Harry, Bruv, Is It a Bad Accent or Just Bad Acting?

In a new clip from Olivia Wilde’s upcoming film Don’t Worry Darling, Harry Styles makes the case for sticking to music.

Harry, Bruv, Is It a Bad Accent or Just Bad Acting?
Screenshot:Warner Bros.

This week, Harry “I Know Everyone Is Wet for Me” Styles kicked off a 15-concert streak at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He enjoyed a mostly positive, mostly vague profile story in Rolling Stone. And publicity for his upcoming film Don’t Worry Darling, directed by his partner Olivia Wilde and co-starring Florence Pugh, is finally ramping up after a deliciously petty news cycle about Pugh seemingly refusing to promote the film. Harry Styles is undoubtedly having a moment! I never said it was an entirely good one!

On Wednesday, Wilde’s sophomoric effort, billed as a psychological thriller, released a new clip of its two leads arguing about their relationship. In the film, Styles and Pugh play a married couple living in a “utopian experimental community” in the 1950s. But it’s not so much the substance of the clip (there isn’t any, by the way) that’s psychologically thrilling. It’s Style’s stunningly awful accent.

Pugh utters one line and steals the entire scene, while Styles over-contorts his face and rants in an accent that shifts from, as one Twitter user put it, “Yorkshire to Boston to the Bronx.” Look, he really wants his pretend-housewife to remember that this is “OWER LYFE, OWER LYFE!!” The result is akin to Fergie singing the national anthem that one time, or an unconvincing fake orgasm.

Perhaps some mysterious plotline in Don’t Worry Darling will explain this hodgepodge of lilts. Fans have also claimed that this is just how Styles talks in his everyday life—apparently, his “Cheshire accent” (he grew up in Holmes Chapel, a village in Cheshire in the UK). But he sounds like a totally unremarkable British bloke in recent interviews, and those same fans already called Styles out for a mashed-up mystery meat accent earlier this year. Besides, if that’s just how he talks, then it’s not a bad accent, it’s bad acting. Don’t forget that Wilde initially chose the beleaguered Shia LaBeouf over Styles for the role. Let’s just say not many actors are getting passed over for Shia—the man accused of physical abuse and anger management issues—in this climate.

To Harry, I’ll say: Not every musician needs to make the grand pivot to film. Not everyone is gonna be Lady Gaga. In fact, some of you will simply be waiting for “Applause” that may never come. Sorry, Harry. Great ass, though.

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