From Australian to Scottish or British to Boston, these stars can accent-hop with ease, but are they convincing?
Putting on an accent is an art that Hollywood actors seem to have mastered. From down South Australia to upside London, they help you taste the flavour of every region with their drawls. Dialect coaches, accent tapes, real life references — all resources are at their disposal, all means to achieve the desired end — box office hits
After hammering away at our hearts with the English mid-Atlantic accent he put on for Thor, Chris Hemsworth has reprised his Scottish accent from the 2012 Snow White and The Huntsman for its sequel, slated to release next year. The 32-year-old turned his original Australian twang into a “gritty and rough” yet “light and humorous” Scottish accent, which he felt suited the temperament of the Huntsman’s character. While his accent in the prequel did gather a few groans on Twitter, response to the sequel remains to be seen.
Yet another Australian drawl had to give way to an interesting East London accent and Emily Browning, last seen in Pompeii, took on the task head on for the movie Legend. As the movie is set in 1960s London, the accent she sought is hardly heard now. The 27-year-old had to resort to watching several videos of English actress Barbara Windsor to get it right. Listening to recordings of natives from East London speaking in an old school accent helped too, she admitted. She prepared for a solid month before she could deliver the dialogues impeccably.
Acting power house Kate Winslet takes on another challenging role —with Steve Jobs directed by Danny Boyle. Not only did the 40-year-old actor change her hair colour (to brunette) she transformed her English accent to a Polish one, to portray Joanna Hoffman, the marketing executive from Job’s team. Winslet spent a considerable amount of time with 60-year-old Hoffman to understand the character and make inroads into the accent. She called Hoffman’s accent “singsongy” and spent time getting “the way it goes up and down” right.
The German-Irish actor’s accent as the iconic antagonist Magneto in the X Men series started off awry. When Michael Fassbender first took on the role in X Men: First Class, he used his own accent, minus the “Irish-ness”. But it left many confused, so much so that for his next, X Men: Days of Future Past, the 38-year-old tweaked it slightly. He regretted the accent he produced in First Class as it garnered confused responses. For the next, he constantly heard tapes of Ian Mckellen, who ormerly played the older version of the villain, and used a slightly German accent.
Of course, the dashing Cumberbatch’s impeccable British accent has had a following for a while now. The actor shed his signature style to don a South Boston one, with the help of dialect coaches Howard Samuelsohn and Carla Meyer, for the recently released Black Mass. Fresh off the success of The Imitation Game, which even earned the Brit an Oscar nomination for best actor, his accent in Black Mass left the audience hugely divided in their opinion. Though he would spend hours listening to tapes to get the accent right, some maintained that it was rather cringe worthy. Meanwhile, his die hard fans believe he needs to win that Oscar, just for his accent.
— Compiled by Seema Rajpal