SLACKERS - Q&A with Laura Prepon
So lets get right to the masturbating.
(laughs) Everyone always wants to start with that first.
So did you have to do a lot of research?
I don't do anything like that on THAT 70s SHOW but it was cool. Dewey made a really fun environment for us to... you know - go all out. And me and Jason Schwartzman have the craziest characters so he made it really easy for us to do crazy stuff.
How was the atmosphere on the set? Was it fun?
Totally. I don't even know how we got that film together we improvised so much. Dewey made it really fun and great. Leaving THAT 70s SHOW to come do this was hard. I'm used to being with that cast and we're so close but everyone in this cast was so great I felt right at home.
How do you like doing TV work vs film?
I love doing THAT 70s SHOW I'm just starting to build a film career and that's why I wanted to do a role that's opposite from Donna, the one I play on the show. I did Reanna which was really great and made coming back to Donna so much more fun. I think the big difference is that in TV you have four cameras and in film you only have one camera so they take longer to get the shot. So I think basically it's the time issue that is the biggest difference. But they are both great and really fun.
Do you feel more comfortable doing TV or film?
I feel comfortable doing both. I just love being able to act.
A lot of people get on a successful show and they get stuck playing that person for a really long time afterwards. Are you worried about that?
I do think about that but I don't really worry about that. I think Fez has to have that concern because he's got the accent and he's really naïve, KIelso might have to worry about that because he's that kind of character. Topher, who plays Eric, and I have characters that are more real so we don't have to worry that much about being typecast.
Is that why you took the role of Reanna?
Yes exactly. It's always great to do stuff opposite the characters you are playing on the show. That's one of the reasons I took the part of Reanna that and the fact that she was an awesome character. She's so confident with her body and everything which I'm not, so it was fun being able to do that.
You're really not confident with your looks?
No. I'm always self conscious. Playing Reanna I think actually helped me with that because wearing those clothes and doing those thing she did, I had to throw all my inhibitions out the window.
You know Entertainment Weekly calls your performance in '70s show' 'wonderfully deadpan' Do you understand comedy?
I don't really consider what I do deadpan. That's really cool that they said 'wonderfully deadpan." But Donna is just so on the ball and she comes back with these comments about what the other characters are doing -you know what I mean - like 'What are you doing?' She's just so grounded its really fun playing her. I am definitely more Donna than I am Reanna. That's why it was so cool to be able to do someone like Reanna.
You grew up in Jersey?
Are you still what we would call a 'Jersey girl?'
Hell yes. I think if you're born in Jersey you are always a Jersey girl.
What does that mean to you?
I think the reason I love Jersey so much is because my family is still there. If I was from anywhere else I would probably love that place. Jersey is so cool. My family is just so important in my life that whenever I go back to Jersey I love that they are there. And also I just love Jersey. It's a really great place.
Where is your hometown?
Where is that?
It's central only about 40 minutes outside New York City and it's for the B&T crowd. I'm not B&T because I would work in the city so I'm not B&T. I worked in the city.
Are you the baby of the family?
Yes I am the baby of the family but I've never been the baby of the family.
They've never treated you as such?
No I've always been the one my sisters to come to for advice. My sister who is 31 comes to me for 'guy advice' because I've had the same boyfriend for three years and she's still looking. People come to me looking to me for advice but I don't know how much I can really give because Chris is my first boyfriend. I never wanted one before.
You never wanted a boyfriend before?
No I was always a friend with guys . People in the interviews were asking because Ethan does all this crazy stuff to get Angela, they were asking so what is the craziest thing a guy has done to for you. Well no one's ever really done anything for me because I give off a vibe that says 'back up, don't come near me. I didn't think I did but I guess I do because nobody's ever really done anything for me.
Is that what Chris told you about the first time he saw you? you scared him or something?
No. I picked him up. He didn't come after me. He didn't even know I liked him.
Where did you meet him? On the lot?
Well we shoot on the same lot but I work with his brother. I liked him for the longest time and finally I just picked him up one night in a bar and we just started from there.
And now you're living together.
Are you going to go the distance?
We don't know yet. We're only 21.
Give her time - they're young.
But three years is a long time.
This may sound like a silly question but do you guys have a special song?
