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(BBC)   Why fantasy movies always lean toward British accents for characters, instead of thick Boston or Deep Southern dialects: 'A British accent provides a "splash of otherness"'   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 110
    More: Interesting, British English, Peter Dinklage, Hobbit movie, Game of Thrones, DVD commentary, Northern England, George R. R. Martin, period drama  
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2524 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 30 Mar 2012 at 10:38 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-30 04:21:09 PM
 
2012-03-30 04:43:51 PM
It especially weird that any movie set in antiquity uses almost nothing but British accents.
 
2012-03-30 05:38:19 PM

Shostie: It especially weird that any movie set in antiquity uses almost nothing but British accents.


Find the "Borgia" TV series. link (new window). (not Showtime's "The Borgias" - that's a different series). The Pope (John Doman) has an American accent, and sounds completely out of place.
 
2012-03-30 05:41:47 PM
I thought it was because it was an easy way to make English sound like a foreign language
 
2012-03-30 06:49:22 PM

impaler: Shostie: It especially weird that any movie set in antiquity uses almost nothing but British accents.

Find the "Borgia" TV series. link (new window). (not Showtime's "The Borgias" - that's a different series). The Pope (John Doman) has an American accent, and sounds completely out of place.


I think Brad Pitt used an American accent in Troy, also putting him out of place among a sea of British accents.

I just think if you're doing a movie about ancient Greece or Rome, the actors should affect Greek or Italian accents.

How much more fun would Gladiator have been if everyone were running around all like, "AAAAY! I'M-A DA EMPEROR-A! I'M-A KILL YOU ESPAGNA!"
 
2012-03-30 09:08:22 PM
Everyone knows the best Nazis are British.
 
2012-03-30 09:18:30 PM
The British are really aliens. I mean look at them.
 
2012-03-30 09:42:18 PM
A better question would be "What the hell is that accent you encounter at all Ren Faire's?"
 
2012-03-30 10:00:02 PM

Shostie: It especially weird that any movie set in antiquity uses almost nothing but British accents.


Why is that weird? It makes perfect sense to me. British accents are naturally going to sound 'older' than American or Australian or Canadian accents, since everyone know those countries are the descendents of England. So if you are trying to give off the impression of 'ancient', you use the accent associated with the oldest branch of the language.
 
2012-03-30 10:30:02 PM

DamnYankees: Shostie: It especially weird that any movie set in antiquity uses almost nothing but British accents.

Why is that weird? It makes perfect sense to me. British accents are naturally going to sound 'older' than American or Australian or Canadian accents, since everyone know those countries are the descendents of England. So if you are trying to give off the impression of 'ancient', you use the accent associated with the oldest branch of the language.


So... if a British movie were set in antiquity they would have to use Franco-Germanic accents?
 
2012-03-30 10:33:11 PM

Shostie: DamnYankees: Shostie: It especially weird that any movie set in antiquity uses almost nothing but British accents.

Why is that weird? It makes perfect sense to me. British accents are naturally going to sound 'older' than American or Australian or Canadian accents, since everyone know those countries are the descendents of England. So if you are trying to give off the impression of 'ancient', you use the accent associated with the oldest branch of the language.

So... if a British movie were set in antiquity they would have to use Franco-Germanic accents?


Javohl.
 
2012-03-30 10:46:25 PM
In the Star Wars Old Republic game the Jedi have American accent and the Sith have English (and Aussie) accents.

/I'm drunk so I figure this is relevant
//CSB
 
2012-03-30 10:49:21 PM
But while aimed at a US audience and adapted from the books of American author George RR Martin, Game of Thrones is entirely dominated by British accents.

Maybe because, and you can stop if I'm going to fast, the entire series was based off a very specific time in English history. The first two or three books are very nearly a carbon copy of the War of the Roses, albeit with zombies in the north instead of Scots.
 
2012-03-30 10:50:16 PM

ShawnDoc: A better question would be "What the hell is that accent you encounter at all Ren Faire's?"


Bad fake british sprinkled with the dozen or so anachronistic terms they know
.
movie accent guide:
British=Foreign
Boston= American rich
Southern=stupid/rural
New York= Mob or stupid city dweller
 
2012-03-30 10:55:01 PM

doglover: The first two or three books are very nearly a carbon copy of the War of the Roses, albeit with zombies in the north instead of Scots.


