Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
Q: Scarlett, its shaping up to be quite a year for you,
what with this, and all the acclaim its already received
on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as what we are referring
to as your Dutch Jewellery Movie. What was it about
this film, in particular, that struck a chord with you? It seems
to me that the two leading performers yourself and Billy
Murray - inhabit the roles so well, because you understand the
limbo situation they find themselves in; the clashing of cultures,
the jet-lag, everything that goes with travelling to weird and
wonderful places and ending up on your own, even though youre
with your screen husband.
A: Well, Sofia and I met in a restaurant I heard
she had a hankering for a meeting and I couldnt say no.
So we met in a restaurant, in New York, and she basically explained
to me that she had this idea that was shaping up into some script,
that it was definitely going to be with Bill Murray, and if it
wasnt Bill Murray then she wasnt going to do it.
She said it would also take place in Tokyo and this seemed like
two very appealing things, Bill Murray and Tokyo, so I said send
me the script when youve finished it, and, sure enough,
not that much later a little mini-script came and I knew right
after I finished reading it that it was a project I wanted to
be a part of.
It was such a beautiful, beautiful script. I had nothing to say
about it really, everything was there. It was 75 pages, it was
short, and a lot of it was visual, I mean the dialogue between
Bill and I is pretty much hell have one line and Ill
have one line, like a ping-pong, and it just read so well, like
a really great novel. When I finished it, I was happy and I was
sad and I just knew, I knew I could play the part.
Q: Scarlett, was it a case of art imitating life? What did
you like most and what did you like least about Tokyo?
A: Well, I guess I had the Bob Harris [character Murray
plays] experience. I was really tired the whole time I was there,
and we were shooting a week of days, then a week of nights, then
a week of days, and I felt very discombobulated while I was there.
I was also staying at the Park Hyatt Hotel while we were filming
there, so it was a very surreal reality, going downstairs in my
pyjamas for rehearsal and so on. It felt like fun for me, and
the days that I had off, which was just one day a week unfortunately,
I just tried to do what everybody else was doing Id
go shopping and eat out, and try to walk around, but I couldnt
even do anything that touristy, because I was so involved in what
we were doing.
Q: Were you intimidated by the language barrier at all?
A: Yeah, for whatever reason, nobody really spoke English
very well in the hotel. There was a Swedish hotel manager, I guess
he spoke pretty well. Oh and there were a couple of people there
that knew how to say "No"
Q: The karaoke scene is the most amusing scene in the film.
I was wondering how spontaneous the choice of music was, and whether
it was improvised or was it heavily-scripted?
A: Well for a start, Sofia wanted those particular songs and
I think Ross got the copy two days before, so I had to learn all
the words to Brass In Pocket, even though the translation on the
screen is really bizarre, some of its just not at all the
words; its like funny, broken English. But other than the
songs, it was pretty much improvised.
Sofa Coppola: The idea was to kind of make it feel like
it was late at night, and theyd had sake. The Roxy Music
song came out at the last minute.
Q: Did any of you go to a karaoke bar in Japan?
Sofia Coppola: We did, and we learned that Scarlett has an
incredible singing voice!
Q: Which song was your favourite to perform, Scarlett?
A: I do a really good Cher impression, I Believe.
Q: So youre a disco queen?
A: Only at night. And Bill was singing Mack the Knife, which
Q: And Miss Coppola?
SC: I prefer to watch [Laughter]
Q: Do you have a favourite scene in the film?
A: I like the whole sequence with Bill and I in his bedroom.
It starts off with us watching TV trivia and then pans over to
the window and ends up with us lying on the bed and falling asleep.
Its so telling, its really the one time when our characters
are really honest. You know, there are the jokes about his mid-life
crisis, Have you bought your Porsche yet? and so on,
and I have that self-help tape, but its the one moment where
were trying to figure out exactly what it is thats
And not just that, but Bill really is so evasive. With my character,
Ill say things like, I really like you and Ill
miss you, and hes just like, Okay; and
its sort of the one moment where he really makes an effort
to connect and I think its really touching.
Sofia Coppola: Im happy with the way that played.
It had all the moments we wanted it to have. I like when he sings
More than This to her, and the way she looks at him, in that one
look. I totally get that feeling when someone starts to like someone.
Q: Scarlett, have you ever been in any commercials, before
you became a well-known movie star?
A: No, Im terrible at selling things I can only
sell myself. I have a really eerie natural delivery, where it
sounds almost forceful, or really fake, and I havent really
found a happy medium, so no. I used to audition when I was younger;
Id go on cattle calls, but they didnt know if they
wanted me or a young Chinese boy, and it was very overwhelming
Q: Scarlett, youre on the verge of becoming a sex symbol
how do you feel about that? Do you get people chatting
you up a lot more?
A: A sex symbol? My God. Yeah, I get sexy young men and women
coming up to me! [Laughs]
Q: You should stress that you're joking, or it'll be in the
A: Yeah, I guess that its appropriate timing
Ill be 19 in a couple of weeks. Im legal now! [Laughter].
So it seems quite appropriate, becoming a young woman, and Im
comfortable with my own sexuality and all that sort of thing.
So its nice, you know, it means I can borrow lots of designer
dresses and that sort of thing. There are lots of perks.
Q: Are you old enough to go to a bar in the States?
A: Well, no, but you have to kind of go in the back door