Acting and accents
||This article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (March 2011)|
Actors are often called upon to speak in accents other than their own. For example, Missouri-born actor Dick van Dyke attempted to imitate a Cockney accent in the film Mary Poppins. Similarly, an actor may portray a character of some nationality other than his or her own by adopting into the native language the phonological profile typical of the nationality to be portrayed—what is commonly called "speaking with an accent". One example would be Viggo Mortensen's use of a Russian accent in his portrayal of Nikolai in the movie Eastern Promises.
An imitated accent rarely sounds accurate to the native speakers of the accent. The perception or sensitivity of others to accents means that generalizations are passed off as acceptable, such as Brad Pitt's Jamaican accent in Meet Joe Black. Angelina Jolie attempted an Illyrian accent in the film Alexander that was said by critics to be distracting. Gary Oldman has become known for playing eccentrics and for his mastery of accents. Another actor known for his mastery of accents is Christian Bale.
Meryl Streep in particular has become known for tackling (for the most part successfully) a wide variety of accents, including Irish, Italian, Polish, Australian and numerous regional American accents.
In recent times accents have become a particular area of fascination for various online communities. Videos asking people to 'rate their accent' have become viral.
Accents may have associations and implications for an audience. For example, in Disney films from the 1990s onward, British accents are generally employed to serve one of two purposes: slapstick comedy or evil genius. Examples include Aladdin (the Sultan and Jafar, respectively), The Lion King (Zazu and Scar, respectively), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Victor the Gargoyle and Frollo, respectively), and Pocahontas (Wiggins and Ratcliffe, respectively - both of whom happen to be played by the same actor, American David Ogden Stiers).
U.S. Spanish language TV network Telemundo requires actors from various countries of Hispanic America to reduce their accents from other Spanish dialects so that they sound more like Mexican Spanish. The network has employed veteran Mexican actress Adriana Barraza as a dialect coach.
- "Jamaicans accent on TV". "Jamaicans.com".
- "Angelina Jolie accent". "about.com".
- His ability to transform himself physically and his command of accents has allowed him to play a broad range of characters and a number of historical figures, including, in addition to those above, 'Lee Harvey Oswald' (JFK (1991)) and 'Ludwig van Beethoven' (Immortal Beloved (1994)). "Gary Oldman accent". "IMDB"..
- "Christian Bale accent - under trivia". "imdb.com".
- "For actors and accents, blame Meryl Streep" December 11, 2009
- "Why Villains in Movies Have English Accents". January 15, 2003
- "Miami Opens for Pouting, Scheming, Trembling Business". New York Times. 5 November 2005. Retrieved 2013-4-26.