Agyness Dean used to fake an American accent.

The 31-year-old former model - who was born in Greater Manchester, England - moved to Los Angeles almost five years ago but local residents still have a hard time understanding her Lancashire tones.

She said: ''In LA, everyone thinks I'm Australian. I tell them I'm English and they say 'same thing'.

''My accent has definitely softened because when I first came over, I had to put on an American accent as no one understood a word I was saying.''

The 'Electricity' actress - who is married to actor Giovanni Ribisi - gave up modelling because she wanted a new ''challenge'' and admits it is only now she is out of the fashion industry that she can really see what a good time she had during her catwalk days.

She added to Stylist magazine: ''When I was modelling, I found the attention embarrassing and surreal. Not in a bad way, but because it felt like the attention was undue.

''I now feel like I didn't have perspective because it was all so much, but it was a great time in my life.

''Getting out of modelling was a conscious decision though. I fell into it after I was spotted and had an amazing 12 years, but I was craving a challenge.

''I've always been very private and I didn't intentionally drop out of the public eye, it happened because I moved to LA and all my focus was on my career change.''