cinnamongirlxxx (cinnamongirlxxx) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
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'True Blood' Accents: True to Form or Bloody Bad?





Admit it: You think True Blood is as addictive as a drop of "V." You've stayed at home most every Sunday and you're upset about the Alexander Skarsgard/Evan Rachel Wood rumors (though you have never said or written the word "ASkars"). But there's still one little problem: certain actors make you cringe. Not sassy Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette), of course. And certainly not William "and my other brother Darryl" Sanderson (Sheriff Dearborn), though he had more to do on 'Deadwood.' New Orleans native Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte) speaks in his own accent well enough, even if he might be one of those actors who won't answer if his character does not have the same name as him.

No, the problem starts with Bill and ends with Sookie.

Now, one could make the case that Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin are simply giving the performance that creator Alan Ball desires. Charmless monotone? Incredulous Louisiana accents? Under-emoting in a death battle with over-emoting? All part of the show's comic booky, melodramatic, R-rated soap opera charm.

Besides, there is a simpler explanation: it's because they're foreigners. And Meryl Streep they're not.

Nearly every foreign actor on TV, from Hugh Laurie to Anna Torv, talks American in something much like the "Mel Gibson voice" - flattened, cool and clenched, like they are biting on a tongue depressor, or perhaps in need of some Immodium. What, you thought Stephen Moyer was so pale and wooden 'cause he plays a creature of the night? He's straining so hard to hide his British accent he's got nothing left to give to the performance!

The Swedish Skarsgard, who comes from solid thespic stock, fares a whole lot better, especially since flatness really is meant to be part of the vampire speech pattern, while New Zealander Paquin and Australian Ryan Kwanten (Jason Stackhouse) get to hide behind their outsized drawls, Kwanten with the most success. In fact, he just might give the best performance on the show, and I don't mean with his pecs - his Jason is the male equivalent of Anna Faris's work in The House Bunny.

So, as you prepare for Sunday's Season Two finale, watch these clips of the four True Blood actors talking in their actual voices, and perhaps you'll feel like cutting them some slack. Or not.













source: http://www.popeater.com/2009/09/10/true-blood-accents-bill-sookie/ (more vids there.)
Tags: television
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