Nailing the right accent in a movie, ain’t always easy. Hell, ask any British actor on the big screen who happens to be portraying an American icon, and they’ll tell you that enunciating a letter here and there can be quite challenging. Most of the time though, actors manage to convincingly sound like they’re from another continent. And then sometimes, you get a fake accent so laughably terrible, that it circles the drain of WTF and lands right back on genius stupidity. Here are ten of the worst such accents, ever committed to film.
- Keanu Reeves’ British accent in Dracula
Even in a film filled to the brim with some strangely wooden acting, Keanu Reeves’ British accent comes off with more lumber than a trip to Builder’s Warehouse. It’s the very best stereotypical Beverly Hills resident dialect meets a soft-spoken English inflection, and an attempt at switching nationalities that just sounds plain weird for Reeves.
- Dick Van Dyke’s Cockney accent in Mary Poppins
Cor blimey! Wizz bang guv’na! That’s a fair bobbin on me noggin, you savvy? I have no idea what I’m saying, but it’s nowhere near as stereotypical as Dick Van Dyke’s legendarily bad take on the iconic Cockney dialect, as he dances through the cult classic that is Mary Poppins. Blimey mate!
- Michael Caine’s Texan accent in On Deadly Ground
Speaking of Cockney accents, Michael Caine has fielded one of the more recognisable dialects throughout his career. An accent that has carried him through various films, cementing his role as an all-time legend. For the Stephanus Seevoel film On Deadly Ground however, Caine was tasked with playing a ruthless Texan oil magnate. A role that would have required him to ditch his lovable accent. Clearly, Caine thought “F*** it”, and went ahead speaking in his native tongue anyway.
- Brad Pitt’s Austrian accent in Seven In Years In Tibet
To this day, I have no idea what the hell Brad Pitt was smoking when he came up with his idea for an Austrian accent, which sounded like a bastardised dialect that was part Irish, German and Indian. Every time Pitt opens his mouth in this flick, acting flies straight out of the window as he mumbles his way to Buddhist Nirvana. Someone should turn this into a drinking game already.
- John Malkovich’s Russian accent in Rounders
GIFF THYAT MYAN HISS MONAY! I STEEK EET TO YOU! ACEZ OVER KLUBZ KOMRADE.
- Anne Hathaway’s British accent in One Day
If I wasn’t still madly in love with Hathaway, I’d have been much harsher in this assessment of her use of the British accent. But dammit, I just can’t. I just can’t.
- Jodie Foster’s…whatever the hell it was in Elysium
Words fail me when it comes to Jodie Foster and her made-up accent in Elysium. So I’m just going to copy and paste this bit here from the abridged script on The-Editing-Room, which perfectly nails any scene that Foster happens to have a speaking role in:
Jodie, are you sure you know what you’re doing?
Vye yes, I am protektink
our hab-i-tat from…
No, I mean what the fuck is with all the accents.
I am to be demonstrating
my cosmopolitan nature,
gained from living in this
- Val Kilmer’s Souff Effrican eccent in The Saint
Jirre bru, getting the right saffa eccent isn’t always easy hey? At least Matt Damon got it right, while Leonardo DiCaprio made for a passable Rhodesian, which totally counts hey. But Val Kilmer? Jussis boet, that was somefin’ else.
- Mel Gibson’s Scottish accent in Braveheart
I know Kervyn is going to crucify me for this, but Mel Gibson manages to pull off a convincing Scottish accent about as well as I can do a Barry White imitation after having my testicles caved in. Compared to some Scottish mates of mine who have left my head spinning, Gibson pales in comparison, but at least he manages a perfect movie Scottish accent.
- Nic Cage’s Southern Drawl in Con Air
I’m still convinced that Nicolas Cage is a genius. This is an actor whose work will be looked at fifty years from now, and properly appreciated. Because bless the man, no matter how crappy the movie or role that he accepts, he never phones it in. This is an actor who dedicates himself 100% to a role, even if it does require him to be a prisoner who sounds like he belongs in a Huckleberry Finn adventure.
Last Updated: January 22, 2015