“This is one in a series on Odd Hollywood Jobs — not acting or directing, but rather the tasks you haven’t heard of. You can read other segments in this series at the links below the story.
If Claudette Roche is doing her job, you won’t hear anything except a perfect accent coming from an actor on screen. As a dialect coach, it’s Roche’s job to make sure actors master their characters’ accents with such precision that audiences won’t know the difference.
As a former actor, Roche fell into the job after doing what she calls, “Ask Five Friends.” This entails calling on some close friends and asking them, “What am I good at?”
“I was open to anything. The first person said, ‘Well you’re a good cook.’ … She said, ‘Open up a restaurant,’ and I said, ‘That’s the last thing I want to do in life,’” said Roche. Another friend told Roche she could be a writer, but that didn’t quite pan out.
Finally, a fifth friend mentioned that Roche was good with accents and suggested she become a dialect coach. Since then, Roche — originally from England — has coached countless actors and radio personalities how to master a non-native accent or how to quell their own accents if need be.
Roche joins Take Two to tell us more about her job, which accents are the hardest to master and why the American accent is so important.