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A Symphony Of Accents
Since the characters in the film speak a great assortment of accents, "we had to make sure that everybody kept their accent in a fairly tight box,” emphasizes Simonds. "The most outrageous accent would always belong to Clouseau. Our phenomenal dialect coach from the first film, Jessica Drake, returned for another tour of duty, and she really helped provide an anchor.” 

"It was fun to get back into the accent,” notes Martin. "I love to have a coach. I think I have my own sound to the accent, but I have to say that Jessica is really good.”

"The challenge of learning a dialect will vary from person to person and really depends on their background,” notes Drake, who started out as an actor and formally studied speech and dialects at the Juilliard School and other institutions. "In the first film, we had only variations of French. In The Pink Panther 2, we have Steve, who is very American, doing a wonderful French accent with its unique Clouseauesque twist. His Clouseau French is heightened; it's its own animal and unique to Steve. He can get a joke out of taking a sound, twisting it around and making it hysterically funny all by itself. Emily, who is British, is doing a fluffy French accent as a complement to Clouseau. Andy, who is Cuban-American, is doing an Italian accent, and Yuki is doing Japanese. Alfred, who is English, is doing a very proper, nose in the air, upper-class Queen's English, and Aishwarya is speaking her own beautiful Indian-British sound.”

"The English have always found the French accent funny,” observes John Cleese. "I don't know why we find it so funny. We recognize the others, the Russian and the German, but we just laugh at the French accent. Steve and I discussed whether I should use an accent. I'd assumed that I would do a French accent, because I've done so many, especially by the French Taunter in Spamalot, but I suddenly thought, no, it may be better if Steve is the one with the French accent. I suggested that to him on the day we first shot and I think a look of relief flickered across his face. It's better to create these little contrasts.” 

"I've been living in the States now for fifteen years,” says Molina, "so I think a little bit of the British is gone, but what I'm trying to do is take the a British accent and heighten it and make it a bit more exaggerated to give it some comic value.”

"I studied English and spent years trying to get rid of my accent,” says Matsuzaki, who was born in Japan and now lives in Los Angeles. "But in this movie, my task was to put back the broken Japanese as much as I could. This influences my performances – since Kenji's English ability isn't that great, he tends to think before he comes to that precise word he would like to say.” 

Garcia says, "Accents are always challenging, because first you have to understand them and get comfortable with them to the point where you don't have to think about them anymore. You want to be free of the consciousness of having to do the accent. It should just come out of you naturally like in your own voice.” 

Jean Reno's goal was "to be clear in front of the American audience. Even if I already have the accent,” he laughs, "I have to be clear. My wife, Zofia Moreno (who plays a reporter in the film), is English, so she helps me a lot.” 

"Considering the fact that today's audience is really multinational,” notes Rai Bachchan, "I think the accents work very well. The world is only getting smaller, so I think it makes a lot of sense. It's a clever idea.”

Mortimer notes the underlying giddy absurdity of the accents. "Under the creative circumstances,” notes Mortimer, "one doesn't feel quite so responsible for producing the perfect French accent, for it would, in fact, be a bit wrong in the context of this movie to be doing a bril

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