What is the Accent in We Were the Lucky Ones?

In Hulu’s historical drama series ‘We Were the Lucky Ones,’ the characters speak English with a highly distinct accent. Even though the show takes place in Europe, mainly Poland, France, and Siberia, the characters do not speak their respective native language. Instead, they speak English in a certain way to distinguish the language from the American accent. The cast members, including the American ones such as Joey King and Logan Lerman, follow the same. The accent the artists use is seemingly Polish. Employing such an accent is a creative choice with unignorable nuances!

The Significance of the Polish Accent

Even though ‘We Were the Lucky Ones’ mainly revolves around Polish characters and takes place in Poland and other European countries, the series is a United States production with Americans as the target audience. Although having Polish as the primary language of the show would have ensured authenticity, it might have affected the project’s accessibility or reach among the target viewers. Therefore, creator Erica Lipez and the other creative heads behind the show opted for English as the primary language of the period drama. In this case, English with a Polish accent makes the characters and narrative more rooted in the original setting.

Usually, historical shows in English outrightly dismiss accents or try to “localize” the language to make it connected to the setting. While series like ‘We Were the Lucky Ones’ aim for a sense of authenticity by using these accents, several period shows such as ‘Chernobyl’ don’t use them at all. Even though the narrative of the HBO project is filled with Russians and Ukrainians, creator Craig Mazin wanted to avoid an impression of their languages. Thus, accents are ultimately a part of the creative choices creators and filmmakers make according to the way they envision their narratives.

As far as ‘We Were the Lucky Ones’ is concerned, the show’s cast members are predominantly from the United States, England, and Israel. The American and English artists might have had to work extensively on tweaking their original accents to make it Polish. Both Joey King and Logan Lerman have experience changing their respective accent to enhance their performances. In David Leitch’s ‘Bullet Train,’ King plays The Prince with a British accent she mastered with the help of a dialect coach and adequate training that lasted for 1-3 hours a day. Lerman, in the same film, portrays The Son with a Russian accent as well.

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