Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. You play a CIA officer in the movie, do you think
people are more cynical about government agencies now?
A. I think people are more aware now. There's a lot of
stuff going on in the world and so the film kind of fits in with
what's happening in real life. These are complicated, tough times.
Q. Has the CIA changed though?
A. It's opening up. It reminds me a little of the time
of Nixon and Watergate, it was like a change in the country, because
up until then, people wanted to be more blindly led and not get
all the details. But after Watergate, people were like, 'We want
to know what's going on in our country, and what sort of decisions
are being made', and it seems somewhat similar today with the
We want to know what's going on. I think, with technology and
the access to information we have, that people don't want to be
Q. Is the CIA in the film more efficient than the real
A. Well, it is an incredibly complicated job, and now
the enemy is more abstract and vague than it ever has been before,
and we're not used to terrorism in the States.
Europe and other places have had a lot of it in their history,
but it's a new thing for this country and we are such a huge country.
That's a big challenge to stay on top of everything that's going
on here. Then, there's human fallibility and corruption. There
are so many elements.
Q. Did you do a lot of research for the role?
A. I didn't because I got cast very close to when shooting
started, so I didn't have time. I did meet with somebody who had
been in the CIA, and I did some reading and the director, Paul
Greengrass, was very helpful.
I was interested in what sort of person does this work, and what
it's like to be a woman in this world, more general stuff than
specifics about missions. You have to have a lot of different
skills. Languages are important obviously. But the gentleman I
spoke to said that it can be very boring work.
You're waiting for something to happen and nothing might happen.
You have to sit and wait around a lot. I read Stella's Rimington's
autobiography and I found that really interesting. How she got
involved in that work and what sort of characteristics are helpful
for this kind of work.
Q. You got an Oscar nomination for The Contender, but
you haven't been seen in much since then?
A. Well, I was producing a film, so I was focusing on
that, but it wasn't like there were tons and tons of offers coming
in at the same time. I went for almost a year and half without
working. But then I got this independent film, Off The Map, and
went from that to The Notebook, then a Sally Potter film, called
Yes, and then stayed in London to do this film, called The Upside
Of Anger, with Kevin Costner and then did The Bourne Supremacy.
So, I've been working non-stop for almost two years. But before
that I was looking for a job.
Q. Are you difficult to cast
because you specialise in intelligent, older woman?
A. I think it's hard and age definitely has something
to do with it. If you look at the people who benefit from awards,
it tends to be men, or younger women. Look at Frances Mcdormand.
She was great in Fargo, and won the Oscar, but she did a kids
film after that.
It's like they didn't know what to do with her. There's not a
lot of material out there for women of a certain age.
Q. So what keeps you going?
A. Well, it's what I know how to do, it's what I'm trained
to do. But as tough as it can be, and when you're working, you're
away from home, so I don't get to see my daughter, it does afford
a nice lifestyle. You work intensely for a few months, and then
you can have a couple of months off. I like that balance. But
I've done some great roles recently, so I feel great at the moment.
Q. Did you get to see much of Berlin and Moscow while
you were making The Bourne Supremacy?
A. I try and see and much as I can. Being a mother, they
try and condense my schedule, so that when I'm on location I'm
working as much as possible so I don't have to hang around too
But I had days off here and there, and explored the cities a bit.
I do a lot of walking and got to a few museums. Last year, I spent
six months in London. I lived in an apartment, in the East End,
for the Sally Potter film and I loved that, and then I lived in
Notting Hill Gate for the other film.
So it was two different experiences and I did go to the grocery
store and all that, so you get to see what it's like to live there.
I ate a lot of Indian food in the East End.
Q. How did you get into acting?
A. When I was at High School, in Rochelle, a small town
in Illinois. I auditioned for a play and I seemed to have an affinity
for it. It seemed to be natural, a good fit for me.
Q. Are you the hometown heroine?
A. I am. It's a tiny place, there are only 8,000 people
who live there. I was there for the 4th of July parade this year.
But people from the mid-West are kind of reserved, so they say,
'Hi', and that's about it.
Q. Would you like to be more famous?
A. I feel like I've got a great life. I live a very conventional,
normal life in New York, and I'm on the subway all the time. I'm
a real, regular mom. It's nice, because sometimes people will
say, 'Loved you in that movie', but that's it. New Yorkers are
Q. You were part of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company,
in Chicago, with John Malkovich and Gary Sinise, are still in
touch with them?
A. Yes. I haven't done a play for a really long time,
but I stay in touch with them. I always go to the annual Gala
and we meet for dinner when we can.
Q. You've been nominated for three Oscars, do you want
to win one day?
A. My life won't be complete until I do. No, it would
be nice, but it won't make or break me. When you look at the list
of people who've never won, like Scorsese, it seems a little strange.
It doesn't drive me, but it would definitely be nice. I wouldn't