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In The Cut - Meg Ryan Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. In the production notes, Miss Campion is quoted as saying that one of the many qualities you brought to the characters was having the courage to go to the edge and beyond. Did you feel you had this courage and was it a quality you were called upon to exhibit during the course of making this movie?
A.
I felt like I was in such sure hands with Jane, I didn't really feel that it required some extreme amount of bravery on my part to trust Jane. I loved the script, and loved her sensibility, and I knew Mark was going to be there. I do think that the character is extremely brave; we talked about her often as a warrior, and as somebody who is a very unlikely person to risk her heart for a guy. I felt that this is the thing you need a lot of bravery to do. And she is somebody who is so much of a remission, within herself, and so broken-hearted, and so not anybody who is likely to be able to connect with somebody as extremely and as beautifully as she does with Detective Malloy.

Q. I found the depiction of modern women very interesting. Was that another part of its allure? And did it give you the opportunity to explore such themes?
A.
It's interesting that this film can be a forum for that kind of discussion, because if it's unexpressed, it's even more frustrating, right? And I know a lot of my friends, who have seen the movie, so deeply relate to that aspect of it - that these romantic myths don't apply to them, and how heartbreaking that can feel; especially if you feel alone with that idea.

Q. Having been a poster girl, if you like, for romantic comedies, this is a completely different kind of role, so I was wondering how it felt to be taking on this type of role for the first time? Particularly in regard to the nudity and sex scenes, which are very explicit...
A.
Again, I felt very taken care of. It's not the day you look forward to; you see it coming up on the schedule, and think twice. But in the end, obviously, it was a really protected environment and it was very choreographed; we knew every shot, and every angle, and it was incredibly collaborative. It's interesting, so much of the movie is so bound; it was, for me, a very untraditional experience, in that Jane was finding shots all the time. There was never any normal progression from master to over.

Q. Were you even remotely concerned for whatever screen image you might have?
A.
I'm not into reacting to whatever idea of me is out there, I don't really think about it that much, truthfully.

Q. What made you change your hair in the movie?
A.
It was so organic. The first step in it was that Jane and I were walking around the city one day and we saw Emily the Strange, the nihilistic cartoon character. It started there. I always thought she had brown eyes and brown hair, but how it got chopped up was, basically, it started there.
It was kind of cool, though, because I dyed my hair and was able to walk around New York and no one said 'hi' or anything; that hadn't happened in quite a while. It was actually pretty liberating. So I liked it.
She's also kind of an invisible woman, in a way; she's not a head turner. She doesn't want attention.

Q. This wasn't the type of script you usually receive, did you decide to do something different?
A.
I've never read anything like it, so it wasn't at all like anything I usually get sent. I had never done a thriller, this kind of character is a really interior person, and I know that Jane is interested in expressing interior life onscreen and finding really different visual languages to do that in. It's so different in all of her movies, so, yeah, it was a cool opportunity.
And I'd always loved movies from the Seventies, where there were anti-heroes, and I felt she had really hooked into that.

Q. There is a moment when Mark's character uses really frank language to sort of court you. What would your reaction be to that type of language, if someone were to use it on you?
A.
I think it would be a signal to walk away; I would take it that way.
Jane: I don't think I'd walk away!

Q. How did you get on with Jennifer Jason Leigh, who plays your sister? Did you have to hang out a lot to get the feeling for the relationship they share?
A.
We had a pretty instantaneous love of each other; it was pretty quick. Jane encouraged it. We had little things for us to do, like exchange gifts for one another's characters. We spent time together, did yoga together.
Jane: I think both Jennifer and Meg have really close female friends, so we understood what that type of relationship is. I think it helped the movie if you felt that Jen and Meg had trust for each other. So we decided that's what we were going to look for and set up a couple of exercises to bring it together and then jumped in there.
Everything was set up for it to be that way.

Q. What I thought was a really lovely moment in the film is when Jennifer Jason Leigh's character asks Meg's character if she was happy when she woke up? Are you happy when you wake up?
A.
I am. I can't help it.

Q. What's more difficult? Simulating an orgasm in the context of this film, or sat in a diner opposite Billy Crystal?
A.
It's harder to fake it in a delhi, than in a controlled environment with choreographed scenes... [laughs]

 

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