Hey folks, Harry here with Capone's sit down with Judy Greer in Bermuda. Loathing Capone is fine. Just go on, openly hate the man... Spending time with Judy Greer in a tropical paradise like Bermuda... no jealousy there. Nope, not a shred. Judy gets to play Orlando's sis in Cameron Crowe's ELIZABETHTOWN - she figures significantly into the beginning of the film and a bit towards the end, but the great majority of the film she isn't active in, at least in the script. Here's Capone with the interview...
Hey, Harry. Capone in Chicago here. In addition to Michael Clarke Duncan, I also got to interview the lovely Judy Greer during my all-too-brief time in Bermuda covering that country's International Film Festival. In only about eight years, Greer has made about 30 films and appeared in countless television series, including her current role as Kitty Sanchez on "Arrested Development." She seems to excel at playing "the best friend" or "the sister," but it appears that may all change. People first took notice of her as the suicidal co-worker of Mel Gibson in WHAT WOMEN WANT, and she entered the Film Geek Hall of Fame for playing the waitress that turns down Charlie Kaufman in ADAPTATION. She's also had high-profile parts in the last year is such films as 13 GOING ON 30, THE VILLAGE, and most recently in the ill-fated CURSED as Scott Baio's manager, all of which we cover.
But two upcoming projects have her most excited: a pilot for CBS and her major role in Cameron Crowe's ELIZABETHTOWN as, you guessed it, Orlando Bloom's sister. I conducted this interview during a very crowded, very loud party held at a private residence on the island. After a few minutes of search, we found a somewhat less crowded corner of the dimly lit house, leaned toward each other so that our foreheads were almost touching (so we could hear each other), and had this conversation...
I should add that Ms. Greer was a great interview, not just because she's easy on the eyes and is very aware of her position in Hollywood, but because she's a natural talker. She doesn't ramble or sound ridiculous, and her animated delivery puts just about anyone around her at ease. Enough gushing, here's Judy...
Capone: The most high-profile project you've got coming out this year is clearly ELIZABETHTOWN. That's the one I'm most looking forward to.
Judy Greer: Me too, by the way. We finished that in the fall. It's a coming-of-age story about a boy who loses his father. Orlando Bloom is the boy. He goes to retrieve the body. I'm his sister; Susan Sarandon is our mother. And I know I look nothing like him, but that's okay. It's a movie, and you must suspend your disbelief. Our father is visiting his family in Kentucky when he dies...I really hope I'm allowed to tell you this...and Orlando has to go to get the body and bring it back where we live. As most of Cameron's films are, it's based loosely on a real experience. The film is about the journey of this guy becoming a man, and it's really beautiful. Maybe Susan and I are the comic relief, and she and I have a journey of our own, coming to grips with the loss of our husband/father.
Capone: It sounds heavy.
JG: Yeah, I know. But I think if you describe a lot of Cameron's movies before you actually see them, they could sound heavy. They come from a place of joy and compassion, they're always riveting. I've just been told they've pushed the release date back to October [October 14 is the current release date].
Capone: To me, that sounds like good news, since it appears the studio has confidence that it may be an awards contender.
JG: It's good for me too, because I wanted to take a vacation this summer, but I didn't think I could because I thought I'd be doing publicity, but now I can.
Capone: With the pushed-back release date, is there anything else we'll see you in before October?
JG: I had a movie come out about two weeks ago that, I think, only my family saw.
Capone: Really? Which one?
JG: It's called CURSED.
Capone: Well, I saw that...
JG: YOU DID!!! [She screams this so loud that guests at the part turn to make sure I'm not molesting her.]
Capone: It's Wes Craven, so I had too. You were a good werewolf. There are so many stories about the making of CURSED, massive reshoots, actors being replaced, delay after delay.
JG: Tell me about it.
Capone: I know people who saw the original, R-rated cuts months before the release with actors and storylines that are completely gone now. As much as you try to ignore these things while you're watching the finished film to see if it stands on its own, it still felt extremely choppy. Were the scenes you shot substantially changed.
JG: Oh yes. There are several version of the story. What you saw in the movie, as far as my scenes, were pretty much all shot just for the final product. What was intended for my character never even got to the point of shooting. I was originally Scott Baio's assistant, not his publicist, and I was in love with him. I was killing women who I felt were competition. In the final version, I'm in love with Joshua Jackson's character. I was killing women who were in love with him instead.
Capone: So you were still the werewolf that was killing everyone in the film?
JG: Yes, but I still think it's funny.
