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February 2006
An Interview with Heather Graham & Bridget Moynahan

An Interview with Heather Graham & Bridget Moynahan
By Nicole Schmuelian

With each having their share of success on both the big and small screen, it’s nice to go and back and reinvent their careers. Such is the case with both Heather Graham and Bridget Moynaham. Both were film stars before starring in their own TV series, Heather with “Emily’s Reasons Why Not” and Bridget with “Six Degrees”. Graham was last seen in the ensemble film, “Bobby”, and Moynahan last played Nicolas Cage’s wife in “Lord of War”. In returning to the big screen, the two are paired together in a romantic comedy about a brother, a sister and the girl of their dreams in “Gray Matters”, opposite Tom Cavanagh. In speaking to blackfilm.com, both Graham and Moynahan talk about their characters, kissing each other, and their latest projects.

Heather, you and Tom were on 2 Scrubs episodes together but did you ever get to act together?

Heather Graham: We didn't. We didn't get the chance but I knew who he was and I'm really excited I go the chance to work with him.

The two of you seemed to have really good chemistry together.

HG: I really didn't get along with Bridget but Tom and I got along. No, he's really great. He's really funny and he really let me beat him up and hit him and push him. Bridget and Tom got along really well too but we really did get excluded from their bond.

Bridget Moynahan: I'm sorry I didn't know you felt that way.

HG: I did.

BM: We would have included you more.

Sort of like your relationship on screen.

HG: Kind of. They really got along well. Every time Tom would look at Bridget, Bridget would crack up. It was like, he would look at her and she would crack up and I would just sit there like...

Is Tom that funny?

BM: He is that funny. I'm sorry you guys are missing him because he's quite entertaining. So you wouldn't get any real answers.

HG: He probably wouldn't talk to us at all but he would be very fun.

How did you two get involved in this film?

HG: I really liked the script when I read it and I liked what it was about. I liked the idea of having a traditional romantic comedy set in an homage to a 40's musical. So it's a very traditional story telling method and then you put this modern twist in it and I like the mixture of those two things. I really liked the end message of celebrating who you are and be yourself.

BM: I had been looking for a romantic comedy for quite sometime and I really felt like this was much more of an ensemble situation even though it's really her story but there is lots of supporting cast around so it wasn't such a big deal for me. The cast was great and I felt like the script was more intelligent and had a more interesting edge to it than most of the ones I had been reading.

What was your experience in working with a female director? Had you been directed by a woman before?

BM: I hadn't no and she was lovely. I mean she was obviously very passionate about the piece because she wrote it and it's based on her sister. She was hands on and we had a lot of rehearsing time. On our free time we would sort of sit around and talk or go over scenes. We became really quite close - closer than I've ever become with any director. It was one of the most special experiences I've had in a film.

HG: Yeah it was really amazing and I mean I think that Bridget and Tom are both obviously really talented but they're both really just great people. Idon't think that Bridget is real actressy. She's a really down to earth, cool girl and Tom is very really sweet. He's a good hearted person - like he's totally whacky. He's just a good regular guy. Sue is just really passionate and I think she really built us up and made us feel good.

The kiss is already on YouTube.

HG: It has? We don't care about anything else...we just want to be on YouTube. It's more important than the film. We've already made it!

How did you prep for that kiss? Did you have some wine, did you practice?

HG: I was really looking forward to it. Bridget was a little nervous because I kept being so excited about it. She was a little creeped out.

How many takes did you two need?

BM: Sue doesn't believe in one takes. We did a lot of takes. You know how it is when you have that first kiss with that person whether it's an actor or not. You clunk teeth.

GH: We didn't clunk teeth. We were laughing. We were giggling too much. She was mad because we were giggling.

BM: It was fine, it was fun. I mean I don't get freaked out about kisses.

HG: There was an X-rated version. We kept going on and then there was an X-rated love scene but they cut that out.

DId you get a practice kiss before shooting the first one to get it right?

