The Lennie James Interview

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INTERCEPT: TWoP Blows Lennie James's Cover
And I have to say, my first day filming the pilot -- and at that time, I wasn't working with a dialect coach -- but my first day at filming the pilot, I don't think in my whole career I've ever been as nervous as I was at that particular time. But again, friendly crew, friendly cast, and very inviting and supportive, and it was made very easy for me. One of the things I'm most proud of -- or the one I think I get the most kick out of -- is when people either come to visit the set or people stop me in the street and are very complimentary of Jericho or of my role in it, and when I start speaking, are surprised that I'm English. That, to a greater or lesser extent, is a high compliment indeed, because they wouldn't be shy in saying it if I hadn't nailed the accent, and I'm glad that I have because that was my responsibility. I don't think of it as putting on an accent, I think about it as with any of my characters: how does this guy speak? So when I put on his jeans and his shoes and put on his gun, I also think about how I have to put on this guy's mentality and I have to think, "How does the guy speak?" and that's how I tackle it. K: I don't know if this is just the phone line, but I note as Hawkins, your voice is comes out so incredibly deep, and sonorous, and soulful. And for a while they were running the "previouslies on Jericho" and Hawkins was always saying "the rain's going to come down on Jericho," and it was the way you said "Jericho," that sounded almost like gospel choir-y. The difference is amazing. LJ: [Laughing] Well, thank you very much. K: Do you think the strike and the dearth of new scripted episodes had any hand in getting Jericho aired sooner in the season, rather than later? LJ: I don't know -- it's not something I'm aware of. What I do know is that we finished filming Jericho in September, and CBS released me to do a movie back home straight after, with one of the provisos being that I was back over here no later than the middle of November. So, from that, I would guess that there were thoughts that Jericho could be screened as early as November of last year, but to say that the writers' strike had no influence on it would almost certainly not be true. But what influence it had on it, I don't think anybody knows. And some people are saying that the strike could be of benefit to Jericho, and that could be a possibility, but equally, one of the things I have learned even on my short time over here is all things are possible and nothing is, so you can't really tell. We'll just have to wait and see how it plays out and hope that people come to Jericho, so that we get the chance to continue telling the story.

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