Armie Hammer wasted time trying to master an accent for Final Portrait, as he ended up just speaking in his own voice.
The American actor plays real life art biographer James Lord in Stanley Tucci’s recent directorial effort, alongside Geoffrey Rush as famed painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti.
For the feature, Geoffrey nailed Giacometti’s Swiss Italian dialect, but Stanley felt Armie’s attempts at Lord’s voice were too distracting.
“(James Lord was an) extreme wasp, an American wasp. More British than American,” Stanley told Cover Media. “He lived his life like a fly on the wall of these studios of these artists. And he wrote beautifully about them.
“But asking Armie to do that accent, we tried it at first in rehearsal, and it just didn’t work. Because you had Geoffrey doing his accent, and Armie doing his, and it just didn’t work so I said just forget about it. And he said ‘what do you mean? I’ve been working on it for months?’ I said ‘I’m sorry, forget it, just talk’.”
The film is based on Lord’s book A Giacometti Portrait, which recounted his time sitting for the painter just before he passed away.
Lord went on to helm a biography about the late artist, and Stanley researched as much as he could to make the movie authentic.
“I researched quite a bit. I read that biography three of four times. I read everything I could about Giacometti, obviously looked at his work. He was very well documented,” he recounted. “I followed Lord’s book pretty specifically, but then I would take just a little piece from the biography, and that might become a scene or an exchange of dialogue. And then I felt like I had to open the film up a little bit, so I would steal little snippets from here and then and create a scene out of them outside of the (art) studio.”