15 Actors Who Are Almost Suspiciously Good At Accents


The mark of a good actor comes across in not how well they memorize lines but in the mannerisms and quirks they put behind those lines. An actor with accent skills already gives themselves a leg up in this department, for such vocal inflection allows them to adopt parts that may lie outside their background, lending to their versatility. Movie stars who do great accents, such as foreign actors giving impeccable American accents, often trick viewers into thinking that is actually how they talk, a high compliment to someone in the dramatic arts. Conversely, actors with terrible accent skills hurt not only themselves but the productions they’re a part of as well.

When it comes to the best movie accents, many of the actors who are great at accents develop quite a reputation for it. Legends like Daniel Day Lewis and Meryl Streep arrived at their legacies by effortlessly and convincingly adopting different manners of speaking. For those of you skeptical of the difficulty behind adopting an accent other than your own, try speaking in a Scottish accent for the rest of the day. Not only will you fail at it, others will remark that acting is probably not for you.

  1. Heath Ledger
    For an Australian actor, Heath Ledger executed some ripper American accents. Nominated for best actor in Brokeback Mountain, Ledger played a Texas cowboy in love with another man struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and, as vocal coach Erik Singer notes, “the character’s tightness and repression and kind of struggle with himself is mirrored in his posture.” Singer identifies how Ledger achieved such a powerful performance noting that, “his jaw and his lips are held tight the whole time.”

    In a completely different role playing the Joker in The Dark Knight, Singer details how Ledger adopts “a weird idiosyncratic American accent for a weird idiosyncratic character” one that contributes to the character’s menace and mania alike

  2. Gary Oldman
    As far as accents go, Gary Oldman uses a ton of them. From the Eastern European Dracula to a Russian terrorist in Air Force One to Commissioner Gordon in the Dark Knight series, Oldman gets all over the world. He even sports more refined and posh cigarette smoke inflected British accent than his own in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

    In fact, Oldman say he re-learned his British accent calling his current way of speaking since moving to Los Angeles a “cross-pollenation.”

  3. Daniel Day Lewis
    Few actors portray their characters like Daniel Day-Lewis, whose masterful performances go beyond mere imitation. Over his wide ranging career, he’s played a Native American, a man with cerebral palsy, President Abraham Lincoln, a New York gang boss, and an American frontier oil baron. Erik Singer, a vocal coach and accent teacher, discusses Lewis’ accent in Gangs of New York saying, “it is always tough to do a historical accent.

    Do you go for absolute accuracy at the risk of alienating the audience and making it inaccessible? And I think he walks the line brilliantly here.” Surprisingly, for an actor who nails various eras of American accents throughout his career, Day-Lewis isn’t American at all: he’s British.

  4. Johnny DeppWhere is Johnny Depp from originally? Boston? Australia? Kentucky? Does he even remember? In addition to his recognizable characters like the Mad Hatter and Edward Scissorhands, many of Depp’s personas come paired with an accent that adds to their charm. One of his most well-known characters, Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, drew inspiration from Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards for everything from the mannerisms to the dialect.

    In Finding Neverland, Depp plays Scottish playwright Sir James Matthew Barrie. The accent he learned for the role earned high praise from the legendary Roger Ebert, who says Depp “made Barrie not only believable, but acceptable.”


    Cate Blanchett
    Though an Australian herself, Cate Blanchett plays American, British, and French characters. All the while, she never betrays her down under roots. One of her best performances stands as her portrayal of Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator. Blanchett won the Oscar for best supporting actress in the role, and capturing Hepburn’s accent in the movie proved a key aspect of her depiction.

    The New York Times noted, “Hepburn’s distinctive voice, loud, clipped and with a pronounced upper-class New England accent, that became crucial to Ms. Blanchett’s performance.” The voice coach on the film said the decision to so completely go for Hepburn’s voice was because, “There are a handful of historical figures, including J.F.K., F.D.R. and Katharine Hepburn, who are chiefly associated with their voices, and if you’re going to play any of them, you really have to go for the voice.” And go for it she did, all the way to the Academy Awards.

  6. Meryl Streep
    When it comes to embodying other people, few are as accomplished as Meryl Streep. Part of what makes her so successful lies in her vocal inflection, which lends itself to some convincing accents. Streep took up more accents than most people likely even recognize: Irish, Danish, Bronx, Australian, British, Upper Midwest, Polish, Italian, Android, and Irish-American. Her embodiment of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady led BBCAmerica to proclaim “Meryl Streep nails a British accent… again!”
    But one of her most famous accents came in A Cry in the Dark, leading to an equally famous line about a dingo and a baby.
  7. Idris Elba
    Idris Elba plays all manner of characters from various backgrounds since his breakthrough performance in The Wire. In the show, the British Elba plays a Baltimore gangster whose attempts to go legit only get him so far. One of his more memorable performances is as Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

    One dialog coach noted that, “Idris Elba’s accent in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is one of the closest to the original I have heard. This, coupled with his great technical acting skill and considerable emotional resource, makes for a compelling and brilliant performance.”

