The tonality of it: Actor Domhnall Gleeson and the art of learning accents

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

SNAPSHOT
It’s funny, Southern American is definitely easier than a more general American or something from either coast. The southern thing I don’t know. I think because of the way that the sentences work and the open down of the tonality of it you can hear it you can, grab on to it… South African or Welsh like they’re the nightmare ones they’re the ones that you just like wake up sweating about having to do someday. (via Laughing Squid)

We have grown so used to seeing superlative actors such as Irishman Domhnall Gleeson do their accented thing in countless films that it’s easy to forget how much work a new accent involves.

Getting it right, and not sounding like some sort of terribly-executed parody takes an enormous amount of time and dedication, something which Gleeson knows all too well as he talks about the accents he finds relatively easy and those that are the stuff of nightmares.

He also remarks on the fact that while he tends to stay in accent during the work day, he works to discard it at the end of the day so he doesn’t like a weird impostor to his friends.

What’s enjoyable about this piece is how down to earth and self-deprecating Gleeson is throughout, an actor who clearly takes his work seriously but also understands that it isn’t be the be-all and end-all either.
 

One thought on “The tonality of it: Actor Domhnall Gleeson and the art of learning accents

  1. I didn’t realize he had played so many parts. Fascinating post on accents. I like that he talked about getting his mouth right. So true that accents change the way you hold and move your mouth, not just lips.

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