Rebecca Breeds’ posh Australian accent is surprising if you have been following her on CBS’ Clarice in the title role. As FBI agent Clarice Starling — the role Jodie Foster won an Oscar for playing in The Silence of the Lambs — Breeds speaks with a West Virginia twang. As the show approaches its season finale (Thursday, June 24) Breeds happily chats about how she found this very specific accent.
“There was a little bit of magic involved,” Breeds says. “I just listened to a couple of videos on the Appalachian accent and how to do it, and listened to actual documentaries and the people of Appalachia. Like most accents, there is a spectrum. It can be very heavy or lighter, and that is one of the ways I could pay homage to Jodie. It is important to carry on with where she pitched the accent.”
Breeds had not seen the film when it came out, given that she was a baby, but has seen it since, admitting, “I had avoided it for a long time. I am not great with scary movies and when I did, I realized it was more of a psychological horror and not just horror for horror’s sake. It’s incredible watching this young female in this time and place.”
Here Breeds answers our “5 Questions.”
1. What movies do you never get tired of watching?
The Lord of the Rings, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, pretty much all the Disney-Pixar films. La Vita è Bella — I watched that one night with my dad and fell in love with that.
2. What three foods do you always have in stock?
I always have avocadoes, cheese and Vegemite.
3. What are some of the jobs you had before you made your living as an actor?
I packed shelves at Crazy Bargain Buys in Sydney, at a music shop and filing at a chiropractor. I worked retail at a surf shop, and I was a waitress a lot. And I worked at hosting the sweets [concessions] at a stadium. I was very busy! I also taught piano and singing.
4. If you were not an actor, what would you be doing?
I got a degree in nutrition, so I would be doing something in the health sector or writing children’s books, because that’s something else I love. I grew up with all the [Little] Golden Books. I also grew up reading a lot of Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis.
5. Tell us about a time when you were starstruck.
I saw Mel B from the Spice Girls. She was in Rent and the people I was staying with and I could not believe she was there — in real life. I didn’t meet her. I just stood there and tried not to sob. I was in awe. I came really close to meeting Robin Williams, and I was back-to-back with Brad Pitt and so close to spinning around. I like to leave people to it; they get hounded enough.