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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Accents

My dear US visitors, please tell me - can you tell when a person playing an American in a TV show isn't?

Even with the best doers of accents there is usually a trace when Americans try to do British accents. Even Vincent! The best I ever heard was Richard Chamberlain. Even then, he didn't flatten some of his vowels enough. The worst has to be Dick Van Dyke's cockney. I don't include Mel Gibson, because he grew up in Australia and seems to have accents pretty well sewn up.

But tell me how Hugh Laurie does as House. His American accent sounds excellent to me, but I'm not American.

I was utterly amazed recently when Channel 5 ran a short interview with Simon Baker, and it turns out he's Australian. I had no idea. How does he do for you?



I've just begun watching The Mentalist, and quite enjoy it, but I cannot agree with those who consider Mr Baker to be eye candy. He's a pretty anaemic-looking short-arsed weed compared to the lovely Mr D'Onofrio.

Other than that, I have nothing against the man and wish him every success!

11 comments:

Nantz said...

I saw him on "David Letterman" too and was shocked when I heard his accent. More shocking was when the show "The Riches" was on, with Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver. When I heard the two of them on a talk show actually "talk" I nearly fell over. I had NO idea they weren't American because they had covered it so well. On the other hand, Saffron Burrows failed miserably.

SnarkAngel said...

Rachel Griffiths hides her own native accent very, very well. Hugh also does an excellent job.

JoJo said...

Personally I think Hugh Laurie's American accent is pretty bad. You know who surprised me was Craig Ferguson. After seeing him on Drew Carey for years, I thought he was British, but his real accent and voice is Scottish. Minnie Driver's American accent is good b/c I was surprised when I heard her speak on a talk show.

You know whose was one of the worst? Kevin Costner's British accent in Robin Hood.

Music Wench said...

I think Hugh Laurie does a good job. I remember being a bit shocked hearing him speak with his natural British accent. But then he does the whole 'jackass American doctor' thing very well, too. lol

Craig Ferguson does excellent accents! I love the way he jokes around with American accents, too. He's such a delight. :-)

I think Anthony LaPaglia's Australian accent used to come out from time to time when he was doing without a Trace. At least I noticed. lol

Russell Crowe does a pretty good job with American accents, too.

And yes! Rachel Griffiths is excellent. Never knew she was Australian.

I've never seen the Mentalist so I have no idea if his accent is good or not.

Oh and Olivia D'Abo did a good job on The Wonder Years. I never knew she was British.

I'm sure there are more but I can't think of them. I do agree Saffron Burrows did a pretty poor job with her attempt at an American accent.

Aselys said...

At points Hugh Laurie's accent is alright..... But there are points in the show where you get some of his actual accent popping through....

a said...

I have never noticed Hugh Laurie slipping up.

I recently watched him on Tavis Smiley and I was surprised to hear him talking in a mix of American and Brittish.

I agree with Mini and Olivia, they are always right on the mark.

I've always wondered - do the kids in other countries fake american accents on the playground like we did with Brittish ones? :)

Nantz said...

Kudos for the references to Craig Ferguson and Olivia D'Abo. I've seen Olivia on the "Wonder Years" and never knew she wasn't American. Hugh does do an excellent job, I have to agree.

Diane said...

I'm allergic to 'House' and have NEVER watched it (something I've no plans to change), however, I grind my teeth every time I hear Hugh with his accent on trailers, but then I 'know' him as a British comedian.

I agree, the Australian in Anthony La Paglia comes through sometimes, but then he IS Australian ;0)

Tess said...

I think Hugh Laurie does a great job of hiding his accent.

val said...

Er...hate to break this to you, JoJo, but Scottish is British, as are Welsh and a whole other bunch of regional accents that you probably haven't heard of, like Geordie, and wouldn't understand if you did (hell, even I can't understand most of it!)

val said...

Oh, and A, kids certainly don't play about with American accents any more. I don't really recall anyone ever doing it, but them I'm old and forgetful!

Let's face it, plenty of people don't even bother to speak standard English any more even if they work or the BBC or are in politics. They've forgotten that standard English was supposed to make them comprehensible to everyone. And don't get me going on the people (ones who should know better) who have NO grasp of grammar, and who use words they've only ever seen written down, without any idea of the pronunciation.

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