Considering that The Death Of Stalin is set in Moscow and revolves around the death of the former Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin, you probably would have assumed that it was packed to the brim with thick Russian accents.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth, because its Scottish co-writer and director Armando Iannucci decided to approach the accents of his ensemble in a completely different way, and instead asked them to either just use their own voices or adopt an English cadence.
Earlier this week I had the chance to sit down and talk to Iannucci about “The Death Of Stalin,” and I couldn’t help but ask why he decided that the film should be completely void of the Russian accent.
“I felt Russian accents would just kill the comedy dead. It makes the whole thing artificial. It makes you feel like you’re not there. And I want people to feel like they’re there.”
It turns out that Iannucci has earned praise from Russians themselves for not asking his cast to adopt their timbre, as they are fed up with actors only using one version when there are in fact hundreds.
“Russians have thanked me for not using the Russian accents, because there’s not just one Russian accent, there’s hundreds of them. It is a huge landmass. I didn’t want to go down that route at all, I thought it would just kill the pace and spontaneity of it. I wanted a range of English accents, to indicate the geographic spread of this Empire.”
“The Death Of Stalin” has earned rave reviews since it was released in the United Kingdom towards the end of last year, and it currently has a score of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, while you can read my review here.
In fact, why not go and watch “The Death Of Stalin” in all of its glory, as the dark comedy has just been released.