• Wed, May 26 2010

The Ladies in Your Box: Julianne Moore as Nancy Donovan on 30 Rock

It occurred to me how much the travesty that is Julianne Moore on 30 Rock had weasled into my subconscious as I was flipping through Vanity Fair the other day. There she was in an ad, and all I could think of, as I looked at what I once viewed as her beautiful mouth, was it opening into the horrendous butchering of a Boston accent that she’s been peddling week after week on 30 Rock.

Both fortunately and woefully unfortunately, last week was the season finale of the show, and Jack (Alec Baldwin) chose Avery (Elizabeth Banks) over Nancy. That probably means that we actually will see Julianne Moore again, but not for a while. Maybe Avery will miscarry her baby and Jack will be back to square one, or maybe Avery will leave him. Twist!

Regardless, Moore muddied my box with her “acting” for far too long for me to let it rest, and so now, in the 11th hour, I will give voice to my frustration (you’re welcome).

Julianne Moore is a great actress. She was phenomenal in “A Single Man” and “Far From Heaven,” she has great hair, and she doesn’t (it seems) lie about her age. She also hasn’t had a lot of Botox, which is greatly to her credit. But whenever she turned up on 30 Rock and whipped out that atrocity, I nearly threw up every Fenway frank I had ever eaten.

At first I thought she was playing someone with a speech impediment. True story. Then I thought she was playing someone with special needs. Also a true story, and not meant to be derogatory. It was only then, and with great horror, that I realized what she was doing was playing someone from my hometown. Or should I say, trying and failing miserably to play someone from my hometown.

Ladies, not since Freddie Prinze Jr.’s mug began popping up on the small screen have we faced such an affront to our box. Hear this, Julianne Moore — just because you’re taking a guest role on a TV show rather than trying for another Oscar nomination doesn’t mean that you can simply show up, puke some words out, kick Big Papi in the head, and waltz off the soundstage. I will not stand for it — not the mangling of the accent nor the mangling of my favorite TV show. How dare you give voice to that preposterous nonsense when you are speaking alongside such lines as “I will not have it besmirched on my aircraft” and “did they put gay juice in the punch”?

Not only that, but last week, you shared an episode with Matt Damon. Matt Damon! The only passable Boston accent ever caught on tape, in “Good Will Hunting.” You, my friend, are lucky that he didn’t call “cut,” walk across the set, and slap you. You would have deserved it.

Here, courtesy of Julianne Moore, we have learned several lessons. 1) 99.9% of actors cannot do a Boston accent. 2) We can tell when you haven’t been practicing, Hollywood. 3) Yes — you can single-handedly ruin a show, even when you only have a guest spot, and it does take writing as good as Tina Fey’s to even begin to distract from some things that are otherwise so horrible they might cause me to put a shoe through my beloved box.

Thanks for nothing, Julianne Moore. And good riddance.

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  • jamo

    best show on tv…. but agreed, that accent was atrocious.

  • Jennifer Wright

    Okay, the accent was odd, but I actually really liked the character! It was interesting to get a feel for where Jack was from, and I’m pretty happy to see Julianne Moore in just about anything.

    • TNN

      Julianne Moore’s accent on 30 Rock was done for COMIC EFFECT.
      The show is a comedy and she was exaggerating the accent on purpose. She is a BU graduate, she waited tables in Boston and she knows what Bostonians sound like. The accent was for a laugh.

      Can people stop hating her for doing a comic turn on a clomedy?
      She’s brilliant, versatile and she is a four Oscar nominee.

      Knock it off!

  • somekindofthing

    I’m a Canadian and have only visited Boston a few times in my life. But when I heard that accent I couldn’t believe my ears… it was the worst. At first I thought she was playing a deaf person, no offence to deaf people (It’s always painful hearing a hearing actor portray a deaf person too). I found it extremely distracting and I’m sure the only reason it passed the NBC filter is that it was coming out of Julianne Moore’s mouth. Julianne Moore is an otherwise great actor – but I may never again be able to look at her again without thinking about this unfortunate role.

    • Werewolf Bar Mitzva

      The accent was done for laughs and that means exaggerating the accent. Even a real Boston accent sounds comic. What did you expect, Kate Winslet’s voice? Moore is one of the best actresses of her time. People here don’t seem to understand that 30 Rock was a comedy with over the top characters. Julianne Moore was playing an over the top character but her scenes with Alec Baldwin were funny and memorable. Getting so bent about Julianne Moore is ridiculous. If you’re so offended, then don’t watch 30 Rock. Most critics loved her work on it so try to live with that.