Casting by Accents?

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Casting by Accents?

Postby Lucy of Narnia » Mar 18, 2011 12:30 pm

Okay, so far most everyone cast for a Narnia movie has had a British/English accent (excluding a few characters such as Orious, Glenstorm, etc.). Even Caspian in PC, who had to have a Spanish accent, was a British guy. That made me wonder if no matter what, the Narnia producers/casting agents/whoever wanted only Brits in their films (with rare exception). Then we have Arabella Mortenson (Gael) who is Australian but puts on a British accent.

What do you think? Is Narnia 'loosening up' and allowing people of other accents to have a chance to learn the British accent? Or is Arabella Mortenson the only exception, and is this because Australian is a good bit closer to British English than just plan American English is?

And did they even have an 'agenda' in the first place, or is that just how things worked out?

Share your opinions here. :)

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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby DamselJillPole » Mar 18, 2011 1:31 pm

I think it has to do with being on location, since they filmed in Australia they casted the other supporting roles there. Everyone was Australian like Drinian, Rynelf, Rhince, Coriakin, lilliandil, Gael, etc.

In Prince Caspian it was Adamson's decision to make the Telmarines Spanish, Everyone pretty much was Spanish except Ben Barnes but he really does have Caribbean decent which was why he did pull off a Spanish look easily.

In VDT it was mainly the location and getting local actors for the parts.
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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby Lucy of Narnia » Mar 18, 2011 1:34 pm

Makes sense. Kind of like casting Kiwis to be extras in LotR?
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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby DamselJillPole » Mar 18, 2011 1:43 pm

Yeah. I still wish they could have stuck to filming VDT in Mexico, because where they were planning to shoot is not far away from me at all. I would of auditioned for Ramandu's daughter lol!
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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby Lucy of Narnia » Mar 18, 2011 1:45 pm

And I for an way-too-old Gael! ;))

So what about LWW? How did the guy that played Orious get cast? And the WW is Scottish, right?

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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby fantasia_kitty » Mar 18, 2011 2:19 pm

Damsel is correct, all of the main characters and British minor characters (like Mrs Macready and Professor Kirke) are from the UK. The rest of the minor characters as well as extras/stand-ins/etc were local actors from the location they filmed in.

There are a few exceptions to this: the actor who voiced Maugrim in LWW was American. I think they couldn't find someone they liked and at the last minute Mark Johnson called him in.
Also in Prince Caspian the main Telmarine actors were from all over the Mediterranean and Mexico. I heard they were trying to get a good representation of a diverse Telmarine culture.
But most of the rest were Kiwis from New Zealand (LWW), Czechs and Slovaks (PC), and Aussies (VDT). :)
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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby CharlotteRose » Mar 19, 2011 2:41 am

Yeah. I think that casting the minor roles like that is good because it means that non English people may have a chance to be in a film that is so closely associated with England. However, I think that main characters will probably always be english because while Lewis never realy described the voices or origins of those more minor characters (and some of the like Gael didn't even exist), He wrote the main characters as being English, or at least being from England.
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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby Lucy of Narnia » Mar 19, 2011 11:11 am

^But what if other people can do English accents... would there be a chance for them?
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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby fantasia_kitty » Mar 19, 2011 12:26 pm

For the roles that are straight out of England (Pevensies, Eustace, Jill, etc), I'd guess no. They seem to make sure those roles are played by actors who speak with that English accent naturally.

But for the characters in Narnia, things seem to be a little more flexible. We still have Archenlanders and Calormenes coming up in the future, not to mention other Narnians, and who knows what direction they'll decide to go with them?
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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby Lucy of Narnia » Mar 19, 2011 12:39 pm

^Makes good sense. Thank you both! :)

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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby Valiant » Mar 19, 2011 4:56 pm

I can't find a source right now, but I remember reading that the people who were casting the Pevensies for LWW specifically wanted English actors, at least as a first choice. I don't think that will change for the major characters at least. But it seems they are more flexible with minor characters.
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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby coracle » Mar 20, 2011 12:29 am

Firstly, let's just note that in the UK there is no "British" accent - there are dozens of main dialects or accents around the country, including different regions of England, [northern] Ireland, Scotland and Wales - and even different parts of London have different sounds in their speech.

Secondly, this is a series of books written about English people, who meet creatures who speak their language properly - so they are likely to be endowed with a dialect/accent from somewhere in the UK.
I think part of the appeal of the book is their old fashioned Englishness, and this could be spoiled in films by casting overtly American, Australian or Kiwi-accented actors.

Thirdly, the request for them to do wider casting to allow Americans to audition has generally come from young Americans who would love to be in the films - who are not necessarily actors. They are fortunate to be living in a country with a huge film industry, and I hope some of them get the chance to audition locally for other work.

Fourthly, most professional actors can use assumed accents from a variety of backgrounds, (as an amateur actor I have a set of dialect and accent tapes for training myself for such work on stage too) and a capable NZ or Australian actor can play a role requiring "R.P." accent - which is the upper middle class accent the Pevensies are meant to have. (I notice quite a bit of modern mixed-accent "Estuary English" creeps in though).
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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby Lucy of Narnia » Mar 20, 2011 9:34 am

I realized yesterday that Mr. Tumnus- probably considered a 'minor' character, although he does add a lot to the emotion of LWW- was played by James Macavoy(sp?), who is Scottish, yet he did the clipped 'British' (I'm supposing RP?) accent when he acted. Just a thought...

I honestly think that I can do the English accent- I know the basic mouth shape, have watched Narnia and LotR and their behind-the-scenes stuff, and noticed the accent so...I think I have it more than the 'drop your 'h's and 'r's...I'm wondering if they would even consider an American for any of the parts...?

Also, now that Eustace/Jill etc. may not be 'kids' (under 18) anymore, I wonder if they will still cast at schools- maybe collages or theater (English: theatre) groups?

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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby CharlotteRose » Mar 20, 2011 10:20 am

Lucy of Narnia, I think you are right about casting at higher schools, or at least going for older actors at closed castings!
Also, I think that more actors from countries will probably be cast in subsiquent Narnia films.
Plus you are right about James McAvoy taking on the English accvent, and Tilda Swinton too I think. Plus Geogie is from Yorkshire which has a very different accent to the ones used in Narnia so perhaps at least for the first film she had to change her accent? I think I saw somewhere that she had dialect lessons.

Charlotte Rose xx

PS, do you have an English accent video online somewhere because if you want I (and perhaps other English Narniawebbers) could tell you what we think if youd like that...just a suggestion :)
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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby Lucy of Narnia » Mar 20, 2011 10:32 am

That's actually something that I suggested in another thread on this forum; thank you, I would like that very much! I have been having trouble uploading videos right now but if I manage to get a video of me with my accent up, I would really appreciate that!

Lu :)
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Re: Casting by Accents?

Postby humdedum » Mar 21, 2011 1:32 pm

I think in casting for LWW, they made it a point to cast only native English actors and actresses. :) They did this because they believed there was so much talent already in the British landmass, that they didn't need to fly in actors from other countries, etc.

However, now that there is a new studio and director, casting may go a bit differently. :D
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