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13 March 2009 @ 08:54 pm
Five Favorite Films with Carla Gugino  
Rotten Tomatoes asked Carla for her five favourite movies, and they did an interesting interview with her:

Your character in Race to Witch Mountain is sort of a nerd's dream girl --- beautiful, smart, and a little bit dorky. Is that something that comes from you?

Carla Gugino: Yes! I think kind of in the way that everyone wishes they were smoother than they are. That was one of the things I really loved about playing that character -- the fact that she is smart, and she's got her act together to some extent, but when she's confronted with something that blows her mind, she becomes a kid. And has obsessions about funny things, and is sort of phobic about being outside. I don't share that particular one, but I definitely relate to the nerd in her.

What kind of nerd are you?

CG: Well, first of all, I'm an incredibly gullible person -- I'm so bad that when I said that to someone, my friend said, "You know, 'gullible' isn't even in the dictionary." And I said, "Really?" As I was saying "Really?" I will acknowledge that I then realized what was happening, but that's how bad I am. I like to think that's a good quality, in the long run.

For your character, Dr. Alex Friedman, the day that the alien kids come to her for help is the most important day of her career, possibly of her entire life. Have you had a similarly defining moment in your career?

CG: I've had nothing in comparison to that -- in the sense of that moment where really, you thought something was completely impossible, but it was actually happening to you. But I've certainly had those "pinch yourself" kind of moments in the sense that, obviously as you know, this business is so tough, and I've been really fortunate. But you know, you get turned down a lot, and you have to not take those things personally. And so, I think along the way, when I've fought really hard to get a role and I've actually gotten it...there have been those times in my life where it's absolutely ecstatic and you're like, Oh my God, the hard work actually paid off! Because you get so used to having people say, well, there was the best person who came in, but we're going to go with so and so...[laughs] so certainly in terms of the magnitude of Alex Friedman's discovery, I haven't had one of those yet.

Given that you've been working in Hollywood for so long and are known for so many different types of roles in studio films, independent films, and television, I would think your name recognition would carry you pretty far and you wouldn't have so many of those moments any more.

CG: Thank you. Well, I definitely [have those moments] less than I have had. I've been doing this since I was 14, so I've gone through a lot of that for so many years that I think it's just in your bones. But the truth is, I have more choices now than I did before, which I'm so grateful for.

That brings me to your current gigs -- the juxtaposition of your two back-to-back films is somewhat ironic. You're going from playing Sally Jupiter (AKA Silk Spectre) in the R-rated Watchmen to playing a brainy maternal figure of sorts in Disney's Race to Witch Mountain.

CG: I know, it's so wild! You know, all my life I've sort of gravitated toward really different kinds of roles and I've always mixed it up. Right before I played the mom in Spy Kids I played a prostitute in Wayne Wang's Center of the World. I've definitely always found myself gravitating towards the opposite of what I've just done, and after doing Watchmen and Righteous Kill, which I was shooting simultaneously, I was excited to go do something light and fun, and get to play kind of a kooky scientist! It was just a really appealing thing to me. Most people who understand movies and actors and all that, understand the desire to not be typecast and the desire to play different things. But I think I also confused people for a while...it's funny because it's never been so obvious as right now, because there are two big movies coming out at the same time and the roles are so different, the films are so different. It's nice because I get to talk about what actually does matter to me, which is playing characters that are diverse and getting to challenge myself each time. I just think that in order to be good at what you do and get better and better -- which is what I care about -- you have to the things that scare you or inspire you.

With the whole world watching and talking about Watchmen right now, are you very attuned to all the buzz?

CG: I haven't been checking the boards or blogs, just because for me, once I open that door it's like too much information. I'm really excited that people are excited about it. I've been attuned to some responses, from people I know and/or from press, so I've gotten a sense of things to some extent. But you know what's cool, I love the movie so much -- I actually love both of these movies, and they're such different movies, and I love them for different reasons. I think Watchmen is extraordinary. The character that I play was such a great challenge; I love the character, Sally Jupiter, so much. But there's also a lot of the movie that I'm not in, so I feel I'm able to be pretty objective. And I do think that Zack [Snyder] has done something amazing, and with a great sense of passion and specificity. He is a fan. He's a fanboy -- as we all have become. In that way, I feel excited for people to see it. I think it is a challenging movie; I don't think it is for everybody. But it is an exceptional movie, and I don't think anyone will have seen anything like it.

Your character, Sally Jupiter/Silk Spectre, is one of the more fascinating characters in Watchmen -- moreso because of how she relates to The Comedian, before and after their violent encounter.

CG: She is endlessly fascinating. It was so interesting, when I sat down with Zack and he said, "I really want the rape scene to be brutal, as it is in the graphic novel, and not titillating." And I said, I think that's really important. Obviously, there are the shots preceding it that are sort of sexy, as she's undressing, and then you're like, oh, holy shit, this is not what we thought it was going to be. Because it determines so much for her character and also The Comedian and the rest of the story. "But," I said, "what we have to also maintain is the fact that she's still really in love with him, even after that, and he is with her, too." We were like, isn't that amazing -- it's so great to be able to do a movie where you're adapting it from a graphic novel where so often, big budget Hollywood movies end up having to simplify things as opposed to leaving the complexities that generally exist in human beings. And to be able to do it, and not quite be able to answer why she still loves him. But the truth is, for whatever reasons, they are kind of intrinsically connected.

