The Secret to Michael Urie's Accent

PlayBlog   The Secret to Michael Urie's Accent
Among The Temperamentals taking over New World Stages at the end of the month is Viennese designer Rudi Gernreich (Aug. 8, 1933-April 21, 1985), famous for inventing the monokini (the first topless swimsuit) and less famous for being a founding member of the Mattachine Society, the first gay rights group in America.

He is played convincingly Viennese by Michael Urie, who is quick to give credit for the accent where it is due: "I worked with this guy named Diego Dan Pardo, who was a student at Juilliard when I was a student teacher there. While I was doing 'Ugly Betty,' he was working on this show called 'Fringe' next door — so I'd run into him and say, 'Hey, you're doing accents with these people. Can you do one for me?'"

He, indeed, could — save for one word. For that, Urie went to the movies. "Arnold Schwartzenegger is Viennese. I'm not doing his giant neck, but there is this movie called 'True Lies' where he plays a man named Harry, and I play opposite a man named Harry — Heerie — so I sorta stole that for every time I say Harry in the play."

— Harry Haun

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