‘WandaVision’: Elizabeth Olsen Said Wanda’s Sokovian Accent ‘Hasn’t Gone Anywhere,’ She’s Just Now in an ‘American Sitcom’
It’s been over a year since Marvel fans had new content, but Disney+ really delivered with the first two episodes of WandaVision, which dropped on Jan. 15. It filled any void that Marvel Cinematic Universe fans might have had in 2020 and also left a lot of questions about what the heck’s going on in the show.
But aside from the Easter eggs, the theories, and the overall hilarity of the show so far, there’s one other thing that fans noticed and it’s Wanda’s accent. Again, she doesn’t seem to have a Sokovian lilt after Captain America: Civil War, and she definitely doesn’t have it in the new series. Or does she? [Spoiler alert: Minor spoilers ahead for WandaVision].
The Sokovian accent was made to sound Slavic but also sound like it’s own accent for this made-up country
Sokovia is a country introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and that’s where Wanda and her brother Pietro are from. They had very distinct accents in that film because of it. Since it’s a place that doesn’t actually exist — it’s near Slovakia and the Czech Republic in their universe — the accent is sort of Slavik, but is also different than anything that currently exists.
As Elizabeth Olsen told Collider in a Jan. 16 interview, the Sokovian accent came to be thanks to her, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (who played Pietro), and their dialect coach. It isn’t a real nation, of course, so they had to figure out how the accent would sound.
“We wanted to make sure it didn’t sound Russian because Black Widow speaks Russian, and so we just needed to sound more like Slovakian,” Olsen said, explaining how they found the right “Slavic” sound. “So we created these sound changes that worked for Aaron’s British accent going to Slovakia basically and my American accent so that we sounded related.”
But, of course, things became harder when other actors were involved, since their natural accents range from British to Australian to American and then their characters are also all over the place. She said the Sokovian accent “took a lot of time.”
Wanda Maximoff has been criticized in the past for losing her accent, but there was a reason
But as Scarlet Witch appeared in more films, she lost her accent, seemingly losing out on that hard work, right? Well, sort of. The change in Wanda’s accent was somewhat gradual, in Captain America: Civil War. She still has it, but it fades in and out. However, by Avengers: Infinity War, it’s completely gone. There is a reason for that, though.
“One is you’ll notice at the beginning of Civil War that Black Widow is training her to be a spy, and two is she’s been on the run, and one of the most distinguishing characteristics that she has is her accent,” Joe and Anthony Russo said while on the Happy Sad Confused podcast in 2018.
Natasha was originally from Russia but trained in the Black Widow program and as part of her spy training, she learned how to disguise her accent. So while it’s not (typically) normal for adults to lose their accent so quickly, Wanda was purposely trying to for her life on the run and as an Avenger. Hence her lost accent in Infinity War and in Avengers: Endgame.
But don’t worry; Elizabeth Olsen said that Wanda’s accent ‘hasn’t gone anywhere’ in ‘WandaVision’ either
But, don’t expect it to be gone for good. Which is a bit exciting to learn, especially for fans of the Sokovian drawl.
“It hasn’t gone anywhere,” Olsen told Collider. “There have been reasons for everything.”
What’s really interesting during this part of the interview is that Olsen seems to hold out some information. She of course has to, considering there’s so much of WandaVision the audience doesn’t know yet. But there might be a more significant reason why she said there are “reasons for everything.”
“[The accent] lightened up when she started living in the States, and in WandaVision she is playing the role of being in an American sitcom and so it’s not gone,” Olsen elaborated. “It is absolutely still there.”
She left it open for interpretation, and only the remaining episodes will reveal whether that hidden accent will make a significant appearance or not on the series.