Continuing the House of Cards theme today (can you guess that I just finished the third season last night?), I ran across a pretty interesting video about the accent that Kevin Spacey's uses in the show. Spacey's character, Frank Underwood, hails from South Carolina and speaks in a somewhat peculiar way. Personally, as someone who lives in Atlanta and married into an Alabama family, I've become a little sensitive to the way in which southerners are portrayed. Spacey's accent definitely rubbed me the wrong way sometimes, especially when he looks into the camera and dispenses some country wisdom. Some people that I know here think that his accent is little better than a caricature and one friend said that he "sounds like Foghorn Leghorn."
But Spacey is very good with impressions in talk shows and the like, so I have always been sort of skeptical of the notion that his accent is simply not very good. The video explains that his accent is actually native to a very specific part of the south, and that one would be more likely to hear this particular way of speaking in an older or wealthier person. Along the way, the video talks about the different styles of southern speech and how some things that we think of as southern (like "r dropping") actually happen in many different dialects.
It's a few minutes long, but I think it rewards watching. The video can be found here. Enjoy!