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Mysteries of Hollywood Pronunciation -- Revealed!

Photo of Sam Adams By Sam Adams | Criticwire October 15, 2013 at 10:06AM

Amanda Seyfried? Chiwetel Ejiofor? Steve Buscemi? Criticwire has the answers.
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It makes Chiwetel Ejiofor sad when people mispronounce his name.
It makes Chiwetel Ejiofor sad when people mispronounce his name.

Follow enough movie critics on Twitter, and with some regularity you'll come across something like this:

Tweet 2

But take heart, would-be authorities: Empire's "Hollywood Pronunciation Guide" is here to help. Its 50 entries cover not only recent arrivals like David Oyelowo and Saoirse Ronan, but long-standing bugbears like Martin Scorsese and Steve Buscemi, which even people who've worked with them for years are apt to get wrong. Ordinarily, slideshows drive us nuts, but in this case, you might need the second it takes to click through to commit the proper phonemes to memory. In case you're not the patient type, we've compiled an index to the troublesome monikers (skipping over such bizarre inclusions as "Wes Anderson"). You might want to bookmark this post for future reference in case anyone gives you a hard time for saying Mia Wasikowska's name properly. Sure, they may look at you like Wallace Shawn in Manhattan, but it's a small price to pay for being right.

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Zooey Deschanel

Ralph Fiennes

Adewale Akkinnuoye-Agbaje

M. Night Shyamalan

Chloe Sevigny

Martin Scorsese (Hear the Golden Globes announcer and Robert DeNiro get it wrong here.)

Mia Wasikowska

Milla Jovovich

Rachel Weisz

David Oyelowo

Zack Galifianakis

Saoirse Ronan

Steve Buscemi

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Mireille Enos

Lena Headey

Colm Meaney

Charlize Theron (Another option from the Afrikaaner herself.)

Famke Janssen

Cillian Murphy

Gabourey Sidibe

Kim Basinger

Amanda Seyfried

Nicolas Winding Refn


This article is related to: From the Wire, Martin Scorsese, Steve Buscemi, Chewitel Ejiofor, David Oyelowo, Saoirse Ronan, Zooey Deschanel, Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Chloƫ Sevigny, Mia Wasikowska, Zach Galifianakis, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Colm Meaney, Charlize Theron, Cillian Murphy, Amanda Seyfried, Nicolas Winding Refn, Kim Basinger, Gabourey Sidibe


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