Emma Watson Talks "Perks of Being a Wallflower"
October 10, 2011, 10:29 PM
In a new article, Emma Watson discusses the challenges that went into acting in "Perks of Being a Wallflower," particularly nailing the Americanisms in the film:
"I was very nervous before we started shooting. I was very nervous
about the American accent," she told a handful of reporters outside
Peters Township High School. It doubles as Mill Grove High School in the
story set largely in 1991-92.
Some of her cast mates, after all, had life experiences much like
their movie characters -- dances, football games, pep rallies and even
graduation in white gowns (for the girls) and black gowns (for the boys)
and matching mortarboards.
"They went to an American high school, they know what prom looks
like, all these little details that I had no idea about. So I was a
"My script was covered in notes about all these American words,
American slang. I was quizzing my friends about high school and prom and
everything, and then Steve [Chbosky] was just like, 'Emma, this is great and
everything, but you just really need to let all of that go' because he
said he saw me as Sam, and it was kind of as simple as that."
In the article Stephen Chbosky, the writer and director of the movie, talks about why he felt Watson was so perfect for the role of Sam:
"She's luminous but she's also incredibly approachable, she's very down
to earth, she's very fragile but in this very beautiful way. For me,
that's all the qualities I always saw in Sam. Plus, she can dance. The
girl can dance."
@ Jacket…Eh, it all depends. I’ve seen some American actors do very good British accents, and some British actors do horrendous American accents (Jude Law in A.I. is a good example, although it’s only for one brief moment, and his Southern accent in Cold Mountain is actually pretty good). I’ve heard in many interviews that the reason many British actors can do fairly good American accents is because they grow up exposed to a lot of American TV and movies, whereas many Americans aren’t always exposed to British culture (or pop-culture) in the same way.
Having heard so much about this film lately, I decided to go down to my local library and pick up the novel to read. I felt a little strange doing so, as it was located in the Young Adult/Teen section and I’m quite a bit older than that (36). However, I was surprised to find that the book actually takes place back in 1991-1992, which was when I was a junior in high school, so the characters feel like my peers and contemporaries; they exist in a pre-internet age, like I did, listen to a lot of the same music I did, etc. I would have been closer to the age of the character Sam than that of Charlie, but it all felt really close to home for me. It’s interesting that younger readers can relate to a time that’s about 20 years ago now, but maybe that’s indicative of the fact that teenagers don’t really change all that much; a lot of their trials and triumphs remain the same.
Aaahhh sweet Emma, always like Hermione, going to each and every detail. Cant wait to see her in the movie doing American accent and all the other teenage stuff.