In an interview with Assignment X, Oliver Star answered questions about his characters and behind-the-scenes information. Being from London, he has an English accent, which prompted the question of him playing Americans. He responds on Into the Badlands, he played one for a couple of years.
Naturally, the outlet followed up by inquiring about the difficulty of adopting an American accent. “I’ve gotten more comfortable. And there are still some days where I turn up, and I think, “Oh, God, I can’t do it,” he responds. “But it is something that I’ve put a lot of time into. Because for me, it’s a real pet peeve if I’m watching something and the accent is off, and it takes me out.”
He brings up a good point. It’s always easy for natives to pick up phony accents and particularly bad ones can take you out of the moment. American accents also aren’t as easy to nail as you might think. Regardless, if I didn’t know he was from London and had an English accent, I never would have guessed he wasn’t an American.
Oliver Stark Details how ‘9-1-1’ Depicts ‘Reality’ of Firefighters
In the same Assignment X interview, Oliver Stark discussed the training he undertook for the role, as well as how the show covers other things besides firefighting.
Following up on the questions about his voice acting, Assignment X delved into firefighting on the show. Regarding training, Stark said it differed from what he did for Into the Badlands. “We didn’t do any structured, set-up-by-the studio training,” Stark explained. “But we all took it upon ourselves to do a little. For me, it was a lot more important to be able to train to do the job. There was a kind of divide. I could train for aesthetics, or I could train to be capable.”
Well then, what does Stark do while taking his training upon himself? “So I took the kind of training that a firefighter would do. So I did a lot of carrying heavy stuff around, and a lot of running, basically. It was difficult, but it was really rewarding.”
Additionally, Stark noted 9-1-1 differs from other franchises because it makes the paramedics a major focal point. “80 percent of calls to firefighters in L.A. deal with the medical, and I feel like that’s not something that’s often represented,” Stark said. “So I feel like we’re trying to keep it in the realm of reality and show that.”
The different approach with the show seems to have paid off, as it’s still immensely popular today.