Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

30 Rock Recap: Julianne Moore, Welcome to the Bad Boston Accent Hall of Fame!

Julianne Moore came back to 30 Rock last night, playing Jack Donaghy’s former high-school pal turned current object-of-desire. Also back with her? That atrocious Boston accent. Seriously, why make her character from Boston at all if she sounds like she's in a Tampa dinner-theater adaptation of Good Will Hunting? We suppose it’s possible it’s being played for laughs, but our theory goes something like this: Tina Fey booked Moore naturally assuming the talented and versatile actress could whip up a passable dialect; then, when Moore showed up on set toting that thing around, Fey didn’t have the heart to tell her more famous guest star to drop it. Anyway, we know we’re moving quickly here, but after two appearances we’d like to officially induct Moore’s accent into the annals of TV and cinema’s worst-ever Boston accents. Congrats!

Coincidentally, inspired by Mel Gibson’s shaky accent in the Edge of Darkness trailer, AMCtv.com just did a list on the topic yesterday. They highlight some truly low moments, including Tim Robbins in Mystic River, Joe Pesci in With Honors, and Diane Lane in The Perfect Storm. To that, we’d like to respectfully add: Rob Morrow in Quiz Show and Bebe Neuwirth in Malice (did she learn nothing from Cheers? Then again, though it may be heresy to say, Cliff Clavin never got it right, either). Also: Jeff Bridges in Blown Away and Jack Nicholson in The Departed, partially because Jack forgot he was doing a Boston accent half the time. (Also, "dooly appointed federal mahshall" Leonardo Dicaprio isn’t sounding so hot in Shutter Island, which is odd, as he pulled it off in The Departed.) Unsurprisingly, it’s mostly been actual Boston-area natives — like Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, and Rachel Dratch — who have done Massholes everywhere proud. To the rest of Hollywood: If you are making a Boston movie, we are totally okay with you using your regular talking voices.

Check out Moore's accent:

Photo: Ali Goldstein/NBC