1. That was SO FASCINATING thank you for sharing!

  2. I’m a dialect coach too, and what he says at the end really rings true– actors are taking a big risk working in dialect and often don’t have adequate prep time or coaching, but they give it their best shot with the resources they have. It takes an incredible amount of time and effort to sound like a native speaker, even for the Meryls and Daniels.
    I coach actors in NYC if anyone is curious to learn more: tovahclose.com

  3. Alison says...

    It’s curious that both Irish accents in this video were called “Belfast accents”, when neither of sound like they’re from Belfast and as far as I can tell neither of them were playing people from Belfast. Especially with Snatch – they’re supposed to be Irish Travellers living in the UK. Nothing at all to do with Belfast!

  4. Denise says...

    Okay, I now have a crush on dialect coach Erik Singer.

  5. Rebecca says...

    I thought this was really fascinating, too – thanks!

    I’d love to see him discuss a British actor doing an American accent. I don’t know why the BBC doesn’t just hire Americans to play Americans – do they really think they’re nailing it? Or do they just not care?

    • Katherine says...

      For whatever reason it happens across so many countries though and I guess we’re all sensitive to the accents we know best. I’m yet to hear an American manage an Aussie accent that doesn’t make me cringe!

  6. Most of my friends in college were theatre majors, so I know all too well the work that goes into properly learning an accent! My one roommate spent weeks trying to say “bird” with a “stereotypical” New York accent – she would just go around the apartment saying it over and over! I certainly notice it in films (and Game of Thrones, where each of the Lannisters speaks with an entirely different accent…so pissed when someone pointed that out to me!).

  7. it’s funny to think of acting like other skills — something you get better at over time (maybe since *youth* is valued so much) — but I loved seeing Brad Pitt’s performance improve!

  8. Sophia says...

    This was a very interesting watch and highlighted to me the importance of accents to help transport us to the right time and place. It was perfect to watch in bed the morning after Thanksgiving. :)

  9. Cora says...

    How funny that I read your blog religiously and stumbled on someone I know personally! I met Erik two summers ago on vacation on a tiny island. He’s a great guy, who my husband would like to point out makes great aquavit, and it was nice to see him in this professional role.

  10. Karen says...

    Mel Gibson’s Scottish accent in Braveheart is terrible. I’m Scottish and have yet to hear anyone speak like that. There was a reason he was slagged off for it! (There’s a good Scottish/British word)

  11. Ana says...

    Thanks for sharing; it is amazing to “hear” this acting point of view. Loved it.

  12. Nikki says...

    So so interesting!! Philip Seymour Hoffman is incredible.
    Only wished Erik had learnt how to say Xhosa properly!! Ha ha!! Made me laugh a lot.

  13. His reaction to Mickey Rooney was the best! Hahahaha. OMG.

  14. Vicki says...

    So, I watched this video this morning, and I’ve been muttering “royalty, nobility, gentry” to myself all day. Such a geek ;)

  15. Lora says...

    This was fabulous!

  16. Rebecca says...

    I watched Far and Away not long after it was released, and his accent was convincing to me, but I was 11. Nicole Kidman’s was better. She could really pass as Irish back then.

  17. Ditherins says...

    Loved this! As an Australian am waiting for a credible Hollywood performance of our accent. Would love to hear his take on Elizabeth Moss in Top of the Lake…great performance but inconsistent accent! Kevin Spacey in House of Cards is one of my fave southern accents but no idea how ‘true’ it is.

    • Rhonda says...

      Isn’t Elizabeth Moss in Top of the Lake meant to be a New Zealander? And no, she didn’t do a brilliant job whatever the accent she was going for!!

    • msd says...

      Moss said she was doing an Australian accent. The character is someone who left New Zealand as a teenager to live in Sydney so it makes sense. It was a bit all over the place but not a bad effort – I’ve certainly heard worse. Kate Winslet does a good Australian accent.

    • Kevin Spacey’s upper class South Carolina accent is very accurate! The non-pronounced “R” sounds in words like “car, father, ear” (similar to how you in Australia probably say them!) are disappearing in that area, but for someone with that high status, or playing at it, I think it’s a great choice.

  18. This is SO fascinating.

  19. KylieO says...

    This was so great! Would’ve loved to have seen him look at some attempts at an Australian accent – there have been some appalling ones that make me laugh so hard! Apparently it’s because Australians and New Zealanders have such lazy tongues that it’s hard for Americans (who have rather active tongues when they speak) to imitate us. I wish I’d studied this field, it’s so fascinating!

    • Natasha says...

      Agree! The only realistic Kiwi accent I’ve heard was Anthony Hopkins in World’s Fastest Indian. Ben Kingsley’s attempt in Ender’s Game almost had this NZ girl in hysterics :D

  20. Katherine says...

    Loved this! And helps me to realise why I’m terrible at accents.

