10 Actors who didn't bother with accents

The stars who'd rather do it their way.

Jason Statham stars in US thriller 'Homefront' this week, but once again it's impossible to figure out if his DEA agent is an American or a Brit, thanks to his muddled Transatlantic accent.

[Jason Statham: I could never replace Stallone]

We imagine Statham gave up on trying to lilt his vocals one way or the other a while ago, but he's not the only one: there are plenty of actors who, when faced with the tricky prospect of attempting an accent, decide not to bother at all. The lazy swines.

Kevin Costner in 'Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves'
Supposed to sound: British
Actually sounds: American
The classic English folk tale was given an unwelcome Yankee twist when our Kev refused to attempt a British accent for the 1991 Hollywood version. Californian Costner was in good company, to be fair, as Christian Slater's take on Will Scarlett sounded like he hailed from Nottingham by way of New York. Still, judging by the grief Russell Crowe got for his attempt at an authentic accent, maybe it was best Kevin stuck with his natural twang.

Tom Cruise in 'Valkyrie'
Supposed to sound:
Actually sounds: American
Bryan Singer's reasoning behind having his Valkyrie cast speak in their native accents is fairly sound – rather that, he said, than have them put on a phony German voice – but in practice, it's way more distracting having a Nazi commander talk like he's in 'Top Gun'. Singer did offset the (mild) controversy by having Cruise's character Colonel Stauffenberg open the movie speaking German, which slowly phased into Tom's familiar New York accent to clue the audience in as to why the Nazis were American.

Sean Connery in 'Highlander'
Supposed to sound:
Actually sounds:
One actor you probably wouldn't consider to play a character named 'Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez' is Sean Connery, the man with the thickest Scottish accent on the planet. Director Russell Mulcahy claims Connery's inappropriate brogue was a gag, but that doesn't exactly explain why Scottish legend Connor McLeod is played by an extremely French Christopher Lambert. You'd think he'd have taken accshent tipsh from Sean.

Michael Caine in 'On Deadly Ground'
Supposed to sound: Texan

Actually sounds: like Michael Caine
Like Connery, Caine's distinctive Cockney accent is part and parcel of the whole package – you can't hire Michael Caine without the voice. His character, ruthless CEO Michael Jennings, was supposed to be from Texas, but Caine only pays lip service to this fact on every fifth syllable. Of course, this is a movie in which Steven Seagal plays an eskimo crusader named Forrest, so hardly anyone noticed.

John Wayne in 'The Conqueror'
Supposed to sound:
Actually sounds: American
A great actor though he was, John Wayne always struggled to shake off his cowboy persona, but he didn't do himself any favours in this biopic of Genghis Khan, woefully miscast as the titular conqueror with an embarrassing 'slanty-eyed' make-up job the only concession to the Asian origins of the character.

[Jason Statham: Most of my roles are one-dimensional]

Wayne's delivery on lines like "Yer beautiful in yer wrath" and "We'll chase them like rats across the tundra" makes Khan seems like a native of the Wild West and not the Far East.

Michael Fassbender in 'X-Men: First Class'
Supposed to sound:
Actually sounds: Irish
Fassbender is a cultural melting pot, with German and Irish parentage, but his accent in 'X-Men: First Class' flew around Europe faster than RyanAir. The opening of the movie shows Erik Lensherr as a young Jewish boy during the Holocaust, but by the film's final sequence, Magneto whispers his threats to humanity in a barely-disguised Irish burr. Maybe they'll explain his accent in 'Days Of Future Past' with time travel or something.

Jean-Claude Van Damme in 'Hard Target'
Supposed to sound:
Actually sounds: Belgian
There's no masking Van Damme's Belgian accent – he's not called 'The Muscles from Brussels' because he loves sprouts. JCVD's character Chance Boudreaux in John Woo's 'Hard Target', however, is supposed to be a drifter native to New Orleans and the attempt to pass off his accent as 'Cajun' is... shall we say, unconvincing. Thankfully, Van Damme lets his fists and feet do most of the talking.

Gerard Butler in '300'
Supposed to sound:
Actually sounds: Scottish
The history books make no mention of legendary Greek leader King Leonidas enjoying lengthy vacations in Scotland, but we've no other explanation as to why Gerard Butler's warrior in '300' talks – and spits – in a distinct Paisley accent. This is definitely a blessing in disguise, because we can't wrap our minds around a Scottish guy attempting to sound Greek. Best we just enjoy all the punching, kicking, stabbing and kicking people in holes.

Sean Bean in 'Troy'
Supposed to sound:
Actually sounds: like he's from Sheffield
Like Gerard Butler keeping his rasping Scottish accent in historical epic '300', Sean Bean was allowed to keep his native tongue in 'Troy' – his King Odysseus sounded like he was a Blades fan. The man we like to call Mr Bean rarely adopts an accent because his voice has become so well known – whether he's hissing menacing threats in one of his numerous bad guy roles or generously offering you free texts on your phone plan.

Richard Attenborough in 'Jurassic Park'
Supposed to sound:
Actually sounds: English
Dickie does his level best to stick with a Scottish dialect in the opening 30 minutes of Steven Spielberg's dinosaur epic, but by the time the fences start failing all over 'Jurassic Park', Attenborough reverts to his default plummy English accent – aside from the occasional use of the word "wee" in casual conversation. He didn't even bother trying when he made his cameo in The Lost World four years later.