has an article about how some New Zealand celebrities master the American accent and it rates them. Naturally Lucy's name came up and this is what D'Arcy Smith, the senior voice and speech tutor at Toi Whakaari, the New Zealand Drama School said about Lucy's American accent:

ImageLucy Lawless

Rating: 9/10

Throughout the second half of the 1990s, Lucy Lawless' portrayal of Xena, the warrior princess with the heaving leather breastplate, won her legions of fans, and she has become one of New Zealand's biggest acting exports.

She may have retained her Kiwi twang, even though she now spends most of her time in Los Angeles, but her accent in Xena impressed Smith no end.

A general American accent, he says, is taught in acting schools across the United States. Some American actors laugh at the idea that they should learn how to speak in the accent of their own country, Smith says.

"I had students from Kentucky and Atlanta, where it was the furthest thing possible for them. It was a huge change for them to suddenly put on those sounds."

Lawless' rendition of it is textbook, says Smith.

"It's so spot on that it's almost eerie, to the point where you wonder if this is a real person. She sounds as if she was a Shakespearean actor or something before she did this.

"No American really talks like this, because it's so perfect."

His only criticism is that her Rs are a bit weak.

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