Dick Van Dyke’s cockney twang in “Mary Poppins” and Kate Winslet’s breathy American in “Titanic” have been announced as the worst British and American accents respectively in a film in a new study.
Language-learning app Babbel commissioned ex-pat professional actors from both the U.K. and U.S. to vote on a five-point scale on how convincing the accents were for leading parts in blockbuster films that grossed over $100 million.
American Actors awarded British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor the best score (4.5/5) for his work in “12 Years a Slave”. Also scoring above a four were Christian Bale for “The Dark Knight” (4.2), Henry Cavill for “Man of Steel” (4.2), Emma Watson for “Perks of Being a Wallflower” (4.1), and Clive Owen for “Inside Man” (4.1).
Scoring the worst for Brits playing Americans aside from Winslet was Robert Pattinson for “Twilight” (3.5), Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl” (3.5) and John Boyega in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (3.7).
Flipping over to the Americans playing Brits, and UK actors awarded Meryl Streep’s turn as Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” a near perfect score (4.9/5). Also faring well were Gwyneth Paltrow for “Shakespeare in Love” (4.7), Renée Zellweger for “Bridget Jones’ Diary” (4.5), and Robert Downey Jr. for “Sherlock Holmes” (4.3).
Scoring almost as badly as the infamous Van Dyke performance was Kevin Costner’s turn in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” (2.0). Not far behind is Johnny Depp in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films (3.0), Angelina Jolie in “Maleficent” (3.3), and Natalie Portman in “V for Vendetta” (3.5).