Sunday, 28 September 2008

When You Say What You Do With Those Words That You Use

I love House, even if the increase in complex and exciting medical diagnostic medical dramas does mean that every time Joe Bloggs stubs his toe every member of his extended family tries to cram into the consulting room with him, howling things about how they think the problem is caused by an electrical instability in his prelaminated cortex.

The reason for my love is pretty simple.

Hugh Laurie.

Hugh Laurie is awesome.
And even if I do have to work through my default images of him as George in Blackadder (Larks Larks Larks!) or as Bertie Wooster (having his spuds pulled out of the fire by Stephen Fry's Jeeves) in Jeeves and Wooster before I get to grumpy, crippled genius I can still appreciate the beauty of a Pom pretending to be a Yank cussing out an Aussie for being a colonist*. Whilst deeply worrying me about the validity of medical diagnoses. Boy I hope I never get a confusing illness.
And, oh the sarcasm! Oh the arrogance! The world loves a bastard as long as they're at a distance and not sharpening their tongue on you personally.
I know I've dreamed of telling folk exactly what I think of them but am at heart a profiterole - flaky with a sweet squishy filling - and would melt into apologies the moment I made them cry.

And now I come to think about it, Hugh (I like to think we'd be on a first name basis if we'd ever met and I wasn't half his age and about as edgy as a circle) isn't the only fellow today regularly pretending to be from somewhere he is not.
The British especially seem to have such fun playing American characters. Like Damian Lewis who plays Charlie Crews in Life, which I also love**.

Another show, strangely enough, with someone wandering around on the outside of normal behaviour, enjoying themselves an inordinate amount and playing with conversation like a kitten with a ball of wool. Also there is murder.

Using a foreign accent can draw actors a lot of flak, especially when it's an American pretending to be anything else than an American. Some American actors can do it wonderfully, others not so much. But if you aren't an American you seem to get a bit more leeway. It's a harsh system but so it goes. The negative version of affirmative action.

So who else have we got?
Oh yes, there's Eddie Izzard also being American in The Riches and acting devious and roguish which is the way I like Izzard to act.

Then there's Stuart Townsend, an Irish actor who I have seen playing characters with decent French and English accents.
I've always thought it must be more difficult coming at one distinctive accent from another, like having to unlearn one set of conventions as you try to replace it with another.
I could be wrong though. I know nothing about elocution and have never established with any confidence why the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.

You may be wondering by this stage what my point is.
Well I'm pretty sure I had one when I started but somewhere along the way I forgot what it was and used that as an excuse to post pictures of guys I wouldn't mind doinking.
I get distracted easily.

*I am aware that he was also the father in the Stuart Little movies but have thus far not seen them as I have been warned that the combination of cross-species adoption, tiny outfits and family values may be too heartwarming and spontaneous human combustion is a hell of a way to go.

**Partly because I would just like to take Charlie Crews home with me and nibble him all over.

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