1. Matthew Goode - Leap Year
This clichéd film stars the usually wonderful Amy Adams playing a female character, who just like EVERY other women on the planet is like, CRAZY to get engaged, even if she feels it’s not the right man and he doesn’t seem into getting married at all. So, logically, she jumps on a plane to chase her fiancé and frighten him into a long term, legally binding commitment. But then – disssssaster darling – she gets stranded. Then she meets an incredibly sexy Irish bar man who offers her to drive her to Dublin. The incredibly sexy Irish man is played by the real life incredibly sexy Matthew Goode who I have VERY strong feelings about. I’m even reticent about slagging his Irish accent here because I feel like that may stand in the way of us being together in the future. But I’m willing to take the risk. It’s 10/10 for awful.
2. Russell Crowe – A Winter’s Tale
This movie has pretty much everything I love – a sickly beauty rescued by a swoon-worthy Colin Farrell with Boardwalk Empire hair and a magic horse. It’s the kind of thing I would watch at home on Christmas Day while inhaling dessert, with my dad in the background tutting and saying ‘Ah this has gone rubbish now’ when they start kissing. But forget all that because the BEST worst thing about this film is evil Irish Russell Crowe. His Irish accent is truly horrible, not that I’d say that to his face.
3. Tom Cruise – Far and Away
This ludicrous movie is the genesis of big Hollywood stars butchering Irish accents. Tom I’m-so-in-love-I-need-to-jump-up-and-down-on your-couch Cruise is a great action hero and a top class scientologist, but accents are not his forte. But Tom isn’t the only one to blame for a botched accent in this film. In should be noted that Botox-loving beanpole Nicole Kidman’s Irish accent is equally crappy. Ah but shure, in all fairness now to the wee lad and the little girleen, they were only doing their bhest, d’ya know what I mean, come here till I tell ya, isn’t it awful altogether, faith and begorah, God bless us and save us all.
4. Colin Farrell – Ondine
It with a heavy heart that I put an Irishman on this list of offenders. Farrell plays a miserable West Cork fisherman in this Neil Jordan movie, but comes off sounding like a mix between a Roy Keane’s subconscious and Miley from Glenroe. Luckily for Farrell, the the movie is love story between a man and a Polish mermaid that gets caught in his net at sea, so at least his accent isn’t the most unbelievable thing…
5. Brad Pitt – Snatch and The Devil’s Own
And the Oscar for hammiest Irish accent goes to…Yes, it’s award-winning walking facial hair Brad Pitt who claims a double honour on this list. First, Pitt is honoured for his role in 1997 thriller The Devil’s Own in which he tries (and fails) to pull off a Belfast accent. Then, as if he hadn’t done enough, pretty boy Pitt tries his hand at a Traveller accent in Guy Ritchie’s Snatch. Pitt’s indecipherable babble has a bit of everything thrown in, but the WEIRDEST thing about his attempt at Traveller is that once or twice he executes the Northern Irish accent perfectly in parts, just a pity it was in the wrong film.
6. Julia Roberts – Michael Collins
Another diabolical piece of casting in what is otherwise a pretty stirring film, if you can stop laughing at Roberts’ (who plays Kitty Kiernan) accent. Seriously Neil Jordan, were all the Irish actresses in the world not available?
7. Cameron Diaz - Gangs of New York
Oh Martin Scorsese! What have you done? The accents are all over the place in GONY. Victoria’s Secret model inspector Leonardo DiCaprio is doing an off-kilter Irish accent and so is Cameron Diaz, at least I think she is. Maybe Leo (actually American) should have played Buffalo Bill, Cillian Murphy (actually Irish) could have played Leo’s character Amsterdam, and Daniel Day Lewis could have played Diaz’s sharp-tongued, quick thinking prostitute Jenny Everdeane – it’s not beyond his reach. Also, just a small technical thing to the movie folk – dying someone’s hair red does not make them sound Irish.
8. Gerard Butler – P.S I love you
I really object to having the words ‘Gerard Butler’ in my Internet search history, but in the name of tireless research I googled his performance and BOY was it worth it. Now, before we talk accent, a word to the costume department – why is beefcake Butler dressed in t-shirts clearly purchased in Baby Gap? And my second question, to the dialect coach is this – were you actually on set while Butler was stomping around shouting ‘Kiss me arse’ and ‘Tis in me bollocks!’ or were you hiding in a trailer wishing you had never been born?