Erik Singer is a professional dialect coach, an expert in accents, and the fine folks over at Wired enlisted his services to have him dissect the accents of 32 famous movie characters played by Hollywood’s biggest stars.
In this clip we get a look at Brad Pitt‘s Lt. Aldo Raine character in Inglorious Basterds, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s take on Truman Capote in 2005’s Capote, and other rolls like this which forced the actors to really dive into the deep end of dialect. Accent expert Erik Singer takes us through each of the dialects, explaining the origins of each character’s accent and how true the actor was to the dialect.
Accents in film are something viewers (myself included) usually take for granted but it’s an element of the craft that actors and actresses devote endless hours to perfecting. When casting directors bring in A-list stars to play a role they’re not thinking ‘this is the perfect person to nail this obscure Truman Capote accent’. Instead, they believe that the’s immensely talented actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman have the acting chops to truly immerse themselves in the characters and nail the accent with practice and coaching.