Blonde: The 12 worst accents in cinema, from Ana de Armas in Marilyn Monroe to Anne Hathaway in One day
Ana de Armas plays the role of Marilyn Monroe in the controversial Netflix film, Blond.
The upcoming movie is a fictionalized version of the iconic Hollywood star, but Monroe fans have already found plenty to argue about, after a new trailer was released last week.
One of the most glaring issues (according to fans) is that Spanish Cuban de Armas seems to have trouble making her accent sound like Monroe’s distinctive voice.
But de Armas isn’t the only actor to struggle with his character’s accent, even with the help of a dialect coach.
Here are 12 memorable examples of a movie accent gone wrong.
Ana de Armas in Blonde (2022)
Andrew Dominik’s Marilyn Monroe movie hasn’t even been released yet and its star, Ana de Armas, is already facing backlash for her accent. De Armas said she underwent ‘nine months’ of dialect coaching training to play the Los Angeles-born sex symbol, but Monroe fans are convinced she could have done a few more — if the trailer says it all.
Lady Gaga in The House of Gucci (2021)
Lady Gaga said she inhabited the character of Patrizia Reggiani – the wife of Maurizio Gucci, whom she murdered in 1995 – for a year and a half, carrying the focus for nine months of that on and off screen. Unfortunately, the result of all that method work was an accent that the film’s dialect coach described as sounding “more Russian” than Italian. Annoying.
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Literally Everyone in Wild Mountain Thyme (2020)
Wild mountain thyme is a romantic drama that, thanks to the surreal overtones of its stars, swept the internet as soon as its trailer was released. The film, starring Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan, is a veritable feast of badly accented horror. Set on a mystical Irish farmhouse in an indistinguishable year (is it 2019 or 1953? Who knows!), the film features a cast of incredibly talented stars ruthlessly pummeling the Irish accent beyond all acknowledgement. Christopher Walken’s tends for Mullingar but sounds more like “Pirate Christopher Walken”; Blunt is disconcerting; then there’s Jamie Dornan, who’s actually Irish but looks like someone who’s never set foot in the country.
Anne Hathaway in One Day (2011)
Anne Hathaway is an undeniably talented actress, but whichever way you turn it, Hathaway as a “girl” from Yorkshire doesn’t sound like a recipe for success. He wasn’t either. The film has an impressive 36% review score on Rotten Tomatoes, thanks in part to Hathaway’s cartoonish Northern accent. Although he claims to have watched Emmerdale to prepare for the role, Hathaway’s attempt at “one of the most awful Yorkshire accents you’ve ever heard”, according to The Telegraph review Robbie Collin.
Russell Crowe in Robin Hood (2010)
Russell Crowe, normally a foolproof for a historic British accent, was widely ridiculed for his performance as Robin Hood in Ridley Scott’s 2010 action film. Crowe vacillated between Irish and Yorkshire and his Kiwi accent native, leaving viewers baffled. Crowe even stormed into a BBC interview with Mark Lawson after the reporter suggested his character sounded Irish. Years later, Crowe would reveal that his main inspiration for the accent was…Michael Parkinson. Which explains a lot of things, actually.
Don Cheadle in the Oceans trilogy (2001, 2004, 2007)
Yet another brilliant American actor victim of the British accent. Cheadle’s accent for the Heist Trilogy was comically over-the-top cockney. Speaking in 2008, Cheadle pleaded: “Forgive me! I won’t do it again!” Phew.
Nicolas Cage in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)
If you’ve seen this film, you’ll find it hard to believe that Cage has Italian heritage (his father was literature professor August Coppola, brother of director Francis Ford Coppola). Although he learned to play the mandolin for real for the movie, Cage clearly didn’t go to all that much trouble for his Italian accent, which sounds a bit more like Jack Black’s controversial Mexican voice in Nacho Libre.
Keanu Reeves in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Keanu Reeves gives a particularly laughable performance in Bram Stoker’s Dracula thanks in large part to his hilarious “British” accent. Talk to Weekly entertainment in 2015, director Francis Ford Coppola explained: “He tried so hard. That was the problem, actually – he wanted to do it perfectly and in trying to do it perfectly it turned out to be stilted. We still love you, Keanu, and the movie is still great.
Tom Cruise in Far and Far (1992)
Tom Cruise is actively terrible in Far, a bizarre adventure film from Ron Howard that marked the second of three wildly divergent collaborations with Cruise’s wife, Nicole Kidman. His Irish accent is a floating noise, there one minute and gone the next.
Pierce Brosnan in Taffin (1988)
If you haven’t seen Brosnan’s pre-Bond action flick Taffin (and you absolutely didn’t) you might have seen another specific 14 seconds of it, the actor ordering his love out of his home using a delivery that can only be described as Tommy Wiseau-esque . But Irish viewers have even more reason to be confused, namely that Brosnan is originally from the Republic of Ireland but speaks throughout in an incomprehensible Northern Irish accent. His line “So maybe you shouldn’t live heeeerrrre” is steeped in film lore.
Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Mickey Rooney’s portrayal of Japanese landlord Mr. Yunioshi in this classic is now widely accepted as a toxic caricature based on racist stereotypes. With glued eyelids and buck teeth, Rooney completed his absurd performance with an offensive parody of a Japanese accent. Rooney later said he “wouldn’t have done it” if he had known it would offend people.
Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins (1964)
Dick Van Dyke’s English accent in Mary Poppins is considered the “worst attempt by an American to become British” according to a 2017 poll by Babel. Even Van Dyke agrees, saying after receiving a BAFTA in 2017: “I appreciate this opportunity to apologize to the members of the BAFTAs for inflicting on them the most excruciating Cockney accent in film history. “
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