  21. PH says...

    I am obsessed with figuring out (or IMDB-ing) where people are from based on their accent–all Henry Higgins style from My Fair Lady. I was floored to discover that this actor isn’t American: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sac2Sjlxx14

  22. Natalie says...

    We watched this last night, too! I’m from Alabama, and my husband is from Mississippi, so we loved the critiques of the Southern accents–with Nick Cage in Con-Air being the most hilarious :) I love how he was so diplomatic about (most of ) the ones he thought weren’t good.

  23. How about Diane Liane in A Perfect Storm?? My husband and I love love that movie (and her) but are forever quoting her character in that terrible accent. I know it’s me being snarky but he lived in Boston for almost a decade and it bothers him so much.

  24. Teree says...

    I wish he would have covered the attempts at a Minnesota accent. Most of them make us sound like silly lefse-loving cartoons. Nope! Well, except for the lefse.

  25. Aga says...

    OMG John Voight’s “Paraguayan” accent!! Burst out laughing! I’m sure they got away with that because most people seeing this film in North America have NO idea where Paraguay is! But why make the character Paraguayan if the actor isn’t going to sound or even look remotely Paraguayan! smh

    And hail Meryl Streep! Wish he had analyzed her Julia Child!

  26. Sarah says...

    I would have loved to hear his impression of Anthony Hopkins Southern New Zealand accent in The Worlds Fastest Indian. As a Kiwi I thought it was pretty spot on.

    • Rhonda says...

      Sarah I was thinking the same thing! Bert Munroe’s accent was very interesting – certainly Southlander but also slightly Scottish. I think he did a great job too :)

  27. I saw this video last week and was blown away! This guy should get his own tv show or Youtube channel where he analyzes an entire movie or character every episode! I would def watch that!

  28. Jodie Foster gets huge accolades for dubbing herself in perfect French. One of her movies (I forgot which) was on TV here, dubbed of course, and I couldn’t get over how much the voice sounded like HER. But there was no trace of an American accent. I watched through the credits to see who did her voice. And it was Jodie Foster herself!
    Philip Seymour Hoffman was very believable as a German in “A Most Wanted Man.”

  29. Katy says...

    I agree with Ana- you do find the best stuff! This is so interesting.

  30. Becca says...

    As a Marylander I have to say yes! We do sound a little different and his analysis of a Baltimore accent just made my world make sense. Ha. Aapparently that’s what Kathy Bates was going for in AHS Freak Show and while I love her … no.

  31. Cat says...

    The Mickey Rooney/Breakfast at Tiffany’s note–hahahaha, yep.

  32. Lisa says...

    It’s a pity he didn’t analyse Leo’s Zimbabwean accent in “blood diamond” as I personally (as a southern African) think it was one of the best I’ve heard. It’s not an easy accent to imitate. And worst? Six degrees of separation. I can’t remember which actor was the South African character but they moved between posh English, German and who knows what else

    • msd says...

      Someone South African I know said Leo’s accent was the best they’d heard too.

    • Kash says...

      Yess! I have heard the same from other South Africans. Apparently, some sounds in Zimbabwean accent seem simple to swing by, if nuances are overlooked and hence are most difficult. He nails all of them. It took me almost a decade after his success to notice what a volcano of talent he is and does smallest of things with such perfection. He must be slightly OCD about the body language of every character he plays, never looses it. While the actors with serious reputations get credit all the time for effort, he sure is overlooked since he does toughest of roles with such ease.

  33. This is so good! I will never forget watching the Hunt for Red October for the first time. I could not stop laughing at the fact that they hired Sean Connery to play a Soviet submarine captain, and didn’t even make him attempt the accent. Scottish, Soviet same difference. 😂😂😂

  34. Amy says...

    Love that you re-posted the link to the Worst Neighbors post. Last week our upstairs neighbors either had an orgy, or filmed a porno. We’re not sure which. Needless to say, I ended up sleeping with ear plugs.

    • Deb says...

      Bahahahaha! I’m sorry you had to deal with that but I just laughed out loud on the bus :-)

  35. Erin says...

    I find this stuff so fascinating. So hard to nail it perfectly

  36. So interesting! Major props to Daniel Day Lewis!

    I wish he would have profiled more female actors, though. It’s not entirely his fault, though, since there simply aren’t as many female roles. The lack of female characters in movies/TV drives me nuts!

  37. dialect dude is the genius — to know all that is amazing. though he does talk smack about my boy Keanu…

  38. Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to watch this :) I am a foreign language consultant and dialect coach and haven’t seen this yet!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a cool job, nikki!

    • Thanks, Joanna! It’s so much fun – I’m a total language nerd (I speak 7 fluently). I quit my day job recently and am going full time with my own small business in 2 weeks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is awesome, nikki! excited for you!

  39. Natalie Brennan says...

    SO INTERESTING! It shows you how much work goes into the acting craft.

  40. saw this the other day, so amazing!! Hoping he does more! :)

  41. Ana says...

    This is great. You find the best stuff. Thank you!!