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Judy Greer’s ‘Lady of the Manor’ Accent Was Inspired by Tootsie’s Dorothy: I Decided It ‘on the Fly’ With Justin Long (Exclusive)

Last-minute lady! Judy Greer’s accent in the new supernatural comedy Lady of the Manor came together seconds before shooting began.

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“Oh, my God. The accent is actually kind of a funny story. Justin [Long] and Christian [Long] are probably gonna kill me for telling you this, but my first day of work was the scene where we were in the jail cell. And they literally were about to roll the camera and Justin was like, ‘Oh, did we ever talk about you doing an accent?’ And I was like, ‘What?!’ He was like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m the worst,’” Greer, 46, exclusively told Us Weekly of her first day on set.

“I’m like, ‘You’re not the worst. It would have been better if you told me this, like, a week ago, but no, it’s OK. What are you thinking?’ And we kind of decided on this accent that was Dustin Hoffman‘s accent in Tootsie when he was Dorothy Michaels,” the Halloween star continued. “That’s kind of what I was going for. I wasn’t going for a specific time period. We just decided on the fly to go with Dorothy Michaels’ accent.”

Judy Greer’s ‘Lady of the Manor’ Accent Inspired by Tootsie’s Dorothy
Judy Greer as Lady Wadsworth in ‘Lady of the Manor’ and Dustin Hoffman as Dorothy Michaels in ‘Tootsie.’ Lionsgate; Columbia/Kobal/Shutterstock

Greer plays Lady Wadsworth in the film, a ghost that comes back to haunt a very unladylike woman named Hannah, who is now a tour guide at her former historic manor. In addition to writing and directing with his younger brother, the Dodgeball actor, 43, also starred alongside Greer and Melanie Lynskey.

“He’s the best,” the 13 Going on 30 actress gushed to Us. “We were just having so much fun. It wasn’t, like, some crazy dramatic performance where then he had to shift gears and be the director. We were shooting a lot of footage and then he would disappear for a second. We’d be like, ‘Where the f—k did he go?’ And it was so he’d go check the monitor. … He’s just so effortless and fun and funny. His comedic timing is amazing and his sense of humor — he’s really smart and really funny. So I never felt like, ‘Why are you giving me notes?’ I always wanted more. I always was hoping he would give me more notes, give me more ideas so we can riff a little bit more and we did. We just went crazy all the time — the three of us — as far as ad-libbing and stuff.”

Justin’s Max ends up meeting Hannah on one of her tours — and is quick to point out that she’s terrible at her job.

Judy Greer’s ‘Lady of the Manor’ Accent Inspired by Tootsie’s Dorothy
Judy Greer as Lady Wadsworth in ‘Lady of the Manor.’ Lionsgate

“I hope he’s not mad about me for saying this, but his character in the movie is not so far off, really, from him,” Greer told Us. “We were all kind of weird versions [of ourselves].”

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The actress previously appeared in a Mac commercial with the “Life Is Short” podcast host, and always hoped she’d share the screen with Lynskey, 44.

“We’ve been trying to work together for literally years. It’s always funny to me what you end up working with people who you love and admire and look up to. And she is one of those people,” she explained. “I always considered her to be a friend. But finally we got to do this totally hysterical, weird movie together. And in Tampa, Florida, where we shot it, just so random. It’s not what I imagined and I’m so thrilled that’s what it was.”

How Judy Greer, Justin Long Came Up With Her ‘Lady of the Manor’ Accent
‘Lady of the Manor’ poster. Lionsgate

Production on the film occurred right before the global pandemic — and it was costar Ryan Phillippe that informed Greer of how serious it was becoming.

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“Ryan was like, ‘Oh, my God, you guys, have you heard of COVID? This thing is happening and it’s crazy. And we’re all going to die.’ And I was like, ‘Dude, you’re f—king bringing me down man.’ And then he was right and it was awful,” Greer recalled to Us. “It was one of my last movies before COVID and I remember Ryan telling me that I should go buy a mask for my flight home to L.A. And I was like, ‘Why?’ And he is very smart, by the way. And he watches the news constantly. … He was just like, ‘Please trust me. Get hand sanitizer and get a mask and wear one on the plane ride home.’ And I was like, ‘OK, fine.’ So maybe Ryan Phillippe kept me from getting COVID. No one else on airplane had a mask on and I felt like an a—hole. But I didn’t get COVID!”

Lady of the Manor is now in select theaters, on Apple TV and everywhere you rent movies. It’s available on Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, September 21.

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