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Irish Accents

The only accent that can wear the adjective “Lilt”…a truly beautiful thing, and yet the absolute fucking eviscerating death of every actor who’s ever tried to fake it.

Let’s begin with the obvious – Tom Cruise in Far and Away. Fucking embarrassing, even if (as I do) you think Cruise is the most talentless bit of cardboard to come along since Rock Hudson…and the comparison likely doesn’t stop there.

Then there’s Richard Gere opposite Bruce Willis in The Jackal. Begosh and Begorra! T’was fookin’ torture to the ears, eh, Father?

Dennis Hopper took a run at it with Steven Seagal in Ticker. Dennis couldn’t even hold the fake accent through a single paragraph – kept slipping in and out mid-sentence.

Brad Pitt opposite Harrison Ford in The Devil’s Own. Just fookin’ shameful!

And let’s not leave the lassies out: Julia Roberts in that Jekyl & Hyde flick, Mary Reilly. Lard t’underin’ fook n’ Saints alive, save us!

What is about the Irish accent that absolutely crushes anyone who tries to fake it? Every single one of the listed movies would have been vastly improved by replacing the lead character with that fucking leprechaun from the Lucky Charms commercials – Blue hearts and yellow moons…!

I mean, fer fook sakes, eh? Liam Neeson has a hard enough time with it, and the coont was BARN in Narthen Ir’land! Drove a fookin’ farklif’ fer Guiness, he fookin’ did.

Ah, fookit. Ah’m goona go watch Boondock Saints.

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2 Responses

  1. I think people overdo the accent, it’s actually fairly soft. Well, except for Ulster Irish. It can also be fairly similar to some American accents.

    It’s a bit like the story in Evelyn Waugh’s the “Loved one” where the actress had dark, curly hair and looked Irish, but Hollywood demanded that she dye it red and change her features to what Americans thought were Irish.

  2. Having spent some time in Belfast myself, I have to say that Pitt’s Belfast accent wasn’t all that bad… but overall, I agree with you.

    I think that many actors try like hell to mimic the accent, but forget (or never learn) several things:

    1. It’s the cadence and manner of speech that is important than the accent. “So, is it to town you’re going’ ?” “I am.”
    2. Once the style and cadence is captured, the actual accent follows rather naturally. My father was from Tyrone, in the North. On my first visit there, after about a week, (without realizing it) I’d lapsed into his accent. Sort of.

    I was asked by someone in Mayo, “So, what part of the North are you from?” He thought I was an ex pat who’d come back from America, and as such had lost much of my accent.

    2. There are many different Irish accents. A Kerryman sounds nothing like a Dubliner. I’ve yet to hear any Irish who sound like the Lucky Charms Leprechaun.

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