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INT: Lucy Liu

04.05.2006

Lucy Liu was just as I expected her to be. Bubbly, vibrant and of course beautiful!! She’s a little fireball and you just can’t help but be drawn to her giggly personality. She is definitely the kind of girl I could see myself hanging with and having a blast with! Liu’s career exploded when she starred in the blockbuster films, CHARLIE’S ANGELS and KILL BILL. Suffice to say she does an excellent job of kicking ass in both roles, but I still favor her memorable performance as Ling Woo on "Ally McBeal".

In the upcoming film LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN, she takes on an almost comedic role of the curious and adorable neighbor, who rambles on and on. Liu and Hartnett have apparent chemistry and it shines through in the film. While I was contemplating a way of asking Liu to have a few martinis with me without giving her the wrong impression, check out what she had to say.

Lucy Liu

I saw 3 Needles the other night. Can you talk about it?

You did? When? Where? Oh sure. My character is basically buying blood and the whole movie revolves around HIV & AIDS and the issue and there not sterilizing them. They’re placing them back & people have been using the same needles and you sort of realize that properly these needles are everywhere and shipped out & who knows what. Its sort of cyclical so its really an interesting story. It’s important. I mean they made it for 2 million dollars and its shot so well. I’m very proud of that movie. I’m so glad you brought it up.

At one point, Chinese authorities find you and put you in the back of a truck.

Yeah. Well she sort of bargains. She bargains for that.

Well, you’re pregnant.

I’m pregnant but who cares! Seemingly more attractive when pregnant!

How did you get involved in this movie LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN?

I met Jason Smilovic the writer for another project and I had read this script and after we met we sort of got along like a house on fire. Then after that he called and said, actually we got an offer would you be interested in being attached to this movie and I was like sure, and at the time, the role was more minimal and once the movie actually got green lighted and Josh came on board and Paul came in board it became sort of snowballed into something and then he started writing for all the people that came on board. Bruce came on board then sir Ben and then Morgan and then the character.

He said there are some changes and I looked at the script and there were monologues! And I went, what do you mean like changes. These are like major changes. The character has developed into this incredible colorful dynamic woman so I was like, I better start learning lines now! You know, before she would like run in and leave. And now she came in and she’d speak a lot and then she’d run out you know so that was part of her. I think he has a really good rhythm for all the different characters. Every character has a different energy and a different way they speak and to me it’s very musical.

How would you describe her?

She doesn’t have any punctuation in her sentences and I don’t think she has any judgment. She doesn’t think that people judge her. She comes in and she does her thing and she leaves. She’s not very insecure like that. Maybe she’s a little shy about relationships but even then she’ll ask the person out. She doesn’t have any problems. Even if the person said no, she’d be fine with it, you know. For example when she comes in and tells him that he’s been set up and he’s gotta get out of town there’s a moment where its revealed that she’s a coroner and she’s like. There’s a moment of levity and lightness because she’s really like hey, that’s my personal life but hey you’re gonna get killed so anyway let’s get out of here. But that’s just who she is. She kind of bounces back and forth so there’s a really good energy about her that I found really attractive.

Are you similar to her in any way?

I don’t want to say. I try to just do. You know when you get to know somebody too well you get to see all the time. If I see this person in tabloids I don’t need to go and see them in movies you know. But for me I just like to stay out of the limelight that way.

Do you want to be mysterious?

I don’t want to be mysterious. But if people go you’re such a bitch in that movie, I just go great, fine, whatever. What are you gonna do. If that’s what you think of the character then that’s fine, you know. That’s your opinion

.

But you speak with punctuation.

I do.

And you said shy. She seems to be excited seeing Josh walking around in a towel.

She totally has a crush on him. I mean she meets him and immediately she’s shocked because she’s expecting her friend, her neighbour. You know when you meet somebody and you have a crush on them. I mean she probably talks a lot anyway but I think she talks even more when she’s around him.

Did you play the character exactly as it was written or did you shape her as you went along?

The dialogue is exactly as it’s written. There’s no improvisation. The movement and all that is because Paul came along and said we have this big set; we want you to use it so I went all right. So they ended up moving the entire set. They let the camera just move with us, which was just great.

How did you prepare for the love scenes with Josh?

