Toronto, Canada — While a horror movie seems an unlikely place for the Christmas spirit, the follow-up to last year’s IT cast a woman who does an authentic Maine accent, a first for Hollywood.
Judith Beal was down on her luck, so she answered a casting call for a “middle-aged woman, medium height, who can do a convincing New England or Yankee-style accent.”
Beal, who grew up in Calais, knew she was perfect for the part, but when she auditioned, the casting director told her she was unconvincing.
“He said my accent didn’t sound right a’tall,” she said. The director asked her to slow down, and try saying her lines like she was in a Pepperidge Farm commercial from the ’80s.
“I said ‘I don’t think so, mistuh,’ and I stormed out,” she said. Was she upset by the casting director’s demands?
That’s when she ran head first into a man she didn’t immediately recognize.
“Tall fella. Bit of an odd duck.” That “odd duck” turned out to be none other than Maine author Stephen King. After talking to Judith for a few moments, King said he would speak to the casting director.
Months passed without word until last night, when a mysterious phone number appeared on Judith’s caller ID.
“I picked it up ready to lay into a telemarketer,” Judith laughed. She was expecting “some fool from India or whereevah.” While it was a foreigner on the other end of the line, the call was coming from here in North America.
“Casting director called, said I got the part, apologized for calling on Christmas Eve, wicked nice guy,” she laughed.
A true Christmas miracle right here in the state of Maine. Judith’s part is small, but significant, as it marks the first time many people will hear an actual Maine accent in a Stephen King movie.
According to New Line Cinema, she’ll be telling one of the main characters “you can’t get there from here.”
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