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Top 10 Worst British Accents by HOLLYWOOD Actors


– Here we go, guys, with the 10 worst English
accents by Hollywood actors. You won’t believe how bad these are. I can’t wait to show you.
Let’s do this. Starting our countdown at number 10, Anne Hathaway. She plays Emma in “One
Day”. Now, Emma is a character from the North of England, Leeds to be specific, so you would
expect her accent to have features of a Yorkshire accent. – An orgy won’t look after you when you’re
old. – Now, in that sentence, she does show features
of a Yorkshire accent with the word after or after as she said. – An orgy won’t look after you when you’re
old. – Now, this is the classic split, it’s called
the Trap-Bath Split, it’s ah and awh. Now, in southern accents in England, you have the
ah and awh difference, so it would be after in this case. But in the north of England
and Yorkshire, you’ve got just ah, so it would be after. They wouldn’t use the awh sound.
So, you’ve got after, laughter. In fact, there’s another example of that. – The only time Ian ever really made me laugh
was when he fell down the stairs. – Okay, there you go. Did you hear it? Laugh.
So, in the south of England in RP and Cockney, those kind of things, it would be laugh with
an awh sound, in the north in Yorkshire it would be ah. However, I will say this, there
is not much consistency in her accent. – You have to, Dex, it’s the rules and absolutely
no skinny-dipping. – Now, in defense of Anne Hathaway, it’s possible
to come from Yorkshire and to speak with a Received Pronunciation, but to have inflections
of a Yorkshire accent throughout your speech. So, that would be, in this case, it would
be the laugh or the after. Those are those little local pronunciation features that she
might have picked up, but, generally, she might speak Received Pronunciation. That’s
in her defense. Now, I haven’t seen the full film. I know that there’s a lot of criticism
of her accent that maybe it’s not consistent, and that is a problem with many of these accents
is that there’s just not much consistency. Anyway, I think she did an okay job. Things
get much worse at number nine. Really quickly, I’m very excited to tell you that there is
a free e-book, that I have written that you can download right now for free. “50 British
Slang Phrases”. It’s in the comments below. All right, there’s a link. Click on that link,
and you can download that e-book straight away. Okay, number nine. Giant of the big
screen, Russell Crowe. This is bad. – If you try to build for the future, you
must set your foundations strong. – Now, let’s just double check. Robin Hood
is from Nottingham. Okay, that’s in like the East Midlands. Hmm. What’s this accent? – If your majesty were to offer justice. – Offer justice. He’s become fully Irish.
Okay, so you’ve got an Irish Robin Hood straight away. – If you try to build for the future. – The future. Okay, Russell goes full Irish
again there. Okay, we’ve got two examples there of Russell Crowe speaking with a kind
of Irish inflection . Not very good, but it’s there. He does try to speak with a northern
accent. Let’s have a look. – And that King would be great. Not only would
he receive the loyalty of his people. – Okay, so “not only”. That’s not bad. So,
he’s linking that T across. So, when you’ve got a consonant and then a vowel coming after
it, he kind of links it over. So, “not only”. And then that short E sound on the “only”,
so not only, leh, that’s quite a short clipped E sound. So, that is a feature of a kind of
general northern, possibly Yorkshire-ish accent. – Not only would he receive the loyalty of
his people, but their love as well. – But their love as well. Okay, so that love.
That is a feature of a northern accent. We’re talking generically here the north of England.
Again, there’s a regional split between the north and the south of England in terms of
accents and sounds, specifically, the ah and uh sounds. So for example, if you’ve got putt
and put, in the south of England, you’ve got different sounds there. Pah and puh. But in
the north of England, there’s no distinction. It’s the uh sound both times. So, in the south
of England, you would have love, lah, ah, but in the north of England, luh, luv. So,
he does manage to bring that feature of a northern accent into his speech. Generally
speaking, it’s a pretty confused accent. He swings from Irish to Northern, maybe a little
bit of Australian. It’s not very good, it’s not consistent. And that’s the problem I think,
with many of these accents, lack of consistency. Okay, American actor, Josh Hartnett, features
at number eight. He’s in a film called “Blow Up”. It’s set in the northeast of England,
so we’re expecting to have a kind of Tyneside Geordie Northeast accent. He does not. – No volume, no real hold. That’s the problem. – No. – What’s it to do with you who I talk to aye? – Not a sausage. – I mean I’m cutting in me Dad’s shop, but
not competitions. – Okay, let’s start of there with “me dad’s
shop”. Now, that “me” would be “my” in most accents. In the north and the northeast, yeah,
“me”, “me dad”, “me dad”. Right, okay, that’s not bad, but I think that’s pretty much the
only example I can find. – It is Christina, isn’t it? – It is Christina, isn’t it? I mean that’s
just said completely flat. No sense of regional accent at all. So, just the name Christina
in the northeast, that would have more of intonation to it. It’d be Christina. You’re
kinda going up maybe at the end. The way he does it, there’s nothing. It’s just flat.
Nothing. – I’m not so bad. Not so bad at all. What
about you? – What about you? I mean that is just horrific,
frankly. Okay, let’s just take the word “about”. That diphthong there, aw in Received Pronunciation.
In a Geordie accent in the northeast, it’d be the ooh sound, aboot, aboot. So, it’s a
small thing, I know, but that’s the kind of thing, if you’re gonna try and do an accent,
that’s what you need to think about, is how are these vowels pronounced? And I think that’s
