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Jennifer Tilly, JENNIFER TILLY, Jennifer, Tilly

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Celebrities : Jennifer Tilly : Biography
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Here is something special for all of you Jennifer Tilly fans out there. This a a log of Live AOL chat with Jennifer from which you can find out some great facts about Jennifer, her life... This is a 'must read' material.

Question: Jennifer, what would be your "dream role"?
JnfrTilly: My dream role would be a character kind of like Bette Davis in All About Eve, I like roles like that, the sort of bitter and bitchy, but at the same time they're vulnerable and you like them because you see where they're coming from. She's sort of a mature woman who's been through the mill. I like characters that aren't really cut and dried in respect to being a hero. They're more flawed, but you like them in spite of or perhaps because of, their imperfections. I wouldn't actually WANT to play that character because I don't think anyone could play it as well as Bette Davis did.
JnfrTilly: Another character that Vivian Leigh put her stamp on is Blanche in Streetcar Named Desire. I like these women who are sort of bitter about what life has brought them, because it didn't live up to their expectations. But they still struggle on, I think that's very interesting thing to play, when they still have pride, and fire and hope. I think a lot of times in modern theater and film the ingenue part, or the "girlfriend" part is the least interesting character to play: it's kind of one-note. They're usually blank and pretty and vapid. I mean it's great to have a job, but I always prefer to play the eccentric one, or the nasty one or the bitter one, but I don't often get the opportunity.
JnfrTilly: I think you have to grow into those roles, but that's why I really like "Violet," the character in my new movie, Bound, because she has so many colors. She's sort of damaged, and dark. She's not very nice. She can be, but she's a little on the amoral side! She's the mastermind behind everything that's going on in the film. So she's a person who's kind of been underestimated by the people in the film --by the men in the film, especially-- because of her physical appearance, and the way she presents herself. She presents a perfectly blank, vapid surface when it suits her, but underneath there's so much more going on. There's a lot of passion and anger in her. This is somebody that definitely cannot be trusted. So I like Violet, because it marks my first foray into this kind of role. In the past, I've played more "girls" and Violet is more of a "woman".
Question: Which actor(s) would you most like as co-star(s)?
JnfrTilly: I would love to work with Al Pacino. I think he's amazing! I'd like to work with Robert De Niro, and of course, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, I think is great. Then there's actors I just like to work with because I think they're cute...(laughs) like Benicio Del Toro, Michael Wincott, I like David Arquette (I worked with him before). I guess I like actors that are a little on the eccentric side, I also love Tim Roth and Gary Oldman.
JnfrTilly: A lot of times I'll get a script where maybe the script isn't that interesting, but if an actor is attached that I think is really cool, I'll definitely consider doing the project, because I think you're only as good as the people you work with. ...and that's why I really liked Bound.
JnfrTilly: I think the casting was so unpredictable, they had to fight for every actor they wanted (including myself, which is very hard on the ego!). They got very unconventional actors, Joey Pantiliano, whom they got to play my boyfriend, was not even in the top 20 choices originally, because the producer felt (Dino Di Laurentis) felt he wasn't really a leading man, not good looking enough to play a mobster! Joey got a phone call when he was in Santa Barbara: "If you want the part you have to drive down here and meet the Wachowskis (the directors on the film) in the next two hours". His agent had gotten him a meeting and was afraid that they would change their minds!
JnfrTilly: Joey knew this was going to be a great movie, and he wanted to be a part of it. He has a tremendous body of work, I mean he's very well respected in the industry, but basically he had to drive down, give the best reading of his life, and cut his price to nothing, to get this part. And if you knew how money-obsessed Joey is, you would realize that this was a great sacrifice! (laughs) Not a day went by when Joey didn't complain about how little money he was making. He instigated all these card games on the set as a means of supplementing his income. And now, Dino says (about Joey) "I knew he would be the best "Caesar" ever!" "Aren't you glad I thought of him?"
JnfrTilly: Basically, Gina Gershon and I went through the same process. They knew they wanted the three of us in this movie. And as it turns out, they got their way with everything. So what you see up on screen is very much, exactly what the directors envisioned when they wrote this script.
