Anne Hathaway turned to Joanna Lumley and Julie Andrews for accent inspiration

Anne Hathaway channelled Joanna Lumley and old pal Julie Andrews when she realised she’d have to adopt a British accent for her new comedy The Hustle.

The Oscar winner was not thrilled when director Chris Addison insisted her character Josephine had to be a posh Brit because she didn’t think she could pull off the accent.

“Against my will, my character is British; I didn’t wanna do it,” Anne tells Good Morning America. “I just thought, ‘God, if I mess this up it could just be such a face plant’, but the director insisted and I got an amazing dialect coach and I’m really happy, because for the first time in my 20-year career I’ve gotten compliments from the British press on my British accent.


“One of the reasons I didn’t wanna do it (accent) was because I just thought, ‘This could be exhausting for everybody; everyone knows I’m not British…’ so I thought, ‘Maybe my character isn’t necessarily British… She’s a conwoman; maybe she just decided that she’s British and she wants to sound British.

“So I thought, ‘What would be her main influences?’ I really loved Joanna Lumley from Absolutely Fabulous and it would have been such a shame not to put a little Julie Andrews in there… but mainly it was Stewie from Family Guy.”

The Les Miserables star also tackled an Australian accent for a scene with co-star Rebel Wilson, one of the world’s most famous people from Down Under.

“I was just trying to offend her, because my character is so mad at her in that scene,” Hathaway explains, “so I just wanted it to be as broad and harsh (as possible). I apologise to Greater Australia for that accent.”