GH: I kept trying to get a rehearsal in with Bridget for that but she just wasn't into it.

BM: Come on now.

What was Alan Cumming like?

HG: He was so charming and so funny and he really just tells the greatest stories about his life.

BM: I'm not so sure he really looks good as a woman though.

Speaking of the L-Word, what was Rachel like to work with?

HG: Rachel? She's great she's so smart and nice and really intelligent and fun.

In terms of homosexuality, how should we perceive this film? It's rather innocent rather than groundbreaking for the audience, so it might just be for the exploration of the character.

HG: I think that one great thing about it is that instead of doing it and saying well this is groundbreaking, it's just saying this is normal. So instead of saying this is a really touchy subject - putting it in the format of a romantic comedy is saying let's just get over ourselves. It's sweet, it's nice, it's two people who are in love. We can all just embrace who we are and be ourselves and like who we are and not be so judgmental. It's just very light-hearted and fun.

How do you think this movie is different from the other gay movies like Kissing Jessica Stein?

HG: I feel this is more Yeah, Gay, Good! This is more celebratory whereas in that one she was confused and she goes back out with a guy in the end.

You say this movie is about celebrating yourself; have the two of you embraced who you are or have you had issues to deal with?

BM: Well I think everybody goes through that. It's part of growing up, figuring out who you are, who you like or dislike and sort of push the envelope in a lot of different avenues and figure out what sticks, what you can live with or what goes over your head.

HG: Yeah I related to this story because I totally struggled with different things and just accepting myself. Certain things about yourself you wish might be different; another way. Then ultimately when I discovered who I am, it's great.

Do you want to throw us a bone on that?

HG: I over-pack. I think to myself this is disgusting, why did I bring this? I'm just a crazy, neurotic actress' and then I think whatever, I over-pack! Yeay!'

Your elevator scene in the end emotional and believable. Did you relate to something personal?

HG: Yeah, I think it's just that feeling that sometimes you don't think you're good enough or you wish you were different. I do feel like I felt that way. And also the director's sister was there so I was trying to do justice to her story. I'd become really good friends with the director and her sister...I think that society also puts all sorts of judgments on people all the time. Like if you read all these magazines, if you really care about what anyone thinks about you too much, then you can get really screwed up in the head. That scene is great and it's just about how my brother really supports me through this horrible moment and just about letting it all out - all your fears about how people are going to judge you.

Can you talk about how you choosing parts and having more freedom to do indie movies?

BM: It's funny for me because I could never get an independent film prior to doing IRobot. So I was excited to finally being accepted in that world. So if they wanted me I'd be like great. But in the independent world you tend to get a little bit more material, more interesting material and more likely to end up straight to video but it gives youa little bit more opportunity to explore yourself and in the character than perhaps in some of the bigger films where most likely you're supporting a bigger cast or bigger male lead.

HG: Yes I think I really like to do independent films. I think that they a lot of times take more chances and do things more uniquely and not as formulaic. I think there are really great studio movies but they're harder to find. I just love going to see them.

There are not that many movies today that center on the woman. What does that mean to you? It's tough for a woman actress out there.

HG: Well the way I think of that is that I have gotten into developing material because I think that there's not a lot of female perspective in cinema. There definitely is some but there should be more and as an audience member I want that, not only as an actress. So for the past 5 years I've been doing it and I have 3 things that I want to do. Hopefully 2 this year and 1 next year.

So you have more control?

HG: Well that's what I want to do instead of just what if these random people out there will cast me for these things.

Is that a necessity for you?

HG: I guess so. Singers write songs and say what they want to say in a song. In this movie, I actually believe in the message of this movie but sometimes you can't always totally control that. So then I thought, that would be a fun thing to try.

Are you working on any new projects now?

BM: I'm shooting a TV show, Six Degrees so that's still filming and I'm busy with that.

HG: I just did a film at Sundance called Adrift In Manhattan.

