Anonymous asked: For Cherry and other Brits. How is Rupert’s Scottish accent in Stryka? I adore it, as an American!! Please tell me it is spot on.
Thanks for giving me a good reason to rewatch Stryka – a weird and wonderful beastie, where Rupes provides what shortoftheweek.com described as ‘a bit of star power’. More than a bit, I’d say! Seeing his cute spikey hair again was a nostalgia trip in itself. But my mission was his accent …
And, guess what? Those of you who remember my previous ventures into the ‘British’ accent won’t be surprised to hear that for Scottish, too, there’s no such thing; it’s a loose umbrella term for a myriad different, localisable ways of speaking. And here, our boy is smashing the Edinburgh accent. I say to Rupes, as Callen says to Stryka (7’30”): ‘Your accent’s amazing!’
The film script has none of the traditional ‘broad’ Scottish dialect: classics such as ‘wee’, ‘bonny’ ‘heed’ (for head), ‘aye’ or ‘bairn’ which anyone impersonating a Scot would most likely use as they’re so clichéd. But the accent is immediately recognisable as authentically Scottish because it’s a classic, precise Edinburgh accent (much softer, clearer and less ‘shouty’ than other types, such as Glaswegian – from Glasgow) and so, widely favoured for international intelligibility. One key feature is the vowel sound ‘oo’, which is identical in words such as ‘foot’, ‘good’, ‘school’ and ‘choose’, so that ‘pool’ and ‘pull’ are indistinguishable.
Rupert hits all the right notes – the squashed vowel in ‘phone’, the audible ‘r’ in ‘ears open’, the rising intonation at the end of questions (‘what are you guys up to?’, ‘What’s phase two?’), overly pronounced medial ‘t’ alongside glottal stopped final ‘t’ (‘nineteen seconds’, ‘about it’). Especially diagnostic is his fabulous ‘great’ – splitting the diphthong with a slightly trilled ‘r’ (worth a listen – he repeats it three times at 4’55”).
Looking more closely, he’s given Callen a particular subset of the Edinburgh accent, very close to Ewan MacGregor. This is known as the ‘Millennial’ Edinburgh accent, favoured by students and the upwardly mobile. Leaves me wondering, does he have friends from Edinburgh? And was it his idea to make Callen Scottish? Further research needed.