Rupert Grint is a long way from Harry Potter in the new psychological horror TV series Servant, but it was the American accent that presented him with the most problems.
The former Ron Weasley portrays Julian — the brother of protagonist Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose) — whom he describes as a “brash Wall Street guy” in the show, which is executive produced by thriller maestro M. Night Shyamalan.
He proves to be a confidante for brother-in-law Sean (Toby Kebbell) when he becomes suspicious of the family’s new nanny (Nell Tiger Free), hired to look after the “reborn doll” bought to shield Dorothy from grief after they lost a child.
For Grint, though, it was the prospect of doing an American accent that proved the most daunting.
“I'd actually never really done it. It's a tricky one,” Grint tells Yahoo Movies UK.
“Everyone can do an American accent because we grew up with American TV and everything, so that sound is definitely within you. A few words really trip you up.
“I had a voice coach, who was really great. They tell you about the mechanics of your mouth. While I'm talking now, my tongue is doing something completely different to an American person.”
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When asked to elaborate on which particular words he struggled with, Grint highlights some bizarre stumbling points.
He says: “‘Aunt’, because there's like two ways of doing it. The way we do it [in Servant] sounds quite English, so it can bring you out of it a little bit. Anything with an R in it, like floorboards.
“It's a constant thing that you're always aware of and you're minding it and you're looking after it. But it's fun and I enjoy it.”
Grint’s co-star Nell Tiger Free, best known for playing Myrcella Baratheon in Game of Thrones, says she is more accustomed to taking on an American accent.
“I'd done it a couple of times before,” she says. “My grandma is American, my mum's half American and I've spent a lot of time in America, so I'm quite used to doing the accent.
“It doesn't necessarily mean I'm any good at it. But I'm quite used to it, so hopefully it's alright.”
Servant has already been commissioned for a second season, with Shyamalan and creator Tony Basgallop teasing a potential six-season arc.
It is part of the first run of offerings from Apple TV+, which also includes The Morning Show, starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.
Servant is now available exclusively on Apple TV+ with new episodes every Friday.