Accent as a Political Statement in "Elysium"

Although Elysium sounds like a movie I don’t want to see (post-earth apocalypse one more time), I’m curious about the film for two reasons–how (and if) it addresses real-world problems and its use of accents. According to Sharlto Copley, who plays a maniacal South African assassin, the film  takes on real-world problems, in part by using accent as a political statement. He’s quoted in an article in today’s New York Times, “Trying to Spice a Recipe for Cinematic Popcorn”: “Our movie is a political statement,” Mr. Copley added. “It doesn’t shy away from controversial ideas. No studio person was saying, ‘Oh, people won’t understand that accent you’re doing, so you had better do half of that.’ Or if there was, we didn’t listen.” I’m also curious as to how someone does “half” an accent.

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