Lennie James talks Using Accents and the One Time He’s Been “Frightened About a Job”

lennie-james-line-of-dutyBritish actor Lennie James could teach a master class on accents, after sounding like an authentic American in shows like Jericho and Hung.

“You don’t always want the character’s voice to be too much like your own,” he told Slate.com.  “When I’m playing an American, I don’t play Lennie with an American accent.  They’re American characters who look like me, but they have different voices.  For Tony [Gates, his role in BBC’s Line of Duty] the voice was closer to mine, but I still tried to be aware of certain things that he would say in a way that I wouldn’t.”

James admits he doesn’t really choose projects depending on the country they’re representing.  “I’ve worked in the theater, television, and films.  A five-hour TV series is certainly more time than a character I’d be playing in a film.  We did four months on Line of Duty from beginning to end, and that would be a long theater run.  Also, a BBC hour is longer than an American television hour.”

“I will say that when I first came to the States to work on Jericho, that was the only time that I’ve ever been frightened about a job, because in America they tell stories over such a long time, and I was petrified that I’d get bored,” he said. “I spent a lot of time in the writers’ room trying to make sure that whatever stuff they came up with would keep me interested.”

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Sarah-Paulson.jpg
Sarah Paulson: “I muscled a lot of what I’ve achieved by sheer force of will and relentless determination”
"If my career had turned out like the fantasy I had of what it was going to be, it would never have made me happy" - Sarah Paulson
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Boyd-Holbrook-Narcos.jpg
Boyd Holbrook on Shooting ‘Narcos’ in Colombia: “It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done”
Holbrook talks about working with the real-life Steve Murphy, what movie inspired his narration, and why shooting in Colombia was so challenging.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Joseph-Gordon-Levitt-Snowden.jpg
How Joseph Gordon-Levitt Developed his ‘Snowden’ Voice
"You're playing someone that everybody in the world has seen before. It's a little different than playing a fictitious character." - Joseph Gordon-Levitt
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/renee-zellweger-bridget-jones-baby.jpg
Renée Zellweger on Returning to Film After a Six-Year Absence: “I needed to grow as a person in ways that didn’t revolve around my work”
Zellweger talks about what prompted her six-year absence from Hollywood, what's different about playing Jones again, and ageism in Hollywood.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/dev-patel-lion.jpg
Dev Patel: “I want there to be people that look like me represented on screen”
"There aren’t many roles written for someone that looks like me. It’s slim pickings. It’s difficult, but I try and stay on the optimistic side." - Dev Patel