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Lana Reveals Her Reaction To WWE Telling Her To Fade Out Her Accent, Says WWE Never Gave Her an Explanation

April 20, 2019 | Posted by Gerry Strauss
WWE - Lana

In an interview with Gerry Strauss for the 411 Wrestling Interviews Podcast, WWE star Lana talked about how difficult it was for her to maintain a Russian accent, explaining that it wasn’t hard for her, and said that she got irritated when WWE fans would criticize her for going in and out of the accent when she was actually purposefully talking with less of an accent because that’s what WWE wanted from her.

“I just had to talk slower, I talk really, really fast. So I think it’s sometimes harder for me to talk with no accent, because I talk really fast. And then I listen to myself back and I’m like ‘Woah, I need to slow down!’ So when I was doing the whole Russian accent, that wasn’t hard. Once I got into that mindset, I grew up around Russians, I grew up around people with accents, so it was just like I just talked like that all the time. I felt like, it was, sometimes when I talk without an accent, I talk fast, and I have to remind myself, really fast, I talk really fast in real life, and I have to remind myself to slow down. So, that is a little bit of a challenge. I think a little bit of the challenge more was probably last year, I was told they wanted to me to lessen my accent, lessen, lessen, lessen my accent until I had no accent, so I kept on doing that. I think, it just would get a little irritating, not even irritating because you can’t get irritated, but with the WWE Universe that they would be like ‘Ugh, she’s going in and out of the accent.’ It’s like, ‘No, I’m not going in and out of the accent, I’m purposefully talking with less of an accent.’ It’s like, no, everything I do is on purpose so calm down.”

Gerry followed up by asking when the decision was made to fade out her accent, and why it wasn’t pointed out on WWE TV, as it was when Kofi Kingston dropped his accent.

“Well, you’re asking me questions way above my pay grade. If they want to call the Chairman and ask him that, he might know. Whose to say, but, no, look, this is WWE. Everything is situational, everything changes minutely. We sometimes find out what we’re doing 30 minutes before we go live. We just do, after you’ve been, I don’t ask a lot of questions. My job is to execute whatever they want to the best of my ability. This isn’t, people think, we’re characters at the end of the day, it’s like a movie, a TV show, it is a TV show. You just do, if that’s what they want, like I said earlier, what we were talking before, it’s two hours, you only have so much to explain on a two hour TV show. RAW has a lot more time, three hours, it really does make a difference, that extra hour. So they told me, it was probably about this time last year, they wanted me to lessen my accent to eventually have no accent, so I said ‘OK’. They never gave any explanation. I think we were turning good guy, maybe they thought the Russian thing sounded harsher? I don’t know, I really don’t know. I just do what I’m told. I’m like ‘OK, great.” Maybe next week I’ll have an accent again, you just never know. I like to keep everyone on my toes. Maybe everything I’m saying right now is not even true, you never know. That’s the thing about Lana, I like to keep you guys guessing.”

Gerry asked if her time on Total Divas without the accent hurt her character in WWE, and how she feels about what fans see from her and other female talent on Total Divas while they play different characters on WWE. Is that an uphill battle to maintain both personas?

“No, I think it’s two separate TV shows. Two separate networks. I don’t think at all effected, actually, I talked in a full accent, I mean I was on Total Divas for three seasons, and the first two I talked in a full, very thick Russian accent. So it didn’t at all effect it. I do know that our, the Chairman, and our bosses, they were always, that question, they’d go ‘It’s two separate TV shows, they’re completely separate, so one doesn’t effect the other.’ So if anything, it showed, for me individually, for me as CJ Perry, it actually gave me more liberty to actually be myself and have interviews like this. Because if I wouldn’t have been on Total Divas, I wouldn’t be having interviews like this. I would, if I did, it would be with full-on an accent. So before Total Divas, I’d have to do media full-on an accent, like morning shows, an accent, radio shows, an accent, red carpet shows, an accent, so for me, personally, I’m actually really happy I did that because I’m able to show like, ‘No, actually, I do play, I am a character, and that character the Ravishing Russian Lana, she is an extension of myself, but she is an extension of myself and I do speak perfect English and I do speak perfect Russian and I get to show both, because of Total Divas, so I’m actually very thankful for that.”

In the full interview, Lana talks about how long she expects to stay with WWE, what her favorite WWE match of all-time is, if she prefers working as a heel or babyface, her “salty” hashtag, if she likes being underestimated in the ring, on how hard it was to maintain her Russian accent, and MUCH more! Check out the full interview, which runs at over an hour, below.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit the 411 Wrestling Interview Podcast on 411mania.com.

Introduction (0:00)
On what she’s been up to since WrestleMania and going to Coachella (1:17)
On how her experience at WrestleMania this year compared to past years (4:40)
On if she likes being underestimated in the ring (10:28)
On her “salty” hashtag and what it means (12:03)
On using real-life frustrations as fuel for her character motivations (16:43)
On if she prefers being a heel or a babyface (19:33)
On her new comic book project Dark Country with Jason Starr (25:26)
On her time growing up in Europe and if she misses it (30:21)
On how long she expects to stay with WWE (36:35)
On how hard it was to maintain her Russian accent and why it was faded out (40:13)
On her experience training before getting in the ring (45:15)
On the separation between her personal and professional life (52:24)
On if she feels the urge to put her life out more following Total Divas (53:50)
On what her favorite WWE match of all-time is, and her favorite match of her own (56:05)
On her experience working on the Pitch Perfect films (1:02:39)
On when Rusev Day was born (1:03:50)
On if she’s still training in the ring and wants to continue working in the ring (1:06:25)

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article topics :

Lana, Gerry Strauss