Jessie Wallace has confessed she was worried about mastering a northern accent for a drama about Coronation Street and ‘religiously’ watched YouTube footage to get it right.
The ex EastEnders actress, best known for playing Albert Square’s Kat Moon, has been cast as legendary Coronation Street star Pat Phoenix in a one-off BBC Four special about the birth of the Weatherfield serial.
Talking about her experience of trying to master the voice, Jessie said she had been ‘worried my accent’s going to slip and there’ll be someone listening very closely. But then if I relax and just do it I can get it
“I sometimes don’t hear if I’m doing it right or not. Sometimes I drop a word and it sounds quite London. I stop myself and start again.”
She said she had been trying to master ‘old-fashioned Mancunian’.
To perfect the voice of Phoenix and her Coronation Street alter ego Elsie Tanner, Jessie went to see a voice coach at Rada prior to filming, and studied interviews with the actress on the internet.
“I’ve watched everything on YouTube, everything. She’s done loads of interviews. I’ve been watching it religiously. If I feel the accent slipping I listen to that and it comes back again.”
She asked for pointers from her fellow actors in the drama, including David Dawson, who plays Coronation Street creator Tony Warren.
“I’m always asking David ‘Is that all right?'”