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INTERVIEWS: Perfect Stranger

Here are my interviews with Halle Berry, Giovanni Ribisi and director James Foley from the Perfect Stranger junket.

You took journalism at school...

Very briefly, must I say.

What kind of journalism did you want to do? Anything like your character in 'Perfect Stranger'?

I wanted to do this hard-core stuff you guys do. [Laughs] Well, unfortunately because I didn’t study it long enough, I hadn’t really decided that yet. So I really don’t know, but I knew that I was a good writer in high school and won awards, and I was the editor of my school newspaper. So I knew that I was a good writer and I wanted to somehow capitalize and sort of utilize a talent that I thought I had. How it would have manifested, I don’t really know.

The producer and director were singing their praises about how into the character you were – what made you so passionate about playing this role?

Well, you know, I love a character that gives me a chance to grow and do something different, and Row was so multifaceted. I've never played a character who played a character who played a character, and that gave me a chance as an artist to sort of stretch my limits and to challenge myself. When I read the movie and I got to the end, I thought, 'Wow, I don’t know how I’m going to pull this off [or] if I can, but I’m going to go down trying,' because that’s how impassioned I was about it.

Read the rest of the interview by clicking the link below...


You tend to play a lot of quirky characters with an evil side to them. Do you seek out those types of characters?

I dunno... I looked on IMDB recently and I was like, 'Wow, there's like 40 movies.' Maybe it's just a coincidence that people haven't seen the other films. I have another film coming out after this called 'The Dog Problem', and it's sort of a lighter romantic comedy. And yeah, I think that he's troubled to a greater or lesser degree. But I think that the problem exists in storytelling. You know, if you just saw a guy who was just happy the whole time, that wouldn't be a really interesting movie. But I think at the same time, a lot of people ask me – the word that I hate – 'Quirky.' You know, 'Why am I playing these quirky characters?' I don't look at them [like that]. It's not about that. It's more about being interested in the breadth of human emotion and doing something that's dynamic.

Having a personality.

Yeah, exactly. I think that anybody to a greater or lesser degree has a dark side. But there's a part of me that's quite the opposite now, because so many people have been saying it. I'm not interested in that anymore. And it's got me thinking, because I get that question a lot – especially today – about, 'Why?' And I think it's because it's a challenge and there's something enticing about that.

Read the rest of the interview by clicking the link below...


Did it feel good, finishing the movie?

I went out and splurged right when I got back, because when you direct a movie you feel rich for like one day. Because, you know, you've gotten all your money, but then you realize that you get your monthly statement from your business manager and every month it goes down and down. And you're unemployed and you have no idea if you'll ever get a job again. So you don't know if you're rich or not, because if you get paid a million bucks and you do your next movie right away – the next year – then you're making a million bucks a year. But if you wait three years, you're only getting $300,000 a year.

So does that make you less selective about your movie choices?

I'm extremely selective. I learned early on that if I didn't find myself in the project, I didn't want to do it. And by that I mean, 'Where is myself?' And it's in Halle 's character. I feel in many ways – I can be psychoanalyzed why – I just feel a kinship with her character. And I love her. And I don't care what she does, and I understand her behavior no matter what she does. I understand the twisted logic of why she takes a certain action. And it's the best performance of any movie I've ever made. There's a layer that's so interesting because Halle Berry is playing a character, [and] that character is acting she's a different character, so you have to [make] people believe this new character she invented – that the character is acting – but you can't let the audience see that this character is acting. But she has to be. And that was a real magic trick.

And when you see it, there are – people say this too often sometimes – but I really think there's reason to see this movie a second time, because there are millions of little moments that could be interpreted one way or another. I purposely left things ambiguous. Something as simple as Halle coming in with Giovanni to Halle's kitchen and Halle's in one room and Giovanni's in another, and Halle's taking off her hat and she stops, and she starts thinking about something. And we have no idea what she's thinking about. But it's a long pause. And then she blurts out a question to Giovanni, and then Halle can't see Giovanni, but Giovanni's reaction is like, 'Uh oh. This is complicated.' And you have no idea at the point why it's complicated, but you know that something more is at hand and what the first level of reality is. There are secrets.

Read the rest of the interview by clicking the link below...



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