Posted Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, at 5:15 PM
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”).
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.)