No we don't have any of that. Whenever we drive to Tahoe for New Years we listened to a lot of Jeff Buckley. Tenacious D... Maybe there's a Tenacious D song? We both work a lot...we have crazy schedules.
Often we hear that in the business relationships break up because someone's career goes better than the other's and there's competition...
Chris has been acting since he was a baby and so has his brother Danny (Masterson). 'That 70s Show 'is the first thing I've ever done. I've done a commercial but this is the first acting role I've ever done. We are both really lucky to be on great shows and we'll just see how it goes from there. I think if a relationship breaks up because someone is doing better, there is some weird ego crap going on and we don't have that going on. We both want the other to do well so there's no ego thing going on.
So you take home the dog collar and the chain...
Yes exactly. I teach him whose in charge...No we don't have any of that. None of that. We don't even have a song.
Everytime I turn on my television I keep seeing promos of ' That 80s Show.' Have you gotten to see IT? Can you give us anything?
I did see it. It's cool. Pilots are always hard to judge because they are trying to put so much information into the first half an hour. I liked the Dynasty shots - when somebody gets slapped they all take a shot. That was funny. It's just kind of weird because some of the humor is the same and because we've been on the show for four years we see what they are doing and we've done it. Some people don't like that they called it 'That 80s Show' - I think it's flattering.
Aren't you people getting a little tired of the 70s and think can't we just go to the 80s for a little while?
No. We're doing just fine in the 70s
Why do you think you're doing fine?
I don't know. Everyone is going 'well your in '78 now' in two more years you'll be be in '80 what are you going to do?
Go back to the beginning?
Yes exactly. We'll do a lot of flashbacks don't worry. We do two seasons per year - when we started it was '76. I think there is such a great chemistry in the cast. We all know each other's characteristics and attitudes so well that we mesh and can work off of each other and its going to be very weird when the shows over not being around these people..
Have you seen any audience breakdowns?
I've never seen any breakdowns and don't really pay attention to the ratings.
Who does the mail come from?
That's another thing about the show... People who grew up in that time love it and they can relate to it because they grew up there. Teenagers love it because they can relate to our relationships on the show. I mean, when I was younger I had the same relationship that Eric and Donna have. I was best friends with a guy, then we started dating and now we're still best friends. And, he lived right up the street from me. We have a really big age range that can relate to the show which I think is really cool and maybe that's one of the reasons we're doing well. This is our fourth season and we've had our highest ratings ever this year.
And are you contracted for five years?
We're contracted for two more. Usually the fourth year on a show it starts getting rocky but we're going stronger than we've ever been.
Your bio says you're a big fan of the Hobbit? What did you think of 'Lord of the Rings?'
I loved it. Everyone said it's a good movie, but it's so long. I didn't think it was long at all. I love all those fantasies. I would love to do fantasies. So I am trying to learn a British accent but its not going too well. I was trying to get rid of Jersey and go British. My Jersey accent's gone now.
That leads me into my classic question that I'm asking everyone ... 'Spiderman' and 'Starwars II'. They're coming out within two weeks of each other in May. Which one are you looking forward to?
I'm not too extremely excited about either of them. I liked the old STAR WARS because Harrison Ford's in them but I didn't really like the newer "Star Wars" although it was fun to watch. "Spiderman" should be fun to watch but I'm not crazy like 'oh my god I can't wait until that comes out.' Right now I want to see THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO I prefer films that take place back in the old days. I'm not that much into Sci-Fi. They both look really good, I'd love to see them. But I am not waiting for them to come out.
You're not waiting for them to see Jar Jar Binks again?
No. If Harrison Ford came back as Hans Solo then I'd be there in a second.
Going back to Slackers why did you do it?
I read the script and it was very funny and Reanna just totally popped out. I said I would love to do something like this. When you are on a show you do want to do other things and show other sides of your acting. I thought this would be a great start for my film career because she is totally opposite and at the same time a great character. She's also not the lead so I wasn't biting off more than I can chew for my first movie role. It was awesome. It was so much fun playing her. I actually think it helped my confidence as an actor because to play her I had to be completely exposed.
Do you think that in a teen comedy like AMERICAN PIE 2 that the people understand the characters have changed. and the cast asks themselves Where can we push it to next?
