Brittany Murphy clearly threw Craig Ferguson off last night on the Late Late Show: Why was an actress raised in New Jersey speaking in an Irish accent? And why was she acting so loopy?

Ferguson inquired about her drinking habits (see clip at left), as did a tipster of ours, who thought Murphy was "acting quite drunk."

But the 8 Mile and Sin City actress told Ferguson she avoided alcohol. Luckily for her, there's a plausible alternate explanation for her speech: Her mother Sharon, who raised her as a single mom, was of Irish descent. To Murphy's American ears, Ferguson's Scottish accent might have sounded similar enough to her mother's to trigger any inflected speech patterns she used growing up.

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As for the loopiness, it could just be nerves. Either way, Ferguson wasn't about to bring Murphy back after the commercial break. Sitting as close as he did to the actress, he may be the only one who ever knows what actually happened.