A Conversation for Why Villains in Movies Have English Accents
Smudger879n Started conversation Jan 15, 2003
Bad enough hearing an American trying an English accent, the one that really gets to me, is English actors trying to do a Scottish accent. It just not come across for me. It is bad enough for us Scots as the accent changes in every different part you visit.
Steve K. Posted Jan 16, 2003
One counterexample, Kenneth Branagh did a killer American accent in "Dead Again", I (an American) completely bought it.
My favorite example from the entry is Alan Rickman in "Die Hard", one of my alltime favorite lines comes after Willis' wife (girlfriend?) calls him a common thief. Rickman's character replies "I am an EXCEPTIONAL thief!" (with exceptional haughtiness).
The TV sitcom "Frasier" did a funny play on the American fascination with British accents. Daphne, the loveable live-in therapist from Manchester, has a drunken lout of a brother named Simon whose accent is somewhat like the "before" in "My Fair Lady". But manhunter Ros, on first meeting him, says "He talks just like a Prince!"
Sam Posted Jan 16, 2003
Richard Attenborough's 'Scottish' accent in the first Jurasic Park film was DREADFUL - all over the bloody palce!
Whereas, Mel Gibson's Highland accent in Braveheart was not bad at all, in my humble opinion.
Smudger879n Posted Jan 16, 2003
Now that was a good film, so good that to be honest I never noticed Mels accent! So it must have been ok or I would have noticed it, You can take our Accent but you will never take our FREEDOM! no bad eh!doesnt come over the same when you write it?
I agree with what was said about Dicky Attenborough earlier, now that was noticable.
Steve K. Posted Jan 16, 2003
I took a lecture course on Tolkein's Lord of the Rings trilogy a few years back. One topic was the movie series then in production in New Zealand. Given the huge cult following of the books, there was a LOT of discussion on decisions being made by the production team, with heated discussion on websites, etc.
One example was who to cast as Gandalf, a key role. I don't recall all the names mentioned, but I do recall one prominent consensus - "NOT Sean Connery!". In the end, Ian MacKellan was a great choice IMHO (I though his Richard III film was great - that movie MOVED!)
Another item discussed concerned accents - do you try to have everybody with the same accent? Or one for hobbits, one for elfs, etc.? I think in the end, they made the right decision, I didn't notice the accents at all, other than being part of the individual characters. Walking down a mall in my hometown Houston (or any large city, I guess) might sound like the United Nations lunch room, but its become part of everyday life.
Sam Posted Jan 17, 2003
Yep, I agree - the accents in Lord of the Rings movies seem somehow right. Have you enjoyed both the films, by the way? I think they're fabulous.
Whisky Posted Jan 17, 2003
Just a little aside on Ian MacKellan's accent in LotR... he actually says in one of the DVD interviews that he lowered his voice and changed his prononciation slightly, in an attempt to do a passable impression of JRR Tolkein himself (after having watched and listened to a great number of recordings of the author)
Steve K. Posted Jan 17, 2003
I have seen the first movie and agree they did a nice job. The sets, the effects, the acting and costumes, it all worked for me. Its not really my kind of story, pretty much a series of dangerous situations (I'm more of a hard sci-fi type), but the visuals more than made up for it. I bought the two DVD set and enjoyed the "making of" items on the second DVD. Peter Jackson et al did a lot of good pre-production work that IMHO was absolutely necessary (to avoid being tarred and feathered by the world wide huge cult following of the books).
MrFlay Posted Sep 30, 2003
Re Frasier - it was preposterous, to say the least, that Simon's accent was pure stage Cockney, whereas Daphne is from Manchester. As is her mum. As is the rest of her family. The day that a true Northerner adopts the accent that Simon had will be the day that the trees hang with little fishes.
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