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Spun - Mena Suvari Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. Was there any sense that this was a very big risk for you in terms of your career?
A.
Yes, it was something very different from what I had done before, and I think it was just a time in my life where I wanted to be a part of film like this.
I'd always been a huge fan of Jonas' work, and so that was really appealing to me. But it really wasn't so much a conscious decision, to say 'I'm going to do this film to shock people away from American Beauty'. It was just kind of more a reflection of my own interests.

Q. The toilet scene. How difficult was that to do, and was it the first of its kind?
A.
I don't know if it's really the first of its kind. I think it has its own unique quality [laughs]. But it wasn't difficult at all, it was a lot of fun.
And let's just say our production design was exquisite in the shaping of the... in the toilet. But, there was just so much freedom in this film, that I really enjoyed it, because it was just so separate from anything that I had ever worked on.

Q. It's such a visually striking film, you get the impression that this is what being on speed must be like, so how was that communicated to you when working, because, obviously, a lot of the stuff we see is post-production?
A.
Yeah, I kind of had my own idea of what it was sort of going to be like, from reading the script. But it was very different from the final product, and I was just thrilled.
I remember the first time I saw it I was actually laughing, I thought it was really funny, cos you kind of have this sick humour to it, where you catch yourself almost going, 'oh my God, that's really not funny'.
But, there are certain things we would do, involving green screen, and Jonas would tell us to move our head, in different directions, and move our eyes, and he would try and tell us how he was going to use that. We still tried to make it our own as much as we could, but still seeing the final product, I was blown away by it, and all of the work that he had done, such as adding the animation, and all of the effects.

Q. How did you psyche yourself up every day to be freaked out? I mean the set was messy and disgusting, were there nice trailers waiting for you outside?
A.
We had a really good caterer. It was really just exciting for me, cos you usually go to work every day and put on make-up to look better than when you came in, and we were doing completely the opposite. It was really just liberating. I put on these clothes that I don't even know if they washed them...
There was no fixing up your lips after lunch, nobody really cared. That whole kind of look we were going to, everyone was throwing in ideas. Our costume designer was amazing.
In that house, there was one moment where we found, like, pizza box with maggots in it, or something, and they made it look like that, which was a wonderful job.
They put the resin on my teeth and I remember every night, trying to scrape that off with alcohol, and I had to get professional cleaning when I was finished the film, because it was embedded in my teeth.
And sometimes I would, like, forget to take my veins off, and would go out to dinner and people were like looking at me...
And my hair, they put a lot of product in it, but they didn't wash it. So I really wanted to take a shower by the end of film.
Mickey: I remember when I met you, I thought, nice looking girl, but she has nasty teeth. I didn't realise what they were doing with her.

Q. Surely there must have been occasions, when filming, that you had to think twice about some of the scenes you were being asked to do?
A.
Was I nervous? No. I just had a lot of fun, working on the film, I mean, working with Jonas was the best, and working with John [Leguizamo], he is just a genius. It's so inspiring watching him just run around with all this energy. It was great. There was nothing that I was ever worried about, and I didn't want to think too hard about it. I was there to do something that I believed in, and I was happy with that.

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