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Quint interviews Emily Mortimer about LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, PARIS JE T'AIME, TRANSSIBERIAN, Mamet's REDBELT and more!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a little chat I had with the lovely Emily Mortimer. I have something of a crush on Ms. Mortimer. I know that’s no surprise. She’s beautiful and a good actress to boot, so I’d be worried about myself if I didn’t have a small crush on her. I did warn her publicist in advance of the interview, but they didn’t seem to think it was a problem. Hopefully her husband doesn’t read this… All the above rambling is to say that Mortimer not only met my doe-eyed expectations, but surpassed them. She came across as being very kind, smart and funny. We talk a bit about a few things she’s involved with, but we were put on the phone together to focus on the DVD release of one of my favorite flicks to hit screens this year (PARIS JE T’AIME, a series of short films about love in Paris… Moritmer appeared in Wes Craven’s segment) and LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, which is playing nationwide right now. If you haven’t gotten a chance to check it out, I highly recommend LARS as a great date movie. Who would have ever thought that with a movie about a man that orders a Real Doll and thinks it's a flesh and blood person? But it's true. LARS is a genuinely sweet movie. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the interview!

Emily Mortimer: Hello?

Quint: Hi, how is it going?

Emily Mortimer: Good, how are you?

Quint: I’m doing well. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today, I appreciate it.

Emily Mortimer: No worries.

Quint: I'm told I’m catching you in the car. I hope it’s a good time.

Emily Mortimer: I’m actually on my way to a meeting and I just got a traffic violation, so today… I just got a ticket for doing a U-turn, so the day has not started off very well.

Quint: I hope that doesn’t put a hoodoo on the interview.

Emily Mortimer: No. It’s a relief not to be talking to a policeman.

Quint: I’m much nicer than cops. I won’t take up too much of your time, but I definitely wanted to bring up PARIS, JE T’AIME and I’m really curious about the process on that. Were you approached specifically by Wes Craven himself or were you approached by the producers?

Emily Mortimer: No, I was approached by Wes, because I did SCREAM 3 with Wes and we got along and he came to me when he wrote this thing and wanted me to do it. I was thrilled to get a chance to work with him again. He is the nicest guy and such a great dude.

Quint: I really dug the segment that you guys did.

Emily Mortimer: Thank you! Well, it was cool and there was something of a departure in a way for Wes. It felt like a different type of genre.

Quint: Definitely. Going in to the movie, I heard that there was a horror one and other different variations, so you would automatically assume that the horror one would have been done by Wes Craven, but his was definitely one of the sweeter ones.

Emily Mortimer: Right, exactly. I think he has a real feeling for dialogue and he’s kind of a comic writer and so there was something of his and in a way… I think he should write a romantic comedy.

Quint: And he can still put in a ghost or two, like he did in your short…

Emily Mortimer: Yeah, a few people can get stabbed and stuff…

Quint: Well, have you done short films before?

Emily Mortimer: I’ve only ever done short films sort of made in people’s basements or apartments with three people, all of them at film school with no money, and everything going wrong, so it was amazing to get to explore the form with all of the accoutrements of a really grand movie and with amazing filmmakers and amazing editors and actors and… you’re normally doing short films in, as they say, a friend’s basement…

Quint: Was the process at all like doing TV? I really loved your guest appearance on 30 ROCK and so…

Emily Mortimer: Oh thank you. It was more rehearsed than that show and even though we were only allowed two days of filming and one day for rehearsal, it felt more… considered. The 30 ROCK thing is really off the cuff, run flying by the seat of your pants, and typically not written until the day before. The backbone of the story is written, but then the jokes all change from one day to the next… you don’t know what you’re going to be saying and then they rewrite the actors doing it. It’s really exciting and sort of on the run acting and you just have to make your mind up about how you’re going to do something just before you do it. This was more thought out and even though it was quick, we had a script that really didn’t change for a long time beforehand and the whole thing felt more considered.

Quint: So it wasn’t as much as acting on impulse as it was on 30 ROCK?

Emily Mortimer: No, no.

Quint: I just saw LARS AND THE REAL GIRL this past weekend and once again, I really really liked it. There’s one thing that I’m curious about, because something struck me at the beginning of the movie that I was wondering if it was going to pan out, but it might just be me, but I had a theory that Lars was actually a little in love with your character.


Emily Mortimer: Aww. That’s interesting actually, because you’re the first journalist to mention that, but it was definitely very much… in the original screenplay, there was a real ambiguity about the tension between them. It was a kind of sexual tension. It was never explicit and it never came to anything and it wasn’t… I don’t think there was a longing on either side to be together, but there was sort of an unspoken feeling that was more than just friendship and there were moments that were actually in the screenplay that they cut out. There was a scene when I’m looking out the window and he’s chopping wood and he has got no top on and I’m sort of realizing he is a real man and all of that kind of thing. In part, the reason Lars was resistant to Karen was because of the feeling of her womanliness that was kind of overwhelming to him and uncomfortable in some way. It was never explicit, but I do think that there was something there of that and it’s interesting that you mentioned that. You’re very subtle and perspicacious to have made that observation.

