Boston accent how-to video: Guide shows how why Bostonian dialect is difficult.

Actors Are Wicked Awful at the Boston Accent. Here’s Why.

Actors Are Wicked Awful at the Boston Accent. Here’s Why.

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Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Sept. 16 2015 8:39 AM

Why Are Boston Accents So Wicked Awful in Movies? A Video Explainer.  

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Courtesy of Mirimax

Johnny Depp (in Black Mass, due out Friday) and Chris Pine (The Finest Hours, coming next year) are the latest actors to attempt Boston accents. Early footage suggests they are also the latest to fumble them, at least partly. Why does Hollywood almost always get the tricky Beantown dialect wrong?

In the video above, Boston native Seth Stevenson demonstrates the do's and don'ts of non-rhoticity, the intrusive r, and the broad a. Soon enough, you'll be pahking cahs, sawring wood, and taking a bahth.

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Thanks to Professor Thom’s in New York for use of its bahh.

Seth Stevenson is a senior writer at Slate, where he’s been a contributor since 1997. He is the author of Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World.

Jonathan O'Beirne is a New York-based director of photography and editor. You can see more of his work here.