Great Job, Internet!: A dialect coach analyzes 32 of the best and worst movie accents

Creating a convincing accent, be it a Southern drawl or a Scottish burr, is frequently a key component in an actor’s process. There are so many pitfalls here: Every syllable is a chance to screw up, every dipthong a potential landmine. In that spirit, Wired enlisted the services of dialect coach Erik Singer, who analyzed 32 different movie accents to see what various actors have gotten right and wrong. Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain, The Dark Knight), Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood, Gangs Of New York) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) are among those singled out for praise. Kevin Costner (Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves), Keanu Reeves (Bram Stoker’s Dracula), and Mickey Rooney (Breakfast At Tiffany’s), on the other hand, aren’t so lucky. But this is no witch hunt. Singer admits that getting all the details right is tricky, so much so that an actor can …

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