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The Dangerous Lives of Female Actors | Jodie Foster and Jena Malone sit and do some girl talkin'
an emily blunt interview

 


Jodie Foster has always been an influence. She's a smart strong chickbabe who's made and kept a career in a treacherous sea of mansharks. She also believes in jumping in and taking risks, breaking the mold, being her own boss, etc...etc...all the things little girls want from life.

She's produced the new coming of age flick The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys starring Vincent D'Onofrio (an acting god), herself and a gaggle of extreme 'child' talents ; Kieran Culkin, newbie Emile Hirsch and mirror- pathed- Foster- styled Jena Malone.

Thrill of thrills I got to sit with Jena and Jodie a posh Beverly Hills hotel and chat...I didn't even steal soap this time folks! Actually it was because the soap at this par-tic-u-lar place is rather blasé' for such a swanky establishment so why bother?

Anyway, here's the girls. Enjoy.

EMILY: Jodie, what attracted you to TDLOAB as a producer? [wow are her teeth white!]

JODIE: Ya know it was a great script. So that was the biggest thing and also I've really thinking about boys. Thinking about raising boys and how different they are and what's the best ways to learn about them... emotionally.... spiritually. [ of course she's saying this because she's a mom you know- of a boy! The confusing little beings...]

EMILY: When did you first become aware of the novel the film's based on by Chris Furman?

JODIE: You know I don't know how many years it's been now but it was when Jay Shapiro brought it to us after his having read the novel. We decided like four years ago…maybe five.

EMILY: This is Peter Care's first feature film. He's done oodles of commercials and music videos. How did you select him?

JODIE: He came with the deal. He came with Jay. Jay said he was somebody he'd worked with in commercials. It's somebody who has a great deal of passion for this so 'I'd like to keep him in it.' And I've made a lot of movies with first time directors. Many, many, many. You always just throw your hat in the air…you never know how it's going to turn out. What you hope is what they have done before at least reflects a little bit of where they're headed …but very often it doesn't. So, doing the 1st director thing is …you just never know how it's going to turn out.

EMILY: In the press notes you mention how perfect Kieran Culkan is as character 'TIM.' You're quoted as saying " I think he's going through a lot of similar things and that really makes my heart go out to him…"

JODIE: Well he's [Tim] unconscious. I think Kieran is good unconscious to a degree and I think he'd probably agree. He doesn't think a lot an sometimes he seems more innocent on the outside and then when you really sit down and talk to him…

EMILY: Jodie, Nunzilla is just a hoot! Is this the first time you've had one of your characters animated?

JODIE: [laughter] Yeah, I think so! I don't think Nell would be in to it! I did a lot of cartoons when I was a kid. I would come in afterwards so it would not look anything like me. Do the voices. I loved it! I like doing animation!

EMILY: Jena, how was it to be in such a heavy film? Were you nervous?

JENA: No, not really at all. Weirdly enough because I was going into it there was sort of a whole cast of young people and I hadn't worked on something like that for a while. I don't know, usually you're just the token child on the set! Okay, there are some kids around whatever…but here I knew all my scenes were going to be with younger people my age and I didn't feel like a young person going into an all-adult world. It was not like 'okay it's going to be very professional... all adult.' I thought it was going to be a lot of fun. But also our guideline was the script and what we were working on. What we were all sort of….were trying to do…really wanting to do and stay true to that. The thing with the script is it's so true! So raw! And so beautiful that we all sort of wanted to keep that same sense of it when we were going through it.

EMILY: Did you feel, then, that you connected to the script?

JENA: Unfortunately it was hard not to connect to it. I remember reading it and just being completely thrown into their world….I mean I'm not a young fourteen year old boy at all but at the time I was fifteen when we shot it and its so real. Your going through things and you don't know why. I was reading it and it was so naturalistic. I was already seeing these characters in my head. I was already investing like an audience member watching and walking away saying 'yes that's exactly how I feel and that's exactly how I would want something like this portrayed.' So it's just coming into it saying how true it is.

EMILY: Jodie...Youv've got the big 4-0 this year right Jodie? How's it feel?

JODIE: [laughter - listen to an audio of her reply] I think forties a great time! Some of your goals have been met and the ones that haven't have been met you've kind of figured it out….at least you know what job you're in what career your in…you have a lot less to worry about. I think it shows. Physically you still feel as good as ever.

EMILY: What do you do these days?

JODIE: I run around after a four year old pretty much! No in fact one of the hardest things about having young children is you give up everything about yourself. Just you know getting your trunk fixed is a deal. I mean its freaky. It is the least self-centered thing in the world.

EMILY: Jena, Peter Care said one of the reasons you got the role is due to his being late and he saw you all meek on the edge of the couch….he said ' oh, there's Marge!' Was that planned young lady? [laughter]

JENA: That's hilarious! [laughter] No. I don't know the whole auditioning process in this was sort of a torturous one because …its so weird all the projects that I really care about…the ones I can't get out of my head they're the ones that I always feel that I blow in the audition. I never really get it right. I remember sitting on that couch being completely terrified- not knowing what I was going to do.

EMILY: You really wanted the role at that point- after reading and loving the script so deeply.

JENA: Yeah absolutely. So I went in and kind of blew it a couple of times and the last time I did an okay job.

EMILY: So that old Hollywood story of "we just wanted her" isn't true?

JODIE: Waddya mean?

EMILY: Well, that whole no one but her thing I've heard that 97 times in a week from many directors.

JODIE: [laughter] We knew what we wanted way before he knew what he wanted! [laughter]

EMILY: Is this some kind of weird de je vou being here Jodie? I mean this is her Taxi Driver. [joking to Jena] You do know that Jodie was in that film?

JODIE: [laughter] A long long time ago.

EMILY: She played a character, that at the time, just blew people's minds and this character you're playing here now is going to shock quite a few people. Did you think about that? Like this role's going to just get me there.

JENA: I don't know…I don't know if you can think of roles that way. You know? That you're going to do this and everyone's going think. If I was sitting in the audience watching this and I didn't have any prior recognition of what the film was? I would be so excited seeing a young female character like that! In existence as soon as you create it it's interesting and you can learn from it and it's out there. It's not just some idea in your mind.

EMILY: 'Margie' is a strong character.

JODIE: That's a good point and I have to say it could have gone either way. That's all the fun stuff you do as an actor!

EMILY: Does your son know what you do yet?

JODIE: Yeah, I think he's starting to. He thought I was in construction for a long time! [laughter] I mean he'd come to the set and see and hear the hammering and say ' did you bring your tool belt today momma?' [laughter]

EMILY: Well thank you ladies. Good luck with this wonderful film.

JODIE: Thanks glad you liked it

JENA: Thanks, that's nice.

Jena had a lttle to say about girl's roles too listen HERE.

What a thrill to see these two talents on the same screen. Jodie a strong force in Hollywood brilliant enough to spot the next generation of talent stretching from the fertilizer. Jena Malone is intense. She's mature well beyond her years and I think we will be seeing some great things from her as the years go on. Jodie's going away 'out of town' for her birthday, her 40th birthday! Wow, I still remember watching The Little Girl Down The Lane on some late night show thinking how cool is this 'kid.' Now I got to meet her....life's pretty neat.

 

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