Top 10 Craziest Accents In Movies

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Top 10 Craziest Accents In Movies

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Don Ekama
These movie accents are incredible! For this list, we'll be looking at the most challenging and out-of-this-world vocal changes that native English-speaking actors made for movie roles. Our countdown includes Margot Robbie, Robert Downey Jr., Lady Gaga, and more!
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Top 10 Craziest Movie Accents


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Craziest Movie Accents.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most challenging and out-of-this-world vocal changes that native English-speaking actors made for movie roles.

Which of these actors pulled off their faux accents the best? Let us know in the comments.

#10: Viggo Mortensen’s Russian Accent for Nikolai Luzhin

“Eastern Promises” (2007)
There’s a large pool of lazy and horrible-sounding Russian accents in Hollywood movies. However, the multi-talented Mortensen went to great lengths to deliver an excellent performance. He plays Nikolai Luzhin, a cold-blooded mobster with a twisted sense of humor. Viggo Mortensen immersed himself in Russian culture and even spent weeks in Siberia to learn the language. He also spoke directly with a mafia specialist for the UN. In the end, his efforts led to a relaxed, but spine-chilling performance with a completely realistic accent for most ears. Mortenson’s extensive work garnered rave reviews from critics and audiences, and earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor while sounding spectacular.

#9: Margot Robbie’s American Accent for Naomi Lapaglia

“The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013)
Before Margot Robbie was a household name for American audiences, she put a lot of effort into playing a Brooklyn native. In this 2013 true crime comedy film, the Australian born and bred delivers an impressive performance as Naomi Lapaglia. Robbie had to ditch her native Aussie accent for a super specific Bay Ridge, Brooklyn cadence. Even native New Yorkers were fooled by her excellent performance. And although accents tend to slip in highly emotional scenes, Robbie’s Brooklyn voice never wavers. While this wouldn't be the last time the actress blew us away with an accent, “Wolf of Wall Street” let us know she was capable of stunning vocal transformations.

#8: Forest Whitaker’s Ugandan Accent for Idi Amin

“The Last King of Scotland” (2006)
In his Oscar-winning turn as the ruthless Ugandan Head of State Idi Amin, Forest Whitaker ticked off every point of the exhaustive laundry list of method acting. He gained fifty pounds, spent time with people who were close to the dictator and crucially learned to speak Swahili. In order to capture a more grounded portrayal of Amin’s accent, Whitaker did extensive research. He read books and studied archival footage of the dictator. Whittaker’s near-perfect East African accent and tremendous performance commanded attention from audiences around the world. After his work was celebrated in Uganda, he took home some of the biggest Best Leading Actor awards the following year.



#7: Robert Downey Jr.’s Australian Accent for Wayne Gale

“Natural Born Killers” (1994)
Before becoming known worldwide as the determined Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. played a headstrong and obsessive Australian TV journalist in 1994. While playing Wayne Gale, the actor convinced director Oliver Stone to let him play the part with an Australian accent. But he didn’t exactly get great reviews across the board. While some audiences found it to be a convincing Down Under accent, others described it as an exaggerated mix of an Aussie and Kiwi accent. No matter if you think this accent is accurate or not, Downey Jr.’s commitment was undeniable. He definitely gave everything he had to try to convincingly play an Australian character.

#6: Daniel Day-Lewis Puts On a Vintage Californian Accent for Daniel Plainview

“There Will Be Blood” (2007)
In this period epic, the now-retired Oscar-winning English actor plays a pioneering Southern California oil tycoon at the turn of the 20th century. Since the character was so specifically tied to an older point in time, there weren’t many real people around to pull an accurate accent from. Day-Lewis proceeded to spend hours listening to recordings from that era to get down every idiosyncrasy of the older accent. After tireless work and dedication, he came up with a brilliant mixture of accents that made him sound unlike most villains we’d seen in modern times. Hearing Day-Lewis speak instantly transported us to a bygone era. It’s no wonder he picked up yet another Oscar for his performance.

#5: Gary Oldman’s Jamaican-American Accent for Drexl Spivey

“True Romance” (1993)
The masterful Gary Oldman is famous for immersing himself into every single one of the wide range of characters he’s played over his three-decade-long careers. Sometimes that means he’sll go all in on an unexpected choice. When playing the exploitative Drexl Spivey, Oldman went for an American accent that would sound tough and authentic. The resulting combination doesn’t sound remotely like Oldman’s natural voice. His scar-faced Drexel has a wild and unrefined manner of speech that doesn’t even sound like it’s coming out of his body. Despite being on screen for less than ten minutes in the finished film, Oldman commands attention. Audiences hung on every word that the outlandish, yet unforgettable Drexel said.

#4: Alfred Molina’s American Accent for Rahad Jackson

“Boogie Nights” (1997)
They say there are no small roles, only small actors. London born Alfred Molina certainly proved that saying with his ten-minute screen time on Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights”. In what is largely considered as his breakout Hollywood role, the British thespian dons a silk night robe over his underwear and dances to 80s disco music. Molina also ditched his native British accent for a rambling Californian accent for one phenomenal scene. We wouldn’t blame anyone that had no clue that the actor originally hailed from London after watching this. Molina’s work gave us a gaudy and scene-stealing role that stands among a skillful ensemble of actors.

#3: Meryl Streep’s Polish Accent for Sophie Zawistowski

“Sophie’s Choice” (1982)
You can’t talk about challenging movie accents without mentioning the incomparable Meryl Streep. We could’ve highlighted her performance in “Doubt”. And admittedly, her work in “Evil Angels” was a contender too. But her Oscar-winning turn as a European immigrant in “Sophie’s Choice” remains undefeated. For the film, Streep not only puts an incredibly polished accent, but she took it a step further by actually learning to speak Polish and German. Her consistent voice throughout the movie’s most challenging scenes is astounding. Streep’s skill with a Polish accent once again demonstrates how fantastic she is at her craft.

#2: Lady Gaga’s Italian Accent as Patrizia Reggiani

“House of Gucci” (2021)
2021 crime biopic “House of Gucci” took the world by storm with its captivating trailers and star-studded cast. While people were eager to hear stars like Jared Leto and Salma Hayek, a lot of eyes were on pop star Lady Gaga. To prepare for the role of Patrizia Reggiani, she tried to spend more than a year living as the Italian socialite. Lady Gaga reportedly spoke in her accent for nine months without breaking. Though it was a commendable effort, Gaga’s accent in the film was regarded by some linguists as sounding more Russian than Italian. It was also compared unfavorably to her co-star, Jared Leto’s voice. Despite a mixed reception to her accent, she received rave reviews for her remarkable performance across the board.

#1: Peter Sellers Puts On German & American Accents for Various Characters

“Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)
The British comic genius Peter Sellers was already a well-established performer by the time he delivered what was arguably his best set of roles in “Dr. Strangelove”. He played not one, not two, but three vastly different characters. Sellers portrays the eponymous Dr. Strangelove with an outlandish German accent. He also plays US President Merkin Muffley with a midwestern American accent. And last, but not least, he played Group Captain Lionel Mandrake with his natural English accent. Sellers was actually also hired to play an American pilot with a thick Texan accent. Based on his hat trick of incredible vocal performances here, we have a feeling he would’ve nailed a fourth accent with ease.
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