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Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian

“I’ll be pregnant by the time I’m 30…hopefully.” Kim Kardashian interview By E.C. Gladstone Many see Kim Kardashian as ...

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Jon Cryer

Jon Cryer

“I’m at the perfect level of fame” JON CRYER By Eric Gladstone Lunching with Jon Cryer in a Los ...

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Olivia Wilde

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John Waters

John Waters

“I feel like Uncle Remus every time a kid comes up and says, ‘Tell ...

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Leo DiCaprio at 21

Leo DiCaprio at 21

"At first, I didn't see any reason why we should do it again." By: EC Gladstone September ...

Anna Paquin

Anna Paquin-Forrester002

“I didn’t really know what an audition was. And I didn’t know what being in movies was all about. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as acting.”

Anna Paquin Interview
By E.C. Gladstone

I spent an afternoon in Venice, CA with Anna Paquin back in 2000, when the 18-year-old was truly on the cusp between girl-and woman-hood. As we sat down for a bite at an outdoor café, she muttered about being bad at making decisions. I decided to start with that thread…

EG: So you were saying you were bad at making decisions…

Anna: Well when there’s three hundred things on the menu, yes!

EG: Is it that way with deciding what projects to do, too?

AP; No, that’s like,‘do I want to be this person for three or four months?’ Like you ‘meet her’ and either you want to be the person or you don’t. If you’re going to be irritated with yourself for four months because you’re getting up and you’re going to work and you’re being this person that you don’t like or that you just can’t see the point in being. If there’s a maybe, then it’s a no. You know what I mean?

EG: Give me a couple of examples.

AP: Well, I think that would be things that I wouldn’t do and therefore I’m not playing…
Of something that’s very different, or that’s very like myself?

EG: How about one of each?

AP: Um, the character I played in Finding Forrester, with Sean Connery. I mean, she’s pretty similar [to me], she just has a kind of very–other than that whole kind of moody thing that I do–um, has a normal life. Just very regular 17 or 18-year-old girl. And the character in Hurly Burly was very different from myself, But, that was enjoyable and that, you know was an interesting thing to get to do, and it was a good character, I thought. There’s like a time, when there’s just some things I would read and, there’s just no way I could say this or be this person. I would feel stupid or just hate doing it.

EG: It seems like you’ve explored different identities with some of the characters you’ve chosen.

AP: Yeah, I mean there’s some similarities in the sense like, how different can teenage girls really be? You know what I mean? But yeah, I really don’t like doing the same thing twice. And I wouldn’t feel like I was doing anything, I was really stretching myself or challenging myself in any way if I kept on choosing film after film that was exactly the same character. I definitely think I can do more than that and I think that the great thing about getting to do what I do is that you can just be someone completely different and you get to play around with that and there’s no consequences, you know, you can try out being a different person without really having to screw up your life to do it.

EG: Does it help you figure out who you want to be in real life?

AP: Maybe in some ways, or like, I know what I don’t want to be. You know what I mean? Just the way that they respond to sort of various situations, I’d be like, no I wouldn’t have done that–that was, that wasn’t very smart. I think the interesting thing about acting is that every single scene, you are thinking through like, why are they doing this? How is this going to affect things you do later? How does this all fit in? And you get to see consequences, a bit. You don’t really do that in real life–I mean I consider consequences but you don’t pick it apart in minute detail. You know, what will this mean if this character responds in this way in this scene, how does it all fit in to the bigger picture. It’s not really anything particularly deep, but its something.

EG: You’ve played radical characters in at least a few things: HurlyBurly and It’s the Rage.

AP: You saw that? Oh cool. She’s not a nice girl. She’s not nice. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t still bleed when you shoot her, which you kind of forget when it’s like this really nasty attractual thing. Sort of, prejudiced bigoted little bad mouth punk. She just says what she’s thinking, doesn’t hold anything back… I’m just saying that when it comes right down to it, she wasn’t really the smartest cookie in the jar, if you know what I mean. What she was doing wasn’t exactly the most life preserving tactics to personal relationships. And I’m older than she’s supposed to be and I’m still very much alive, so therefore I think that I’m more experienced in living in a non-self-destructive way.

EG: How do you get into a role like that?

AP: You know what, I have no idea, because I’ve absolutely no idea what it’s like to be that person, but I figure as many different ways as I could imagine being that person–because there’s probably so many different people that have had so many different kind of life experiences that is in some way similar. If I can just think up something kind of stupidly elaborate for her whole life scheme, then I am sure that someone somewhere has had that life, and so it is going to be relatively somewhere near truth, do you know what I mean? And also there was a lot in the script and the dialogue and you can just imagine what that person has grown up like, she’s so completely monumentally screwed up. And, I don’t know, just using my imagination really.

EG: Does it interest you to play those characters in terms of wanting to find that out, or is it just, ‘Well this isn’t boring?’

AP: I would say that I had the best time being that girl, because absolutely everything about her was so unlike myself. Although the punky thing is kind of fun. I enjoyed the clothes and the hair and the horribly trashy thing that basically is everything that your parents would say ‘Go back upstairs and change,’ or ‘I hope you’re going to a costume party,’ if you came down, leaving the house looking like that, you know? Yes, kind of is something new.

EG: You’ve played a motherless child a lot. Is that anything you’ve ever thought about?

AP: In so many scripts and movies, there’s either no mother in the story, or the mother’s kind of absent, or there’s bad relationships with the mother. I don’t know why that is. In especially everything I’ve done there’s been, like, mother issues, and I don’t have any! I don’t really know, maybe there’s a lot of people that feel that they have issues with the way they were parented or mothered or whatever, and therefore it comes out in what they wrote about, but I was very well mothered and still continue to be very well mothered, so I really don’t have answers on that one. But I have noticed that–like, OK, Piano mute mother; Jane Eyre, no parents; Fly Away Home, no mother… yeah, I’ve pretty much had no parents or no mother.

Continued at Part 2

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Copyright 2001 ECG

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