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What accent is Chris O'Dowd supposed to have in Bridesmaids?

Seriously.

KRISTEN WIIG’S BRIDESMAIDS came out in 2011.

Yes, that was six years ago.

And while the film has gone on to become a bit of a modern day comedy classic, perhaps its biggest impact on Ireland is that it launched our Chris O’Dowd, National Treasure™, on a willing American public

7791497 Source: Universal

He played Officer Nathan Rhodes, and came across as charming as you’d expect

29473_large Source: Universal

But there’s always been one question perplexing Irish people when they’re watching:

What sort of accent is he going for here? Seriously, what is going on?

In an interview O’Dowd did with Access Hollywood in 2011, it seemed like there’s a fairly simple answer: Chris says that he uses his normal Irish accent throughout because Paul Feig loved his work in The IT Crowd:

I went in and did it with an American accent, like I do in most auditions. It went fine, but the director knew some of my work, so he asked me to do it with my accent and it worked out better.

Producer Judd Apatow was a fan of keeping the Irish accent as well, as Chris told IFTN:

Judd also liked the idea of me using my real accent. He didn’t want the film to be in anyway a formulaic love story so throwing in a little curveball like the accent helped combat this

Grand? Case closed.

Well, no.

You can’t honestly watch this scene and say that it’s Chris’s full blown Irish accent

Source: Universal Pictures UK/YouTube

“Her haaair started falling out”

It’s a strange cross between American and Irish – surely not O’Dowd’s famous Roscommon lilt in all its glory? Perhaps it’s a subconscious attempt to make it just that little bit more understandable for a US audience. All speculation, of course.

But every Irish person who has ever watched Bridesmaids agrees that there’s something off

accent2 Source: @SoNiaYetSoFar

orhwat Source: @GrantWood_

Like, we kind of know he’s supposed to be Irish but… no.

It gets interesting when you analyse American viewer’s reactions – they just think he’s rocking a full Irish accent and not a hint of an American twang

Top of the mornin’ to ya!

In another press interview from the time of the film’s release, this time with Entertainment Weekly, O’Dowd says he was glad they never referenced the Irish accent explicitly:

I kind of like that we never really explain it. It’s one of my favorite parts of the film, that we never kind of say, “Oh, by the way, you’re from Ireland.”

Which might just add to the confusion this side of the Atlantic.

If they said he was Irish and had just moved to America, people might not analyse it so much.

Still, we’d have our doubts based on, well, the evidence

Source: Movieclips/YouTube

He could come from a strange, mythical land

But the real takeaway here is that:

  • Loads of Americans think he has a 100% legit Irish accent in the movie
  • O’Dowd and the whole crew are adamant that it’s a legit Irish accent
  • No Irish people can watch it and believe that this isn’t a massive conspiracy theory to gaslight us all

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About the author:

David Elkin

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