So, historically accurate then?
 
2012-03-30 10:59:19 PM

Digitalstrange: ShawnDoc: A better question would be "What the hell is that accent you encounter at all Ren Faire's?"

Bad fake british sprinkled with the dozen or so anachronistic terms they know
.
movie accent guide:
British=Foreign
Boston= American rich
Southern=stupid/rural
New York= Mob or stupid city dweller

California=Surfer stoner lingo / smokin hot blonde chick stupid fer sure
 
2012-03-30 11:00:37 PM

DamnYankees: doglover: The first two or three books are very nearly a carbon copy of the War of the Roses, albeit with zombies in the north instead of Scots.

So, historically accurate then?


Nope. Much warmer in the frozen tundra north of the wall of ice in westros.
 
2012-03-30 11:17:55 PM
Hearing a non-British accent in a fantasy project is like hearing an Australian accent in Sci-Fi - bloody ridiculous.
 
2012-03-30 11:19:05 PM
Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg disagrees.
 
2012-03-30 11:19:10 PM
www.mememaker.net


It is wicked hahd to wahk into fahkin' Mohdohr.


My favorite unnecessary accent is in "Enemy at the Gates" Soviet snipers being played by a mostly British cast with the exception of Ron Pearlman who just fakes the Brit accent so as not to stand out.
 
2012-03-30 11:24:20 PM
cig-mkr


Digitalstrange: ShawnDoc: A better question would be "What the hell is that accent you encounter at all Ren Faire's?"

Bad fake british sprinkled with the dozen or so anachronistic terms they know
.
movie accent guide:
British=Foreign
Boston= American rich
Southern=stupid/rural
New York= Mob or stupid city dweller
California=Surfer stoner lingo / smokin hot blonde chick stupid fer sure


German: evil villain
French: sophisticated romantic
Australian: wild bad-ass
Cockney accent: basically the "southern hick" accent of the Brits.
Fargo accent: virtually almost Canadian.
 
2012-03-30 11:25:37 PM
Would have loved to hear the Jedi talk like Jules.

"awwww hellnaw!!!"
 
2012-03-30 11:30:38 PM

The Gordie Howe Hat Trick: Would have loved to hear the Jedi talk like Jules.

"awwww hellnaw!!!"


And, of course the classic:

"Hand me my light saber."

"Which one is it?"

"It's the one that says 'bad motherf*cker' on it."
 
2012-03-30 11:32:59 PM
Don't worry we have plenty of Southern accents on our so called educational cable networks.
/Discovery, History, TLC, Animal planet, and A&E I am looking at you
 
2012-03-30 11:34:47 PM
Because all the best actors for those sorts of movies are British?

Imagine January Jones in Lord of the Rings and you'll, like, see what I mean.
 
2012-03-30 11:36:40 PM

whatshisname: Because all the best actors for those sorts of movies are British?

Imagine January Jones in Lord of the Rings and you'll, like, see what I mean.


Elijah Wood, Sean Astin and Viggo Mortensen are all American.
 
2012-03-30 11:36:47 PM

Shostie: The Gordie Howe Hat Trick: Would have loved to hear the Jedi talk like Jules.

"awwww hellnaw!!!"

And, of course the classic:

"Hand me my light saber."

"Which one is it?"

"It's the one that says 'bad motherf*cker' on it."


Ezekiel 25-17 sounds kinda Yoda-ish
 
2012-03-30 11:37:53 PM

DamnYankees: Shostie: It especially weird that any movie set in antiquity uses almost nothing but British accents.

Why is that weird? It makes perfect sense to me. British accents are naturally going to sound be perceived as 'older' than American or Australian or Canadian accents, since everyone know those countries are the descendents of England. So if you are trying to give off the impression of 'ancient', you use the accent associated with the perceived to be oldest branch of the language.


Needed some fixing there. Never forget ignorance when it comes to myths held by the general populace. Modern British English is more altered and accented compared to its older forms (the current sound is almost as new a variant as Indian or Hong Kong English types) than even standard west coast American English, but the continuance of old prejudices and common "knowledge" holds to the myth of it as the older or truer form.

