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Interview: Devan Long on Capturing Thorfinn’s Accent and Essence on ‘Ghosts’

CBS’ comedy series Ghosts continues to be one of the most enjoyable comedies on television as it wraps up its second season. The American version of the popular UK sitcom of the same name follows Sam (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), who, after inheriting a massive country home, soon discover that there are ghosts that live within it – and Sam can see them. Among the most memorable and entertaining ghosts is Thorfinn (Devan Long), a Viking whose word choices and general demeanor often feel quite at odds with the present.

Awards Radar had the chance to speak with Long, who immediately addressed Thorfinn’s accent and whether he’s heard from anyone who speaks that way:

“I don’t think anyone sounds something like that. Danielle Pinnock, her husband Jack, he’s a voice coach. I went up to him, and I was like, hey, this voice I’m doing, is this anything? And he goes, it’s nothing. He had a term for it. It was a really cool term, like West Seas or something, this generalized pirate-y, viking-y, there’s a term for it, but it’s not a real accent. It’s just Thorfinn. I think it works for Thorfinn, because I don’t know how much English he spoke when he arrived and died, and then he got here, and he learned English through Hetty, so he’s probably just a hodgepodge of everything anyway.”

He confirmed that he has, indeed, been talking louder than everyone else in the cast since the start:

“Vikings are loud dudes. They’re known for being storytellers, and larger-than-life. They have great senses of humor. I feel like, you put all of those things together, you get a loud dude that thinks he’s hilarious and just trying to control the room. But yeah, I set the tone in the pilot. In the pilot, I was only a guest star, so I had to come in and let everyone know that I’m here. I’m like, I’ve got to earn my place at the table. So I did ramp up the volume a little bit, and I was doing a lot of improv, just to make sure that I could get invited back for the second episode. So I set the tone for a loud, boisterous dude, and that’s played through for the past couple seasons.”

Watch the full conversation below.

Seasons one and two of Ghosts are available to stream on Paramount+.


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Written by Abe Friedtanzer

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