Re­venge can be bit­ter­sweet

But the ac­cent’s on un­der­stand­ing for Bri­tish ac­tor Ash­ley Madekwe, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

US­ING an English ac­cent for the hit US TV se­ries Re­venge should have been straight­for­ward for Bri­tish ac­tress Ash­ley Madekwe. In­stead, the South Lon­doner was forced to dub a lot of her lines dur­ing the first episodes be­cause pro­duc­ers had trou­ble un­der­stand­ing her.

Madekwe says her South Lon­don ac­cent was too pro­nounced for the US mar­ket and she has since re­fined her English tones.

The clar­ity prob­lems didn’t sur­face un­til she com­pleted a pro­mo­tional record­ing for the se­ries and pro­duc­ers could not un­der­stand her.

‘‘The English ac­cent I use on the show is now more re­fined,’’ says Madekwe.

‘‘It’s my clipped drama school ac­cent. I had to re-dub a lot of my lines be­cause they didn’t know what I was say­ing.’’

Madekwe says it prob­a­bly would have been eas­ier for her to put on an Amer­i­can ac­cent. For­tu­nately, she learns ac­cents quickly. ‘‘I’m an evil lit­tle mimic,’’ she says. ‘‘I find ac­cents really easy so it wouldn’t bother me (to do an Amer­i­can ac­cent).’’

Be­fore strik­ing it rich in the US with Re­venge, Madekwe had roles sev­eral pop­u­lar UK se­ries. She was known in the US be­cause of her role as Bambi in ,The Se­cret Di­ary of a Call Girl. In the UK, she was bet­ter known for her role in Bed­lam.

Be­ing cast in Re­venge has taken her ca­reer to a new level.

‘‘Even when we made English TV shows and they were a hit, they were noth­ing like Amer­i­can net­work tele­vi­sion,’’ Madekwe says.

‘‘We were very lucky with The Se­cret Di­ary of a Call Girl, that it was ex­ported in its en­tirety.

‘‘Very of­ten we are re­worked for Amer­i­can TV and its set it in Amer­ica with Amer­i­can ac­tors.’’

Madekwe ad­mits she doesn’t have too much of an in­flu­ence over her char­ac­ter, Ash­ley Daven­port, in Re­venge ex­cept for one im­por­tant as­pect.

Mon­days, 8.45pm, Seven, Prime7.

Ash­ley Madekwe (left with the cast of

Ash­ley Madekwe

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