(Note: Webmaster B., here. Due to B. Alan Orange's sudden disappearance off the coast of New Caledonia, in the South Pacific, we have enlisted his brother to take over the reins of OI. J. David Orange is a writer for LA's new toilet monthly The Sidewalk Mockers, and a press correspondent for Entertainment @ Dawn, KTTS' new after hours party show, shown exclusively in Kent County, Rhode Island)
Hey, Kids! Have I got a movie for you! Sure, they've done this body-switcheroo business a billion times here in Hollywood. Heck, Disney's already made this film twice. Once in the early seventies with Jodie Foster and some bag of bones that's currently collecting dust in a museum (her name escapes me, but damn she was fine for an old broad). Come 1995, they resurrected this family favorite again; employing Shelly Long and Gabby Hoffman in a televised infomercial version that no one seems to remember.
Thankfully, the third time's the charm. Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan manage to give the quintessential mother-daughter mental transplant performances of a lifetime in this new Freaky Friday. Their sheer chemistry and comedic timing saves what could have been another insipid dip in the septic tank of "teen girl" cinema. This one climbs above the rest, outshining even its predecessors to come away the better of the three films. This revised adaptation of the Freak Friday novel by Mary Rodgers is nearly perfect in every way. There's something delightful locked in this tight treat for even the most cynical of critics (even my brother would have enjoyed it).
On a recent jaunt back to Los Angeles, I meet up with Laurie Strode (aka Jamie Lee Curtis) and those two twins from the Parent Trap (i.e.; Lindsay Lohan) for what turned out to be a pretty nice chat held somewhere inside the Four Seasons. What transpired was a very freaky conversation, indeed...
I first met Jamie in the elevator. Still looking pretty damn hot for her age, she eyed me up and down with an off glare that said, "Halloween's 25 years old and if you ask me to autograph the DVD, I'm going to punch you in the eye." That's speculation, of course. But still, it was a very "freaky" vibe she was giving off, and I didn't understand it at first.
Once inside the elevator, she started yammering about how her career choice wasn't such a bad one. There were a million other things she'd rather "NOT" be doing, even if it meant coming to the Four Seasons to chat with a bunch of "losers" like myself. As I got off on the second floor, she pointed at my back and said rather loudly, "I want to be that guy."
Who? Me? Whatever. I didn't know what the heck she was talking about. Crazy ol' broad. We'll get back to the rest of that in a minute.
First, though, I sat down to talk with the lovely, sophisticated...
(Note: Contributing Sources; which means you can probably read this same interview in about seven or eight different publications. Thank you for choosing ours)
OI: How are you?
LL: Great. I'm kind of tired. I've been working nights. But it's fun.
OI: what are you working on?
LL: A movie called Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. That's a long title.
OI: Is it a drama or a comedy?
LL: I think it's closer to comedy. It's young. It's fun. I play the Drama Queen. Her name is Lola.
OI: Who is your main actor in that film?
LL: Excuse me?
OI: Who is your main actor?
LL: Me. It's my first one. Yeah. It's kind of intimidating. But it's also kind of cool. We'll see.
OI: I'm sorry. I meant; who is your love interest?
LL: Oh, okay. My love interest is this boy named Eli Merienthal. He was Stifler's younger brother in American Pie 1 & 2. And the other guy in it, that I have a thing for, is Adam Garcia.
OI: Is comedy your comfort zone?
LL: I think, right now, my audience is younger. And that's what younger kids will expect. They want to see things that are fun and uplifting. Romantic comedies; things like that. I do want to branch off and show people that I can do more than just comedy.
OI: Your TV work wasn't comedy. It was more drama?
LL: Yeah, but that was when I was starting out. It was closer to (drama); when I was doing Another World. As I grow older, I think things will change. I will look at other films and try to develop other characters; maybe do other roles.
OI: Do you think you'll ever do edgier work?