I don't think we are a teen comedy. I guess you could call us a teen comedy but it takes place in college and its not like people are asking 'where's the kegger' or whose getting laid. It's us in college and we're actually thinking about what we are doing after college. There are just a lot of really funny characters and some of the scenes are shocking. It's not like your basic AMERICAN PIE - we are more 'out there' and its different. A little older. It was really fun to do and I think that comes across in the movie when you watch it.
Who do you think will like it since its an R rated movie?
Hopefully a lot of people will like it. I just hope people will go and laugh for a couple of hours.
Do you think your family will have a sense of humor about the masturbation scene?
I don't know. We're not conservative by any means. My mom likes it if I go on a show like Conan and dress sexy She's like 'you should dress like that more often'. But I'm not into that. So I think she will like Reanna, like the fact that I'm dressing sexy and showing off my feminine side.
How do you define your style? Are you more of a Tomboy or girlie girl?
If you would ask anyone I think they would definitely say I was more of a tomboy. But, when I dress up I try and rise to the occasion.
It seems to me that part of the fun of being a successful actress is having people like Dolce E Gabana asking you to wear their clothes. It's not for you?
I don't really like clothes shopping so its great if they want me to wear their clothes because then I have something really nice to wear. I mean Chris and I don't go out that much. The Golden Globe parties are this weekend and we would rather stay home with our horses.
You have horses?
Yes, we have four.
Where do you keep them
At our home.
Where do you live?
We live in Agoura Hills. We have three acres and we live on the boarder of the Santa Monica Mountains. There is a conservancy so you can't build on it so we have lots of mountains to go trail riding.
Have you been riding all your life?
Yes and finally when I got enough money I bought my own horse.
What kind of horses do you have?
I have an Andalusian and he has a Cutting horse. We also have a Paint and another Cutting horse.
So is Chris going to be in the rodeo?
He wants to. He wants to eventually start competing.
You don't go bunji jumping or anything do you?
I've been skydiving. It was very scary. My sister wanted to go so I said yes. It was the scariest thing. My guide said it would be easy we'll just float but then he pushed me out of the plane and I thought my ears were going to burst because you free fall for a minute. It was brutal.
When did you do that?
About two months ago. I was going to send a copy of the tape to my mom of my sister and I skydiving but then I thought she'd freak out.
Did you bring a copy of the tape with you?
Did you do that here?
Have you ever colored your red hair?
No. I don't even know if I would dye it for a role. If you have red hair and dye it say black - it's so hard to get it back to your natural color. Then it looks like fake.
Did you ever wish you didn't have red hair when you were a kid?
No. I've always loved red hair. And now I want my freckles back. I used to have freckles across my face but they went away when I was fifteen.
What do you love so much about red hair?
I love red hair. It's rare. I also love freckles. I have freckles cross my shoulders.
Do you think the hair goes with your personality?
Red Hair? I think redheads have more fun than blondes.
You should go to Scotland.
I would love it.
You wouldn't believe the number of redheads and the variations of the red. Everywhere you look they all have red hair. Are you Irish?
We're Irish Catholic Russian Jewish. I'm a total mutt.
What was the opportunity that brought you from New Jersey to Los Angeles? Was it THAT 70s SHOW?
Yes. I auditioned in New York and they sent the tape to LA. Then they flew me out to Los Angeles for tests and I booked it that day. I would have never moved here alone. It was the first time I had been to the West Coast. It took me a year and a half to even like LA. I hated it. But now I love it. I have my horses and my home and boyfriend here. I love it.
Do you miss the seasons?
I miss Fall. I love Autumn.
What do you think is better about the 70s vs today.
Well my mother has always told me that the good old days weren't that good and I tend to believe her when we are looking at 8 tracks on the show and we're like 'what is this?' I would definitely vote for now over the 70s.
Being young and successful in Hollywood everyone has one little toy that they bought for themselves - one little indulgence. What is yours?
I would have to say my horse. I never thought I would be able to afford my own horse by the time I was twenty one. I'm very excited about her and she's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen.
When did you buy her?
Almost a year ago.
What's her name?
Can I ask what a purchase like that would set you back?
There is no price for Jezebel.
I know they are really expensive.
Andalusians are expensive. And for the type of horse I wanted - they are pretty high up there.
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