Toronto 2019: How US star Beanie Feldstein learned Wolverhampton accept

If you happened to visit a gift shop in Wolverhampton last year, you may well have been served by a Hollywood star when you reached the tills.

That’s where US actress Beanie Feldstein spent a few weeks working as she tried to pick up the tricky accent for her new movie How To Build A Girl.

She plays the lead role in the screen adaptation of Caitlin Moran’s novel.

“I’m from Los Angeles so the first battle was the Wolverhampton accent,” Feldstein explained.

“The West Midlands is a place I know very well and love very much now. For preparation, I went to Wolverhampton for two weeks and I worked in a store, and I had to speak in the accent the entire time I was working.

“And the first week I did not fool anybody!” she laughs. “But then by the end of the second week with a little help from the girls I was working with – they would yell it me when I got something wrong – by the end of the week I felt much more comfortable.”

Feldstein is a rising star in Hollywood having recently appeared in Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut Booksmart and the Oscar-nominated Lady Bird.

In How To Build A Girl, which has just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, she plays a young girl who aspires to be a music journalist.

While Moran’s 2014 novel was fictional, the storyline was somewhat autobiographical, and the lead character Johanna Morgan’s journey mirrors her own.

Moran grew up the eldest of eight children in a Wolverhampton council house, but at the age of 16 started writing for NME and went on to a distinguished career in journalism (she is now a columnist for The Times).