LL: Well, not necessarily edgier. People my age say they want to be edgier. I think it's more so, that as I grow up, people can grow up with me. If I want to keep doing the romantic comedy thing, and keep my characters as that, I know people aren't going to want to see me killing someone in a movie. I don't have any intentions to go there. I don't think it's necessary. That's not the kind of stuff I want to do. I think psychological thrillers are important. They might allow me to show the more serious side of what I can do.
OI: It seems like you've had a change in your career recently. You're going to a whole new level. Before this, you took some time off. What happened? Why the new level now? Was it by choice?
LL: It was a little bit by choice. I was young when I did The Parent Trap. It was a total shock for me. I didn't think anything like that would ever happen. After that, I just wanted to go to school and be a normal kid. I didn't have any desire to be out here. To move out to LA and move my family. I didn't think it was necessary. I just wanted to go to school and experience the whole high school thing. I think it's "really" necessary to do that when you're sixteen. Then, when I did Freaky Friday, it was kind of like, I saw all these girls starting to come out on the Disney Channel, and stuff. That's a very large audience. I was like, "I miss this. I want to do more of it." And Freak Friday came along. And it was just a blessing.
OI: Did you pursue it actively?
LL: I did. At first, I was kind of hesitant. The character was really different. She was more Goth than she was Punk. This seemed more different than what I'd like to do if I'm going to come back from Parent Trap. I met with Mark (S. Waters, the director), and we really clicked. And me and Jamie got along right from the start. We had this great chemistry. I was like, "I'd really like to do this." This was something I felt like I defiantly needed to be involved in. It's bringing me to a different level. What else was I suppose to come back in?
OI: This is your second double identity role. Which was tougher? This one or The Parent Trap?
LL: That's a good question, actually. With Parent Trap, I was younger. I didn't consider it two roles. It wasn't as serious to me. It was just more fun. I think, maybe, Parent Trap, because I had the accent. Well, actually...No, this is probably more difficult. Because I'm older now, people are going to take me more seriously. I really do have to focus on making the characters different. And Anna's different from me, to begin with. So, this is defiantly more difficult for me. I don't like to think of things as difficult. If I'm going to do a movie, and it's going to be really difficult for me, then it might not be the right thing to do. I think that Jamie and I have so much in common; it was easier for me to pick up little things that she does, and use that in the role.
OI: Did you observe her a lot in connection with your scenes as Jamie?
LL: I think I did. Her, as Tess, is so much different than her as Jamie, it was hard to watch Jamie, then watch her when she was playing Tess. It was more so when we (were in character). When I was Anna, I had all this wax in my hair. It was completely different than when I had my hair all pulled back. That kind of helped me get into the characters a little bit more. It was mostly posture, speaking slower...Because I tend to speak really fast. I am a seventeen-year-old girl. That helped me a lot. And the dialogue...We had really great writers, so that helped.
OI: What did you and Jamie have in common?
LL: We both have a lot of energy. And she speaks really fast. Nobody could understand us but each other. That happened a lot. She picked something up from me. We were on the set one day, when we were doing a read through, and she embarrassed me. I was like, "Oh, shut up!" So, now, that's something she says as Anna a lot. Which is a very teen thing. I guess. Or it will be. A lot of teens will be going, "Oh, shut up!" We'll see what happens. But, it was little things like that that we picked up off each other.
OI: What about your relationship with your mom? Do you think she's cool?
LL: My mom is awesome. My mom and I get along really well. I think it's important to confide in your parents. Because, a lot of people don't understand that teens do a lot more than what the parents want to think they do. I think that's what's great about this movie. Because the mother is in the daughter, she sees what goes on, and what teens have to deal with. It's going to allow parents to see that, hopefully. My mom and I get along on a great level. My mom's a great person.
OI: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
LL: I have three brothers and sisters. I have a ten-year-old sister, a seven-year-old brother, and a fifteen-year-old brother. I get along with them really well. I'm obsessed with my little brother. He's the cutest thing in the world.
OI: There's some touching stuff between the brother and sister in this film. You realize that they have empathy for each other?
