The Arrow interviews Asia Argento
Arrow recently had the chance to take part in a round-table session with the lovely Asia Argento. Our little girl now has a little girl of her own and is co-starring in her first big US $$$ flick called XXX with Vin "biceps" Diesel. Here's what went down.
What do you make of the whole publicity blitz?
ASIA: It's fun. Itís the only reason that Iím here. I hope that you all go see the movie. In Italy, when we do that sort of thing, I feel like I'm selling my candy to each person. When you initially have a movie coming out, you go to the main cities and it feels like your selling your candies to the kids and you hope that the kids like your candy and come back to the shop and buy more. Itís the whole purpose.
ARROW: What was it about XXX that made you go the blockbuster way? Youíve been avoiding the blockbusters for like 10 years.
ARROW: Maybe. What was it about this one that made you say "yes"?
ASIA: I thought it was really fun. It came at a different time in my life, I felt stronger after my daughter and felt like I could go out and try to do something like this and challenge myself further, since Iíve never done anything like this before. I thought that with my job in Europe I had done everything I could have but this was starting another dream for me.
ARROW: Are you signed on to the possible sequel?
ASIA: Yeah, I hope so...I hope I'm in it!
You see yourself transitioning to more Hollywood films now?
ASIA: I donít really have plans for my career.
Would you ever consider directing in Hollywood?
ASIA: I donít think the stories that come into my mind would be acceptable in Hollywood. Kind of crooked, kind of not linear, the narrative is a little too broken up, but the next movie I'm going to direct...I'm going to do in America. I'm already signed for that but postponing it because I think Iíd like to do another movie as an actress before. I have to wait a little bit and see what happens with this movie, but I would do it with American money. The movie that I'm going to do is a really small one.
You have a script for it?
ASIA: Yeah I'm writing it, I have the rights for a book.
You can't say what book?
ASIA: It's bad luck. In Italy, first you do something and then you talk about it. I donít like these people that just sit at parties with champagne in their hands saying "Oh, I'm going to do this movie..." and then they never do it because it's bad luck and they donít know the trick: never talk about your projects.
ARROW: How about the films youíve already directed in Italy, "L'Assazion", "Scarlet Diva"...will they ever get wide distribution in America, maybe on video?
ASIA: Not wide, but Scarlet Diva is coming out in New York on the 9th of August, I guess they want to ride the wave and I think it's opening in LA on the 20th of September, which is my birthday. A pretty good gift.
ARROW: That's very kool...and L'Assenzion?
ASIA: Most of the other ones are short movies and they went to festivals and places but they won't get distributed.
When you signed on to do XXX, did you expect it to be as big as it seems it will be?
ASIA: No, I didnít think about that, that wouldíve scared me, but it wouldnít have prevented me from doing it since I wanted to do it no matter what, small, big, I donít do movies for what they will "do", but because I love them and when you put too many expectations onto something like I did in the past, it never works. So this time I said to myself, just do it and enjoy doing it which is the best possible thing you can do for the movie-- to live what your doping, to respect the movie that youíre doing.
ARROW: Did you get a couple of kicks out of the "ra-ta-ta-ta-tat" in the movie-- you know, kicking that ass?
ARROW: Do you think one day weíll see Asia Argento lead action hero kicking all kinds of bootie?
ASIA: It should happen because there aren't many movies like that which made with women.
ARROW: Charlie's Angels.
ASIA: But they are not like that exactly, there are 3 of them. One super hero female would be good.
ARROW: I think it would work.
ASIA: "La Femme Nikita" is like that, but it's French. Lots of cheese and cigarettes.
ARROW: You can't go wrong with that. Did you do all of your own stunts in XXX?
ASIA: Not all of them, the ones that they asked me to do I did, but I wasnít scared of anything. I was enjoying the experience and you get a real adrenaline rush when you do these things. I did as much as they asked me to do.
I saw you with the crowd out there...have you always been that natural with groups socially?
ASIA: No, I'm very shy and thatís my nature which is why I had to build this fortress, or maybe it's not a fortress. Iíve been doing this for a while now, talking to people so I basically just say to myself "this is good, you have nothing to worry about" and I just have a conversation with people.
Is it empowering to be on a stage and be commanding in front of people?
ASIA: In the past, maybe a little, but now it's just a conversation. In the past, I used to be very aggressive to see what it would lead to and what I could bring out of people by saying outrageous, controversial things just to see their reaction. I was testing my limits and the audiences' limits and now I donít have that fantasy anymore, I donít have that urge anymore, it doesn't give me anything to do that. In the past, I was more rebellious-- been there, done that.
What was your working relationship like with Vin Diesel?
ASIA: Very good. I think it shows in the movie that we were very connected. I loved working with himÖI'm sorry I've been saying this so many times these days and I really believe it. I was thinking about this the other day, and how it might diminish my true feelings when I put it into words. But deep in my heart, I have very strong feelings for him as a person and I think heís incredible. There's nothing more that really needs to be said.
ARROW: Is there an American director who youíd love to work with...you're dying to work with?
ASIA: No. Iím not an ambitious actress, there are a lot of directors that I admire but my ego doesnít come between my admiration ďOh, I love him, so I want to work with himĒ. I basically say, "No, I love him and I hope he keeps doing great movies for the rest of his life". I can name hundreds of directors that I admire in America, but I donít want to work with them. Whenever you work with your heroes, they will not be your heroes after the movie is done. I'd rather have them as my heroes.
ARROW: Fair enough. Thanks Asia.
ASIA: Thank you.
Chit-chatting with Asia was a blast. She's even more charming and vivacious in person. This job really has its perks...DAMN!