'Valkyrie' actors speak in natural accents

Dec. 26, 2008 at 7:55 PM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. director Bryan Singer says he decided not to have the international cast of "Valkyrie" speak with German accents because it would be distracting.

The World War II-set movie about a plot to kill Adolf Hitler stars Hollywood actor Tom Cruise, Northern Irish star Kenneth Branagh and British thespians Eddie Izzard, Bill Nighy, Terence Stamp and Tom Wilkinson.

"We didn't want that to be what the movie was about," Singer told reporters in New York recently when asked why the German characters in his film didn't speak with German accents.

"It's a thriller," Singer explained. "It should be exciting and the audience should be taken on a ride through the film. And the actors speak wonderfully the way they do in their current dialects and the characters are all supposed to be German any way. ... We have an international cast -- American actors, Dutch, German, British. To have everyone approximating German accents when, in reality, they're supposed to be speaking German, which, I promise after the first 20 minutes, you'd be sick of it. It would ultimately sound silly. And it would distract from the drive of the plot. So, the decision was made pretty quickly."

Singer said he had no doubt his actors could've adopted the German accent, if it was required.

"They could do it. (Cruise is) speaking German at the beginning of the movie, that's Tom," Singer said. "But, it would ultimately be not as fun for the audience."

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