Rebel Wilson acted as John Lithgow’s dialect coach on the set of Pitch Perfect 3.
The Australian actress is reprising her role as Fat Amy in the third installment of the musical comedy franchise, with the veteran Hollywood star taking on the part of her father in the upcoming movie.
During an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Tuesday night (07Nov17), Lithgow shared that his character will also be Australian, and he relied on Rebel for help in mastering the accent.
“I had done a New Zealand accent a few years ago, never an Australian accent,” he said. “But I had an excellent dialect coach – Rebel Wilson. It was a great part and the accent suited it perfectly, he’s a real scoundrel, conman.”
Lithgow is no stranger to adopting accents for roles, and most recently took on the voice of former U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill for Netflix series The Crown, for which he won an Emmy Award. In order to mimic Churchill’s distinctive sound, the star practiced speaking with bits of fruit stuck in his cheeks.
“He was a unique man in every way, including the way he talked. I knew I had to develop the exact right Winston Churchill,” the 72-year-old said. “He had a very jowly face, and I remembered Marlon Brando in The Godfather, and I thought I’d stick something into my jowls. I practiced this at home before I went to England to join them, with a melon baller I created these little apple balls and stuck them (in my cheeks). I actually took a melon baller with me to England.”
Lithgow even used the technique during one take of the shoot, but had mixed results.
“I dug out two apple balls, put them in my jowls and spoke a scene with it. It sounded great, it sounded very Churchillian, but my mouth was full of apple juice,” he laughed.