Quint: It’s definitely clear in the film that the love that they have for each other is very brother and sister, but something in the beginning… I think it was when Lars was asking for your character’s clothes to put on the doll and I was just like “Well, of course…” you’re the only woman that he really knows, so that makes sense. I don’t know, there’s just something creepy in that he picked a brunette doll… There were lots of little things.

Emily Mortimer: That was definitely true that they chose the doll, because she was a bit… They chose her to look a bit more like my character. I mean, she’s much better looking than me, but they…

Quint: I don’t think so.

Emily Mortimer: (laughs) That’s sweet of you, but yeah that was definitely conscious. They wanted her to be a… that he would have gone for someone that looked like me. In the way that I represent to him what a woman is, I am the only one he really has any contact with and I think he also associates me with his mother or there’s some connection with his mother…. I’m the woman in the house that his mother lived in and he never knew his mother... There’s all sorts of psychological complexes…

Quint: Also the fact that his brother is happy and he wants to be his brother in a way as well.


Emily Mortimer: Exactly. I think that it’s really an interesting dynamic that doesn’t often get explored in movies or books and things, the one between the brother and the sister in law, where you are married to someone who has exactly the same genetic makeup as they do, but very often the siblings define themselves in opposition to each other. They’re the opposite. They’re everything that the person you’re married to isn’t, but they’re very similar to the person that you’re married to, so in some ways they have all of the qualities that you wish your husband had or something like that, like they make up the lack of things in the brother or the sister. You know what I mean? There’s often a sort of connection and an attraction in a way that hasn’t really been identified very much in movies and I think that was really interesting to play.

Quint: And you know it’s there or else JERRY SPRINGER wouldn’t exist, so…

Emily Mortimer: Exactly! (laughs) Exactly.

Quint: So what’s next for you? You are attached to a movie about Hitchcock, right?

Emily Mortimer: That’s a great script, but I don’t know whether that’s ever going to get made…

Quint: Do you know what it’s called?

Emily Mortimer: It’s called NUMBER THIRTEEN and that didn’t get its financing together at the right moment, but we’ll see and hopefully that will get made sometime. I did a film called TRANSSIBERIAN with Woody Harrelson and Ben Kingsley, which is coming out… I think it’s going to Sundance and it’s set on the TransSiberian Railway and it’s a thriller, but it’s directed by Brad Anderson, do you know of him?

Quint: Oh yeah, he did SESSION 9 and that Vincent D'Onofrio movie that I can’t remember the title of right now… HAPPY ACCIDENTS! There it is… that’s really awesome. I went to Sundance for the first time this past January and I fell in love with the fest. I went crazy there I loved it so much. I can’t wait and I actually just filled out my return application.

Emily Mortimer: Oh cool, so I’ll see you there then. I did a (David) Mamet called REDBELT, which is coming out sometime soon with SONY distributing that…

Quint: That’s Mamet?

Emily Mortimer: Yeah, a David Mamet film and then I did THE PINK PANTHER 2 in Boston. I just finished that.

Quint: Can you talk a little bit about working with Mamet before you go?

Emily Mortimer: Yeah. He’s amazing. I really, really liked him and he’s the most approachable person and very funny and bright and incredibly encouraging and kind, so it was really nice to be around him and an amazing honor, obviously, to get to work with him. It’s all set in the JUJITSU world, which he turns out to be a big fan of and is actually a practitioner of JUJITSU and it’s not really an action movie, but a sports movie really. What do you call those? What do you call ROCKY and all of that?

Quint: I guess yeah, a sports film or an underdog movie, I don’t know.

Emily Mortimer: Exactly, but it’s very much questioning the role or the context of what it is to be a hero and what it is to be a good person and… Basically it’s almost like a samurai film or something and has that feeling of it, like what it is to be a hero.

Quint: That sounds awesome. I can’t think of another Mamet film that in anyway resembles that.

Emily Mortimer: No. I think he’s really fascinated by the whole notion of honor and the themes seem to be there in some ways that’s in a lot of his things, but yeah the format is very different. The script is just amazing, so I hope the movie works out, but it was wonderful to be able to work with him.

Quint: It sounds like you got a whole lot of great stuff on the burner.

Emily Mortimer: I hope so… What is this interview for again? I’m so sorry, I should know.

Quint: It’s for a movie news website, called AINT IT COOL NEWS.

Emily Mortimer: Oh this is for AINT IT COOL NEWS? I didn’t realize that! (laughs) I’m sorry and sort of out of it. I think that ticket from that policeman just jacked me.

Quint: Oh that’s fine. I could have said NAMBLA MONTHLY or something.

