Even the most experienced of thespians have been known to slide from one Celtic drawl into another from time-to-time, though, granted, the gentle lilt of an Irish accent makes it one of the most difficult to perfect.
Kevin Spacey, for example, is not usually a man we'd hold accountable for crimes against cinema - especially when he has a penchant for impressions.
And one of the worst Irish accents ever committed to the silver screen came out of the mouth of an actual Irishman (scroll down for details).
Still, it remains somewhat of a uniquely troubling dialect for actors in modern movies, who vocally bob and weave between the streets of Dublin and a grassy knoll in the Welsh valleys every few lines, before sliding down a dale into Scottish and skirting round the West Country.
So, to celebrate St Patrick's Day, we've rounded up some of the worst attempts to master the Paddy tone from Brad Pitt in The Devil's Own to Sean Connery's serious case of accentual CBAs in The Untouchables.
Tom Cruise as ‘Joseph Donnelly’ – Far And Away (1992)
Mr Cruise has played some cracking roles in his time (let's not forget the spandex-clad elf in Legend, for example), and the character Joseph Donnelly - a poverty-stricken Irish immigrant struggling to find his feet on US soil - is one such part. And by cracking, we obviously mean laughably bad. Starring opposite then-wife Nicole Kidman, it rarely gets worse than this.
Sean Connery as ‘Jim Malone’ – The Untouchables (1987)
Sean Connery appears to have completely bypassed the character description of Jim Malone when he read the script for The Untouchables. Particularly the bit that noted he was of Irish persuasion. So he doesn't even bother with the accent, instead using a slightly comical version of his own softly diffused Scottish drawl.
Brad Pitt as ‘Rory Devaney’ – The Devil’s Own (1997)
1997 really wasn't all that long ago. Which is why we can't fail to be tickled by repeat bad accent offender Brad Pitt's Irish lift in The Devil's Own.
Brad Pitt as ‘Mickey O’Neil’ – Snatch (2000)
Yes, Brad again, this time playing Mickey O'Neill, the completely incomprehensible Irish gypsy in Guy Ritchie's English gangster movie Snatch. Cash prize for anyone that can understand what he's actually saying in this one (though that's, you know, kind of what the character's meant to sound like).
Bet You Didn't Know These Stars Were Irish
Bet You Didn't Know These Stars Were Irish
1/21 Jamie Dornan
Dornan hails from County Down, Northern Ireland
2/21 Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole had two birth certificates - one from Yorkshire, and one from Ireland
3/21 Dominic West
Although he was born in Yorkshire, Mr West actually hails from a strong Irish Catholic background
4/21 Michael Fassbender
His mother is from County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and apparently the great-great niece of famed Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins
5/21 Emily Ratajkowski
Model Emily Ratajkowski was born in London. Her father claims Polish-Irish ancestry
6/21 Meryl Streep
A researcher has claimed to have traced Streep's great-great grandmother Grace Strain's departure from Ireland to New York. Streep later named her daughter after the relative
7/21 John Travolta
“The emotional, romantic, whimsical part of me is Irish," Travolta has been quoted as saying. Which apparently makes him a closet Paddy (WE SAID PADDY).
8/21 Christina Aguilera
Genie in a Jameson bottle Christina Aguilera is no Dubliner, but like many Americans, claims she's Irish through her Irish-American mother.
9/21 Gwen Stefani
Her surname's Italian, but did you know Gwen's mum was Irish? Neither did we.
10/21 Charlie Sheen
Charlie's dad Martin is actually an Irish citizen, thanks to his mother Mary Ann Phelan's ancestry.
11/21 Robert De Niro
Every nation tries to claim him as their own, it seems. But apparently De Niro has Irish roots.
12/21 Mariah Carey
“My mother is Irish, my father is black and Venezuelan, and me — I’m tan, I guess.” She's also part dolphin, vocal rumours suggest.
13/21 Harrison Ford
Yes, that's right Indiana Jones is in fact an Irishman. Well, half Irish. Thanks to his dad.
14/21 Ben Stiller
Famously Jewish actor Ben Stiller is actually the son of an Irish-Catholic mum.
15/21 Alicia Keys
"I’m definitely black and Italian and a little Irish," Keys confessed.
16/21 Barack Obama
OK, so this is a long shot... But Barack Obama's great-great-grandfather was an Irish immigrant who left for America in 1850. So by American terms, the US President is a full blown Irishman.
17/21 Wayne Rooney
Figures. He does have a head shaped a little like a potato. Thanks to Irish grandparents, Rooney is also eligible to play for the Irish squad, if he wanted to.
18/21 Rosario Dawson
“I’m more Irish than anything," the Sin City star said about her cultural heritage.
19/21 Bruce Springsteen
The Boss' great-grandmother, Ann Garrity, hailed from County Westmeath.
20/21 Tom Cruise
Cruise was given a certificate of Irish heritage last year. He also played an Irishman in Far And Away. We'll let you make your minds up about that accent.
21/21 Leona Lewis
The Irish frequently try to claim Hackney-dwelling X Factor champ Leona Lewis as their own, thanks to her mother's ancestry.
Julia Roberts as ‘Mary Reilly’ – Mary Reilly (1996)
What's more offensive? Her accent, her endless monotone, or her misplaced eyebrows? Jekyll and Hyde horror Mary Reilly was not one of Julia Roberts' finest moments.
Tommy Lee Jones as ‘Ryan Gaerity’ – Blown Away (1994)
Everything about Tommy Lee Jones' IRA terrorist in Blown Away is a stereotype. Except for that accent, which is so diabolical, it's barely identifiable.
Kevin Spacey as ‘Michael Lynch’ – Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000)
You'd have thought Irish director Thaddeus O’Sullivan and Dublin bad boy Collin Farrell would have had a stern word with Kevin Spacey over his shocking accent in Ordinary Decent Criminal. But alas, they allowed him to continue vocally unchallenged.
Piers Brosnan as ‘Taffin’ – Taffin (1988)
But by far the worst Irish accent ever to grace the silver screen fell from the beer-soaked lips of an authentic Irishman. Dear Piers Brosnan, there's just no excuse for this monstrosity!
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