M – RA has spoken Russian, French and German in his roles so far. How good was he and which one was your favourite?
Who can resist a(n attractive) man with an accent? Any actor will do well to take on at least one role where he plays a foreigner, I think. Well, at least it worked with me. My “first” was Lucas North with his fluent Russian. I absolutely loved the guttural sounds emerging from Lucas’ swan-like neck. And even more so when he played the haughty, sexily-bespectacled Russian oligarch in Spooks 8×6. [Fast forward to 6.20 in the clip below.]
I have been hunting unsuccessfully for the scene in Spooks 7×1 where Lucas speaks Russian on the phone. It sounded convincing to me – but then again, I do not speak Russian. I asked my RLRA friend (who is half-Russian) how good his accent was, and she regretfully informed me that it was not as authentic as I thought. Bah.
I also liked Richard’s attempt at old French in Pilgrimage as Raymond de Merville. Ah, mais oui, le Francais, c’est la langue d’amour… *melts in a puddle*. Making those retching sounds in your throat in order to produce an authentic sounding /r/ is not easy for English speakers, and he does it pretty well. But again, my French is too rudimentary to make any qualitative judgment. Squirrel, April, what do you say?
The only language I *can* make a judgment call on, is German, spoken by Richard as Daniel Miller in BS. If you think this is my favourite foreign language as spoken by RA, well, au contraire! I am simply too close to that language, too discerning an audience to be able to ignore the pronunciation mistakes. Having said that, I had the impression that RA’s German definitely improved with the later episodes of the show – I suppose it helped that he was immersed in the German language in his surroundings during several months of filming in Berlin. Here is an example, clipped by Servetus, on whose blog you will actually find extensive discussion about RA’s attempts at German.
Just for comparison’s sake, here is a native speaker of German saying the same sentence:
With a little bit of time having passed since I saw the episode, I actually think that RA is doing an ok job. He wouldn’t pass as the native speaker that Daniel Miller is meant to be, but he gets many of the characteristic sounds of German right. But yeah, it just doesn’t float my boat.
So to summarise: My favourite accent/language is RA speaking Russian. Preferably with glasses on. 🤓