Fans might have a hard time remembering this, but at the start of her MCU journey in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch, played by Elizabeth Olsen, had a very heavy foreign accent, since she is supposed to be from the fictional land of Sokovia, in Russia. In a recent interview with Collider, Olsen explained why Wanda's accent gradually slipped away, to be replaced by a completely American accent in WandaVision.
"The Sokovia accent was created by me and Aaron and our dialect coach because it's a fake country and we could find different sources of Slavic sounds. And we wanted to make sure it didn't sound Russian because Black Widow speaks Russian, and so we just needed to sound more like Slovakian. So we created these sound changes that worked for Aaron's British accent going to Slovakia basically and my American accent so that we sounded related. And then all of a sudden, all these different characters had to speak it in different films. [Laughs] So the Sokovian accent took a lot of time. It hasn't gone anywhere. There have been reasons for everything. It lightened up when she started living in the States, and in WandaVision she is playing the role of being in an American sitcom and so it's not gone. It is absolutely still there."
So it seems Elizabeth Olsen had not simply decided to stop doing the Sokovian accent because it was proving too cumbersome, but rather made a conscious decision to put on an American accent for WandaVision, while keeping the Sokovian accent at the back of Wanda's personal history, which can be trotted out again when the occasion demands it. Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed Captain America: Civil War, which was one of the first times that Wanda's accent began to slip, had put forth their own explanation for the changing accent.
"We have intentionally tried to strip that accent away for a couple of reasons. One is you'll notice at the beginning of Civil War that Black Widow is training her to be a spy, and two is she's been on the run, and one of the most distinguishing characteristics that she has is her accent. So if you're gonna try to disguise yourself or hide yourself or not be caught, you're going to try to limit those trigger warnings that would make it easy for someone to identify you, which would be inclusive of her accent."
As WandaVision continues, it is becoming more and more apparent that the wholesome, all-American reality that Wanda has created for herself and Vision is beginning to break down, so fans might yet get to see the superheroine slipping back into her Sokovian accent as she struggles between illusion and reality.
Written by Jac Schaeffer and directed by Matt Shakman, WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Paul Bettany as Vision, Randall Park as Agent Jimmy Woo, Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, and Kathryn Hahn as Agnes. New episodes air Fridays on Disney+. Read the entire interview at Collider.