How Ocean's 13 Confirms Fan Headcanon Discussed Since First Film

How Ocean's 13 Confirms Fan Headcanon Discussed Since First Film
Image credit: Warner Bros. Legion-Media

The iconic franchise turned failure into fun.


  • Even though it aired in the 2000s, the Ocean's trilogy remains a wildly popular and fan-adored franchise.
  • However, there is one aspect that never sat right with viewers and could hurt the overall impression of new audiences.
  • Luckily, fans came up with a popular theory that explained the flaw, and the creators subtly confirmed it in the third film.

Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's trilogy combined an ever-exciting heist plot with some of the best talent on the movie scene, so its box office success and popularity with audiences was a no-brainer. Fans couldn't get enough of George Clooney's Danny Ocean and his one-of-a-kind team of expert con artists.

But there was one thing that really pissed everyone off from the very first film. And that's the worst movie accent in Hollywood history. The godawful Cockney pronunciation belonged to Basher Tarr, an explosives expert portrayed by Don Cheadle.

Terrible Accent

Cheadle incorporated the accent into his character even though the creators did not insist on it. He just wanted his performance to be as close to the original vision as possible.

'Steven [Soderbergh] said: 'You don't have to do it.' I said: 'Well, that's how you wrote him. I'll try it.'' the actor shared with The Guardian in 2022.

But the Cockney sound turned out to be a hard nut to crack for the American actor. The delivery was terrible. Viewers couldn't believe how the movie, with its huge budget and big-name cast, could allow such a cartoonish performance. It became something of a running meme in the fandom.

However, one fan theory managed to find a satisfying explanation for the movie's mistake, and the creators subtly confirmed it in the third installment.

Fan Headcanon

To justify Cheadle's bad accent, fans have theorized that his character is not actually British, but an American who has assumed a new identity. We know from the first movie that Basher Tarr and his team screwed up a big job before he joined Ocean's Eleven.

So fans theorized that this failure caused him to go into hiding and change his identity, which included a fake accent. The rest of the Ocean's team obviously knows about the whole thing and goes along with it, ignoring the horrible vowels coming out of Basher's mouth.

Franchise Confirmation

Well, this is definitely a thought that makes everything better. And Ocean's cast and crew have apparently adopted it as their working theory.

'Now I can say 'he was an American doing a British accent – you guys missed that?'' Cheadle told The Guardian, praising fans for coming up with the theory.

More than that, it seems the franchise also had an easy-to-miss confirmation that Tarr was faking his identity. In Ocean's Thirteen, we see the character a few times with a well-known book on accents by Edith Skinner, Speak With Distinction. Most notably, this happens before Tarr pretends to be the motorcycle stuntman and does a silly accent.

Even though Basher is clearly much better with explosives than he is with linguistics, we now know he was faking it and can remain calm every time our ears hurt while re-watching the Ocean's franchise.

Source: The Guardian.