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INT: Amy Smart

09.05.2006

Known mostly for playing “girl next door” roles in films like ROAD TRIP and JUST FRIENDS, Amy Smart is expanding her horizons with her latest film, CRANK. She plays Eve, a girl willing to do almost anything to help out a hitman boyfriend (played by Jason Statham) who needs to keep his adrenaline up in order to avoid succumbing to a particularly lethal Chinese poison. She even resorts to having sex with him in the middle of L.A. ’s Chinatown . Now that’s what I call love.

Amy Smart stopped by the Sofitel in Beverly Hills recently to talk about CRANK. Check it out.

Amy Smart

You play a bit of a bimbo in this film.

To me, Eve wasn’t a bimbo. She definitely functioned in her own world and was naïve to the fact that he was a hitman. She’s intelligent in other ways. In a way, she’s completely dangerous to him because she’s naïve to the fact that he could die at any moment. And she’s thinking that he could be on drugs or something or just in a weird mood.

I think Eve is incredibly necessary to this film. She brings a humanity to Jason’s character, where you might not feel for him had he not shown his heart for this woman. And so I think she’s important in that way. In a weird way she’s also the audience’s point of view. She’s kind of witnessing what’s going on from a more normal standpoint. And also comedic – I think it’s fun to have a film like this to have comedy to break it up and intensify it.

I just enjoyed playing this character and I just wanted to bring out a kind of quirky, individual personality as much as I could within the structure of this piece. Because it definitely is like a video game, with this high-impact, rollercoaster ride of a film that’s also funny and full of energy. I just saw her character as really funny and fun and great and smart in her own way and she just goes along for the ride.

Can you talk about how you and Jason Statham gelled together?

Jason is an amazing actor and a great guy to work with. He really made me feel comfortable with all the stunts. He’s obviously a veteran in this kind of movie, where you have a lot of action and you have to be very athletic. For me it was one of the first times I’ve done this type of movie. And that’s also why I did it on top of…I’d did like the character Eve. I love his English sensibility – very down to earth, really real and funny. Very charismatic. I really liked working with him. 

How did you establish your comedic rapport with Jason?

I didn’t realize what a funny guy he was until we started working together. And then off-screen he’s so funny. I think what makes her funny is – and this is all because I’m talking about it all in the third person – I think Eve is very unaware of danger. Yet she lives on the edge, loving how spontaneous her boyfriend is. But I really think that even though it’s exciting and an adrenaline rush, she really doesn’t feel the danger aspect of it.

In what ways is Jason funny?

First of all, he has the best vocabulary words. Maybe it’s being raised in London or the way he was brought up, but the way he can describe something is just so funny. I can’t quote him at this point, but he just has a way of using his words to just…you would never think to use those words. And he uses them and it’s just so funny. To me he feels like real kinda underdog guy. He wasn’t raised in acting where he went to all these professional schools and did theater and lalalala. He really has a lot of life experience and that’s what he brings to his roles. And I appreciate that because in acting we want to relate to people who experience life. That’s what he brings, this real raw kind of feeling. And he’s just a lovely, wonderful person.

What was the audition like?

In the audition I had two scenes: the scene where I’m getting frustrated with the microwave and he comes in and we need to leave; and the other scene was the scene in Chinatown (where she and Jason’s character have sex in public). I had to do that for the audition. Which definitely was the kinda scene where you have to just throw yourself into it. You have to just get completely out of your head or you know you’re just gonna make a complete fool of yourself. So I went for it. It was nine in the morning callbacks. I went in for it, the first person. They brought in a great actor to work with me to do the scene with. And that’s what I think won me the role – the whole Chinatown scene. Just being able to go for it and knowing that it’s going to be around hundreds of people. (laughs)

What was your reaction when you first read the Chinatown scene?

I was definitely going over it thinking, “Oh my god, they want me to do this in the audition?” Let alone the scene in person for the film. And then of course there’s all these male directors and producers and I was like, “Oh god. They’re gonna get off on this one.” (laughs) But it was more of a comedic scene in a way. I just had fun. 

What’s it like working with directors who shoot on digital?

Well, what I really liked about working on this film was that they were both DP’s before this and that they were shooting the film. There was a more intimate feel, knowing that they were behind the camera, involved as directors. I really respected their opinion, the way they saw the scene and what their thoughts were. To know that they were right there with us, as opposed to yards away watching it in the video village, it felt like a much more intimate way of directing, which I liked. 

Where do you see your career going?

I can’t predict my career. I don’t know if anyone can ever predict their career. I do know that within the last year I made a significant change to kind of want to move more into my womanhood and to play characters that challenge me, that I felt I hadn’t played before, characters that are interesting and strong and are not the girl next door. I’ve played that and I’m glad I’ve played that because it’s kind of gotten me where I am now, but at this point I’m done with it. 

How do you stay humble?

I think you stay humble with gratitude. You don’t lose sight of what really matters in life, because if you do it will just get pulled away from you, I think. I think everyone has an inner gauge of happiness, of what feels right and what doesn’t feel right. You can manifest things that you really want in life, if you get out of your own way. That’s what I’m working out.

Questions? Comments? Manifestos? Send them to me at thomasleupp@joblo.com.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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