A/V Room









House of Wax - Elisha Cuthbert interview

Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. How exciting is it being the star of House of Wax?
Oh, I am so excited for this film to come out and so excited for people to see this performance of mine because it’s so different from anything I’ve done before. It’s such a crucial time for my career right now. I feel like every decision matters but at the same time I still want to have a good time and make fun movies.

Q. You look so different in this film because you’re a brunette...
You know, what’s funny is a lot of people have said, ‘Oh, you’ve decided to go blonde’ since I’m not a brunette any more. And I’m saying, ‘But I’ve always been blonde’. I’ve had that a few times. People have really connected with the brunette in me and now think the blonde was a decision. But it was definitely more of a brunette decision. There were a lot of hair matters in this film!

Q. Do horror films scare you?
Some do. And this one is definitely gruesome but fun too. I think if you’re not into the horror of it all, it’s still going to be entertaining for people.
It’s such a young cast and following their journey of whether they live or die is kind of the fun part of the film. But it’s also for those really horror connoisseurs. I think we’ve really raised the bar as far as gore goes. It really has those perfect moments that make you go, ‘Oh, God’.

Q. What were the worst parts to film?
The scene where I glued my lips together. I really glued my lips together! I couldn’t physically do it. We tried everything but ended up throwing it all out the window. It just didn’t work the way it was supposed to, so in the end I just said, ‘Get the glue out. Let’s do this’. Afterwards my lips were so chapped for so long.

Q. Talk about suffering for your art...
Yes, but with this sort of film if you don’t commit to it there’s really no point. I think the further you can go for a horror film the better. I do think the audience really reads that. The horror has to come from really deep down inside.
My scream that worked best, for example, was one when I was in this church and it came from a really horrifying place because that scene felt so real at the time. I went, ‘Wow, that’s what it’s about'. That’s how you can convey the fear to the audience, with a real screech as opposed to just a really loud scream.

Q. There’s quite a lot of skin in the film, mostly Paris Hilton’s. Were you asked to show any more than you did?
No. But I think I’ve established where I stand on that. I’ve done the men’s magazine shoots where you walk in and say, ‘Where are the clothes?’ I hate to go ‘Oh, I’ll never be nude in a film’ because you never know what will happen in 10 years’ time and whether a role will be good enough to go there. But right now it just doesn’t feel right to me. I can do what I need to do without crossing the line.

Q. You made your name in the TV series 24. And you’ve since made films like The Girl Next Door. How do you want to be perceived career-wise now?
I want people to feel confident that if I’m in a film it’s going to be good. It’s a big goal to set for yourself but I think if you can deliver enough times, hopefully people will commit.

Q. Is it okay for you to contemplate the fact that you might be competing with Paris Hilton for roles in the future?
You know, I’m picturing her back when I was reading for the film Girl Next Door. She could very well have been a competitor. She has the look and physique and all the things that go along with being an attractive woman. But I feel like there’s a lot of room for a lot of actresses. I really feel very excited for her. She’s stepping into something new and actually working really hard when maybe she doesn’t have to.

Q. Were you surprised by her?
Totally. She’s very kind. You see her in the public eye and when you meet her she doesn’t put on a show or an act for anybody. She’s not pretending to be anything she’s not. How can you not like someone who’s being themselves? If it would have been a facade, I’d have had no time for it.

Q. What about the fact that the media is so intrusive when it comes to celebrities these days?
Well, I read US Weekly like everyone else. You can’t help the fact that it’s the biggest-selling magazine right now. How can we get away from that? And in the same way, how can we get away from the fact that Paris is constantly in the media? If you are in touch with anyone that’s going on in the world, you know what’s hot and what’s not.

Q. Will you ever go back to 24?
I don’t know. It would be great for me but we’ll have to wait and see.

Q. What else is coming up for you?
I did an independent film called The Quiet which I also co-produced and which will be at the Toronto Film Festival. It’s really dark and heavy. I play really young. I’m 17. I had to watch my sister a lot to get back to that. Everything is such a big deal at that age. But she’s being sexually abused by her father.
I think that’s the only time I felt like I couldn’t really snap out of it on a set. It was really the first time I had to walk away and couldn’t continue. I had to go into the bathroom and go, ‘I’m an actor, this isn’t real, this isn’t going on’. Even just talking to you about it brings it all back.

Q.Might you produce more films?
If I feel like I need more creative control. I just feel like this was one it was important to step up for. And thank God I worked on House of Wax before I became a producer on The Quiet because I couldn’t have learned more from Joel Silver.

Q. So you’re not signed up for anything else?
I might do something in Moscow at the end of May. It’s time to play a crazy girl. And it’s time to dabble in comedy too. I’m all over the place. Comedy is the hardest thing. To make a crowd feel something is one thing, but to make them all laugh is another.

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