Belfast Telegraph

Coppola excited by Watson's change

The Bling Ring director Sofia Coppola was delighted by Emma Watson's transformation into a Californian Valley girl because it was so "surprising".

The former Harry Potter star watched hours of American reality TV shows such as Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Hills to perfect her US accent for her portrayal of Nicki, one of the gang members of the real-life Bling Ring.

"I just think her transformation was so surprising. She's so different than how I know her in life, in that she plays this real LA girl. She really got the accent down, and the attitude," the Oscar-winning filmmaker said.

"I also thought she did a great job of blending in. You don't think, 'Oh, there's Emma Watson'," she added.

The group stole more than 3 million US dollars worth of cash and belongings from celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom before they were caught in 2009.

Sofia admitted she had initial doubts about Emma's performance, but they were soon dispelled.

"I met with her in New York and really liked her as a person. I mean, she has an English accent and is very different from this character so it was difficult to imagine her doing it at first. But she did an audition for me and I could really see her and a glimpse of the character. Having her take the part so seriously brought the reality to it," she recalled.

Leslie Mann and newcomers Taissa Farmiga, Katie Chang and Israel Broussard also star in The Bling Ring, which opens in cinemas on July 5.

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