Watch The Artist’s Jean Dujardin Audition for the Villain in Every Hollywood Movie

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 24 2012 5:15 PM

Did You See This? Jean Dujardin Plays Every Hollywood Villain

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French actor Jean Dujardin.

Photo by DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images

Previously, we speculated that the reason Jean Dujardin’s character in The Artist didn’t have a future in talkies was his thick French accent. There’s been some debate about this (see the comments below that post); whatever the case, Dujardin himself clearly has a sense of humor about his (intentionally?) awkward English. As Dana Stevens just mentioned in Slate’s Oscar roundtable, the actor recently made a video for Funny Or Die in which he pokes fun at his own accent—along with about 50 other things:

The video works on multiple levels: It parallels the plot of The Artist (a successful actor attempts to energize his career by trying something new); it mocks the (unfortunately often true) stereotype that the only roles for European actors in Hollywood are as action villains; and it mocks the generally terrible dialogue of action movies, especially action sequels (“Game over, Lisbeth Salander; your dragon tattoo cannot save you now”).

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But it also subverts the idea that action roles are always one-dimensional. Even though it’s in the service of humor, Dujardin shows off some serious acting chops here and injects a surprising amount of variation and emotional depth into his split-second fake audition tapes. Here’s hoping Funny or Die is right, and Dujardin has a long Hollywood career in front of him. (Here’s also hoping he gets some decent scripts.)

L.V. Anderson is a Slate assistant editor. She edits Slate's food and drink sections and writes Brow Beat's recipe column, You're Doing It Wrong.