Hilary Swank has revealed perfecting the Massachusetts accent in Conviction was one of the biggest challenges.
The two-time Oscar winner spent weeks trying to get single mum-turned-attorney Betty Anne Waters' cadence right in Tony Goldwyn's heart-wrenching drama.
"I'm not very good at getting an accent right away - it takes me a long time, especially because this one's very specific," she admitted.
"For eight weeks, I listened to audio tapes of Betty Anne speaking. I listened to the emotion between the lines of what she was saying - what moved her, what angered her, and that was wonderful to be able to have that amount of time to work," Hilary added.
The 36-year-old, who was also executive producer, worked tirelessly on the film, leaving little time for anything else.
"I worked on this daily - over the Christmas holidays and overnights. It's in my heart, I had to do it. There'll be other Christmases with my family," she said.
The commitment and work paid off, with Hilary winning acclaim, receiving a nomination from the Screen Actors Guild and being tipped to score another Oscar nod.
And the real Betty Anne is amazed by the end result, gushing: "Seeing Hilary play me, I can't explain it. I felt like it was really me. Call it therapy, if you will, but I couldn't stop crying."
:: Conviction is in cinemas now.