Capone: Sometimes, but whenever you saddle a guy like Wes Craven with a PG-13 on a horror film, you effectively crippling him. I hope when the DVD comes out we get the real story behind the making of this film in all its permutations.
JG: I agree, I think the DVD has the potential to be really exciting and exceptional. I started shooting CURSED before I did 13 GOING ON 30, before I even I even booked that job. And now its coming out almost a year after 13 GOING ON 30. It's unbelievable.
Capone: Tell me about your film with Jeff Bridges, THE MOGULS.
JG: Oh my god. I hate saying this, but I think it's my favorite movie I've ever done, and I only really worked on it for three days. But it's so good. It's directed by Michael Traeger, and it's his first film. He also wrote it. It's one of the most beautiful film I've ever seen. And it's a teeny, tiny movie, and none of us made any money, and I'm in the most miniscule of roles. At the time, I had another option for another job that would have made me unavailable to do MOGULS, a bigger role. But my scene in MOGULS was with Jeff Bridges, my good scene. Working with him was such a dream come true, and the film itself is now looking for distribution. If you get a chance to go to a screening of it, do it. It showed at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, and that's the only one I know of. I think you're going to really like it.
Capone: Another film you've got, which I believe is premiering at Tribeca in April is THE GREAT NEW WONDERFUL.
JG: That movie...I haven't seen it yet...but what I read is that its five vignettes featuring completely different people and places in New York City post-9/11. That was the pitch. The main plotline features two guys who appear throughout the film. The two guys are pretty popular South Asian actors who are instantly recognizable to those audiences; maybe not as well known in the U.S. At least my friends wouldn't know who they were.
Capone: It's funny about a week or two before I was invited to come to this festival, I saw the profile that Entertainment Weekly did on you. It was one of those articles that finally pulled your career together in my mind, and it kind of shocked me how many films of yours I'd seen and liked.
JG: You probably would have liked them whether I was in them or not. I was really proud of that story; it was my first big piece of publicity.
Capone: People probably know who you are without recognizing your name. They know you from ADAPTATION and WHAT WOMEN WANT. And you were featuring in every trailer for THE VILLAGE saying "Don't let them in" from under the floor.
JG: I couldn't believe it either. I saw a story on one of those tabloid news shows on television where they were showing all of Night's famous lines from his film. "I see dead people," lines like that. And my line was the clip from THE VILLAGE.
Capone: Now that you're out from under the shroud of secrecy surrounding THE VILLAGE, do you have any secrets that aren't secrets anymore that you want to spill about filming that movie?
JG: It was like being at Camp Night. We were eating, living, and breathing the village. We were living together, we were shooting nights, we were on location every day at the village that they built. And they had us all staying at this bed and breakfast that felt like a dorm room. One big kitchen, but we each had our own bedroom and bathroom. There were a few separate cottages for some of the bigger names. But most of us preferred to stay in the bed and breakfast. We had our own chef. And you had to wear a really warm coat most of the time. It was pretty incredible.
Capone: Have you been a good jury member while you've been here? Have you seen all the documentaries you're supposed to?
JG: Oh yes. I have one more tonight and then I'm done. I think Bermuda and the people here are fantastic. Everyone has been so excellent and accommodating. The movies I'm seeing...I feel very fortunate to be seeing those films in particular because I don't get to see many in a given year. Here, they've been so good, and I'm learning something from each one of them. I feel a lot smarter now. And we've found time to have fun. Well, they treat you like a queen here, so that makes it easy. I'm actually happy they were able to accommodate my schedule. I'm leaving tomorrow to start a job in New York, a television pilot called "Love Monkey" with Tom Cavanagh for CBS. The network has the option of picking it up for the fall or as a mid-season replacement.
I'm not sure how they want me to describe the show. Tom spends a lot of show searching for himself, and although we're not a couple when the show begins, I think the idea is that I'd be the one he'd get together with eventually. I've wanted a pilot, and people would ask, why would you want to do series television when you have such a busy film career. From my point of view, everything I've done has been great but my phone isn't ringing off the hook. I may seen a lot busier than I am. And with "Love Monkey," I get to be "the girl." As you said, I always play the best friend or the assistant or the sister, so a chance to play the girl. I told Michael Rush, the writer, thank you for letting be the girl.
Capone: You would not be out of place on a T.V. series. You already have a practically regular role on "Arrested Development."
JG: True. I see this character as more of an Annie Hall character. She's fun and different. With television, you have to be careful, because if you play someone who's too out there every single day, 16 hours a day for however many years the show stays on the air, you can really burn out. So playing someone a little closer to who you actually are, I feel like that's what I'm doing with this role.
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