From One Day to Saltburn: Here are the worst accents in our favourite film and TV

From One Day to Saltburn: Here are the worst accents in our favourite film and TV, ranked

Where are all the dialect coaches?

The release of the new Netflix mini-series One Day and Ambika Mod’s character Emma Morley and her twang from up north has got people talking about accents and just how hard they are to do. Doing one when you’re acting in film and TV is extra tricky. There’s the practicality of getting your mouth to move in a completely unusual way, and then there is the bit where everyone has to hear it. This opens the field to judgement from anyone. This must be nerve-wracking but part of the craft is believability. Without further ado, here is are the worst accents from across your favourite film and TV, ranked.

15. Julianne Moore – 30 Rock

Julianne tried her hand at sitcom acting as Nancy Donovan, a love interest to Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy. The character was supposed to be from Boston and much of the humour came from this fact. Julianne proved that being a future Oscar winner might mean a Bean Town accent doesn’t come easy, but it doesn’t matter if it’s a bit rusty if you’re doing excellent dialogue written by Tina Fey.

14. Chris O’Dowd – Girls

Chris is a beloved Irish star who broke out in many hit British television shows like The IT Crowd. His success in America feels almost inevitable. However, its hard to tell if his turn as the creepy Thomas-John in Lena Dunham’s HBO comedy was because he was a tech bro, a letch or if his New York accent was bogging.

13. Jennifer Lawrence – Red Sparrow

Jennifer’s Russian accent didn’t match her stellar performance in this 2018 spy thriller. A Reddit user dubbed it” a bit of mess…. like she would start with it, and then steadily lose it all in the same sentence on some of her lines.”

12. Dracula – Keanu Reeves

Keanu went up against some of the best British talent in the field of acting, but his turn as Jonathan Harker and the ensuing English accent was not music to the fans of the 1992 film based on the Bram Stoker novel of the same name.

11. Green Street – Charlie Hunman

Charlie’s cockney accent in this film did not go down well at the time of its release in 2005 as his own Geordie accent seeped through. However, since becoming known for this sort of hardman film, you can safely say it’s gotten a whole lot better.

 10. One Day – Anne Hathaway

Anne should probably never go to the great city of Leeds and face the consequences for the crimes she has committed against its accent. Her casting in the 2011 adaption of the movie version of the David Nichols book of the same name was a bit of a car crash. Ambika doesn’t even rank on this list because she could never have done worse than Anne.

9. Harry Styles – Don’t Worry Darling

Harry might have loved that this movie felt like a movie, but one thing I did not love, aside from his character and all the men in it, was his accent. Harry, everyone loves you on the stage! You are so good, not in films, that it’s actually weird you keep trying to be in them! Stop trying to be American!

8. Dick Van Dyke – Mary Poppins

A classic bad accent for a reason. However, if you ask me, it vaguely adds to the charm of the 1964 live-action film of the book by PL Travers, but that might just be the nostalgia speaking.

7. Yael Stone – Orange Is The New Black

Yael did have a tough time as an Australian actress playing te American outlaw detained in Litchfield Penitenatiary for mail fraud between 2013 and 2019. However, her voice for Lorna Morello dipped in and out of Boston and Brooklyn and they are very far apart!

6. Janes Leeves – Frasier

Jane is from London, while her character in this 90s sitcom, Daphne Moon, was supposed to be from Manchester. The way Daphne’s tones dipped in and out of each was explained by how she had emigrated to the United States, which might be true, but a Manuncian lilt it did not make.

5. Barry Keoghan – Saltburn

Oliver Quick might be one of the most talked about film characters of 2023. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just the many scandalous scenes that got people talking but his depiction of a Scouse accent. Emerald Fennell, you could have kept him Irish, and it would’ve worked storywise!

4. Leonardo DiCaprio – Blood Diamond

Leo is a very good actor, Academy Award-winning in fact, but his South African accent in this film is not. Trevor Noah, who comes from Johannesburg, compared it to a “drunken Australian” back when he hosted The Daily Show.

3. Jeremy Irons – The House of Gucci

This film probably had one of the most iconic press tours of all time, thanks to Lady Gaga and her countless insights into playing Patrizia Reggiani. The 2021 film boasts an ensemble of Americans doing Italians was a rather mixed bag. However, Jeremy Irons was definitely the most off-the-mark with his voice style. And I’m including Jared Leto’s ‘It’s a Me, A Mario’ schtick.

2. Sean Connery – Highlander

What have the people of Scotland ever done to Hollywood? This list could just be Americans doing poor impressions of people living above Carlisle, but I had to control myself. However, what really makes this one exceptional is that Sean’s terrible Scottish accent playing Ramirez in this 1986 action-adventure is surprisingly bad for someone actually already with a Scottish accent. Bizarre.

1. Mickey Rooney – Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Mickey Rooney’s racist performance as Audrey Hepburn’s Japanese landlord IY Yunioshi is just bad in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. For some, his attempt at speaking pidgin English has made this beloved adaption of Truman Capote’s novella unwatchable.

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Photo credit via Saltburn/Don’t Worry Darling/One Day