JnfrTilly: Now when I say "eccentric" casting: 1) In a typical Hollywood film, (aside from having bigger stars than the 3 of us) I think most directors would cast the parts of Violet and Corky (the parts Gina and I play) with more contrasting actresses, for example (this seems to be a formula) if you have two women in a movie, one has to be blonde and the other a brunette, and when I met Gina I thought "that's funny, she looks almost exactly like me". IN FACT THAT'S WHAT MAKES THE MOVIE WORK: Gina and Joey and I have the same manic energy, the directors did this deliberately because they felt that Corky and Violet were the parts that made up the whole, they were a yin and yang, and that's why they had to look similar, and I take it one step further, and I say that Joey looks like a male version of Gina, but Gina and Joey both get really upset when I say that. Gina says; "I do NOT look like Joey!" Joey says "Stop saying I look like Gina!" But I think we all look similar, as if we all belonged to the same dysfunctional family.
Question: Is Jennifer Tilly married? She is beautiful!
JnfrTilly: Thank you! No, I was married once and divorced. Still very good friends with my ex-husband, who is a wonderful man, but now I'm dating an English boy (I was about to say "man" but he's really a boy). His name is Peter. I was dating him for about two years then we broke up for about 5 months earlier this year, and while we were broken up I did a lot of interviews promoting Bound and in these interviews I kind of ran down men a little bit, and talked about how available I was, being torn between disillusionment and desperation for a new boyfriend. I thought "Hey, it doesn't hurt to advertise". Then I got back together with Peter, and all the magazine articles came out...and so I learned a good lesson, which is, it's always a good idea to keep your big, fat mouth shut! (laughs) But now everybody thinks I'm available. So I get asked out on dates a lot. But that could also be because I'm a blond now, and I think everybody's heard about blondes being more fun, so I look more like someone who wants to go on dates than I did when I had dark hair.
Question: Loved you in Scorchers..BEAUTIFUL work.. ( also loved "Bullets over Broadway")...Were you Picked to Scorchers personally? It was such a unique script... & will you be doing any theater soon?
JnfrTilly: Scorchers was a movie that was written by a close friend of mine, David Baird who is a great writer. He directed me in a play at the LA Theater Center called Boy's Life. Then later on we did a TV series together called Key West, and he's always been kind of a mentor of mine, and I was sort of getting typecast in the industry, but he saw potential in me and gave me parts that were different from the ones I was offered. He also gives these great pep talks. He's an acting teacher, I don't think they can help teaching. He's also doing a play in New York called 900 Oneanta that I was supposed to be in, but at the last minute, I got a role in the new Jim Carrey movie, Liar Liar and torn between money and art, I happily went for the money! (laughs)
JnfrTilly: I'm surprised you saw Scorchers actually because it was released overseas, but never theatrically in the US. In fact, the producer is still trying to get it released, because it went straight to video. I think this was 5 years ago. I remember the role was this very unattractive, plain girl, whose husband would not sleep with her preferring instead, a local hooker, played by the ever-glamorous Faye Dunaway (who can blame him?). But that was another situation where the producers really fought against my being cast in this role, because they were saying "Who could ever believe that somebody would not want to sleep with Jennifer Tilly?" But I argued that the psychology of men (here I go on men again!) is that they don't stray because their girlfriends or wives are unattractive, it has nothing to do with the woman, it has to do with a void in the man. That was a rewarding part for me. Because it was a departure from the other types of characters that I had been playing. Thanks for watching it!
JnfrTilly: In answer to the second part of the Question. I love theater. I've done a lot of plays. But at this point in my career, I feel I have to put that on the back burner for a while because the time commitment to do a play is such a large one. In the time that it takes to do one play you could do 2 or 3 movies. I was also a rather late bloomer in terms of career success and having options, I feel like I'm running out of time. I want to get a respectable body of work behind me. Before I can relax! (laughs)
Question: When and why did you get into acting?
JnfrTilly: I always wanted to be an actress, as far back as I can remember. I think the feeling crystallized when I was in 5th grade and a traveling theater troupe came to town and stayed at our house. I remember these actors seemed so special to me, and I thought, "What a fantastic way to make a living! By playing!" I never thought I would make any money at it. I just thought "How great, to not have to go to the office every morning and do whatever they do in offices, and instead to pretend to be other people, and change your personality every 2 months". So when I graduated high school, I went to Stephens College and majored in theater, and when I graduated (many, many years ago) I came to L.A. and tried to get an agent. That was the hard part. It took me about 4 years. In the meantime I was selling sandwiches on the street, amongst many other demeaning jobs. Cleaning apartments was about the worst, but I persevered because even though Hollywood didn't know it yet, the movie industry NEEDED me! (Plus I didn't have anything else to do.)
Question: Jennifer, what movie did you do with one of the Baldwin brothers?