Emily Mortimer: Exactly or PLAYBOY.

Quint: Nope, not yet although I hear they pay their writers very well, so maybe in the future.

Emily Mortimer: I hear they have really good film reviews. Listen, it was so nice to talk to you. Do you do interviews in Sundance?

Quint: I do, yeah.

Emily Mortimer: Well, maybe we’ll get to have a cup of coffee then.

Quint: That would be cool. Then you’ll realize why I do most of these interviews over the phone, because I’ve got the face for it.

Emily Mortimer: Shut up, I don’t believe you! (laughs) Brad is the nicest guy and I know he is very approachable and he would love to talk to you a bit, so I’m sure he’d love to hang and we’ll all get together.

Quint: Cool, and you said that was SONY?

Emily Mortimer: No, that’s the Mamet movie. I don’t think they have distribution yet, that’s why they’re going there. We made the movie first and then…

Quint: Then I’ll definitely get in touch with the Sundance publicity people and we’ll see what we can work out.

Emily Mortimer: Fabulous!

Quint: Cool, well it was very nice talking to you and no more illegal U-turns today.

Emily Mortimer: I know, I know… I’ve learned my lesson… I feel ashamed. (laughs) Okay, I’ll speak to you soon.

Quint: Have a good day.

Emily Mortimer: You too, bye.

Told you she was a sweet-heart. Alright, I’m off to do a week’s worth of crazy catch-up. I have two sets to report on as well as my Holiday Gift Guide to finish. If you have any last minute suggestions, feel free to drop me an email by clicking on my address below! -Quint

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 19, 2007, 4:36 a.m. CST

    Paris Je T'Aime is Mad!

    by MMacKK

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 4:37 a.m. CST

    by MMacKK

    as is Emily Mortimer. Young Adam was very, very intriguing.

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 4:42 a.m. CST

    oH yEAH!!!!

    by Queerbait

    Says the Kool-Aid Man.

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 4:44 a.m. CST

    Holy Smokebombs!!!!

    by Queerbait

    Is the guy in the picture Rick from The Young Ones???

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 5:33 a.m. CST

    What happened to your Control review?

    by Boba Fat

    Did I miss it?

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 6:53 a.m. CST

    I have never been called "subtle and perspicacious"

    by OnomatoPoet

    You fortunate bastard, Quint.

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Nice one Quint

    by RipVanMarlowe

    fine work as usual

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 9:02 a.m. CST

    by Proman1984

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Emily Mortimer is wonderful and Mamet is amazing

    by Proman1984

    Can't wait for Redbelt!

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 10 a.m. CST

    Sounds like you got a date at Sundance Quint

    by kwisatzhaderach

    You lucky bastard.

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 10:01 a.m. CST

    I should also say

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Emily Mortimer is one of the best and nicest actresses in the business.

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 3:29 p.m. CST


    by Toonol

    I can imagine the transcription process.<br><br> "Subtle and what?" *rewind* Per-what? *rewind* perspicus? pernicious?

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 4:53 p.m. CST

    But what about her tits?

    by thebearovingian

    Didn't you tell her that she has an amazing pair? Yes, she's sweet. Yes, she's cute. Yes, she's adorable. She says words like "perspicacious" and 99% of us didn't even know that was a word. But more importantly, she has great tits! So if she really follows through with your Sundance coffee get together, don't f&ck up again!<p> P.S. More Amazing Sound-O-Text! I really wanted to hear her talk more. Especially to hear her pronounce "perspicacious".

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Good god

    by ryandowneyjr

    She sounds uber-cute.

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 5:27 p.m. CST


    by ryandowneyjr

    Why do I feel this part of the conversation actually went like this: Emily Mortimer: ... ... I mean, she’s much better looking than me, but they… Quint: I uh, I-I-I-I d-d-d-d-don’t think so. Emily Mortimer: What's that sound? What are you doing?

  • Nov. 19, 2007, 11:31 p.m. CST

    Quint, search for "perspicacious".

    by thebearovingian

    What so happens to be the very first search result? I don't know why this search engine would put your little AICN interview first, before even a definition for "perspicacious". Emily Mortimer, thank you!

  • Nov. 20, 2007, 11:15 a.m. CST


    by duanejones

    i.e., hubba hubba. a brilliantly accomplished actress who is powerful nice and, good lord, just a little easy on the eyes. i pretty much fell in love with her in _lovely and amazing_, and not just on mr. skin, thank you. lovely and amazing, indeed. to quint (and, ok, that bastard alessandro nivola) i say: good work, my friend(s)...

  • Nov. 20, 2007, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Add her to my ever-growing list of loves

    by haggardatbest

    I'm ashamed to say I don't know much of her film work, but she was delightful on 30 Rock as the woman with Avian Bone Syndrome ("hollow bones"). She was also a fantastic guest on Conan a while back. What a lovely, funny, genuine woman. And of course her accent doesn't hurt.