TIL: The Origin Of Princess Leia’s British Accent In ‘Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope’
“Why, you stuck up… half-witted… scruffy-looking… Nerf-herder… In a proper copper coffee pot. I’ll have a cup of tea.”
– Carrie Fisher HBO’s “Wishful Drinking” (2010)
Prior to Carrie Fisher‘s role as Princess Leia in George Lucas’ science-fiction film Star Wars (later retitled “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope”) opposite Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford in 1977, she attended London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. Starting in 1973, Fisher studied the craft for 18 months in England where according to her HBO documentary “Wishful Drinking” she would often practice tongue twisters in a British accent – an ability which Fisher claims she became quite skilled at. Fast forward to Fisher’s franchise christening “A New Hope” appearance and the iconic Princess Leia actress credits those same tongue twisters for her pristine enunciation and ‘come and go’ British accent.
Watch Carrie Fisher poke fun at her British accent in an excerpt from HBO’s “Wishful Drinking” below:
Given Fisher’s tongue and cheek theatrical presentation style, much of her stories should likely be taken with a grain of salt. As for her British accent backstory, I would say that it seems not entirely unlikely that the root of the debate lies in Fisher’s high proficiency level when it comes to tongue twisters. And for those of you wondering what she was rambling at the beginning of the video, here is the classic tongue twister she was blending with some of her most famous lines as Princess Leia.
All I want is a proper cup of coffee,
Made in a proper copper coffee pot
I may be off my dot
But I want a cup of coffee
From a proper coffee pot.
Tin coffee pots and iron coffee pots
They’re no use to me –
If I can’t have a proper cup of coffee
In a proper copper coffee pot
I’ll have a cup of tea.