independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Begorrah, sure is that for real? Ten worst Irish accents in film

Acting icon Brad Pitt may have offended residents of Northern Ireland with his cringe-inducing performance of an IRA man on-the-run in The Devil’s Own.

A-list actor Daniel Radcliffe has been added to the long list of stars that have butchered the Irish accent after his performance in the production The Cripple of Inishmaan.

The Harry Potter star was named Best Actor in a Play for his role during a fan-voted ceremony in London last night.

The performer is part of a long chain of Hollywood stars that just can’t master the art of the twang of the Emerald Isle.

Many of their box-office hit movies have resulted in the mauling of a plethora of Irish accents.

To perform with a credible sound, one must soften the vowels and harden the consonants, but most actors cannot do this without sounding like an Irish folklore leprechaun.

From the fast-paced Dublin accent to the strong Cork twang, here are some of the world’s greatest actors that couldn’t rise to the challenge of an Irish accent.

Daniel Radcliffe's performance in 'The Cripple of Inishmaan'

1. Brad Pitt

Acting icon Brad Pitt may have offended residents of Northern Ireland with his cringe-inducing performance of an IRA man on-the-run in The Devil’s Own.

Despite spending a number of days in Belfast to prepare for his role as Frankie McGuire, he failed to sound authentically Irish and certainly didn’t have the gift of the gab.

2. Sean Connery

Former James Bond star Sean Connery left us shaken and stirred during his failed attempts at an Irish accent.

His performance in gangster classic The Untouchables seemed peculiar because of his over-powering Scottish accent dominating any ounce of Irishness. Yet he still managed to nab the best supporting actor Oscar in 1988.

An earlier portrayal of Michael McBride, in the Walt Disney classic Darby O'Gill and the Little People is possibly the worst attempt at an Irish accent of all time.

It seems like he’s actually practising for his Bond role.

3. Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio

Playing Leonardo DiCaprio's Irish love interest in Gangs of New York, actress Cameron Diaz sounded just like her normal self as she attempted to emulate the dulcet Irish lilt.

Acting legend DiCaprio was even worse and forgot his character in many parts of the film, sounding like he was just plucked from his native Los Angeles.

The awful dialect is distracting throughout the entire Martin Scorsese flick.

4. Gerard Butler

Probably one of the most famous train-wreck accents in film history, Gerard Butler’s Irish accent in P.s I Love You is painful on the ears with its fiddle dee dee quality.

The Scottish actor even apologised in an interview after movie moguls branded it the worst attempt at an Irish accent in Hollywood.

‘‘The way I see it, I made a terrible botch of the accent once, so it can’t get any worse as a leprechaun.

“At least it’ll make the Irish part of me proud. It doesn’t get more patriotic than playing a leprechaun,’’ he joked.

5. Julia Roberts

Hollywood sweetheart Julia Roberts is a double offender when it comes to the crime of showcasing a diabolical Irish accent on a worldwide stage.

Her portrayal of an Irish housemaid in Mary Reilly must have confused viewers as she talked with an American accent straight out of the Deep South.

She also managed to derail a perfectly captivating film, Micheal Collins, with her disturbing efforts at an Irish lilt.

6. Tom Cruise

Actor Tom Cruise tried to conform to the slight musical quality of the Irish accent but took it too far in his performance as impoverished Irish immigrant Joseph Donnelly in Far and Away.

The exaggerated droning of the accent made for uncomfortable viewing for any true Irishman.

He teamed up with his real-life wife at the time Nicole Kidman, but the pair made for a disastrous Hollywood double act.

7. Debra Messing

How American actress Debra Messing got a part in Broadway play Outside Mullingar is astonishing.

Despite being surrounded by an Irish cast, the actress still manages to mangle the Irish dialect.

She underwent two months of speech training to prepare for her role. We think she should ask for a refund.

8. Twilight Breaking Dawn

The red-headed Irish vampires dressed in various shades of green, fisherman sweaters and tweed caps in Twilight Breaking Dawn gave us another reason to shake our heads.

Perhaps it was the dramatic nature of the film, but there’s no excuse for these appalling accents in a film series has grossed over $3.3 billion in worldwide.

Now most of the world thinks the entire Irish population talks like a little old man resting on a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

9. Damien McGinty

Derry native Damien McGinty plays exchange student Rory Flanagan in US hit show Glee.

Despite actually hailing from the Emerald Isle, his twang isn’t realistic for many Irish viewers.

His first appearance was in the episode entitled Pot o' Gold, where he was a leprechaun to the dissatisfaction of many Irish Glee fans.

10. Zoe Zebra

It seems even the curse of the bad Irish accents rolls into cartoon characters too.

Star of the much-loved kids show Peppa Pig, Zoe Zebra, voiced by Sian Taylor, provides children with a distorted view of the Irish twang.

Creators of the animated television series failed to source a decent actor for the voice of their Irish zebra character.

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