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Jennifer Coolidge: 'I was born to play a posh Brit'

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Aug 22, 2013 | 11:40am EDT

American Pie star Jennifer Coolidge insists she was perfectly cast as Elizabeth Charming in new comedy Austenland because she grew up watching English period dramas and mimicking the character's airs and graces. The actress plays a brash American attempting to become a posh Brit while on a retreat, designed for fans of author Jane Austen, and she feels she was born for the part. She explains, "My parents were so weird about what we could watch on TV. The only stuff we could watch was Masterpiece Theatre... I would imitate scenes from Upstairs, Downstairs. I was obsessed with those English accents. "I don't know if I did that good of a job doing them. That's probably why I got this role! But it was a fantasy to be on one of those big estates and live in those costumes." And Coolidge admits she fell in love with West Wycombe House in Buckinghamshire, England, where much of Austenland was shot. She adds, "There are moats. It looks like a set but it's real. I spent the whole movie trying to figure out how I could rent the place for myself and have a party or something there for everyone I knew who would fly to see a place like that."

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