Speaking of Manhattan, can you talk about how NYC plays a big part in romance and the importance it adds to movies?

BM: There is something romantic about finding love in such a big city where everyone is moving so fast and everyone seems to be a stranger and yet we're still all connected whether it's 6 degrees or not. I mean I'm a romantic so I always feel like there is somebody out there in this city which is a beautiful sort of story of how you bump into each other. This city has a life of it's own and it really feeds us individually with its own personality. It really is a character - I don't think there's another city in a film that really has that same influence on film.

Did you ever expect it to be like this?

BM: No I had no idea what I was getting into. The first big thing I did was Coyote Ugly and I had no idea what that was or who Jerry Bruckheimer was. I didn't know what I was in for.

Were you pleased with that?

BM: When I look back at it now I have this sort of giggle when I see myself on the bar and stuff like that. I was very pleased with what it was and how it opened a lot of doors and my experience on it.

Heather, do you catch any of your old movies on TV and go oh my God?

HG: Yeah, weird, so weird. I don't really watch myself a lot but when I do I think to myself aww, like when I was young, like 18.

Are you more secure now?

HG: No not every minute but I think I just learn to have more confidence in my life and not caring as much I guess because you become an adult and just feel good about yourself and it's kind of like what this movie is about. You can't really worry about those things like how the movie is going to come out. It's just like...you might as well feel good.

BM: By this time you've moved on to so many other things. I just mentioned Noise and we're doing this now and I'm also filming something else so there's already so many other things that have happened since then. Whereas the director is immersed in it every single day still so it's a different process.

How long ago did you shoot this movie?

BM: Almost 2 years ago.

HG: Maybe a year and a half.

Your kiss in this movies is getting a lot of attention from the press and people like us.

HG: Good.

Courtney Cox came out to the press yesterday and said that her kiss with Jennifer Aniston had no tongue at all and it was just a regular kiss.

HG: We had tongue if that's what you are asing.

Do you think there is too much attention on this sort of thinking?

HG: I want to know if there's tongue or no tongue actually. I think it's important news.

It's relevant but there's a lot of attention on the woman to woman kiss.

BM: I guess it's sort of a fantasy for both sexes. Guys and girls find it hot, and even girls that are not gay. It's still sort of a fantasy.

Was it one of your fantasies?

BM: Sure.

Women are abused because of their sexuality constantly so there's this hyper vigilance.

BM: But for years it's been celebrated. I think it goes both ways.

Heather can you talk about what you are working on and what they're about?

HG: One that I've been working on for a long time is about the triangle fire of 9/11 because I watched NY documentary and saw a section on that. So that's probably the first stop because it's such a big kind of production. And then there's another called The Accidental Virgin which is a like a sex comedy about sex. And then there's another one that's called Seymour's Last Rule and that's kind of more like a dark sort of character. It's about the friendship about these 2 people. It has Jorge Garcia from Lost.

Do you play a role in all of these?

HG: Yes. There is one that I think I'm going to do that's not one of those three that I just have a very small part in. That would be an ensemble.

Do you believe in the paranormal?

HG: Sure why not. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it. You know the book Lovely Bones? I just think it's a great thought that like where do people's spirits go when they're not completely gone? I believe in it more in a positive way and not a freaky way.

Are they going to be bringing you back to Scrubs anytime soon?

HG: I would go back. They're so fun. They're so nice.

What do you think the best roles are for actresses right now? Are they studio films, indie films, TV?

HG: I think 100% indie fils. I mean if you look at the academy awards, all those actress are always usually in independent films.

BM: But then I think there's also TV. I see so many great actresses moving into TV. I just saw that Jennifer Jason Leigh is doing a pilot, Glenn Close, Sally Field. I think you're getting material on a weekly basis that's pushing you and challenging you and you're getting some of the great writers from the films who are going to television and have more control. I think more and more actresses are going in that direction but the kind of material that they're probably gravitating to doesn't stay on the air so...




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