Definitely. Another project of yours that is really intriguing to me is Elektra Luxx. Can you describe that project and how it relates to another upcoming film, Women in Trouble?

CG: Yes -- they are both part of a trilogy of movies that we made for very, very little money with friends who are a bunch of amazing actors. Sebastian Gutierrez wrote and directed them, and writes amazing women characters. Basically, Women in Trouble is the first, which is going to premiere at South by Southwest on March 15, which is really exciting; it's a total labor of love, a day in the life of a bunch of different, amazing women and complex characters. It's funny and sexy, and will possibly make you cry, too. It's much more European-influenced; Almodovar is Gutierrez's mentor, and it's got a lot of those kinds of elements to it. That's the first film, and in it I play a porn star named Elektra Luxx. The second film is Elektra Luxx, which sort of follows her more but we have a few returning characters and some new characters as well.

In Women in Trouble it's myself, Connie Britton, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Adrianne Palicki, Marley Shelton, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Simon Baker...it's a really cool group of people. In the second one, some return, but we've also got Timothy Olyphant --

And Malin Akerman!

CG: --and Malin is in Elektra Luxx, which is so awesome!

Did you have a hand in her joining the cast?

CG: I did. Because we worked together on Watchmen, and right when I finished Watchmen we shot Women in Trouble, and she was like, "Oh my God, that sounds so cool!" We became very close friends; Malin's like my sister now. There was a great role in the storyline with Joe Gordon-Levitt in Elektra Luxx, and Sebastian thought Malin would be perfect, so it all came together beautifully. So we finished shooting that, it's actually being edited now, and Women in Ecstasy, which is the third film in the trilogy, has been written but we have not shot it yet.

It was just sort of an experiment; we were like, let's make little movies that we sort of own a part of, that nobody makes money on, but we play great characters, shoot them in really short periods of time in between our "real movies," and we ended up falling in love with them and having a great time!

Another actress you seem to work with frequently is Marley Shelton, a fellow Sin City veteran. You've both got the basketball movie Our Lady of Victory coming up, and she appears in Women in Trouble. Was that another friendship born of a movie set?

CG: Yes! She's also in Elektra Luxx, and one of my dear friends. I'm a huge fan of her as an actress. We knew each other before Sin City -- we actually met years ago, at the Toronto Film Festival. She was there with Pleasantville, and I was there with Judas Kiss. We ended up being fans of each others' work, and her husband is a wonderful film producer who actually produced Judas Kiss, but they weren't together at the time...just one of those small world things, and she's since become one of my dearest friends.

It's nice to see that films like Women in Trouble can come together from such a small, connected group of artists.

CG: That's what's been really valuable, certainly to me and I think to all of us. You just realize, we should start trying to make movies together! I've been doing this for 20 years and ended up crossing paths with so many wonderful and super-talented people, so to go, wait a minute, we should try to do this ourselves, as opposed to waiting around...of course, what you realize is when you do that, other people's great creative energy comes in, like Robyn Hitchcock, who's doing the score. It really inspires a lot of artists in a lot of different areas to come together to make something cool.

Source: Five Favorite Films with Carla Gugino

As for Race to Witch Mountain, I've added some more photos to the Race to Witch Mountain Premiere entry.

And Youtube has some videos related to the movie, an interview, a video from the premiere and a short clip from E! on the set in Las Vegas.

love is stronger than death: be a good boysilentwilight on March 13th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
Wow, what a great interview :)
Thank you!
Snarctastic & Brutally Honest: CarlaGugino2sunkrux on March 13th, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
Something tells me that Carla has no clue just how gorgeous she really is. I love that. The interview was great, although a lot of what she said in it has been said from all the other interviews she's been doing.

In all honesty, I was more interested in what 5 movies are her favs...so in case anyone was wondering (or couldn't find it) here's the list of her 5 fav movies(complete with her reason why):

1 - All that Jazz
"Straight up Bob Fosse goodness. Roy Scheider is amazing in this movie. (It's my favorite performance of his though I have many a good friend who would argue it's in Jaws, but check it out and I think you'll agree with me.)"

2 - Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
"I am a huge Almodovar fan, so it's hard to pick only one of his films, but today I shall choose this. Antonio Banderas and Victoria Abril are fantastic. It's funny, sexy, and deeply human."

3 - Casino
"I think it's a totally underrated Scorsese movie. Massive in scope, stunning to look at and amazing performances all around. Plus, the coolest wardrobe ever."

4 - 12 Monkeys
"I just can't see this movie enough times. Genius, Gilliam. He creates such an impressive alternate world. And one of my favorite performances by Brad Pitt."

5 - Funny Face
"Audrey Hepburn, Paris, fashion, all wrapped up in one great movie. Makes you happy -- perfect for a rainy day."

linkage: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/race_to_witch_mountain/news/1801482/5/five_favorite_films_with_carla_gugino
roguederekroguederek on March 15th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)
CG: Well, first of all, I'm an incredibly gullible person -- I'm so bad that when I said that to someone, my friend said, "You know, 'gullible' isn't even in the dictionary." And I said, "Really?" As I was saying "Really?" I will acknowledge that I then realized what was happening, but that's how bad I am. I like to think that's a good quality, in the long run.

Carla just endeared herself to me even more. **sigh**
only coming through in waves: watchmenelyssadc on September 14th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
::happy sigh::

I am so in love with this woman it's stupid. Oh, Carla. How so awesome?