INT: Anna Friel
Its kind of hard not to be a little bit infatuated with Anna Friel. And I could listen to that lovely British accent all day. Anna did some terrific work on the recently canceled series Pushing Daisies (final three shows will air on consecutive Saturdays, starting May 30th), and she gets to show audiences a very different side in LAND OF THE LOST. As a much older Holly than the original series, she is tough and apparently kicks some Sleestak scale in the big screen adaptation of the classic T.V. show from Sid and Marty Krofft. Once Anna came into the tent where we were waiting, she started going through each of our recording devices. Not only charming, she is really funny too yep, I had good time.
So youre judging the quality of the recording by
Yeah. Absolutely. That shit just wont do. I think I probably owned each and every single one of these its a pain to go through them and write down everything youve said.
Whats the story behind the crystal?
Oh, thats a massive key. Thats the key to the movie. It is actually given as a gift to Holly from Marshall. When he gives it to her he hands it to her very flippantly, and if you watch the original series it is quite relevant which may hold the key to getting us home.
Its obvious that your Holly is going to be very different from the one in the series
A little bit older and not related to Marshall. So can you talk about your character and who she is?
Well, if you are going to turn a T.V. series into a movie, youve got to make sure it has all those elements. And to keep it interesting, they want to kind of have a love story involved and incest wouldnt go down quite well in a PG-13 film. So shes fourteen, Im thirty-one, shes American, Im English. I wear braids and we do have the plaid shirt and the cords. But as the movie goes, the cords disappear and the legs start to show. Shes thirty-one, so I think shes allowed to do that [Laughing].
Im loving the outfit, how is it wearing the same thing all the time?
I was thinking that Id get pretty bored of it. But to be honest, first of all, I feel quite naked when youre with two other men, nothing to hide behind, nothing to cover up, no accent to disguise, so its quite vulnerable making. But then the idea of not having to go and put the big, fluffy dresses on and hair and make-up and things, its just kind of nice. It doesnt set you aside from men and I can kind of be one of the boys and not have to be fussing with lashes and hair and the same with costume.
When did you first come to the project? Was it a project that you pursued?
Im on a show called Pushing Daisies, and Im the only person that I know of that the strike actually helped because it gave me the ability and the chance to do this. And they talked about me for awhile and they said, Obviously we cant have Anna because and I knew the casting director and they said no because of the T.V. show. And when the strike happened, Brad [Silberling] had said, Actually, can we get Anna? It was really difficult because of no work and we werent getting paid, and Brad said come and meet me, an I did. He asked if I had heard about LAND OF THE LOST and I said no. I didnt think we had it in England, but then I found out on Saturday mornings, we did. But I never got to see it, it didnt hit as big as it did here. And he said, Im going to give you the script, and I said, Should I watch the T.V. show?, and he said, No, no, no its different. Youll go away thinking you have to dye your hair blonde and be fourteen and youre not. So we talked about things and I went away with my script and Id gone skiing over Christmas and they called saying Will wants to audition with you. So I came back and went to their offices and auditioned with Will. It was actually one of the scenes Im going to do this afternoon.
What scene was that?
Well its three. One was shouting at a dinosaur at the end. And anther one was well, Holly is a great translator and she is the only one who can understand Chaka but she gets [what he says] wrong, but gets better as shes going. And Im kind of playing everything quite straight. You dont want to play the comedy because when you are working with Will and Danny, who are just brilliant and can go on and on, I am playing it very straight. Its like Holly went to Cambridge and thinks Marshall is absolutely brilliant, even though he makes the wrong decision and hes an idiot sometimes, he did get us to the land of the lost. So I think there is a lurking genius somewhere hidden. Its just all his eccentricities that make him so strange.
How hard it to keep it grounded when working with these guys?
It is quite hard, but the thing is, you keep it serious because they manage to stay straight faced most of the time. But if Will goes, then you can just forget about it. At the very beginning, there was this one scene where he had to do this dance through hatching dinosaur eggs along with A Chorus Line and we hadnt seen it before but we hadnt done his coverage yet, and it was all on Danny and me and Jorma. We couldnt stop. But yoga breathing helps, I find [Laughing]. I pull in certain private female muscles quite a lot which kind of makes me stop laughing and I bite the inside of my cheek. But there are a lot of times Ive really, really wanted to laugh. He hit me in the eye with a stone the other day and we all couldnt stop laughing at that. Actually it was a sponge one. But it still got to my eye and we had to keep going. And they found that hilarious.
Is there any similarity to Pushing Daisies where there is all this fantastic stuff but it is played straight?
Well my daughter came in and she comes in all the time, to either Land of or Daisies, and I kind of measure what Im doing from her reaction. A guy in the park had asked her nanny, Well, where is your mommy? and she said, Well mommys in the desert and shes in a cage, and shes getting dinosaur eggs and the Sleestaks trying to hook her. and he was like, okay the child is a little bit mental. And on Monday I start back on Daisies so I had my first American accent lesson again because I stay in my accent all the time. And I think the two characters couldnt be more different, Holly is tougher and she doesnt take any bullshit. Shes not as sweet as Chuck.
Do you have any fight scenes?
Yeah, a load of fight scenes. This belt here becomes incredibly important to the part and I had to try and master the belt so I could use it like a whip and kill lots of Sleestaks. Thats a Sleestak scar [pointing one out to us] I had to learn to do a head butt to knock the Sleestaks out, and kickboxing. But the best thing is with the belt.
So youre not the whiny
No, no, which I think makes it a bit more interesting. Because if theyd gone they realized a lot because they had all these discussions with people who were very, very loyal to the show and they dont want to see it changed. Even the Sleestaks look very true to the story and you just wont be able to see the zips on the costumes. And Will is no longer my brother, we kind of tighten our swords a little bit with our arguing, and he makes constant jokes which are incredibly insulting [Laughing].
Is it sort of like a double-edged sword about the long hours and you have to break it apart are you enjoying it?
That is a very understanding thing to say, I mean, here I get in between each set up, about two hours. So youve got down time. So right now, every time I go into my trailer Im learning all my lines. Because the biggest thing is, if youve seen Daisies, the dialogue is so rich and dense and so thick and wordy that youve not got a lot of time to learn it. And the other thing is, seventeen hours a day I went back and theyve added all these new sets. But its always sad because you become a real tight family and Ive never heard so many crew members, on this movie, all saying that theyre really going to be sad for this to finish, because theres been no drama, theres been no tears, its just been a really, wonderfully happy set to be on. And I think theyve captured that, and we do just laugh all the time. Whereas, with Daisies Ive got my other family, which is just completely different and I have to stay in my accent all day and that is hard work. But yesterday, I put my big lashes on and had a big costume fitting, and all my beautiful dresses and I felt really good. Oh, there she is! Its been about three weeks now with not a single day off, so Im going to be a little bit tired.
Let me know what you think. Send questions and/or comments to JimmyO@JoBlo.com.
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