JnfrTilly: That would be The Getaway, the remake, in which I co-starred with Michael Madsen, and Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin. I only had one scene with him, which was a scene where I leapt on his back, and pulled his hair, and tried to gouge his eyes out. Kim Basinger yanks me off of his back and cold cocks me, I fall over backwards, on Michael Madsen, who is unconscious, so he couldn't flinch when my considerable weight fell on top of him. It was a very memorable day.
Question: Hello Jennifer, I'm a big fan. What was it like working with the Bridges in Fabulous Baker Boys?
JnfrTilly: Thank you! (For being a big fan.) I only worked on that movie 2 days, but it was great. The calmest, most pleasant set. There's this scene in the movie which is really a high traumatic, emotional point for Beau. He's had a fight with his brother, his girlfriend (Pfeiffer) has deserted him, and he runs into my character waitressing in a restaurant, babbling at him, and I'll never forget him saying to me "What can I do to help you? Is there anything you need from me?" And it was his scene! What a giving actor! If it was me, I'd be crouched in a corner trying to dredge up some emotion, definitely not making chitchat with the day player! But he was just an easy guy, calm and un-tense, right up till the moment the camera was rolling, then the makeup artist would run over and put some drops in his eyes for tears, and he'd make this sudden, 180 degree turn and be plunged into the scene, crying and emotional, and I thought "Wow. This guy has been acting for a long time".
JnfrTilly: That was with a first time director Steve Kloves. He really seemed to know what he was doing, and let me tell you, I've worked with a lot of first time directors, and that isn't always the case. That's why the Wachowski brothers (Bound) really impressed me, because they were so prepared. They really knew what they wanted, and they were really relaxed. They reminded me of the last really good first time director I had worked with, which was Steve Kloves. Really good directors have confidence in their abilities, when you have a nervous director, one who doesn't know what he's doing and let's everybody see it, it's like a virus that sweeps through the cast and crew, and then it's like one of those disaster movies where the stewardess is flying the plane because the captain passed out from eating the fish, and all the passengers are screaming because they know the person at the wheel doesn't know what he's doing.
JnfrTilly: So, in conclusion, I would have to say, that when I worked with brothers (The Bridges brothers and the : Wachowski brothers) it's been a very rewarding experience.
Question: Which do you like better: stage, movies or TV? Why?
JnfrTilly: I think stage creatively is the most rewarding. Because stage truly is an actor's medium. You get a long rehearsal period to work everything out. What you put up there is what the audience sees. Your performance can't be edited or tampered with. The response is immediate: if you're bombing in a play you know it, you don't have to wait six months to find out, and on the other hand, if you're doing a great job, there's nothing as rewarding as feeling that communion with a live audience. Also many plays are better written than many screenplays or television because the writer has had a lot of time to write that particular opus, and in theater, improvising is not encouraged. The playwright is God. If you have a sentence that's difficult for you to say, you had better take that sentence home, and spend hours trying to figure out why the character has such odd speech patterns.
JnfrTilly: There is usually a reason why a sentence sticks out and is difficult, and once you've cracked it it's like the code to a safe. It's usually the key to the character. In film, you're moving so fast, if you don't have the scene you move on. If you can't figure out the sentence, you don't have the luxury of weeks of rehearsal you just change it. Usually screenplays are written by committee, it's not unusual to have 4 or 5 writers who worked on one script. You add to that all the actors saying anything that pops into their minds, and while that's OK for me to do, other actors may not be as insightful as me, and then it's very irritating.
JnfrTilly: Also in film, it's very much an editor's medium, if the editor and/or the director are not in sync with what you're trying to do with your performance, you can come across really badly, because little gestures and things that you do that are really important to yourself in terms of the character really do not mean anything to the editor/director who, not being in sync with you, can unintentionally Bowlderize your performance. At the same time a writer/director/producer can take their name off any work they feel does not represent them accurately, but an actor is always up there. It does no good to protest "That's not the performance I think I gave!" because it looks like you're making excuses for your own lack of talent! (laughs). Television, forget it. I admire any actor who comes across positively in TV, because frankly, I have not figured out the knack of working so fast. That's not to say there's not good TV, or that I would never do TV, but I have not been happy with a lot of my forays into that medium, because I think it's a skill like doing crossword puzzles that you either have or you don't. And I don't think I really have that skill.

Jennifer Tilly
Jennifer Tilly

- Actress
Date of Birth
16 September 1961
Birth Place
Los Angeles, California, USA

Mailing Address
270 N Canon Drive #1582, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
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