Times actors transformed their voices for a role

If you closed your eyes, you wouldn’t even recognize the voices of these famous actors in these projects.

It’s really amazing how willing actors are to change for a role. Body movement, facial appearance and vocal inflection are elements that can add up to truly transformative performances.

These 20 actors completely changed their voices as a character – so much so that they sounded like a totally different person on screen.


robert deniro

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In a 1994 NPR Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross, dialect coach Sam Chwat discussed how he helped Robert De Niro develop an Appalachian accent for the role of Max Cady in the 1991 remake of Cape Fear.

“We sat down and analyzed videotapes of prisoners from the South, people who were incarcerated in Appalachian jails for extremely violent crimes, men around his age, white men around his age, and we listened to them until [Robert] said, ‘He’s the guy I want to be like, that one,’ Sam said. Of the replacements where he would do one thing and I expect another, that’s where we trained.”


michelle williams

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In preparation for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in My week with Marilyn, Michelle often spent hours working on her voice to develop an inflection similar to Marilyn’s. Also, since Marilyn was creating distinct speech patterns for her public persona, Michelle had to take some liberties when mimicking her voice in private moments.

“The voice you just associate with Marilyn, her voice in the movies, it’s not her voice,” Michelle said in a Making Of interview. I did, it’s a character that she It was something that she put in. It was years of training, vocal coaching, and it was an affectation that she developed. from what I understood, … his real voice was completely normal.


Johnny Depp

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Johnny combined unique sources of inspiration to take his deep voice to a higher register for his portrayal of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the chocolate factory.

“The Willy Wonka character for me, I started thinking about kids’ show hosts, you know, those guys who talk, [like]”Hi. Hello everyone. Is everyone happy?” This guy…but then I thought, well, this is an interesting place to start, what’s the next layer of ingredients, you know?” Johnny said at a 2020 event.” And then I thought, … What would George W. Bush look like if he weren’t stoned, but incredibly stoned?”


health book

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Heath’s Australian accent turned into an eerie voice when he played the Joker in The black Knight. Director Christopher Nolan noted that Heath’s fluctuating vocal patterns on set added to the character’s menacing presence, according to IndieWire.

“The voice was definitely creepy because it was changing pitch,” Christopher said. “You never really know which way the pitch is going to go with the vocals… The actual tone of his voice was also a surprise. Sometimes menacing and sometimes more candied and light.


Idris Elbe

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Idris modified his British voice to recreate Nelson Mandela’s South African dialect in Mandela: a long road to freedomThe construction of the voice began with the use of memories of her parents’ West African speech patterns.

“[Director] justin [Chadwick] and I wanted to make sure everything else was absolutely as it was, especially the voice,” Idris told NPR in 2013. “And my parents are West African.. Which is very different from the Southern Africa in terms of how they speak English. However, I am quite used to this kind of cadence. So I had a basis to understand where to start.


Nicole Kidman

Amazon Studios

During the preparation of Be the RicardosNicole spent two months crafting the voices she used to portray Lucille Ball: one for her personal life and one for Lucy’s public role in i love lucyPart of her preparation was to smoke herbal cigarettes, like Lucille smoked in real life.

“I worked on the dialect with a fantastic dialect coach,” Nicole told Jess Cagle in 2021. “Finding her voice was probably one of the key things because there are actually two characters: there’s Lucille Ball, who was a heavy smoker and had a much deeper voice, and speaks very directly and always looks you in the eye, and then there’s Lucy Ricardo, who’s actually set way higher, an octave higher.”


Christian Bale

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Christian brought a memorable raspy voice to the role of Batman in the Black Knight He told MTV News in 2013 how trying on the Batman costume led him to create an animal sound for the character’s voice.

“I went, ‘I can’t do this in a normal voice. I have to become a beast to sell myself this,'” Christian said.


Lupita Nyong’o

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In a 2019 interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Lupita said she was haunting We voice was inspired by a condition called spasmodic dysphonia, which inhibits airflow, often as a result of trauma.

“That’s where your vocal cords contract involuntarily, creating this uneven airflow, and I built from that,” Lupita said. “And it was from a line in the script that said she hadn’t used her voice in a long time.”


jim carrey

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During an interview with the press for How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Jim talked about the process of becoming the Grinch, including his vocal changes as he explored the role.

