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The complete ranking of the 10 worst Irish accents in film

You can’t unhear them, no matter how much you try.

THE IRISH ACCENT seems to be one of the toughest to master in the world of stage and screen.

The best actors around have all tried and most of them have managed to come across as a clichéd leprechaun straight out of a bad advertisement.

So here, we rank them in order of really bad to the worst:

10. Brad Pitt – The Devil’s Own

pittdevils Source: hotflick.net

A quality actor no doubt, but Pitt’s attempt at a Belfast accentin The Devil’s Own comes up well short.

You can’t just throw “aye” into every sentence and hope it all works out. It never does.

9. Sean Bean – Patriot Games

bean1 Source: fanpop

Harrison Ford obviously had a tough time of it, having to put up with Brad Pitt in The Devil’s Own and Sean Bean in Patriot Games – with both featuring some of the worst assaults on the Irish accent. Bean’s atrocious attempt at a Belfast terrorist was slightly worse than Brad Pitt’s.

Please, no more. For Harrison Ford’s sake.

8. Natascha McElhone – Ronin

still-of-natascha-mcelhone-in-ronin-(1998)-large-picture Source: Movpins

In a movie full of car chases and mysterious suitcases, what really stands out is the Irish accent on show by the ringleader Natascha McElhone. Again, it’s the Northern Ireland accent taking an absolute hammering.

Sigh, Hollywood.

7. Kevin Spacey – Ordinary Decent Criminal

Source: TrixterM1/YouTube

Again, the curse of the Irish accent got to one of the finest actors out there. Needless to say, Brendan Gleeson played the role of crime boss Martin ‘The General’ Cahill with much more aplomb – and less of an embarrassing accent.

6. Kate Hudson – About Adam

Source: LuxuriousSatin/YouTube

In a cast full of Irish actors, the lead role fell to Kate Hudson in this passable romcom. She struggled heroically with the Dublin lilt and ultimately stood out among the natives as having a pretty bad accent throughout. Perhaps a lesson to use more Irish actors in films, then.

5. Gerard Butler – P.S. I Love You

How was any of this allowed to happen?

4. Tommy Lee Jones – Blown Away

Source: MOVIECLIPS/YouTube

Just listen to him mangle out “the gift of paaain”.

Not to mention the hat. A low point for the Irish accent on screen.

3. Tom Cruise – Far and Away

Source: MOVIECLIPS/YouTube

Oh, Tom. Far and away your worst performance.

“Say you like my hat!”

“Please, Tom, stop that Irish accent. It’s so bad.”

2. Sean Connery – The Untouchables


You could be forgiven for thinking that Sean Connery’s character in The Untouchables was Scottish and not Irish – as the veteran actor seemed to play a version of himself throughout, including the distinctive voice. He won an Oscar for his role, though, so we can safely assume there wasn’t too many Irish voting as part of the Academy that year.

A hat-tip to his performance in Darby O’Gill and the Little People as well. A top-notch awful Irish accent on show there.

1. Julia Roberts – Michael Collins

michaelcollins3 Source: Wordpress

Julia Roberts’ attempt at an Irish accent dominates every single scene she is in in Michael Collins. You’re just waiting for her to start speaking when you see her on screen. It’s the worst, no doubt.

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About the author:

David Elkin

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