The audience simply does not understand these stars: many of them need subtitles for Marvel and Netflix hits – cinema news

The audience simply does not understand these stars: many of them need subtitles for Marvel and Netflix hits – cinema news

A study has shown which actors the audience understands the worst and therefore needs subtitles. Since it is a US study, Til Schweiger does not appear. Up front is a Marvel star who’s been the subject of many complaints…

Sony Pictures

If you were to carry out a corresponding study in Germany, it might be the one who is often criticized for his mumbling Til Schweiger at the top. But a study published in 2022 by Preblywhich focused on the use of subtitles, was conducted with US audiences – and “Venom” star Tom Hardy is right up front and can now boast of being the “worst-to-understand actor”. Hardy has a long history when it comes to ambiguous and slurred pronunciation.

Especially in Christopher Nolan’s films “The Dark Knight Rises” and “DunkirkThere was a lot of discussion about how difficult it was to understand Hardy (in the Batman sequel, his soundtrack was edited again after initial criticism). In this case, however, it was primarily a decision made by the director Christopher Nolan for sound mixing. He wanted Hardy’s character, hidden under a mask in both cases, to be difficult to understand. But in general, Hardy is considered an actor who always speaks very unclearly, so that his Marvel hits like “Venom” are often only watched with subtitles. His series “Peaky Blinders‘ was voted the most difficult TV program to understand.

US audiences have a problem with accents

Overall, the study shows that US audiences have a problem with accents. The hardest-to-understand series after Peaky Blinders are also all characterized by distinct accents from various regions of Great Britain and Ireland: “Derry Girls“, „Game Of Thrones“, „Outlander“, Downton Abbey” and “Bridgerton“ follow in places 2 to 6.

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And even among the stars, behind Hardy there are only names of actors who speak with an accent. At rank 2 it is like that Sofia Vergara, whereby her (exaggerated) Mexican pronunciation in the sitcom jewel “Modern Family” should also play a role. Behind it there is the Austrian tongue stroke of Arnold Schwarzenegger ranked 3rd ahead of James Bond legend’s Scottish accent Sean Connery on the 4. The top 5 decides Johnny Depp – known for all sorts of absurd pronunciation whims that he invents for his roles.

Apart from Hardy, accents are probably a bigger problem for the US audience than mumbling à la Til Schweiger. Actually, Hollywood’s biggest mumbler Brad Pitt (before Hardy) is only found in 12th place – behind names like Jackie Chan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Caine, James McAvoy and Salma Hayekall of whom actually speak very clearly, but with a clear accent.

The trend is towards subtitles

As described above, the study examined the it’s available entirely at, especially the use of subtitles. Interesting: when watching films and series at home on streaming services such as Netflix or physical media such as Blu-ray US audiences are turning to subtitles more and more, even for titles in their native English language.

Half of the people in the US now use subtitles at home. The younger the audience, the more the use of subtitles actually increases. While the so-called baby boomers, i.e. the people who were roughly born between 1950 and 1965, only make up a little more than a third (35%), the millennials (year of birth around 1981 to 1996) already have 53% and in Generation Z (born 1997 to 2012) even more than two thirds (70%).

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As this trend already makes clear, the ability to hear, which may be limited by age, is not the biggest reason for suddenly using subtitles. The main reasons are much more that the audio track is generally very unclear (looking at you Christopher Nolan), as stated by 72% of the respondents, and that accents are difficult to understand, which is cited as a reason by 61%.

When it comes to the unclear audio track, 78% of those questioned also complain that, in their opinion, background music in films and series makes it too difficult to understand dialogue.

“I looked like a friggin’ Teletubbie”: Russell Crowe got really upset about that while filming “Gladiator”.

2023-08-15 20:34:14


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