Julia Roberts as Mary Reilly

The ten worst Irish accents in Hollywood movies


Julia Roberts as Mary Reilly

The Irish accent, judging from some of Hollywood's attempts at it over the years, must surely be one of the most difficult for actors to master.

We've plowed through the archives and nominated our top 10 worst offenders. What do you think?

Read down through our list or use the playlist on the right to listen to the top 10 Worst Hollywood Irish accents!


The gold standard to judge against all other bad Irish accents must surely remain Sean Connery's portrayal of Michael McBride, in the Walt Disney classic "Darby O' Gill and the Little People."


That was in 1959; by 1987, when he starred as the tough Irish cop Jim Malone in "The Untouchables," things had scarcely improved (though ironically, he nabbed the Best Supporting Actor Oscar).
It's not just the Irish accent that the Bond star has grappled with it - no doubt he also made the cut for some Top 10 List of Bad Russian Accents for his portrayal of Captain Marko Ramius,  in  "The Hunt for Red October."

Every so often, U.S. actors - even really good, respected actors like Kevin Spacey - come out with stuff like "Ordinary Decent Criminal," a fairly unremarkable movie save for the fact that the main stars all try to outdo one another on the bad Irish accent front.
It's a kind of bizarre concoction of various Irish regional accents - a little bit of Dublin, a touch of Northern Ireland - that slips into American every fifth sentence or so.
It's astonishing that Colin Farrell, a native Dubliner, didn't think of saying to Spacey, "What the f**k, Kevin?! No one in Ireland, and I mean no one, talks like that! Now go get a voice coach and give the Oirish accent a rest!"
This mustn't have happened - and indeed, the director, Thaddeus O'Sullivan, himself an Irishman, somehow failed to spot that Spacey's co-star, Linda Fiorentino, had an equally ridiculous accent. Shame on both O'Sullivan and Farrell for not spotting these...
It remains a mystery why this film actually got made, when John Boorman's "The General" - a movie about the same thing - came out before it, and is vastly superior.


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