Colin Farrell plays an intimidating Russian prisoner in the World War II drama "The Way Back," about a group of inmates who escape the Siberian Gulag and must walk more than 4,000 miles to freedom. We caught up with the Irish actor recently and we talked about how he tackles foreign accents and other languages for roles like his "Way Back" character, Valka.
"Accents are tricky sometimes, all the time, potentially," Farrell admitted to MTV News. "They either keep you away or they bring you in. They're either a conduit into a character or they're a fence that keeps you at a distance that you don't want to be," he said.
Farrell explained that he worked with a dialect coach and read Russian poetry to get a feel for the language, which eventually began to flow rather naturally for him.
"It really just initially and unconsciously started affecting the way I moved or sat or [my] facial expressions and just feeling those sounds in my mouth," he said. "Russian to me, to my ignorant ears is an incredibly evocative language and accent, even. If a Russian is speaking English, it's an incredibly evocative sound that's committed each time a Russian opens their mouth."
The "Way Back" actor said he essentially fell in love with the language.
"It's beautiful and it's hard. There's a sense of hardship, and I say that with absolute humility and lack of judgment," he said. "It's a beautiful language and it gave me my version of it in the film, wherever I got to in the journey of getting there, brought me as close to the character as any other bit of research or any other contemplation of his background."
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