Lewiston native and newly minted sexiest man alive Patrick Dempsey got to use his “natural” accent in a horror film premiering this weekend in movie theaters.
“Thanksgiving” director and Boston-area native Eli Roth told Fangoria Magazine this week that Dempsey, who plays the sheriff of Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the film, asked him if it was OK if he used his normal speaking voice for the role — something Roth eagerly agreed to.
“When we talked about the character, he said, ‘Do you want me to do it with a light New England accent?’” Roth recalled. “And I said, “I’m from there. So it tortures me when someone does the accent wrong because it’s a very difficult accent to do.”
Luckily, Dempsey, who was born in Lewiston and grew up in the nearby towns of Turner and Buckfield, speaks that way normally — though early in his career, agents and other industry people told him he’d never be cast in anything if he talked with his accent.
“He says, ‘When I became an actor and I went to New York City, they said, ‘You have to lose that accent or you’re never going to work.’ So I worked with a vocal coach to lose my accent’,” Roth told the magazine. “I asked, ‘Have you ever done this in a movie before?’ He says, ‘No, I’ve never used my natural accent in a film before.’ So this is really how Patrick Dempsey talks. It’s great.”
Comedic slasher film “Thanksgiving” is the third movie to come out that’s based on the mock trailers seen in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s double feature film “Grindhouse,” the other two being Rodriguez’s “Machete” and Jason Eisener’s “Hobo With a Shotgun.” In the movie, a Black Friday riot ends in tragedy, and a Thanksgiving-themed serial killer comes to the town of Plymouth to terrorize residents.
Dempsey is riding a career high at the moment, having been named last week as People Magazine’s 2023 “Sexiest Man Alive.” In addition to “Thanksgiving” he’ll also soon be seen in “Ferrari,” a biopic of Enzo Ferrari directed by Michael Mann, in which Dempsey plays racing driver Piero Taruffi.
In real life, Dempsey is a professional sports car racer, having competed in prestigious races including 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Dempsey has said in previous interviews that if he could devote his career full-time to auto racing, he would.