With more and more films and television shows moving production to Georgia, the Southern accent is making its way to the big screens, but not always successfully. Most Southerners complain that actors overdo it when it comes to Southern accents.
One real Southern actor who has played various Southern parts is Lucas Black, who played the boy in Sling Blade and then other roles in Friday Night Lights (movie), Jarhead, Legion, and Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift.
On the contrary, these American, beyond Southern portrayals frequently occur on The Walking Dead. Andrew Lincoln (Rick) and Lauren Cohan (Maggie) are both British and have occasionally been listed as the “worst offenders” of this burned accent.
Maggie on The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC
Lauren Cohan as Maggie on ‘The Walking Dead’
For the role of Maggie, Lauren Cohan has been accused of going in and out of her Southern accent by various bloggers and Twitter users. One forum post reads, “Maggie’s is pretty twangy, but I know people who talk like that.”
Another post reads, “As much as I love Maggie, her southern accent isn’t that strong. I’ve heard way worse, but you can hear the English accent mixed in there with the Southern.”
Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha), on the other hand, is actually from Alabama and it shows through in her dialogue. She’s also resisted the temptation to parallel with her co-stars who are overdoing the tongue.
Fans have pointed out Rick’s “Caaahhhwwwrruuulll” scream when trying to call after his son, Carl. But, as such, there are very different accents within the South, such as Texas versus Mississippi versus Georgia and so on, so perhaps it can fit within there somewhere.
Rick and Maggie on The Walking Dead | Photo Credit AMC
Andrew Lincoln on Rick’s Accent
When asked about the “Rick voice,” Lincoln commented, “With my brother’s voice echoing in my ears—‘Don’t fuck it up’—I thought I would arrive early and get the accent in place,” recalls the actor when thinking back about mastering the accent.
“I worked with an amazing dialect coach called Jessica Drake,” said Lincoln. “She’s amazing. She writes it phonetically, and it looks like gibberish. I’ve done it at dinner parties, where I got people drunk and just said, ‘Read this…’ and they go, ‘Maya naamae is Rickk Griiimes.’ It’s amazing. It’s like cheating.”
“I wanted to get that done before I even saw a zombie,” reminds Lincoln. “Because there was a lot more to worry about. I wreck my voice sometimes, so people who have worked on the show have seen me do quite weird shit.”
“If you’ve been without water, or things, there is a tone. Anyone living in Atlanta knows that [the city] dries you out, especially in an emotional scene. I said to Jon Bernthal (Shane) one time, ‘I’m going to wreck my voice.’ He said, ‘Oh, it’s one of those days.’”
“Unless I’ve lost my voice, I don’t think I’ve done the job, some days. Whether you’re screaming or its some big action sequence, I’ve lost it a couple of times, but that means that I’m doing my job.”