The AfterEllen.com Huddle: Amazing Accents

Some people just have the greatest voices, don’t they? Like this week while watching American Horror Story: Coven, I was so pleased by all the terrible things Fiona was doing partly because Jessica Lange speaks in a perfect sexy Southern drawl. (Also she’s a bad bitch, but that’s beside the point.)

Accents can really make someone more appealing, in real life or in character. Meryl Streep is the ultimate in adopting all kinds of vocal affectations, as you can see in this awesome video. (And she’s done more since then!)

So this week, we’re talking accents. Group, whose do you just adore?

Kim Hoffmann: Nothing gave me greater pleasure than any and all Jenny Schecter scenes when she gave us a dose of crazy with the added bonus of a hilarious fake accent—like her wacky phone conversation with Vagina Wig Merkin“Big-ah kiss to you. OK bye.” 

Heather Hogan: The first time I head Simone Lahbib‘s accent on the UK soap Bad Girls, I legit had to pause the episode and walk away from my laptop for a minute. Helen Stewart, man. Helen Stewart. She’s one of the only characters in the history of television that makes me do that strangled noise people are always typing on Tumblr. Hnnng! It’s something about that Scottish lilt and the perpetual morning-voice huskiness and her command of grammar and everything else around her (except her feelings for the incarcerated Nikki Wade!). An AfterEllen reader one time sent me MP3s of all of Helen’s best one-liners and those clips are still on my phone and they still make me as weak and swoon-y as they did the first time I heard her say them. “Have you not yet worked out how to be a good girl?” No, ma’am, I have not.

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Grace Chu: I love this video detailing the evolution of Madonna‘s accent.

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Lucy Hallowell: Kelly MacDonald has the most lovely Scottish accent. It’s so lovely that I agreed to watch The Decoy Bride which looked fantastically stupid (but wasn’t) simply because when I asked my wife who was in it, she said “Kelly MacDonald.” She was the voice of Merida in Brave (which means she is the voice of Disney’s red-headed, lesbian princess). I have dreams of seeing her in a movie with  Kate Winslet, preferably where they are lady lovers, but if they simply sat and read the dictionary to each other I would pay to see it.

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Nicole Schultz: I love being surprised by accents. I didn’t think Olivia from Fringe could get any hotter. Than I saw Anna Torv on a talk show and heard that sweet Australian accent. So many hotness points gained. And if there is ever a period piece with Christina Hendricks in a corset while talking in a British accent, I may need to be hospitalized. Just saying…

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Dana Piccoli: I’m a sucker for a New Zealand accent. There was a short film called Peach that starred Lucy Lawless, using her actual accent. It made me positively quiver. I actually learned how to do a Kiwi accent from that film. “Desire makes things happen.” Swoon.

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Trish Bendix: Tilda Swinton‘s voice was created by angels, the same beings who sculpted her face and perfect sense of style. I could listen to Tilda read a refrigerator manual and once finished, I’d say, “Again!”

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Karman Kregloe: I’ve loved Kate Winslet and her accent ever since the first time I saw Heavenly Creatures, in which she exclaimed, “All the best people have bad chests and bone diseases. It’s all frightfully romantic!” She’s great in every role she tackles, and in many of them she is both naked and swearing.  I even like her American accent (which apparently has its own Faceboook page).



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Marcie Bianco: I go weak in the knees to the sound of a sophisticated “accent” of an intellectual woman. There’s a certain English Muffin, across the pond, whose deliverance of lectures on Shakespeare just melts me. That said, I think the accent that changed me, completely, was that of my Master/mentor, Marjorie Garber. Her voice, so smooth and deep and elitist, couldn’t be more seductive. Listening to and watching her literally perform her Shakespeare lectures at Harvard undeniably made me the literary scholar and lesbian that I am today.

Author Marjorie Garber

Chloe: John Cleese, the only man I would marry, has the voice of a very dry angel. I was weaned on PBS and BBC (how I longed for Nickelodeon), so oddly I find the voices of elderly British men both soothing and hilarious. At fellow Monty Python member Graham Chapman‘s funeral, John Cleese delivered the most beautiful and moving eulogy I’ve ever heard. Graham Chapman died young, in 1989, after openly living life as a gay man as well as surrealist comedian. When I’m feeling morbid I like to watch Cleese’s eulogy and wish it was about me. Cleese’s speech never fails to make me laugh, cry, and feel oddly reassured by humanity. And the singing. THE SINGING. God I want to be them.

Ali Davis: I should pick something more current, but I’m still the most giddy over Adele‘s accent. I feel like she could scold or praise me into doing anything. Especially if she said “Fank you” afterwards.


Eboni Rafus: I love a British accent as much as the next girl. New Zealand accents are also dreamy. Yet, I’m going to go against the grain and choose an accent that isn’t usually considered cultured or sexy. Lately, I’ve been fascinated by the various New York accents, Long Island, the Bronx, etc. There’s a certain raw, frills-free authenticity that is appealing. It’s not intellectual. It’s not polished. It’s more corporeal, more base.  It gives the speaker what we used to call in the ’90s “thug appeal.” It’s a little dangerous, and danger can be sexy.

I love Kerry Washington at all time, but I find her even more irresistible when, in New York based interviews, she goes back to her roots and slips into slight a Bronx accent. When Kerry Washington hosted SNL last week, one of my favorite scenes was the Career Week skit in which she played an assistant named Tammy. Her gum poppin’, hip swayin’ character’s accent is a little over the top (after all, it’s comedy), but I loved it nonetheless.

Whose accent do you love to listen to?

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