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Inside Kate Winslet’s ‘Mare of Easttown’ Pennsylvania Accent

“I’m not going to lie,” Winslet told ‘Vanity Fair.’ “I love doing accents, but this one did drive me crazy.”

4/20/2021 2:16:00 AM

Kate Winslet takes us on a journey in Mare of Easttown—both into southeastern Pennsylvania and, more specifically, onto the rollercoaster of the 'Delco' dialect.

“I’m not going to lie,” Winslet told ‘Vanity Fair.’ “I love doing accents, but this one did drive me crazy.”

How did Kate Winslet go Delco?After Winslet signed onto the project, Ingelsby began sending Winslet and Hegarty voice memos that he recorded of his wife, who speaks with a subtle Delco accent. “He started sending me candid recordings of his family,” said Hegarty. “He would just turn the recorder on when they were in the car, driving the kids home—and I would hear his wife, and maybe her sister or her parents would be in the car, and the kids, and they would be playing charades at home.”

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A local dialect coach,Susanne Sulby,also collected samples of Delaware County locals doing interviews. “She wandered through the counties interviewing people—all different backgrounds, all different ages,” said Hegarty. The interviews were used as dialect models for the cast. Hegarty pinpointed two “dialect models” for Winslet whose age and vocal resonance matched the actor. One was a teacher named

Trish Lauria.Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’d get in the car. I’d put my coffee in the cup holder. The AirPods would go in, and I would have Trish Lauria from Drexel Hill in my ear to and from set every day. That was the voice that kind of resonated with me the most. She was brilliant.” headtopics.com

Which accent came the close to breaking Winslet?“I love doing accents, but this one did drive me crazy,” admitted Winslet toVanity Fair. “I did a sort of Polish-Armenian American for the Steve Jobs movie that was quite difficult. That was actually extremely difficult. I had been American in

Titanic,but doingEternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mindwas kind of a Long Island dialect. I had to get very good at that so I could improvise a lot…. With your dialogue, when you’re suddenly making stuff up and ad-libbing, it’s a whole other host of scariness.

Eternal Sunshinewas really quite hard because I had to truly be very proficient at it. But the Delco was pretty tricky.”“I had to work on it every single day,” said Winslet. “I didn’t learn it and then just go and do the show. Every single day I was working on the dialect on the way to work, when I got in the hair and makeup trailer, as soon as I could find someone to run lines with—it was just constant.”

Said Hegarty, “It’s an accent, not a costume. You don’t just go in for a fitting, put it on, and then you’re done. It has to be maintained. It’s a living thing and has to be renewed every day.”What were the dangers of going Delco?“There’s always the danger that as an actor, you can sound like you’re doing a voice,” said Winslet. “There was a [woman] named headtopics.com

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Christine Bleiler,who’s a detective. I worked alongside her as a large part of the preparation too. She was my go-to. I mean, I’d call her at five in the morning and go, ‘I’m on my way to work. And I’ve just realized, I don’t think this dialogue quite adds up in real police wording,’ and she helped me. But her dialect was very strong.”

Winslet said that she consciously took the dialect down a few notches so it would be less distracting to viewers. “[Audiences] don’t notice the costumes or the hair. I’m wearing a wig in the show, but you’d never know. The accent had to be the same.”Why does Evan Peters’s dialect sound so different?

While Winslet worked with Hegarty, and Sulby helped other actors,Evan Petersdecided to specifically imitate a Delco native while playing Detective Colin Zabel. Said Ingelsby, “We had a tech advisor on the show,Pete Baylor,who is a local cop. He and his brothers have this heavy Delco accent. Evan noticed that in Pete, and then we had Pete and his brothers record [dialogue]. He was always saying, ‘I got the Delco accent from the Baylor brothers.’ He just leaned into that.”

If you really want to get deep into dialect comparisons, Hegarty pointed out that anotherMare of Easttownactor:James McArdle(who plays Deacon Mark Burton) is from Delaware County and uses his native accent in the series.What do the locals seem to think of Winslet’s accent? headtopics.com

After the trailer premiered in February,PhillyVoicedeclared that Winslet “nails it—at least so far.” In fact, the outlet pointed out four specific moments in the trailer that prove Winslet has mastered the accent—“the crowning achievement comes at 1:41, when she says, ‘Doing something great is overrated.’ It doesn’t get much better than that.”

The outlet even used Winslet’s work as an example of an actor delivering “a good, convincing Philly accent” versus one, infamous to Philly, that was attempted by actor Read more: VANITY FAIR »

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Much of SEPA is bucolic and only certain pockets have that dreadful accent. Kate's accent sounds more Charm City and less Tina Fey 'Iggles.' I guess 'Mare from Upper Darby' didn't have a nice ring to it.

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