Monday 24 May 10
I write this from one of my favourite places - sitting on a moving train! Just passed through Doncaster, heading for my homeland. I have a little more of an inkling about what this week holds and it is more and more intirguing the more I know. I sense there are big surprises ahead.
Hi Alan, My name is Alexa, I just wondering what do you think about the new Arizona Immigration Law? Do you think is racist? Yes I do. I think it is awful, and I think Sarah Palin's embracing of it only highlights how awful and heinous it is. I agree wholeheartedly with the boycott of Arizona.
Hi, my name is Evelyn. I was just wondering if you'd ever be interested in being in a pirate fantasy film sometime in the future. Sure, what have you got for me, me heartie?
What is your favorite song on your CD? i absolutely love Shine. Oh well, there are just so many gems to choose from. I suppose if I had a gun to my head I'd go for Next to Me, because I wrote it about my husband and it has the special whistle we do for our dogs in it. Aww. I know.
I'm curious - did you ever think about studying psychology before you went into showbiz? In several of your blogs, you've told stories about less than pleasant people and you always seem to find a way to give them some sort of benefit of the doubt. Not that you ever make excuses for these people or in any way agree with them, however - as in your most recent blog regarding the Newsweek journalist - you've given altogether probable explanations for their behavior. Is this a natural insight you've developed over the years or did you ever take an interest in psychology? I am fascinated by psychology but have never really looked into it in a formal way. I have read a few books over the years, but I think I am just interested in people and what makes them tick. I think that comes from being an actor as well. I think it is too easy, and the cause of many of the world's problems, to just say that someone or something is evil or wrong and not question and analyse how or why. I know myself that my behaviour and actions have been an amalgam of my circumstances and my experience past and present. And also of course our subconcious sometimes throws a spanner into the works. So I do try and always think more holistically about stuff like this. Also, I am constantly in situations where I am meeting people and their expectation or impression of me has a bearing on their behaviour and attitude and can often be nothing to do with how they would normally behave - so I've had to learn to always be vigilant about taking that into account when making a first impression of someone.
I was watching The Anniversary Party the other night(my fave movie of yours) and everyone seems like they truly were getting along. Is this true? Also was any of it improvised or was there a script to follow?,everybody looks so relaxed. Everyone was getting on because mostly everyone knew each other before the film, and indeed we wrote the characters specifically for a lot of them. And it was a relaxed atmopshere on set for the most part, despite the tight filming schedule. Jennifer (Jason-Leigh, my fellow writer/producer/director) and I both felt that it's important to make people feel good about coming to work, especially on a film with a sensibility like this, and so that meant we were very conscious of creating a vibe that was relaxed and inclusive. And it was all scripted apart from the scene when they toast us: we asked the actors to make up their own toasts, around plot guidelines we'd given them.
From Erin I've always been curious with most actors if it's ever awkward to watch yourself back in different roles? Do you ever think "Ugh, why did I make that face??" or "Did I really just say that??" I suppose this might be more likely when watching an interview back - where you aren't portraying someone else -, but I could be wrong! Also, you put on different accents so well! I'm always in awe when I hear you go from one accent to something completely different. I had no idea you were Scottish for the longest time! I was wondering which accent you find to be the easiest (no, Scottish doesn't count) and which you find the most difficult? I know that some actors have trouble watching themselves but as my performances are always so amazing and I always look so stunning, it's never really bothered me. Kidding. I remember the first time I saw myself on the big screen (in Passing Glory in 1986), I felt my nose arrived a good thirty seconds before the rest of me! And obvously it is hard not to be self-conscious, but I think it's really important to watch yourself and to be sure that what you were intending to come over to an audience is actually working. I don't understand actors who say they never watch themselves. Acting isn't accidental. Also nowadays I am much mopre self-conscious in my real-life (because people know who I am and look and whisper and shout etc) than I am in my actual work, and I think that's a better way for it to be. And regarding accents, I suppose the easiest is English because I muck around and use it every day for fun, and the hardest I've done thus far is a Minnesotan accent for Sweet Land, purely because it was the most foreign to me and so I had to work harder to be familiar with it.