“My characterization comes from a sense of a false sense of superiority,” Jim said. “I tried not to do Boris Karloff, but maybe I was influenced [by him]I’m sure. Some people said I looked like Sean Connery…one person said Richard Nixon.”


Joaquin Phoenix

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When Joaquin played Johnny Cash in walk the linehe not only modified his voice to match Johnny’s, but he also studied his music and sang for the film.

In a 2005 Late Night with Conan O’Brien interview, Joaquin said he worked with a dialect coach to replicate Johnny’s deep baritone voice.

“It’s the most humiliating process I’ve ever been through because you’re doing these exercises, [with] all these vowels, … and it’s so uncomfortable, I can’t tell you,” he said. “It was very, very difficult.”


Meryl Streep

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Before shooting Sophie’s choice Meryl not only learned Polish, but also German for her role.

“I thought if I learned to speak Polish, then the…sounds of that language would be in my mouth, sort of, so I went to Berlitz [language classes] and I found a teacher,” she said during a panel discussion on Entertainment Tonight in 2014.

Although her partner, Kevin Kline, was surprised to hear it, Meryl said showing off her accent to the cast was one of the scariest moments she’s had as an actor.

“It was the most scared I’ve ever had, I think in my career, the first [cast] reading,” she says.


Whitaker Forest

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In The Last King of ScotlandForest spoke in a Ugandan accent as he played ruthless African dictator Idi Amin.

At the Toronto Film Festival, he said the project required more research “than any other character [he’d] probably never played”, including work on her voice, by

“I did a lot to prepare myself for this, Forest said. First, I started learning Swahili, learning the accent, then I had to study all the recordings and all the books. , tapes, documentaries.”


Kristen Stewart

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Kristen said in a 2021 Howard Stern Show interview for which she perfected her accent spencer, in which she played Princess Diana, with a dialect coach for six months. The process ended up giving her symptoms of ATM, which eventually disappeared just before filming began.

“They make it a very physical thing and they describe what your tongues are doing, how open your mouth should be. Like when I’m talking, I barely open my mouth,” she said. [Diana] talk, it’s open…I sound like a whole different person trying to make that sound.”


Margot Robbie

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In a 2013 ABC News interview, Margot said she had a positive experience turning her Australian voice into a Brooklyn accent for her character, Naomi, in The wolf of Wall Street.

“It’s a really fun accent to do, and it’s actually easier to do with an Australian accent than with a standard American accent because…there’s no r,” Margot said.


Daniel Day Lewis

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To create the right accent for her there will be blood Daniel Plainview, oilman Daniel Plainview told Chicago Movie Magazine that he started by listening to recordings from the Dust Bowl era, as well as the voice of actor and director John Huston. before you say it out loud, guide his speech patterns in the movie.

“I almost always work on some voice, but I try not to do it in isolation from other work,” Daniel said. “I talk to myself a lot, I have a little prehistoric machine with tiny bands that are incompatible with just about every system I know. I talk a lot about it to see if I can find a sound that means anything. But almost always it comes from hearing a voice in my mind’s ear.


Alfred Enoch


Alfred gave a convincing American accent in How to escape murderbut he said Robin Robert on hello america in 2016 that he was initially afraid he didn’t have that voice, so he decided to speak with an American accent at all times on the show’s set.

“I’m sticking with the accent…because I’ve never worked with that accent before, he says. I’ve never done an American accent for a job…This opportunity came up, and I thought that would be so exciting, but the one thing I don’t want to do is be the guy that lets everybody down… So I just stick with that all the time when we’re filming.


Lindsay Lohan

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Lindsay’s British accent in The Parent Trap was so good it made her co-star, Dennis Quaid, think two different girls were playing Lindsay’s dual roles, Hallie and Annie.

“I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, she’s one of the most talented people I’ve ever met, period. Forget she’s 11,'” Dennis said when the cast closed. reunited for an interview with Katie Couric Media to celebrate the release of the film’s 22nd anniversary.

“Then I thought there were two girls, really, because [her] the accent was so perfect,” he added.

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