Over this past holiday season, Fifty Shades of Grey actor Jamie Dornan paired with Emily Blunt to make a romance set in the Irish countryside in Wild Mountain Thyme. What harm could come from a movie about a wholesome love story? As it turns out, some harm considering the movie received some brutal backlash for its depiction of Irish accents from the region.
Months after its release and in anticipation for the film soon reaching streaming, Jamie Dornan has responded to the criticism for the film’s use of Northern Irish accents. Since the Wild Mountain Thyme’s first trailer was released, Irish audiences took to social media to call the depiction of the dialect “atrocious” and a “crime”. Dornan recently said this about the complaints:
It's kind of par for the course, I'm from Ireland and we're known for taking the piss pretty much out of everything - it almost comes with the territory. I think that's fine, and at the end of the day, everyone's going to have their opinion. We are doing the accents that we planned to do. There're so many dialects based on a very small island and I get the piss taken out of me for the way I sound all the time, just as me. A lot of people don't understand me all the time, and that's fine. That's something I've dealt with my whole life.
Jamie Dornan also told Sky News that he’s “not going to lose any sleep” over the backlash, especially considering there are so many versions of the Irish accent. The movie Wild Mountain Thyme takes place in Mullingar, a small market town in the county of Westmeath, in the Midlands Region of the island. Dornan is Irish himself but grew up in Belfast located in Northern Ireland.
Emily Blunt, on the other hand, is a British actress who got her accent from an upbringing in southwest London. Actors use accents all the time and, while they certainly tried their hardest to nail the accent of the region their farmer characters were from , it’s clear not everyone was happy with how they went about it. Here’s how Emily Blunt responded to the Wild Mountain Thyme outrage:
I think it was sort of to be expected in some ways, I think we all knew it on the day. We're neither of us from that part of the world. And so ultimately, when you're doing an accent, you just do your best.
Emily Blunt not only took on the Irish accent for Wild Mountain Thyme, she also sang a song for the film, which she told CinemaBlend she was still super nervous about even after her work in Into the Woods and Mary Poppins Returns. You can check out their accents in the trailer below:
The movie written/directed by Doubt and Joe Versus the Volcano’s John Patrick Shanley was based on his play about his own family farm in Northern Ireland. The movie features Jamie Dornan and Emily Blunt as awkward neighboring farmers, as a family feud rocks their usual peaceful dwelling. Though I’m admittedly not from Ireland, I’d award the most obviously worst accent in the movie to the great Christopher Walken, who just can’t crack through his iconic New Yorker voice, as Dornan’s stubborn Irish father.
You can check out Wild Mountain Thyme is coming to Hulu on April 25 aside from available rental and purchase options.