Ana de Armas plays Marilyn Monroe in the controversial Netflix movie, Blonde.
The upcoming movie is a fictionalized version of the iconic Hollywood star, but Monroe fans have already run into a lot of trouble, following the release of a new trailer last week.
One of the most glaring problems (according to fans), is that the Spanish-Cuban de Armas seems to have trouble making his accent sound similar to Monroe’s distinctive voice.
But de Armas isn’t the only actor to struggle with his character’s accent, even with the help of a dialect coach.
Here are 12 memorable examples of a movie accent going wrong.
Ana de Armas in Blonde (2022)
Andrew Dominik’s Marilyn Monroe movie isn’t even out yet and its star Ana de Armas is already facing criticism for her accent. De Armas said she went through “nine months” of dialect coach training to play the L.A.-born sex symbol, but Monroe fans are convinced she could have done a few more — if the trailer is anything to go by.
Lady Gaga in House of Gucci (2021)
Lady Gaga said she inhabited the character Patrizia Reggiani — the wife of Maurizio Gucci, whom she had murdered in 1995 — for a year and a half, carrying the accent for nine months on and off screen. Unfortunately, the result of all this method work was an accent that the film’s own dialect coach described as sounding “more Russian” than Italian. Clumsy.
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Literally Everyone in Wild Mountain Thyme (2020)
Wild Mountain Thyme is a romantic drama that, thanks to the surreal accents of its stars, broke the internet after the release of its trailer. The film, starring Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan, is a veritable feast of poorly accented horror. Set on a mystical Irish farmhouse in an indiscernible year (is it 2019 or 1953? Who knows!), the film features a cast of incredibly talented A-listers mercilessly beating their Irish accents beyond all recognition. Christopher Walken’s is striving for Mullingar, but it sounds more like “Pirate Christopher Walken”; Blunt’s is disconcerting; then there’s Jamie Dornan, who’s actually Irish but sounds like someone who’s never set foot in the country.
Anne Hathaway in One Day (2011)
Anne Hathaway is an actress of indisputable talent, but whichever way you spin it, Hathaway starring as a “lady” from Yorkshire doesn’t sound like a recipe for success. It wasn’t even. The film has an impressively low score of 36% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, thanks in part to Hathaway’s cartoonish northern accent. Although she claims to have watched emmerdale to prepare for the role, Hathaway’s attempt “one of the most honking Yorkshire accents you’ll ever hear”, according to the telegraph critic Robbie Colin.
Russell Crowe in Robin Hood (2010)
Russell Crowe, normally a surefire for a historic British accent, was widely derided for his performance as Robin Hood in Ridley Scott’s 2010 action film. Crowe vacillated between Irish and Yorkshire and his native Kiwi accent, leaving viewers baffled. Crowe even came out of a BBC interview with Mark Lawson after the journalist suggested his character sounded Irish. Years later, Crowe would reveal that his main inspiration for the accent was… Michael Parkinson. Which explains a lot, actually.
Don Cheadle in the Oceans Trilogy (2001, 2004, 2007)
Yet another brilliant American actor to fall victim to the British accent. Cheadle’s accent for the Heist trilogy was a comically exaggerated cockney. Speaking in 2008, Cheadle pleaded: “Forgive me! I won’t do it again!” Ufa.
Nicolas Cage on Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)
If you’ve seen this movie, you’ll struggle to believe that Cage has Italian heritage (his father was literature professor August Coppola, brother of director Francis Ford Coppola). Despite learning to play the actual mandolin for the film, Cage clearly didn’t bother with his Italian accent, which sounds a little more like Jack Black’s controversial Mexican voice in Free Nacho.
Keanu Reeves in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Keanu Reeves has a remarkably laughable performance in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, thanks in large part to his hilarious “British” accent. Talking to weekly entertainment in 2015, director Francis Ford Coppola explained, “He tried so hard. That was the problem, really – he wanted to do it perfectly and in trying to do it perfectly he came out as stilted.” We still love you, Keanu, and the movie is still great.
Tom Cruise in Far and Far (1992)
Tom Cruise is actively terrible at far and distant, a bizarre Ron Howard adventure film that marked the second of three wildly divergent collaborations with Cruise’s then-wife Nicole Kidman. His Irish accent is a fluttering noise, it’s there one minute and gone the next.
Pierce Brosnan in Taffin (1988)
If you haven’t seen Brosnan’s pre-Bond action movie Taffin (and you absolutely didn’t), you may still have seen a specific 14 seconds, with the actor ordering his love interest to leave his house using a delivery that can only be described as Tommy Wiseau. But Irish viewers have even more reason to be confused, namely that Brosnan is from the Republic of Ireland but speaks with an incomprehensible Northern Irish accent. His line “So maybe you shouldn’t be living heeeerrrre” is rooted in cinematic lore.
Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Mickey Rooney’s portrait of Japanese owner Mr. Yunioshi in this classic is now widely accepted as a toxic caricature built on racist stereotypes. With hooded eyelids and buck teeth, Rooney completed his absurd performance with an offensive parody of a Japanese accent. Rooney later said he “wouldn’t have done it” if he’d known it would offend people.
Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins (1964)
Dick Van Dyke’s English accent in Mary Poppins is considered the “worst attempt by an American to become British”, according to a 2017 Babel poll. Even Van Dyke agrees, saying after receiving a BAFTA in 2017, “I appreciate this opportunity to apologize to the BAFTA members for inflicting on them the most atrocious cockney accent in film history.”
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