  8. Christian Bale
    The Batman trilogy, American Psycho, American Hustle, all intense movies made more intense by Christian Bale. Bale, an Englishman, rarely plays British characters, and realizing this only make his numerous American accents all the more impressive.

    His work has ranged from American to Greek dialects. The American accents he has acted in include the American Southwest, Mid-Atlantic preppy, Brooklyn, and of course Gotham City.

  9. Margot RobbieThe Batman trilogy, American Psycho, American Hustle, all intense movies made more intense by Christian Bale. Bale, an Englishman, rarely plays British characters, and realizing this only make his numerous American accents all the more impressive.

    His work has ranged from American to Greek dialects. The American accents he has acted in include the American Southwest, Mid-Atlantic preppy, Brooklyn, and of course Gotham City.

  10. Peter SellersPeter Sellers picked up accents so well that he played three characters from different countries in the same film. In Dr. Strangelove, Sellers plays American President Merkin Muffley, Dr. Strangelove, a German, and Group Captain Lionel Mandrake of England. What’s more, his portrayals are so seamless you never notice it’s only one man, despite the fact Dr. Strangelove and President Muffley are in the same room together for much of their time on screen.

    The BBC noted that “for the British-born Sellers (1925-80), finding the perfect voice and accent was always the first building block in developing a role.” His turns as Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther films also show his range as a comedic actor in one of his best known roles.

  11. Leonardo DiCaprio
    Few actors appear in as many Oscar worthy films as Leonardo DiCaprio. From Titanic to Gangs of New York, from Blood Diamond, and The Departed, DiCaprio does it all. In Blood Diamond he plays a Zimbabwean fighting for control of a precious stone. He totally nails the accent, with one accent expert saying, “Leo is just unbelievable. Although he’s not perfect, I could believe that he was a South African).”

    Referring to the trailer for the film, the expert noted “Leo goes for every word—e.g. at 0:45 in the Blood Diamond trailer, every word is correct except ‘here’ (he over pronounces the ‘r’), and at 0:55 everything is correct except ‘told’ (it’s too British).”

  12. Renne Zellweger
    From the love interest in Jerry Maguire to her best supporting actress portrayal of Ruby Thewes in Cold Mountain, Renee Zellweger starred in some memorable films in her career. But perhaps her best loved role is as Bridget Jones in Bridget Jones’ Diary. The Texas actress needed to pick up a British accent for the part.

    After Zellweger’s rough time learning the intricacies of the dialect, her voice coach said that he was, “‘staggeringly impressed”, he told the LA Times in 2001. “There was a very brief phase where Renée sounded slightly like she’d had a stroke – a little bit slurred. And then she absolutely nailed it.” In fact, she never spoke in an accent other than the British one the entire time she was making the film.

  13. Cliff Curtis
    From Training Day, to Three Kings, to Fear the Walking Dead, Cliff Curtis gets around when it comes to genre. He even played real-life narco Pablo Escobar in the film Blow. Mastering including American, Colombian, and Iraqi accents, it makes you forget that Curtis hails from none of these areas.

    Curtis is from New Zealand but his talent at accents shows his adept ability to become nearly anyone from anywhere. When he takes up a Latino accent in the clip above, you believe it.

  14. Matt Damon
    Matt Damon took up some great roles over the years and accents played a huge part in how he molds himself as an actor. He made a splash in Good Will Hunting with a gruff “Southie” Boston accent, a dialect he somewhat reprised in The Departed. Sometimes he eschews his accent, preferring instead to focus on his acting such as in True Grit‘s LaBoeuf, a Texan with a distinctly indistinct accent.

    In 2009 Damon starred in Invictus as Francois Pienaar, the captain of the South African rugby team that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup, during a politically and racially turbulent time. A South African accent expert commented about Damon’s work saying “Matt Damon is doing the accent of an Afrikaans-speaking South African speaking English. So at 2:07 in Invictus, when he says ‘tiny,’ that’s a pretty good Afrikaaner accent, but I, for example, do not pronounce ‘tiny’ like that at all.”

  15. Alfred Enoch
    British actors often come to America because, well, more film gigs exist in Hollywood than in old London. Alfred Enoch broke through playing Dean Thomas in Harry Potter. He’s also made television appearances in England on the program Broadchurch. Most prominently, he now stars on the ABC show How to Get Away With Murder.

    Enoch keeps his American accent off set to practice it much to the astonishment of one interviewer who said, “I was really expecting a British accent. At first I thought, “Have I been wrong this entire time? Is he not in fact British?”‘


    For full article click here https://www.ranker.com/list/actors-who-are-great-at-accents/hugh-landman

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