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Jessica Lange was born and brought up in Minnesota.

It seems to me that her southern accent in the movie is a bit too exaggerated (read overacted) compared to that of Tommy Lee Jones. Am I mistaken?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL1Nmc7woxM

Are there ways of differentiating a Louisiana accent (the setting of the play) from a general Southern accent?

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    You can find some examples of her natural speech around the web (and judge for yourself). For example, here is one of her appearances on TV shows: Jessica Lange - Kelly and Michael Jan 6, 2015. – Damkerng T. Jan 16 '16 at 8:52
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    Regional accents often sound too exaggerated to me, also. Whether or not an accent sounds real or forced often depends on two things: (a) how familiar your ear is with the (true) regional accent, and (b) the actor's ability to pull it off (although, in the latter case, I sometimes wonder if an overdone accent might be the fault of the director as much as the actor). – J.R. Jan 16 '16 at 10:38
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    Cat On A Hot Tin Roof takes place in Louisiana where the local accent can be very strong even when compared to other accents in The Deep South. Tommy Lee Jones sounds more Texan (where he is from) than southern. Lange sounds southern, whether she is overacting is a different question. – Peter Jan 16 '16 at 10:40
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    I think the OP means to ask if the actress has achieved an authentic accent, not if the accent is her "natural" one. – Jim Reynolds Jan 16 '16 at 13:35
  • How regional accents sound is a valid topic of inquiry here, and its answer is not any more "primarily opinion-based" than would be the majority of questions on the site. Is this how (some) people in Louisiana sound or not? Here's an example of the attention accents can be given on ELU: goo.gl/dkCbre – Jim Reynolds Jan 18 '16 at 6:10
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The general southern accent is always exaggerated. The Louisiana accent is no different from the general southern one. We in the South pretty much sound the same. (Some may say differently) The only big difference is if you are from different regions such as:

  • Southwest- More like "stereotype", more of a "country music" feel
  • Southeast- In the Florida area, sounds northern, but with Southern words
  • North- Least "southern" sounding, but more like a "watermen" feel (bayou???)
  • Middle- most stereotypical, Carolinas

Let me know if this helps!

| improve this answer | |
  • So your answer is "Yes, she sounds authentic", right? – Makoto Kato Feb 3 '16 at 4:06
  • Actually i disagree. No states in the south have the same southern drawl. People in New Orleans (where I’m from) sound completely different than people from Arkansas. New Orleans has a very deep rich history of Haitian, Sicilian, and French heritage. It’s a huge part of our dialect and our sound. Even Mississippians speak differently than Texans. None of it is the same. – Michael Vaughn Jul 8 '18 at 23:40

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