Stephen Moyer Talks About His Southern Accent

August 9, 2009 by  

bill-compton-stephen-moyer-season-2Recently when the cast and crew of Alan Ball‘s hit HBO TV vampire series True Blood were in Louisiana to shoot the final three episodes of season 2, Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton) spoke with Dave Walker, a TV columnist for The Times-Picayune regarding his approach in doing his character’s accent.  It always amazes people when they hear Stephen speak for the first time that he has an English accent and doesn’t sound anything like his 173 year old southern vampire character, Bill Compton.

Stephen worked with his dialect coach, Elizabeth Himelstein in perfecting Bill‘s southern accent and making him sound slightly different from the other characters on the show.  Stephen mentions that not only does coming to Louisiana help him work on his accent but, also helps him in his approach with his Bill character overall.

“The speed of how people move (in Louisiana) definitely affected how Bill is. I’ve tried to make Bill as still as possible. The only other person who’s possibly as still, if not more so, is Alex (Skarsgard), who plays Eric. They are very, very still. And that gives the language as well a laconic, laid-back quality, which I really like.”

Stephen further elaborates by stating that, whenever he comes to Louisiana he feels that he learns something new each time and he can feel his accent take on a “whole new luxuriation” which he enjoys immensely.

Coming to Louisiana is not only a learning experience but, also provides Stephen with a slight sense of coming home as he states:

“… it was a real opportunity to see the south in a way that I had only ever imagined it — the landscape and how enormous it is, and how lush,” Moyer said during a break in production on the Clinton episodes. “It’s very English in its lushness. When you come into London, you’re expecting this grey concrete thing, but it’s green predominately, and it’s the same here.”

Please visit Dave Walker’s article to listen to an audio clip of Stephen Moyer discussing the development of his accent to make Bill Compton sound as if he really did come from the Civil War era.


(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)