How Janelle Monáe perfected her ‘rich bitch’ accent for ‘Glass Onion’
“Rian really allowed me to run wild with creating the accent,” says the actress.
Maureen Lee Lenker, Author
Warning: This article contains spoilers Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
She is the central figure of the mystery, playing both CEO Andy and her (plot twist!). Helen, her twin sister, must pretend to be Andy in order to find out who murdered her sister. She must ping between Andy’s calm, controlled voice (which Helen calls her “rich bitch”) and Helen’s natural Southern accent.
Monae tells EW that she was born in Kansas City and raised there. “I have spent a lot of time in South Carolina and I’ve spent time there.” [Director] Rian [Johnson] He had some ideas. He let me create the accent. He said, “Just make sure they’re distinct enough.” Cassandra didn’t want anyone to know her origins. Because she was used to working in corporate environments, her voice was more corporate. You wouldn’t know her origins, but she is warm and inviting.
She continues, “With Helen it was important for this character to stay grounded in where she came from.” “Making sure people knew she was proud of her roots and that she wasn’t going to change codes. It was a beautiful thing to have it rooted in something from the Deep South.
Monae brought in some of her Atlanta upbringing, and Helen’s voice was to help endear her audiences after the twist is revealed. “You want Helen to win, right?” She explains. “I knew she had to have a disarming voice, like, ‘Oh! I love her. She must win. Because you want people to say, “Yes, I f— with Helen.” I am so happy for this sweet, Southern-smart woman.
GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY (2022) Janelle Mon*e as Andi. Cr: Courtesy NETFLIX
Monae had to manage a variety of roles in her head. She was sometimes Cassandra, other times Helen, and sometimes Helen pretending she was Cassandra. Johnson describes it as a “magic trick” to watch her navigate this and switch back-and-forth.
Monae believed tapping into the different energies of the characters was the key to unlocking their secrets. She says, “When I read the script I was like, “Oh, this is going be a beast. In the best possible way.” “I usually start with energy when I do character work. It was like asking Helen, “What is Helen’s energy?” What is Andy’s energy, you ask? Is Helen pretending to be Andy? It would be a dream, a daydream, a meditation on the energy that you see. Make sure your energy shines for anyone who is supposed to be there.
Johnson and her past acting experience are what helped her to seamlessly transition between the characters. “I’m grateful for the Moonlights The Hidden Figures She explains that she has a lot of stuff she’d done up to this point. “It was because I didn’t do that that I wouldn’t have been able to play this role. Because it required me to keep track of each character and honor their spirits, I was proud of the film. It was a lot of mental gymnastics to make this look effortless and seamless.
Glass Onion Now streaming Netflix.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (movie 2022)
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