So, of course, movies and like media, forever pandering mass ignorance and Bay-type movie lovers, will hold to British English as somehow sounding older, "purer" and a bit more exotic.

Sadly, that's why Shakespeare films will almost always be done unrealistically with the most "educated" modern British accents rather than use English more akin to what is spoken on Tangiers Island (and other small islands on the eastern seaboard nearly as inbred as original stock from England), which actually does sound like how English was spoken when the plays were first done.
 
2012-03-30 11:41:26 PM

DamnYankees: whatshisname: Because all the best actors for those sorts of movies are British?

Imagine January Jones in Lord of the Rings and you'll, like, see what I mean.

Elijah Wood, Sean Astin and Viggo Mortensen are all American.


And I could be wrong, but I don't recall Mortensen or Wood sounding very British in those movies.
 
2012-03-30 11:42:03 PM

fusillade762: DamnYankees: whatshisname: Because all the best actors for those sorts of movies are British?

Imagine January Jones in Lord of the Rings and you'll, like, see what I mean.

Elijah Wood, Sean Astin and Viggo Mortensen are all American.

And I could be wrong, but I don't recall Mortensen or Wood sounding very British in those movies.


You're wrong. They put on British accents.
 
2012-03-30 11:48:02 PM

DamnYankees: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin and Viggo Mortensen are all American.


And in order to try and measure up to the brilliance of Ian McKellen, Christopher Plummer etc, they tried to speak British. Sean Astin, in particular, was abominable.
 
2012-03-30 11:51:08 PM
images4.fanpop.com
Give him a hand! He's British!
 
2012-03-30 11:58:35 PM
If some enterprising person ever made a redub of AGOT with Fargo accents, the volume of win would be legendarily epic.
 
2012-03-31 12:04:25 AM
On Rome, the nobles spoke Queen's English and the commoners spoke a working class Cockney, mostly. Who had Italian accents? Foreign slaves.
 
2012-03-31 12:14:04 AM

Funbags: AGOT


upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-03-31 12:44:49 AM

Diogenes Teufelsdrockh: Sadly, that's why Shakespeare films will almost always be done unrealistically with the most "educated" modern British accents rather than use English more akin to what is spoken on Tangiers Island (and other small islands on the eastern seaboard nearly as inbred as original stock from England), which actually does sound like how English was spoken when the plays were first done.


When Shakespeare was writing, English dialects were so diverse people from different parts of the same city could have trouble understanding each other. Saying "Actually, they all spoke like this" is absurd.
 
2012-03-31 12:47:48 AM
Anyone + posh British accent = classy/intelligent/please-take-me-to-bed-you-sexy-beast.

/Here's a test...
//Read my comment in American accented mental voice.
///Now read it in posh British accented mental voice.
////AmIrite?
 
2012-03-31 12:55:24 AM
FTA: Millions watched the first series, justifying the movie-like budget poured into the production.

The second series of the show, which starts on HBO on Sunday, and Sky Atlantic on Monday,


So they're cancelling the series to bring it right back?
 
2012-03-31 12:57:16 AM
Love the commentary in Airplane where they said that the Germans dubbed the jive-talking blacks guys in Bavarian accents- went over very well in Frankfurt and West Berlin.
 
2012-03-31 01:04:46 AM

Third_Uncle_Eno: cig-mkr


Digitalstrange: ShawnDoc: A better question would be "What the hell is that accent you encounter at all Ren Faire's?"

Bad fake british sprinkled with the dozen or so anachronistic terms they know
.
movie accent guide:
British=Foreign
Boston= American rich
Southern=stupid/rural
New York= Mob or stupid city dweller
California=Surfer stoner lingo / smokin hot blonde chick stupid fer sure

German: evil villain
French: sophisticated romantic
Australian: wild bad-ass
Cockney accent: basically the "southern hick" accent of the Brits.
Fargo accent: virtually almost Canadian.


Southie Boston: Boxer or Thug, sometimes both
Georgia: Charming and passive aggressive
Chicago: mobster
 
2012-03-31 01:07:44 AM
i.imgur.com

I gots your British language... right here! Mister!
 
2012-03-31 01:11:33 AM
English accents sound great in Bible movies and period spy pieces. If you want a great heist/boxer movie you need to go Boston. As evidenced by The Town/Fighter. That is all. Anything else insist upon itself.
 
