The Worst Accents in Hollywood History

Julia Roberts' Irish dialect will make you shake your head.

When an actor nails an accent, you don’t even notice it. (For example, Kate Winslet is British but has slayed American, German and even Polish dialects effortlessly. Count her Academy Award nominations if you don’t believe us.) But when an accent is bad, it’s all you focus on. Whether the actor’s speech fades in and out, relies on stereotypes or sounds rehearsed, poorly-executed dialects are like train wrecks: You can’t look—or, erm, hear—away. These 10 vocal errors are the worst of the worst. (Let us know who you’d add to this list in the comments below.)

  • Johnny Depp, The Lone Ranger (2013)

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    Johnny is a chameleon, but his turn as Tonto in The Lone Ranger didn’t show his best colors. The character’s Native American accent proved trying for the normally-wonderful actor to master.

  • Winona Ryder, The Crucible (1996)

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    Abigail Williams is an iconic role, and Winona did her best to give it justice. She couldn’t quite conquer Abigail’s hearty British accent, though, and the results were—erm—awkward.

  • Julia Roberts, Mary Reilly (1996)

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    Someone needs to tell Julia the word “Aye” does not make a convincing Irish accent. Julia’s awkward turn as Dr. Jekyll’s (John Malkovich) servant earned her a Razzie nomination for Worst Actress. And this is a woman with multiple Oscar nominations—and even a win—to her name.

  • Gerard Butler, The Bounty Hunter (2010)

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    Gerard didn’t do the best job hiding his thick Scottish accent in The Bounty Hunter, where he plays an American. But he’s so hot, does it really matter?

  • Jon Voight, Anaconda (1997)

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    Jon’s patchy-at-best Spanish accent was more frightening than the giant-ass snake in this movie. That’s the cut-and-dry indication of bad vocals.

  • Gabourey Sidibe, Tower Heist (2011)

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    Gabourey’s character in Tower Heist wasn’t originally intended to be Jamaican, but director Brett Ratner had a change of heart. Ms. Sidibe enlisted a coach to give her vocals some island flavor, but things—unfortunately—turned up dry.

  • Brad Pitt, Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

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    Brad conquers our libidos on a daily basis. However, he couldn’t quite dominate the Austrian accent needed for Heinrich Harrer in this otherwise fine film.

  • Keanu Reeves, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

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    Oh, Keanu. What happened here? Not only is your acting in Dracula deplorable, your London vernacular is hysterically awful. The entire world pretty much agrees this is a flop on all accounts.

  • Harrison Ford, K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)

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    Harrison’s Captain Alexei Vostrikov called for a robust Russian voice. Surprisingly, Harrison didn’t have enough tools in his box to whip one up. It’s a shame, given Harrison’s near-perfect track record. (We’ll let this one slide, friend.)

  • Tommy Wiseau, The Room (2003)

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    Worst movie ever. Worst fake American accent ever. Need we say more?