Brad Pitt - Seven Years In Tibet (1997)
Going For: Austrian
Actually Is: A child who bit off his own tongue trying to recreate a scene from the Allo Allo repeat he caught last night.
The obvious choice for famed German mountaineer, explorer and all-around Aryan poster boy Henrich Harrer was the guy from the Levi's ad. You know the guy.
Sick of starring in solid american thrillers like Seven and Twelve Monkeys, Pitt was looking for a challange, something to make the critics stand up and respect his abilities as an actor... this was not that something.
Phonetic Phrasing: "Shat aap" (0:40 in the clip) - If he dragged those vowels out a bit, he'd be a cockney hooligan.
Other Offenses: The Devil’s Own (Oirish), Meet Joe Black (Jamaican?)
Tom Cruise - Far And Away (1995)
Going For: Working Class Irish
Actually Is: The Leprechaun from the “Lucky Charms” cereal commercial, as directed by Ron Howard.
Every actor in the Hollywoods can do an Oirish accent. Tom Cruise is one of them. Of course, it sounds nothing like real Irish, but they won't be convinced otherwise. Nope, they can all do it. It's easy... riiight.
In this tale of Irish immegrants looking to make a better life in the good old U.S of A, Cruise proves that the only Irish accents he's ever heard are the ones mangled by other Hollywood actors.
He is successful though, in making every other non-Irish actor in the film sound half-convincing. Thank Hubbard for small, Cruise-sized victories.
Phonetic Phrasing: "Dees peepol arr mye kynd o' peepol" (0:05 in the clip) - on the strength of this we're half expecting him to shout "Top o'the morning to ya" then do a jig. Oh yeah, he does.
Other Offenses: Valkyrie (German – he doesn’t try)