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Matchstick Men - Alison Lohman Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. How tricky was it to play this character, who was complex and multi-faceted?
A.
Yeah, it was a big challenge. But I hung out with my cousin for about a month, who is 14, and got to know her and what she'd talk about, what she'd do all day. She's nothing like my character, of course, so then I would have to try and use my imagination to create who I thought she was. And then being with Nic and being on set, doing scene after scene, the character begins to take on its own development. So you kind of see what happens with that.

Q. I think you're being really modest about it, because it's incredible how you captured the body language of a 14-year-old girl. I thought that was the most remarkable thing. How did you go about that?
A.
There's definitely a look in the eye that a young person has, that we don't have anymore, so I definitely wanted to make sure we captured that in the movie. For me, the movie is the relationship between Roy and Angela, so it something that is almost sort of intangible, something you can't quite put your finger on, and you have to try and inhabit that spirit. I think it's all a look in the eye. And I think Nic works the same way.

Q. Can I ask you to comment on behalf of Nic, as he's not here, whether it ever became tiring, given the number of tics, etc, that his character possesses?
A.
It seemed like he wanted to do more and more. I think he enjoyed it.

Q. How challenging was it to be the only female on set and how often did you talk to Nicolas Cage and get tips from him?
A.
I did talk to Nic and asked what he was studying, because I really respect him as an actor.
And as for the first question, yeah I was a little intimidated and nervous initially, but getting to know them, we just laughed the whole time, and they're so funny that they really created a comfortable environment for me. I really trusted him, so I felt really comfortable and, like, protected...

Q. So you didn't mind being the only girl in a largely all-male cast?
A.
No, not at all, not at all.
Sir Ridley: I think Alison is actually under-scoring her natural ability. From a director's point of view, she is one of those rare occurrences where the intuition, which you can't really verbalise, is just really intuitive, and visceral and you can adjust to something during a take, and it'll nearly always work. She has got extremely good taste, which is rare.

Q. When you were 14, were you as self-willed as the character you play and as untidy?
A.
I am the antithesis of my character. My mom used to tell me that I'd hide behind her. I was really, really shy, not outgoing at all. My character is really melodramatic, in that one minute she is throwing a tantrum and the next she is laughing hysterically, but I wasn't at all like that. I was just reading and doing theatre. I've never flipped anybody off in my whole life.

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