Australian actress Danielle MacDonald had a major learning curve when asked to portray Patti, a New Jersey girl bent on being a rapper.

In an interview with RogerEbert.com, MacDonald recalls preparing for the film, “It took lot of practice. I had an amazing dialect coach named Tim Monich and he basically started me off with some recordings of these women from New Jersey just talking about their lives. I listened to them over and over again religiously to a point where I pretty much memorized their life stories. He helped me with all the technical things, basically words that I had never heard before, I had no idea to how say. He would help me with the general rules of the Jersey dialect. Geremy [Jasper] was rewriting lyrics throughout the process of filming so sometimes I would get a new lyric and I’d be like, ‘I’ve never heard this word before,’ so I would email him at 2 AM and he would send back a voice recording instantly of him saying it with the Jersey accent which was beyond helpful. Yeah, mostly just about finding the placement in my mouth where the Jersey accent lived to kind of feel comfortable with it and just getting used to hearing the style so that it sounded natural to me.

There are a lot of words I didn’t know in the raps, in a way just kind of references to things that I had never heard before maybe because I grew up in Australia and some things were definitely just New Jersey-specific lingo.”