2012-03-31 01:17:58 AM
Three words: Jar Jar Binks.
 
2012-03-31 01:18:11 AM

Scrotastic Method: This article clearly did next to no research. The British accent in fantasy and history goes way, way back to before Kevin Effing Costner. It goes back to the earliest talking films in America.

Why? These were movies about a fallen empire. We were never supposed to identify with them: America is a new gleaming city on the hill -- a new Rome. We stole their Senate, we stole democracy, we stole architecture from the empires of antiquity -- and the old Rome was dead, victim of its own excesses...and the killing of Jesus, of course. Well, America wasn't about to fake Italian accents, or god forbid suffer through subtitles, so they drew on the other fallen empire to not-so-subtley get their point across: the Brits.

Why do American "old" movies, Rome movies, Greece movies, and fantasy all use British accents? Because we're lumping them all together. "Eff you, old, fallen-empire sonsabiatchezz...we're America (fark yeah) and we're the NEW goddamn empire. All of you can suck it."

That last part works best if you imagine Kenny Powers saying it.

Anyway, I learned this in college. From a book:

[bks4.books.google.com image 128x197]


This is probably why American accents are better suited for sci-fi movies. You want a bad ass sci-fi hero/villian? Use an American accent. Would Han Solo be as cool if he sounded like Jude Law? Would Ripley be as bad ass if she sounded like Keira Knightley?

Yes, there are exceptions like Patrick Stewart as Picard or Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan. But, again, think Darth Vader with Brian Blessed's voice and try not to giggle.

/"Luke, I'm your bloody father!"
 
2012-03-31 01:20:29 AM
Wait a minute. Storm of Swords comes on Sunday?

Five Doctor Who threads (not complaining about Who threads) and this is the first I hear of this?

/Off to re-marathon
 
2012-03-31 01:23:29 AM
I think there should be a fantasy setting based off the Deep South.
 
2012-03-31 01:29:08 AM
optional


I think there should be a fantasy setting based off the Deep South.

like one of those "Fantasy world but still earth" kind of things?

idea: Blacks being rich and privileged, owning whites (lower class / underclass?) as slaves.
also, there's a wizard.
 
2012-03-31 01:35:59 AM
Funny, I always figured it was because the majority of fantasy literature seems to be based on Celtic mythology or medieval England/Wales/Ireland/Scotland. I'd expect Germanic accents if they were all named Hans, Gunter, and Sigmund...
 
2012-03-31 01:39:29 AM
Kings, knights, swords, armor, etc. It's all, as far as english speaking history, pretty much between British, Scottish, and Irish. Fantasy they may be, but they have a basis in reality, a much romanticized and very popular history.

It is a balance of keeping some realism, but still appealing(read: being completely understandable).

galactus5000: Hearing a non-British accent in a fantasy project is like hearing an Australian accent in Sci-Fi - bloody ridiculous.


Australian in sci fi is ridiculous?

Many shows, Farscape a very popular one, and their fans, disagree.

Now, redneck or cajun, yeah, that's ridiculous. Canadian? if it's thick, yeah, bad ju-ju. same for valley girl / surfer, as well as the thicker US north east accents (Boston, NY, etc) and the jewish accent.

Sure, some here and there actually works, creates diversity. But Farscape was largely composed of British, Australian, and smaller does of several other european accents, and only one one consistent American accent.(aside from when they had characters from earth, sure).

I think the trend(for sci-fi) harkens back to Star Wars, where the Imperial officers were all British.
Not so many languages carry stuffy, as a sibling to ruling class, along with posh, and then borderline effeminate as do the British and Australian accents, in the realm of english speaking areas.

A lot of american's actually can't tell the difference, and sure, that's due to lack of exposure, but there's also good reason. Compared to american lingo, the Australian and British accents are siblings, we(the US) is the strange cousin.
 
2012-03-31 01:41:13 AM

whatshisname: DamnYankees: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin and Viggo Mortensen are all American.

And in order to try and measure up to the brilliance of Ian McKellen, Christopher Plummer etc, they tried to speak British. Sean Astin, in particular, was abominable.


"Mister Frow-doh!"
 
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