Finally Hollywood has brought through its ranks someone who can pull off a South African accent without getting laughed off stage. This has been a point of some concern for South Africans who have seen their lovely accent slaughtered in films like Lethal Weapon 2 and Mission Impossible 2.
It seems to always be racist villains that get lumbered with the task, that and cheesy action sequels. An exception was “the interpreter”, where Nicole Kidman, wisely stayed away from doing a “full blown” rendition and opted for a softer inferred accent. Even so it was still a little crap, and if Nicole Kidman can’t pull it off then who can. Remember she kissed Tom “alien lover“ Cruise with a straight face!.
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Strangely enough, South African actors in Hollywood, never get to use their elusive and enigmatic voice in films. Arnold Vosloo was “the Mummy” in the “The Mummy” and would have been much scarier if he was Afrikaans. Charlize Theron, would have been far more believable as a serial-killer-lesbian, if she spoke like us.
Apparently Leo is the man we were waiting for. Leonardo Dicaprio, is the first to my knowledge that has managed to get the subtle guttural tones without it sounding parodic or just plain silly.
He also went one step further to mimic the “meat eating” body language of our fair nation. Our hats are off to him and he is welcome back any time. What is funny though is that American critics slated his accent as being too affected, hehe.
Actually while he was here filming, my wife bumped into him at the Diesel shop at the V&A Waterfront, the shop assistants were all in a tizz and dragged up rails from the other diesel shops and closed the doors for a private shopping spree. The pressure!. Its got to be annoying, maybe he was just going in to ask where the toilets were: Wheh aah thu toyluts, bru”