Crazy things happen on Twitter some times. Crazy, unexpected, amazing things. We recently had the pleasant surprise and pleasure of such a thing. We were given the opportunity by a friend on Twitter to ask Mary Costa a question. If her name isn’t familiar to you, her voice certainly is, in the role of Sleeping Beauty. We were thrilled at the opportunity and gave it sincere thought. We decided on asking what the most challenging thing was to overcome in playing Aurora. We felt that it might not be a typical question for her and stories of overcoming are always inspiring. We were certainly not disappointed with her answer and hope that it moves you the way it did us. Here’s the e-mail we received from our friend:
“Hi! Mary said that she thought your question was a great one. Matter of fact, she had to think a moment. She then told me of how she and her father use to play around doing funny accents when she was growing up. She lived in Knoxville up until she about 15 (I think that was the age). Anyway, she had quite the southern accent in her normal speak. So, when she was on the sound stage rehearsing for Sleeping Beauty, she started doing the roll with her normal voice (thus with her regular southern accent). Marc Davis came out of the sound booth one of the first days and was asking her about her accent. She could tell that he and the other Disney people seemed concerned. He asked her if she had ever heard someone speak with a British accent and she responded perfectly in a British accent. And he looked amazed. He asked her how she did that and she told him how she and her dad use to play around doing different accents when she was growing up. Mr. Davis left momentarily and when he returned he asked her if there was anyway she continue to do that British accent for an extended bit. And it went from there. She continued to do the roll as Aurora with the British accent until it was complete.
So, the answer to your question was overcoming her southern accent was the biggest obstacle she faced in playing the roll of Aurora. She said that she had to remind herself during production of Vivian Lee. If a British actress could play a southern lady in Gone With the Wind, then surely she could do the opposite.”