LL: When I watched that scene, I was like, "Oooow!" That's totally like my little sister and I. She wants to do whatever I do. My little sister, she idolizes me. I don't see that, because she's my little sister. She wants to do everything I do, and I'm like, "Will you just get out of my face?" But then there are times when I'll see her watching me out of the corner of my eye, and I'm just like, "Sigh!" She actually did something like my little brother does in the movie, where he writes about his sister and how he admires her. My little sister did that once. She did a biography on me for school, and I read it. Then I came into school, and she was so happy. I think it's really important that older sisters do take the time. I see her getting older, and she's going to hate me. She's going to be my age, and she'll want nothing to do with me. She'll be the biggest brat. She'll be like me, and it will totally scare me. So, I'm trying to take the time to get along with her more, now. I'm like, "Let's go see a movie." Stuff like that.
OI: Where do your own musical tastes lie?
LL: I'm open to all music. With most people my age, it's "either-or." It's either Hip-Hop, or it's the edgy rock stuff. The bands I like are Rooney. I love Liz Phair. I just got her album. She's great. She's really cool. It kind of differs. It depends on what kind of mood I'm in.
OI: You have a record deal now, right?
LL: I don't yet. I'm meeting with labels. We'll see what happens. I started out as acting. Acting is where I'm at. But, I'll want to get into doing more music. There's so many people out there, singing right now. It's kind of hard to just be one in the pack.
OI: Did you actually have to learn how to play that Stratocaster?
LL: Yeah. I did. And I love it. I want to keep up on it. I love playing guitar. I haven't had much time, though.
OI: Do you want to translate that into your singing career?
LL: Yeah, I do. I think it's important to play an instrument.
OI: Did you learn before hand, or did you learn for the movie?
LL: It was for the movie. I wanted to learn, but it's like, you say you're going to pick up a guitar and take lessons, then you never do. You have to really focus on it. I have a tendency to pick up on things really easily once I concentrate and really put my mind to it. Once I started learning, it was really fun to sit there with the guitar and start writing.
OI: How far did you get? Are you actually able to sit on your own and play?
LL: I'm not going to say I'm able to play, but I played in the movie because I learned just the chords and I learned the solo. But I wasn't going to fake it. That's really frustrating for me, to be playing something, and just be faking it, and hear that...I'm like, "No, I want to play that exactly." If I listen to the song, I can pick up on the notes. I'm getting there. Hopefully I'll get there, eventually.
OI: Did your musical aspirations become greater from doing this movie?
LL: They did. I've always had a desire to sing and dance. In this movie, I didn't get to dance at all. They said, "No, she can't dance. It's not in the character. She can't be sexy at all." It's a younger audience, so you really can't do that. Playing guitar...I have a really big desire to play after seeing the movie. I think it's the coolest thing, seeing a girl play guitar. Especially the bass. Haley was awesome. She looked great doing that.
OI: Are you going to go back to High School after this?
LL: I think, right now, it's easier for me to be home schooled. I did the whole High School thing. I still have friends in High School.
OI: What kind of person were you in High School? Were you anything like your character?
OI: Did you join a clique?
LL: No, I wasn't really into cliques. Everyone's into cliques in High School. I hated that. I wanted to get along with everyone. I wasn't really into being into student council, or anything. I chanced schools last year. When I went, cheerleading was a big thing. And everybody was on the cheerleading squad. I thought maybe it would be fun, so I tried it. But I was leaving, and then coming back. I was the worst cheerleader you could possibly have. I was never there. It was fun, and it was cool. The cheerleading squad wasn't really a clique. They really got along with everyone in school.
OI: How important was it growing up in Long Island as opposed to growing up here (in LA)?
LL: I don't really know. I just think, here, you're more exposed to the industry. And that's fine for some people. I just prefer being home and being with my family, being in a normal area where there's more kids my age that aren't necessarily thinking about what they're going to work on, and stuff. It's more like, "What are we going to do this weekend? Are we going to hang out at someone's house?? I like that kind of stuff. People are like that here, too. I have friends out here that are really down to earth. I just wanted to be in regular High School. I'm a New York girl. I liked being able to go to the city, and stuff.
