The cast of Ridley Scott‘s “House of Gucci” has received some harsh criticism for their Italian accents.
Dialect coach Garrett Strommen, who runs a Los Angeles dialect coaching company, recently sat down with Heather Schwedel of Slate to share his opinions on the best and worst accents in the film.
Starting from worst to best, Strommen said that Jeremy Irons had the least believable accent in the film. Former “Star Wars” actor Adam Driver, who played Maurizio Gucci, came in next to last.
Driver’s accent was described as “effortlessly American,” especially in the way that he pronounced his vowel shifts. At one point, Driver says, “I didn’t know.” Strommen says that “didn’t” should have been pronounced more like “deedn’t.” He also pointed out that he didn’t trill his Rs, which seemed to be something much of the cast struggled with.
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Adding that he was “extremely stiff with the gesticulation,” he said that Driver wasn’t consistent and swayed back and forth between sounding Italian and American. He did give Driver props for his scenes with Italian actors, where his accent sounded much stronger.
Slightly better than Driver was a tie between Al Pacino and Lady Gaga.
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Lady Gaga, who portrayed Patrizia Gucci, has received a lot of criticism for her accent, which some have claimed sounded more Russian than Italian. Despite the inconsistency in her accent, Strommen believed that the lines she spoke in Italian were the best by far.
He also said that Gaga uniquely “conveyed an Italian spirit.” He says that her accented line “I get bored” in the film was pronounced perfectly, especially when it came to the execution of her vowels.
He also says that she did a good job trilling her Rs and pronouncing th- sounds; however, she did occasionally slip into an American accent when performing certain words that began with an H, like hotel. The H sound is not common in Italian; instead, it would be pronounced “OH-telh.”
Although Strommen believes that Pacino “did his homework,” he said he was not “too impressed” with his Italian accent.
He says that his th- sounds were well pronounced, his cadence was good, and his accent wasn’t over the top. He also mentioned that Pacino did the best job of incorporating the Italian soul by using hand gestures that were lost on the rest of the cast. Although, like Driver, he also had trouble trilling his Rs.
Saving the best for last is… Jared Leto?
It may surprise some that “Suicide Squad” actor Jared Leto actually had the best-rated accent out of the cast. “I feel like he won, but he really messed it up with that tonic accent,” Strommen admitted. “It’s hard to get past that.”
Apparently Leto “did so much right, but then really kind of messed it up.” He went over the top on the Italian accent, which seemed more like a caricature of the accent instead of a true accent, sometimes going as far as to add extra syllables to things like “no spring chicken-uh.”
However, he hit his consonants “kind of hard and heavy,” which Strommen described as “very Italian.” He also was astonished by how well he pronounced his vowel sounds, which he described as “remarkable.”
Strommen concluded, “At one point, I even wondered if he was Italian, because at first I didn’t really even recognize him in his makeup.”