Interestingly, Ben Affleck performs the interview:
AFFLECK: We met when you came to do The Town, and when you turned up, I was a little taken aback. I was like, "How did you learn this Boston accent? How did you learn all of this stuff?" Which I thought was hard to get because I had been doing readings with all of these actresses in New York and L.A., and it was just hard to find the right person. You were by far the best, and when I asked you how you got everything down, it turned out that you had tried to work with this one dialect coach, and then tried another one, and then just started doing all of this incredibly thorough, diligent, independent research on your own-seeking out people who spoke the way your character does, seeking out people whose own life experiences you could draw upon. How did you get to the point where that became your approach? Because it's certainly nothing I ever did at any point in my twenties. Where does that instinct come from?RTWT.
LIVELY: I don't know. I think it comes from the fact that I never really thought about acting as a child. It wasn't like, "This is the career that I want to pursue." So when I first started acting, I was more concerned with just being on a set and all of the woes of that, and I didn't really know it or understand it as a craft yet. When I saw my first movie, I was fine, but I thought, "Oh, my heavens. It's not about just standing there on my mark and saying these lines. I need to actually act." It was great to have my first opportunity be such a big role, but also not great because all of the mistakes I made-the entire learning process was on the big screen for everyone to see. That's been something, movie by movie, that I've been able to grow and learn from-that I always need to work harder to be better because it's still a new craft for me.
AFFLECK: Did anyone help you learn that?
LIVELY: I just did it on my own. I've never worked with an acting coach, but my parents had acting classes and I grew up around them my whole life just because I didn't have a babysitter. I'm actually a very shy person-that's a big secret, so don't tell-but being in those classes pushed me to break out of that a little bit. It's like nature versus nurture: I'm naturally very shy, but I was brought up in a way where I had to get up and get out of that.
AFFLECK: I wouldn't really describe you as shy. That hasn't been my experience of you.
LIVELY: Well, I had to be bold with you! I had to be brave because this role was terrifying. But it was all smoke and mirrors because I read the script and I didn't know how I couldn't do it. I loved this character so much. I was a little selfish in wanting to do it because I also thought, Well, maybe I'm not the best person for this, but I really want it. I didn't know how to do a good Boston accent, so I went and got a dialect coach, and she was really good, but it was a real proper accent I was learning, and my character is from the projects. But she'd lived in Charlestown her whole life, and the kind of accent she would have had is very different from an across-the-board Boston accent. So one of my best friends, Jennifer, who is a hairdresser on Gossip Girl, is from Boston and she had her family come down to New York one weekend.