Oh Julia, you do try! Her performance in the 1996 film was the second major Irish-accented role for Roberts, following the box-office flop Mary Reilly. Here she plays Kitty Kiernan, fiancé to the titular Irish revolutionary leader and hero, played by Liam Neeson.
Roberts’ accent is just out of control. Just like in Mary Reilly, she shifts from eastern Ireland to the west of the country —in a single sentence. At times, she even jumps across the Atlantic and incorporates, what to my ears, sounds like a bad, generic Southern accent. It’s not all verbal torture, though: her lines sound convincing enough when limited to a few words. But, unfortunately, a few words does not a great performance make.