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Claire Foy can be her own harshest critic. Despite glowing reviews of First Man that singled out the actress’s performance for particular praise, the Crown star admitted yesterday (October 8) she didn’t feel her accent was up to scratch.

“I’ll never master it. […] I’ll never do a perfect American accent,” she confessed.

Now, we find this hard to believe. First, there was the vowel-torturing royal accent she pulled off in The Crown, and then there are her Swedish and Russian accents as Lisbeth Salander in the trailer for The Girl in the Spider’s Web.

In First Man she plays Janet Armstrong, whose relationship with her husband Neil (Ryan Gosling) — already complicated by the loss of their 2-year-old daughter, Karen, seven years before the famous 1969 moon landing — forms the emotional crux of the film.

Both her and co-star Ryan’s performances have been described as stellar, with the latter hoping to catch Oscar glory after his La La Land performance left him gongless, and Claire no doubt in the running to add a gold statuette to her horde of Golden Globe and Emmy awards.

Claire, though, remains irrevocably modest. “You can try and try and try, but ultimately you have to hope in the end that the perfection of something is not why people watch films,” she explained. “They want to be moved by the emotion and to see real people, as opposed to someone doing a perfect impression of someone else. So I did all the work that was humanly possible, but then you have to accept that you’re never going to reach perfection.”

So is Claire right about her accent? Or is she being overly modest? You decide:

First Man opens in theaters this Friday (October 12).

Which British actors have pulled off convincing American accents?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.