a huge thing. When I hear American actors trying to do British accents, is they come
unstuck with the vowels, either they don’t do them wide enough or they just get the wrong
sound. This definitely causes some American actors problems. And definitely Josh Hartnett
suffers here. Okay, I know this technically isn’t Hollywood, but it is an American actor
trying to do a British accent so I thought I’d include it. Ross from “Friends”. This
is brilliant, this scene is amazing, it’s hilarious. His accent is so, so bad. Now,
I have done a video all about British accents in “Friends”. You can watch it right there.
Let’s just quickly look at Ross here. – Right, so when Rigby got his samples back
from the laboratory, he made a startling discovery. – Now, the big takeaway that I’ve got here
is that American actors, some American actors, tend to try to pronounce every single sound
in a word, every single syllable. When, in fact, what we do in British English certainly
is using shwas to blend sounds together. So for example, laboratory. Now, he says, “laboratory”.
Laboratory, like there’s so many different sounds there. But how do we really say it?
Laboratory. Laboratory. So, that A is getting a shwa, we’re crunching those sounds together.
Laboratory. He does it again later. – What he believed to be igneous was, in fact,
sedimentary. – Sedimentary. Sedimentary. How many syllables
are you saying? Sedimentary. Sedimentary is how we would say it in British English. So,
there’s definitely one thing I’ve noticed, the pronunciation of every single syllable
in a word. Now, my other reason is to why this is such a terrible accent is because
in one section he’s speaking with Received Pronunciation, in the next section, he’s speaking
with a Cockney accent, or trying to speak with a Cockney accent. – Oh bloody ‘ell. – Oh bloody ‘ell. So, he’s dropping that H
for “hell”. That’s a feature of a Cockney accent. It’s terrible, he does a terrible
job. Now, I know this whole thing is ’cause he’s panicking in the moment. So, it’s not
him genuinely trying to do a good British accent. But I thought it’d be nice to look
at. Oh Lord, if you thought the other four were bad, get ready for this one. – One day, you are on a School challenge.
Next, it’s Love Island and, before you know it, you’ve married a footballer and bought
the Bahamas. – Okay, let’s get some context. So, Mischa
Barton, I believe, was born in Britain, but moved to America when she was six. Now, she
plays JJ French in “St Trinian’s”. This is an all-girl school in Britain, but her accent
does not reflect that. – [JJ] But easy now girls. – Straight up, that “girls” there, that strong
R sound. American English has a rhotic, it has that R, whereas in British English, we
wouldn’t really pronounce the r’s. So, “girls”, “girls”. But in American English, “girls”.
She gives it the full R. – [JJ] But easy now girls. Blink and it’s
back to obscurity. – Blink and it’s back to obscurity. So, she’s
going for Received Pronunciation over the “obscurity”, pronunciation of the T very clear.
Okay, so we’ve had American, now we’ve had Received Pronunciation. What next? – They want to know all about your broken
hearts and your fashion disasters. – Fashion disasters. Sorry, is she from California?
Because that’s what I’m sensing here, fashion disasters. That ah sound. If we’re doing Received
Pronunciation, then it’s the awh sound, awh. But in American English in her accent, ah,
so “disasters”. In the same sentence, she’s using American English and British English.
It’s not very good, but it’s definitely not the worst. – I know where the bastard sleeps. I brought
him there. – Ho-ho, yes. Keanu Reeves. I have such a
special place in my heart for Keanu Reeves. And this feels terrible that I would criticize
him and his acting. Let’s have a look. – If I may enquire, what in fact happened
to Mr Renfield in Transylvania. – First of all, it sounds like Keanu Reeves,
like it just sounds like Keanu. The “what”, “what”. That kind of aspirated W, that is
a feature of very, very, very, very old-fashioned, high-end Received Pronunciation. It’s also
a feature that you might find in Scotland as well, “what”, “why”. Why would you do that?
That’s a bad accent. Don’t listen to that one. But, yeah, that’s a feature. It gets
worse, it gets worse. Let’s get on with it. – I’ve seen many strange things already. Bloody
wolves chasing me through some blue inferno. – Seen many things, strange things already.
Like it’s very clipped, “already”, like no one speaks like that. – Bloody wolves chasing me through some blue
inferno. – Inferno, I mean that could have been from
“Bill & Ted”, right, like that “inferno” there is like a California surf, dude. – Me through some blue inferno. I brought
him there to Carfax Abbey. – Carfax Abbey. Well, there with the E sound
at the end of abbey, it is clipped, it’s “abbey”, which is a feature of conservative RP, that
sort of “abbey”, like really, really. It’s not really, it’s really. A very clipped E
sound. So, he does have that. It’s not all criticism coming from me, but it just sounds
rigid. It doesn’t sound natural. It’s pretty awful, but it’s Keanu, so he gets a pass.
Now, this one I was tempted to put at number one, simply because Charlie Hunnam is British.
He’s from Newcastle. So, you would expect him to, at least, get somewhere close to the
accent that he’s trying. – I’m not being funny, but the last thing
I want to do is take you to the match with me. – Okay, so Charlie Hunnam from Newcastle.
He’s playing a Cockney geezer, right. He’s the head, the top boy of the West Ham, West
Ham football team from East London. So, we’re expecting a Cockney accent, a strong Cockney
accent. When I watched this for the first time, I think I almost cried, both with laughter
and sadness. It’s just how bad this was. – I’m not being funny, but the last thing
I want to do is take you to the match with me. – Okay, the biggest problem here that Charlie
