which Jon Voight impersonates Christopher Walken impersonating Tony Montana. I’m not entirely sure which accent this is actually supposed to be, but it’s fantastically entertaining nonetheless. Oh, and terrible.
Don Cheadle – Oceans Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen (2001, 2004, 2007)
What is it about the Cockney accent? It’s nothing new to pick on Don Cheadle for his laughable attempts, but it’s still fun to watch. Cheadle is a fine actor, but he painted himself into a rather painful corner with this set of dodgy performances. Still, not as bad as Hunnam.
Keanu Reeves – Dracula (1992)
The BYUUDAPEST monologue is the high/low point of the Reeves’ ill-fated attempted English accent. It’s impossible to listen to his mangled vowels without expecting him to break into a Bill-and-Ted-style “EXCELLENT!” at some point.
Sean Connery – The Hunt For Red October (1990)
As bad as Reeves’ accent was in Dracula (very), at least he was trying. The same can’t be said for Sean Connery in The Hunt For Red October, in which the insouciant Scot dispatches the most Celtic-sounding Russian accent you’ll ever have the pleasure of hearing. The below clip may represent Connery’s accent nadir, but it’s not as though he doesn’t have form. See here and here for further evidence.
*UPDATE! UPDATE! – I’ve just remembered Josh Hartnett in Blow Dry (2001) – Sheffield? India? California? Who knows. Amazing.
What’s the worst on-screen accent you can think of? Fire away in the comments section below.