Actor Josh Charles was forced to "dumb down" his French language skills in new romantic drama Bird People after unexpectedly perfecting the various nuances in just a few lessons. The Good Wife star portrays an American engineer travelling through Paris, France in the new film, and his character has to speak a few lines in French.
Charles admits he had very little knowledge of the language before he started working with a tutor so he studied hard, but his word pronunciations were a little too perfect for director Pascale Ferran and producer Denis Freyd.
He explains, "It was really difficult. The character doesn't speak that much French, half the film is in English and half of the film is in French... but I had to speak a few scenes in broken French. I play an engineer who travels quite a bit so he speaks enough to get by and that was more than I speak!
"So I started taking lessons here (in America), they hired someone to give me lessons... but then I got there (on the set in France), and I was very proud of myself because I'd worked very hard to sound good and have the accent good (sic), and when we did the first scene where I had to speak French, the producer and director thought my accent sounded too good, so we had to have rehearsals to dumb me down, we had to kind of re-Americanize my accent and I felt proud about that!"