Hunnam has is the vowel sounds. He doesn’t get the vowels wide enough. In a Cockney accent,
you’ve got really broad wide vowels, like “take”, “take”, right. Here, he says it with
a Received Pronunciation, “take”. It’s a pretty standard vowel sound. But as I say, in Cockney,
you’ve got a broad wide sound, it’s “take”, I don’t want to “take” you, right. It’s big.
So, what he’s doing here is putting in a sentence, he’s using Cockney, bits of Cockney, with
Received Pronunciation. He does it throughout. – You reckon! Mate, I think you should get
on the next train and off out of here. – “Train”, there again, the vowel sound’s
not wide enough. It should be “train”, “train”. All right, get on the next train, yeah. But
he says it in a sort of standard way. So, that’s the problem he has. He’s just not broadening
out those vowel sounds. The Ts aren’t formed properly, and it made it even worse by the
fact that he’s from Britain, so I feel like he should do better. – What was you studying before this geezer
stitched you up? I teach history. – Wait, what was that? I teach history. He’s
from Ireland now. What the very, what? Yeah, inconsistent. Once again, we’ve got Cockney,
Received Pronunciation, Irish. So bad, and it’s only gonna get worse. Okay, you might
see my demeanor change daily. I have been a bit frustrated and angry with some of those
previous ones, but this is just glorious. Kevin Costner, “Prince of Thieves”. It’s so
bad, it’s genius. Again, Mr. Costner, he’s supposed to be playing Robin Hood from Nottingham.
The Nottingham in Minnesota? – Will, do you think that the sheriff will
give everything back after I’m gone? – Could he sound more American? “Back after
I’m gone”. So, in Received Pronunciation or a standard British accent, you might say “gone”.
Go-uh, that uh sound. He’s saying “gone” with an ah sound. “Gone”, which is a feature of
American English. “After”, he says “after”. That uh sound in Received Pronunciation, ah
in American English. Also in fairness, in the northern accent as well. But he doesn’t
say “after”, “after I’m gone”, “after I’m gone”. That’s maybe what it might sound like
in a northern accent. He says, “after I’m gone.” – Even this boy can be taught to find the
chinks in every suit of armor. – This is great because suit of armor. He’s
trying to do a British accent there. He said the word “taught”, “taught”, “taught”. In
Received Pronunciation, “taught”, “taught”. – Then by God we take it back. – “By God we take it back”. Kevin, I love
you. This is amazing, thank you. But wait, if he’s at number three, who’s at number two? – All right, chaps, hang on to your knickers. – Yeah. Don Cheadle. Don Cheadle in “Ocean’s
Eleven”. This is another real favorite of mine. I love this actor, because it’s, for
me, it’s like the perfect example of American actors trying to do a Cockney accent. So basically,
as you probably notice, most people, most actors here, they try to do Received Pronunciation,
kinda get that wrong, or they try a Cockney accent. Just like with “Green Street” before,
Don Cheadle tries to throw in loads of Cockney Rhyming Slang to cover up the fact that the
accent is appalling. And it’s just awful. – They’re so pony that they’ve gone and blown
up the backup grid one by one like dominoes. – All right, so there’s our first example
of Cockney Rhyming Slang, “pony”. “Pony and trap” rhymes with crap. So, not very good,
right. His “pony”, it’s not very good. It sounds really weird in his hands. Also like
“blown”, it’s too much on the vowel there. “Blown”. – Better yet a pinch is a bomb, you know.
But without the bomb. – “But without the bomb”. Here he’s gone to
Australia maybe? “Without the bomb”. Yeah. – That poxy demo crew who haven’t used the
to back the main line, have they? They’ve only nosed up the main frame nosed it right
up. So, unless we intend to do this job in Reno, we’re in barny. Barny rubble, trouble! – No, Don, leave it. Leave it, son. All right?
Leave the Cockney Rhyming Slang to one side. All right? You don’t need it. – Hang on, are you accusing me of booby-trappin’? – “Are you accusing me of booby-trappin’?”
Here’s that inconsistency again, very American. “Accusing me”. Okay, that’s not an American
accent, but, you know what I mean. “Of booby-trappin'”. Like a kinda faux, like a Mockney accent,
like a pretend Cockney accent. It’s just confusing, this inconsistency here. That’s enough of
Don Cheadle. I love him. I love that this exists ’cause it just brings me joy and laughter.
Let’s get to number one. – All right, ladies and gents. – It had to be, it had to be Dick Van Dyke.
This is a legendary performance. In Britain, we love this so much because it’s so funny.
It’s so, so bad, that it’s hilarious. I think, I have a theory that the reason why all the
other accents were so bad is because of this one. This was the original terrible English
accent by an American actor. It’s joyous, just enjoy it. ♪ A spoon full of sugar goes
a long, long way ♪ ♪ Have yourself a healthy helping every day ♪ – You’ve got his American accent coming in.
You’ve got this terrible Cockney accent coming in. ♪ Day ♪ I mean it’s just abysmal. – Well, not royal academy, I suppose. Still
a bit of a finger in the eye, ain’t it. – The vowel sounds are all wrong. They’re
too wide sometimes. They’re not wide enough other times. This really is a special, special
accent and I recommend that you watch “Mary Poppins” just so you can listen to this accent.
It’s gold. All right, guys, did I forget any terrible British accents? Now, don’t get me
wrong, there are plenty of American actors that can do really good English accents. I
think, personally, Renee Zellweger in “Bridget Jones’s Diary” is a really good effort at
a British accent, Received Pronunciation in her case. Thank you for watching. Remember
you can download your free e-book just below this video. Click on the link and sign up
to the mailing list and you can get your free e-book. All right, guys, thank you so much.
This is Tom, the chief dreamer saying goodbye.

