Welsh actor Matthew Rhys plays the title role in the new HBO series, Perry Mason. His version of the iconic criminal defense attorney is younger and more hardboiled than the one Raymond Burr played in the popular TV show from the '50s and '60s. The new series focuses on Mason as a divorced private investigator in the early 1930s in Los Angeles — before he became a lawyer.
What do Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, and John Edwards have in common? They've all been criticized for the way they speak. Linguist Geoff Nunberg has some thoughts about candidates and regional cadence.
Chwat's "New York Speech Improvement Services" attracts 200 to 250 clients a week. He taught Robert DeNiro how to gain an Appalachian accent for his role in "Cape Fear." Julia Roberts sought him out to relearn her southern drawl for "Steel Magnolias." He helped another southerner, Andie McDowell, after her lines for "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan" were dubbed by Glenn Close. Chwat also assists people in business, politics, and communications to lose their accents and learn Standard American English.