Kate Winslet Tested Her ‘Flirtatious’ Accent for The Regime by Leaving Voicemails for Show’s Producer

Every actor has a process for diving into their roles, but for Kate Winslet, it meant leaving voics for one of the The Regime's executive producers in character

Published Time: 06.06.2024 - 12:31:09 Modified Time: 06.06.2024 - 12:31:09

Every actor has a process for diving into their roles, but for Kate Winslet, it meant leaving voics for one of the The Regime's executive producers in character.

During The Regime FYC panel event in Los Angeles on June 5, the actress, 48, discussed the process of coming up with her character's unique voice and accent. In the show, which also stars Matthias Schoenaerts, Guillaume Gallienne, Andrea Riseborough, Martha Plimpton and Hugh Grant. Winslet plays Chancellor Elena Vernham, the corrupt authoritarian ruler of a fictional European country whose controversial decisions incite a civil war.

"It never made sense to me to speak like myself," she said, adding, "I didn't quite know what that meant, or what I was going to do about it. I just knew that I had to find something that didn't feel too close to me."

While the Oscar-winning actress experimented with the accent at home in the kitchen — a move that elicited feedback from her family like, "Don't do that. It's actually made my ears bleed," she recalled — Winslet also left voics with executive producer and director Jessica Hobbs as Chancellor Vernham. For Winslet, it was a way of working up the courage to eventually try out the voice on executive producer and director Stephen Frears, who had previously directed films like the 2006 biodrama The Queen, the 2000 dramedy High Fidelity and 1988's Dangerous Liaisons.

"I knew he was just going to have an opinion, and once it was out of his mouth, I wouldn't be able to unhear it, and so I shared it with Jess Hobbs, who was very positive in her response," Winslet recalled. "So I sat Stephen down and tried out the voice. 'Do you see if I just maybe did that? And then a little bit and talk to you slightly flirtatiously, I could probably get you to do anything ... Luckily, he was laughing. He looked at me, and he said, 'You've got to do that for six months.' "

Winslet is no stranger to pul -

ling off tricky accents. For her role in the HBO show Mare of Easttown, the star learned how to do Pennsylvania's Delaware County accent, which proved a "little crazy-making," she told The Los Angeles Times in May 2021.

"It's interesting, because I realize that as I was learning the dialect it was definitely affecting the emotional register of the voice I was finding for Mare," she told the outlet, adding that her character, detective Mare Sheehan, has a deeper register than her own.

"Because she was born there, she was raised there, I had to do it pretty darn well," she continued. "It was a little crazy-making, I'm not going to pretend it wasn't."

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As for what made the experience so difficult, Winslet explained that because the dialect is "very strong," she felt it "could easily be pushed into a sort of caricature-y voice."

"I didn't want to create a voice, I wanted to create a person and the voice had to just be secondary to that. So for me, the goal and the hardest part of all of it was doing it and doing it well enough that it just sort of disappears and you don't then hear me doing it," she added, before quipping, "It's pretty hard not to hear a Delco dialect though, let me tell you."

Winslet called the Delco dialect one of the "hardest accents I've ever done."

"In the top three for sure," she said at a virtual panel in February, according to Indiewire. "It's one of only two dialects in my life that made me throw things — that and the dialogue that they made me do in the movie about Steve Jobs."

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All 6 episodes of The Regime are available to stream on Max.

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