59 Comments

  1. kanga katou Author

    My top three are 3. Dick Van Dyke🤣🤣 2. Keanu Reeves🤪 and 1. Kevin Costner🤦‍♀️ Why? The cockney accent is very difficult to do and I think for a movie done back in the 1960's, he made a good effort, which gave the movie a comical feel to it. Keanu, like you said is completely surfing on any accent as Dracula was from Transylvania…so an American trying to immitate a Brit immitating Transylvanian…?🤔😂 And number one is definitely Kevin Costner who, even Americans don't know exactly which part or parts of the US his accent comes from. It's so painful to the ears, that I purposely watch the movie in French so I don't have to grind my teeth!🤣😝 Renée Zellweger is good. Too bad I can't recognize her after her extreme botox transformation😱 And what's your opinion on Audrey Hepburn's cockney -RP transformation in My Fair Lady? "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain"😉

    Reply
  2. Nanu Salvatore Author

    Hi Tom! What about Renée Zelleweguer as Bridget Jones ? What do yo think of her British accent? Did she do a good job? Greetings from Mendoza, Argentina 😉

    Reply
  3. Mamy Mimma Author

    Loved it!
    Tom, could you make a video about 10 American actors who nailed the British accent ? For example, do you think Meryl Streep was a credible Margaret Thatcher? Thanks a million 💓 P.s. I love Keanu too

    Reply
  4. Alice Rossi Author

    From my point of view, with this video you have made a masterpiece of its kind, chapeau 🎩 Tom! (This exceptional French exclamation fits perfectly). Thank you so much 👏
    P.S.: Keanu Reeves …. He's sooo handsome though

