From Scottish actors who can’t quite master any accent other than their own, to those who decide that a certain character deserves to be a Scot, here’s our rundown of the most confusing and memorable ‘Scottish’ stars of film and TV.
Captain Haddock (Tintin the Movie)
Hard drinking, foul mouthed and with a propensity for violence; Captain Haddock of Herge’s Tintin fame sounds just like an archaic Scottish stereotype. But he wasn’t. Every hint from his creator suggested that Haddock was probably English. Fast forward to the new big screen offering and Haddock is very much the epitome of rugged Scottishness much to the chagrin of Tintin purists. Still the accent at least isn’t terrible, with Andy Serkis pulling off a better Scotsman than the more prominent saltire-waving Mike Meyers (Shrek, Fat Bastard etc).
Robb Stark (Game of Thrones)
HBO’s wonderfully cast Game of Thrones was faced with the same issue all fantasy productions have had. Namely what accents they would use. In keeping with the source materials quasi-Medieval Britain North-South divide they plumped for the sympathetic Stark family adopting a Yorkshire drawl. This worked well apart from the fact the family’s eldest son Robb (played by Scot Richard Madden) sounded more like he was from Stirling than Sheffield. Non-Scots didn’t seem to notice however and the actor’s impressive performance should have expelled any lingering linguistic issues anyone might have harboured.
Jim Malone (The Untouchables)
Connery and accents are not happy bedfellows. The ex-Edinburgh milkman has made a career out of not actually changing his voice. This has been funny and confusing in equal measures over the course of his career. Perhaps the closest he came to baffling audiences was when he played tough prohibition era Irish beat cop Jim Malone. Was he reallymaking an attempt at being Irish or was he just not as Scottish as usual? Frankly his Best Supporting Oscar for the film suggests that nobody gives a flying fuck when King Connery is concerned. See also The Hunt for Red October (Russian submarine captain) and Highlander (Egyptian warrior).
King Leonidas (300)
Homoerotic action fantasy 300 was a massive success at the cinema mostly because of it’s utterly over the top semi-naked sword and sandals silliness. Leading the multi-accented cast is Paisley’s very own Gerard Butler. Voice wise he sounds as unlike a Greek King as you could possibly imagine, yet somehow his classic “This is Sparta” line has become something of a pop-culture catchphrase.
Gimli (Lord of the Rings)
Like with Captain Haddock in Tintin, the Lord of the Rings big-screen adaptation gave cast and crew a little bit of leeway in how they brought the world of J.R.R Tolkien to life. So they gave squat, hard drinking, ginger, xenophobic dwarf Gimli a Scottish accent. John Rhys Davies Gimli rampages through the film wielding an axe and screaming crap like a drunken Saturday night tramp. A million confused fanboys went to internet meltdown. Scottish actors Ken Stott and Graham McTavish are all set for dwarf roles in the upcoming Hobbit so the chances are this won’t be a one off occurrence.
Patrick McKenna (Angels and Demons)
Ewan McGregor plays a priest from Peterhead. No wait, Portree? Oh he’s Irish . . . really!?