THE MATADOR - Q&A with HOPE DAVIS in New York
What drew you to this movie?
When I read the script, I loved the character. She is kind of really charming. I was so glad I was able to play a somewhat happy character with just a tiny little bit of crying. To be in a comedy was also really fun for me. And, you know, Pierce Brosnan! He's kind of a pull!
Even though he's playing one of the most horrible characters of his career?
(Laughs) Yeah, I know! It's a great character for him. After we did the reading, I really encouraged him, I said: 'You got to do this part!' It really shows people what kind of acting chops he has besides Bond. I mean,
it's not easy to play James Bond but he really can do anything. Yeah, he's a draw, even as the sleazy guy. Still charming.
What are your dream roles?
I think more in terms of actors and directors I want to work with. I don't know what's out there. It's definitely such a men's world in the movies. A juicy, good part is enough for me.
Did you have your breakthrough after AMERICAN SPLENDOR?
Yeah, AMERICAN SPLENDOR and ABOUT SCHMIDT - it happens in stages every time a real good movie comes up. A lot of people saw these. But there's also not a lot of recognition in these characters. A lot of people didn't think it was me. I'm still surprised when they remembered that was me! But this is nice for me because I still have a nice level of anonymity. I am happy about that.
But your anonymity will be short-lived since you've been doing consistently such good work.
I guess. For me, it has always been nice not be recognised. It's a certain type of crowd that sees the movies I'm in. That could be different with this movie because of Pierce. I actually think this film is going to break out across because it is not an art house film. But even in this film I look different. I have really super long hair and I usually don't walk around the city looking like this. I am carrying my kids around, wearing my hair in a ponytail, nobody recognises me.
You have a lot of movies coming out in the near future. Why is that?
Well, PROOF we did two years ago. It was supposed to come out last year. It does seem to come in waves, like everything else in life. I mean, all of a sudden there are all these interesting films to work on and then there is nothing to work with. I was fortunate to do a lot of interesting things.
I haven't seen it yet but I heard some great things about THE WEATHERMAN.
It's a very interesting movie, very different. Yeah, that was a good year.
What are you doing when you're not filming?
I'm at home with my husband and my two kids. I have two very young children, a 3 year-old and an 11 month-old. I am very busy and very sleep-deprived. I have two daughters. My 3-year old already has an imaginary boyfriend on a motorcycle.
Do you think Hollywood is finally taking notice of Sundance?
Yes, it does but because the independent movies get a lot of attention. But Hollywood hasn't changed. It still makes the same kind of movie, not influenced by the independent film world.
What about the small production companies the studios have set up?
Yeah, there is that kind of thing. Maybe that's because of the success of the independent films. I don't know.
Did you do research for that role?
No, I was all on the page. What's really important is chemistry with the co-actor. See, I didn't know Greg Kinnear and I arrived on set and had to play the scene with him sitting on the bed, talking about our dead son. He's a lovely human being and a great actor. We really hit it off.
That's a great moment in the movie.
It's very sweet. I think there is nothing more unimaginable for a parent than a child dying. You can do all the preparation and character work you want. I showed up and this wonderful team of make-up people and stylists decided on the extensions and I was eight months pregnant... They put me in this huge kimono and there she was, I was this character!
You were pregnant filming that movie?
Yes and you can actually see it if you know how to look... I was very tired and sick while I was working... I felt absolutely green. Mexico City is not the most hospitable place for a pregnant woman. You can't brush your teeth with the water in the hotel, nothing was accommodating. (Laughs) There was some acting to be done! The character was created on the fly, so to speak. It was created very quickly.
What was the Mexican experience about? Did you need security all around?
Yes and it was horrible. I've never been to Mexico before, I never thought of going to Mexico City. So, my daughter was 1 1/2 and I called and asked if I could bring her. They paused and said, it would be okay. 'We just get her an extra bodyguard. You have two body guards, we get you a third one.' I said, 'What do you mean, I have bodyguards? Why on earth do I need that for?' And they told me about the kidnappings and that I wouldn't be safe. So, I didn't bring my daughter, of course, and I didn't feel comfortable being there, either.
On top of that, you were at a very vulnerable time in your life, being pregnant.
Yeah, I couldn't wait to go back to New York. Luckily, Greg and Pierce made it a great experience for me. They're both family men and they had a lot of understanding. They were just so lovely.
What is next for you? Just being home with your family?
No, I'm in a movie with Richard Gere, HOAX and I'm sure you're aware there is another Truman Capote movie coming out and I'm in it. I saw it last week and it's just incredible. The name of the movie is INFAMOUS and I play a character named Slim Keith. She was one of Capote's society lady friends. You don't see her in the movie CAPOTE. She was one of the people he called 'swans'.
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