    Reply
  5. MagicalMe Author

    Amazing video! Could you do something about how to speak with a Scottish accent? I love it and I'd love to speak with a Scottish accent, but I'm really bad at it 😀

    Reply
  6. Ahmed Ibrahim Author

    I believe that renee zellweger's British accent was absolutely amazing , After 15 years since Bridget jonse's diary I just realized that she is American in one of her interviews and her American accent was fake to my British ears lol 😂

    Reply
  7. MavenCree Author

    The thing is, no one told Dick that he was doing the accent wrong. No one tried to help or correct him. It wasn't until years later when he found out people were making jokes, that he realized he'd messed up. He was like, if someone on set hat told him he would've corrected.

    Reply
  8. Esther Kim Author

    Keanu Reeve’s accent is hilariously bad. His mother is from England so it’s surprising he had one of the worst take on the English accent in this video in my opinion.

    Reply
  9. Jwb52z Author

    I really would like to see who they had for linguistics coaches for these accents in movies.  Mischa Barton sounds NOTHING like a British person at all to me.  Most of the time I want to smack people doing bad accents.  It's just strange how a British person couldn't get a British accent correct.  You should examine the Mary Poppins sequel to see if Lin Manuel Miranda does a better job as Bert than Dick Van Dyke did.  I suspect that it's no better.

    Reply
  10. Milos Badarevic Author

    I preffer Usa english then english engllish. Cause u Britts ,, eating ,, letters. When I listen Cnn I can understand.more.then Bbc news. Damn all accents in whole world !

    Reply
  11. v. gopalakrishnan Author

    It's difficult for a non-native speaker to decide which one of these many English accents is desirable or acceptable! What's acceptable in one region is not acceptable in some other region even in English speaking nations,! So I've decided to stick to my own accent! 😊
    Thanks for this informative video!

    Reply
  12. kenllix Author

    Check Keira Knightley trying to do an american accent in Jack Ryan shadow recuit. I'm not even American and I think is awful! I think that in every case destroys the performance and the entire movie looks fake.

    Reply
  13. A escala Author

    Definitely, after seeing this video I've realised that I'm miles away from where I want to reach. Except a couple of them who are shamely bad, I haven't been able to notice those subtle differences in the rest. It's been pretty disappointing the experience.
    What a pity.
    Excellent video.

    Reply
  14. Michael Hawker Author

    Thanks very much. Educational and informative. I love your enthusiasm, your depth of understanding and the ability to communicate. Costner & Crowe doing Robin Hood…what was the accent, vocabulary, pronunciation at the time as opposed to today. What does the actor choose?

    Reply
  15. Luiz Gustavo Sandim Author

    Tom, first of all, thank you very much for the free e-book. As usual, another marvellous masterpiece of yours. Regarding to the video, it's simply superb! Your edition was outstanding. You have become better video after video and we just have to thank you for so many unique contents!

    Reply
  16. Ismail Gürbüz Author

    Hi ! In my humble opinion you may introduce some sport terms from football or basketball. I think it would be a more permanent learning for the learners who follow your videos. Greetings from TURKEY !!💓💓💓

    Reply
  17. ar ko Author

    So the conlusion is this – if natives confuse everything why we should bother our accents, it's just about being understood and understanding others, am I right? 🙂

    Reply
  18. My Little English Page Author

    I absolutely loved this lesson!! I'd also love to see a lesson on American actors that are good at British accents 👌 Fantastic job Tom!!!

    Reply
  19. Antonella Casula Author

    Hi and thank you very much for all your videos, very very usefull.for me! Just a question.. I've just finished peaky blinders 5.. is the scottish accent correct or too much emphasized? Just a curiosity 🙂

    Reply
  20. new loggers Author

    Hello Tom 🙂 I really liked the video. I reckon you should do the top 10 best British Accent by Hollywood Actors for the next time. İt would be fun as well 😉

    Reply
  21. Dave Rd Author

    Tom Can you teach how to speak with a british accent properly? Make a series of videos about how to get a british accent like yours, i think it would be very popular.

    Reply
  22. Angela Witherington Author

    Loved this compilation. Though I'm not sure Dick Van Dyke was trying to be accurate. He is wonderfully endearing though.

    Funny thing is, my American ears can't hear the differences you hear in the accents of your country. However, my southern-American absolutely cringe when I hear actors get southern accents (of which there are about a dozen!) wrong. I would love to see you work through our southern-American accents, and maybe elaborate on which parts of which accents are descended from British English. 🙂

    Reply

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