OI: Were you ever into proms, or the Home Coming dances at your school?
LL: Yeah, I was. I went to an after party for prom. But this year I missed prom. That's okay. I went to the dances in school, and I did that whole thing. It just gets to a point where you're in 8th grade, and it's really cool to go to the dances on weekends. But then you get to the 10th grade, and you're like, "Nope. It's not really cool to do that. Those are the 7th graders." Which is my brother; he's too cool for the dances. No one dances anymore. The music has changed. It was pop when I was in the 7th grade, and you could really dance to it. Now it's Hip-Hop. Some teachers don't want to play 50 Cent in school. So, what do you do on weekends? You just go to people's houses and see movies. I'm big on seeing movies. I'm always going to the movies. My friends are like, "You're such a loser. You're always going to see movies." I'm like, "So." I saw Pirates of the Caribbean twice. I took my little brother. I love that movie.
OI: What about watching yourself?
LL: I'm so bad at watching myself. I tear myself apart. I'm like, "I look fat in that scene. Oh, I could have done that differently." But, I've gotten used to it. I won't see this movie more than three times, if that. I just don't want to see myself. I fell asleep when I went to see Parent Trap. It's because I was really young. It was the first time I'd seen the movie. I was really excited for it. But, it was late, I was tired, and I was eleven years old. I wanted to go to bed. But, for this, when I saw the movie, it was really exciting. I didn't realize how good it was going to be. I had very high expectations for it, but I wasn't really sure. And I didn't know how I was going to come across playing an adult. When I was doing it, it wasn't as hard as I expected it to be. Playing Jamie, I expected it to be a lot harder. It really wasn't. It was kind of a shock.
OI: Did you see the original?
LL: I did see the original. It was kind of weird. Jodie Foster's in the original. Was I going to be compared to her a lot? Can I pull off something Jodie Foster did?
OI: How do you feel about being compared to Jodie Foster and Halley Mills?
LL: I'm honored. I think that's awesome. It was weird. When I was eleven, I didn't know I was being compared to Haley Mills. I was younger, and I was in a movie. That was the thing for me. I had a billboard on Sunset Boulevard for Parent Trap, and I was like, "Oh, My God!" Last night I saw the Freak Friday billboard for the first time. I walked by Mel's Diner, and there were these little girls, and they were like, "That's Lindsay, that's Lindsay!" I didn't want to stop and be annoying, but that was so cool. It's weird how everything just happens.
OI: Now that you're getting older, are you more dependant on Wardrobe and a stylist?
LL: We were just talking about that, actually. Ever since I've been little, I've been really fashion conscious. I would try to make my own outfits, and my mom would be, like, "What are you doing?" But, I'm not really dependant on anyone. I have my own style. I change. I don't know what I'm going to wear one day, then I'll wear something completely different the next day. I go through fazes where I'm going to dress all vintage one day, then really Hip-Hop. I'm trying to find my style, but I don't think I need a certain style just yet. I don't think I'm dependent on certain people. I think it's better not to be. If something happened where I couldn't have, God forbid, Hair and make-up, I could do it for myself. It's not a big deal. I could go without make-up. I'm dependant on myself more than anyone else.
OI: At your age, you could be setting trends. Are you conscious of that?
LL: I think I have to be in a way. I think it's important to set a certain image for little girls. I'm not going to go to my premier in a miniskirt and a little bathing suit top, like some older girls can do. Because they are older, and they are growing up. They can do that. There's such a big deal about that right now. You really have to watch what you do.
OI: Is being a role model important to you?
LL: It is important. I have a sister. I don't want to disappoint her in any way. I don't want my sister dressing like that. I don't want her walking around looking like that when she's my age. So, I think it's important.
Dont't forget to also check out: Freaky Friday