Is Richard Armitage more American when I can’t see him?

Listen to that Sirius interview — and tell me if Gary’s accent doesn’t sound more successful when you can’t see the film? This gets back to my question about the components to “seeming American” that are detached from the accent. My answer? Yeah — the accent sounds better when I can’t see him. So part of the issue fro me is that I simply know “how Richard Armitage is supposed to sound” and it’s hard for me to abstract from that when he doesn’t sound that way — a failure of my own imagination.

~ by Servetus on August 8, 2014.

8 Responses to “Is Richard Armitage more American when I can’t see him?”

  1. Yeah, when I see RA, I expect a British accent to come out of that mouth. I just do. I have to get over that. Plenty of Brits play American characters these days . . .

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    • it’s part of why all of these ITS interviews were so reassuring — it was like, oh yes, I recognize that Richard.

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      • It’s funny, the first time I ever remember seeing Damian Lewis, a fellow Brit actor, was in “Band of Brothers” playing an American officer. And I thought he was American. So hearing him speak with his Brit accent that first time was totally disconcerting. “That’s not how Major Dick Winters sounds!” I have enjoyed all the various ITS interviews. He seems in such a good place in his life right now.

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        • Interesting how accent can so heavily affect our perception of someone, but I suppose not surprising.

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          • There have been studies on this that have shown Americans are more likely to estimate a person’s IQ as higher if they have an English accent — any English accent — and lower if they have an American accent, especially a regional American accent. So yeah, clearly, accents very much do inform our perceptions of people.

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            • Speaking of “any English accent,” it’s amusing that many Americans thought of Cary Grant as having a posh accent, when it actually wasn’t.

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            • Oh, I know. When I went to college in Texas and people made fun of my Wisconsin, I consciously tried to lose it (and succeeded for the most part). The woman in grad school with us who couldn’t get rid of her South Dakota accent suffered the whole time under misestimations of her professionalism because of the way she spoke. And when I lived in Germany, one of the professors I worked for was worried I was losing too much of my American accent and told me specifically that it made me seem more charming and friendly when I spoke German. I guess what I’m musing over more is my higher level of skepticism of the accent when I actually see his face, speaking, than when I am just listening to a radio interview where exactly the same scene is playing.

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  2. Yes !..and for me Gary sounds sexy 🙂

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