Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

Which actresses can do accents (and which ones suck?)

I posted about the subject here, but I’d love to know your picks right now on this blog. To reiterate:

The Good:
* New Yorker Kyra Sedgwick doing a Southern accent in The Closer
* New Yorker Rue McClanahan going Southern for The Golden Girls
* Meryl Streep doing a New Zealand/ Aussie accent (Cry In the Dark), a Pole (Sophie’s Choice) and Danish person (Out of Africa)
* Aussie Cate Blanchett doing a Russian accent in The Man Who Cried, American in Babel, mimicking Katherine Hepburn‘s crazy Connecticut clip (The Aviator) and Bob Dylan (I’m Not There)
* Brit Kate Winslet faking an American accent in anything
* Aussie Toni Collette, ditto
* Catherine Zeta-Jones, too. She’s Welsh?!
* Aussie Nicole Kidman puts on a perfect American accent all the time, a believable Southern accent (Cold Mountain), not a half bad Russian (Birthday Girl) and a passable New England accent (Margot at the Wedding)
* Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones’ Diary: not a bad British accent for a Texan
* Gwyneth Paltrow‘s British accent is decent even though I hate her

The Bad:
* Winona Ryder‘s bizarre British accent in Dracula
* Natalie Portman‘s totally unbelievable British accent in V For Vendetta
* Anne Hathaway‘s bad British accent in Becoming Jane

Oh, but there are so many more. We can open it up to actors, too, if you want. Let me hear your votes.

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17 thoughts on “Which actresses can do accents (and which ones suck?)

  1. Sarah Michelle Geller does a horible British accent.

    How about guys: Ben Affleck’s horrible Southern accent in Pearl Harbor and Italian accent in Gigli. What the hell was the strange accent he used in the movie about George Reeves murder. Everything Affleck does sounds Boston. Even his British accent in Shakespeare In Love.

  2. ginavivinetto on said:

    What exactly is Ben Affleck’s talent? Knowing Matt Damon well enough to share credit for “Good Will Hunting”?

  3. Pardon me, madam, but I am shocked and horrified that JUDY DAVIS is missing from your list of absolutely 100% fabulous accent fakers! Judy Davis!

  4. ginavivinetto on said:

    Oh yes, fabulous Judy Davis. One of the finest ever American accents from an Aussie. That’s quite an oversight.

  5. Vincent on said:

    Umm…Can we please talk about Madonna’s new “refined” semi-English accent? So freaking lame.

    And isn’t Toni Colette Aussie?

  6. The cute blonde–what the fuck is her name (maybe the fact that I can’t remember it has something to do with why she never became the bigger star I thought she oughta be, given the tremendous promise inherent here) in High Art– Radha Mitchell! Woody Allen found her a few years later– maybe she went back to Australia, or wherever she’s from, or doesn’t have the right agent or screw the right people… but I thought she was wonderful here-unless it was just one of the best tank top performances before “Shane” was invented…

  7. I love Minnie Driver’s American accent… it is believable in Grosse Pointe Blank… but I guess it should have been Detroit… and I also like Claire Forlani’s American accent in Boys And Girls or Mallrats.

    Ben Affleck.. ugh… even with the Kevin Smith movies… I have a hard time stomaching anything that he was in… I just appreciated the “I F*cked Ben Affleck” Jimmy Kimmel video…

  8. Over looked worst accent: Kevin Costner’s English accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Theives, absolutely the worst.

  9. emmettqaf on said:

    I vote for Minnie Driver in the “Riches”–southern accent is great.
    “TONY SOPRANO”….best Jersey accent. 🙂

  10. Although Rue McClanahan did break into acting on the stages of New York City, she was born, raised, and went to college in Oklahoma.

  11. Kyra Sedgwick’s Southern accent is HORRIBLE.

    The WORST ever. By far. Not even close.


    It’s as if she trained for the role by watching three straight weeks of Hee Haw.

  12. Pingback: Kevin Costner in ‘JFK’: WTF? « Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

  13. Artus on said:

    Kyra Sedgwick ‘s southern “accent” abortion is at the top of the good list? Have you been checked for nerve deafness? The only useful thing about this colossal failure is that it serves as an warning hopefully keeping people from actually watching one of the worst, most ill-conceived television programs in history. This is likely the forth worst southern accent ever, behind Nick Cage in Con Air, Mel Gibson’s schizophrenic drawl attempt in We Were Soldiers, and Kevin Costner’s absurd Jim Garrison in JFK (will Hollywood EVER learn that the New Orleans accent in NOT a southern accent? Of course Costner’s wasn’t either, but it was supposed to be).

  14. Chris on said:


    I grew up in the south. Kyra Sedgwick’s
    accent is the WORST and is the sole reason I
    never watch that show.

  15. All the Southern accents you mentioned I find horrible, but then I’m from the South so I pay more attention to those accents. And that’s usually the case, you understand and listen for the nuances of the dialect you know.


    Minnie Driver’s accent sucks in the Riches. She makes a common mistake, she mixes up different TYPES of Southern accents (it’s like a big region you see). Is Minnie’s character supposed to have a Appalachian twang or a coastal drawl? They’re different.

    Nicole Kidman’s Southern accent in Cold Mountain sounded more like a slurring speech impediment, not at all the delicate sound of a Charleston lilt.

    Southern accents that I find good: Robert Dinero in Cape Fear, Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham and by far one of the best I’ve heard was the NC accent (my home state!) done by Amy Adams in Junebug: soft, subtle, sub-region specific and believable.

    Mah two cents there-ah y’aaaaalllllllllll.

  16. Toni Collette is aussie, idiot!

  17. Maggie gyllenhaal doing British accent, quite good. She was in movie with Emma Thompson & almost seemed to be mimicking her. Very believable. Of course Meryl Streep is the best & has been for many years.

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