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Jumper - Rachel Bilson interview

Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen in Jumper

Interview by Rob Carnevale

RACHEL Bilson talks about the appeal of appearing in Doug Liman’s Jumper (not literally!) and overcoming associations with long-running TV hit The OC

What was it like working with Doug Liman?
Rachel Bilson: It was definitely an adventure and with a director like Doug Liman you don’t know what you’re going to get. He’s so of the moment, which is wonderful. The best part about it is that you can create as you go, which is an amazing experience, especially for someone like me who has no experience of anything close to this genre. There were lots of challenges, but good ones. There was a lot of physical stuff that was uncomfortable at times but the experience as a whole was a new journey and because of Doug it was special and new and exciting.

Q. What was the shortest period of time you were in any location?
Rachel Bilson: The shortest time Doug took from taking his camera out and actually shooting something was when we were flying to Rome and we were sitting next to each other, and the second we woke up from this eight hour trip he was rolling the camera on me! That scene is now in the film. It doesn’t match up for continuity [laughs] but you don’t notice ‘cos it’s pretty short. That’s Doug, he has his home camera and that footage has now made it into the picture.

Q. You appeared in a long-running TV series [The OC] for which your name became synonymous. Do you think that helped to open doors in your career or have you struggled to get away from it?
Rachel Bilson: For me, the show has helped to bring me everything that I have in my career thus far and I’m extremely grateful for that. It’s harder when you’re known for a TV series as a character because people think they know you because they love that character. So, it’s been important for me to break away from that as much as possible and go against the obvious typecasting. It was an advantage that Doug had been involved in The OC and he actually cast me in The Last Kiss, which felt really good because I was acknowledged for something else, even though I loved that show. It was special to know I was branching off it.

Q Were you injured in any of the fight scenes?
Rachel Bilson: I had bruises and scratches but I was showing them off because I was proud I was doing action scenes. My war wounds were nothing substantial though.

Q. You have a hot scene in the hotel with Hayden Christensen – so, how do you rate your co-star in that situation?
Rachel Bilson: I’m sure all the ladies will be happy to know he’s a 10.

Q. Do you get embarrassed doing love scenes?
Rachel Bilson: Sex scenes or love scenes are always uncomfortable because they’re so unnatural and forced. I was lucky enough to have someone as handsome as Hayden as a co-star but it’s always awkward.

Q. Conversely, was it hard to slap Hayden in the film? You seem to catch him with a pretty good one…
Rachel Bilson: No, that was actually fun [laughs]. I got to kick him on the ground too. I don’t know if you can really see it but it’s there.

Q. You’re whisked off to Rome on a date in the movie, so what would your own idea of a perfect date be? Would Rome be on the agenda?
Rachel Bilson: I think it depends on the guy that’s taking you. If it’s someone you don’t know very well pretending to be all suave then I wouldn’t be that impressed [pulls a face]… but if you know somebody that’s taking you then it’s pretty ideal. I’m a fan of Italy and Rome in particular, so I share that in common with Millie. I’ve had some nice dates in my time but I couldn’t really say one. I like to stay at home and snuggle on the couch or something [laughs nervously]. Sounds boring but that would be ideal.

Q: Were you a big fan of science fiction films? And had you seen Hayden in Star Wars?
Rachel Bilson: I can’t say I would ever be the first to see a sci-fi movie. I didn’t know the genre well – but my dad’s very into comic books and sci-fi, so I’m familiar with it. But after doing this film and seeing what goes into it, I really respect it and love it. I had seen the second Star Wars films – The Return Of The Jedi where the Ewoks were really cute. But I hadn’t seen the prequels! Since working with Hayden, however, I have now seen his Star Wars films because I had to get familiar with his work [laughs and blushes].

Q. And what was working with Samuel L Jackson like?
Rachel Bilson: It was really cool. Actually, I was intimidated at first because some of his acting was the stuff I’d grown up on. I was sort of thrown into this movie, too, and the first scene he had with me he was throwing me against the wall, and it was one of those days where you pinch yourself and say: “Is this really happening?” I’m a bit worried about calling him Sam still. But he is really cool. His hair in the movie really looks great.

Q. What superpower would you like?
Rachel Bilson: I’d have to say that teleportation would be great. It means you don’t have to spend 11 hours in a plane and go all over the world and just jump away from people you really don’t want to meet. That would be pretty ideal.

Read our review of Jumper