There was no preparation. You just sort of show up and you shoot it. I mean you can’t really prepare for that, you know what I mean.

Did you just jump into bed and say, hello, here’s a breath mint?

Um, I don’t know. By that time we were very comfortable with each other and it wasn’t like a big deal do you know what I mean. I think sometimes people start love scenes in the movie earlier on just in case you know you don’t end up getting along with the person and by that stage you like hate each other, but we didn’t have that problem. We were really comfortable with one another.

Did you hang out off set?

Yeah. I went to his place with the guys and we watched movies and things like that.

Were you watching film noirs?

No. What we saw after we watched the movie was sisco Friday. I’d seen it already but I was like ­ oh my god. Our relationship is this movie and I was like, I know crazy. But you know. It’s different from theatre. In theatre you get on stage and two hours later you’re done and you find performances within the performance but I think in film you don’t want to over rehearse it because it just becomes not spontaneous and there’s a certain energy that’s lot. Especially if its, its not like they’d been sleeping together very much. She met him and then she was in bed with him.

Was this a conscious decision to do a role that was different?

I think what I would like to do is just work with people that I enjoy working with and I think the most important thing is to work with people that I enjoy working with and to work on projects that you feel like you can bring something special to it and to me, that’s more vital than being a lead. Like with Chicago I felt like I could do something special with that role even if it was a cameo. Even in "Three Needles". It’s not about screen time it’s about what you can bring.

And if there is a great role and director, fantastic but if it’s a great director and you don’t know what you can do to bring that role to life then you have to say, and I’ve said that before, I would love to work with you but I don’t think I can bring something special to this role, do you know what I mean? I don’t see it on the paper. If it’s gonna be shot that way, I don’t want to come into something and not be able to bring something to it. You may as well find someone who can actually do that. I don’t think you should work just for the sake of work. I mean sometimes it’s good because you can just get moving but you know. I did episodes of Joey because matt Leblanc came on and did a huge thing for us for Charlie’s angels in his crazy schedule. And it was really fun working on that and I love doing stuff in front of an audience so you know, that was kind of a no-brainer for me. There’s not like a whole plan behind what I’m doing.

Are you surprised at how well your career is going?

You don’t have a big TV series boosting your name recognition? But I have done a lot of television before and I feel like that has been incredibly helpful just for recognition. People are more willing to put you in a movie if they feel like you have name value and sometimes that helps and sometimes that hurts because you just can’t have enough name value but at the same time certain things happen for a certain reason. If you don’t get a role or if things don’t work out the way you think they are gonna work out maybe it pushes you in a different direction.

People always say what movie would you of done if you could of done it and I’m like, well that person has already done it. I can’t possibly do anything else to it, you know what I mean. I think it’s different when you do theatre because you can bring something to it. It’s a different performance. Different directors. Different times. But for movies and for film I don’t try and predict where things are going but I‘ve had really great opportunities to work with really great people and it’s turned out well. It’s not like I wouldn’t do another action movie that’s great and it’s interesting to me to do things that are different to you know. But I don’t always think you should do one thing. One of the things that I have that have been popular is action films. Other things haven’t been as popular so people don’t really see them but I know that I’ve done them.

I did read that after you made Charlie's Angels that you wanted to do some more serious roles.

I didn’t say more serious roles because it was fun doing that but I did say well you know, I was saying to those guys in the other room, if you do something really well then they want to keep seeing you do it. They want Paul (dir) to keep doing gangster movies and I think Paul doesn’t want to keep doing gangster movies. He happened to do a great job on that one and other things he’s done. He’s really got a romantic heart & wants to do love stories and I told him that I think Slevin is a love story between sir Ben and Morgan and Josh and I and Josh and Bruce and to me that’s how I saw it and how I ended up playing it but to me I don’t. If you’re too good at something people want to keep seeing that on screen. Then the battle becomes getting people to see you in something different Well for me, it’s not about a battle. I think for the team of people I work with properly. But for me they know what I’m capable of and what I can do so once I get in the room and we shoot that’s just what I bring you know.

Did you have a lot of fun on set working with the all-star crew?

I did. I mainly worked with Josh because most of my scenes were with him. But I came on set, I sat on the sidelines and just watched sir Ben & Josh do their scenes because they were just so incredible. I mean I wish I had more with Morgan and all those guys but they’re in the movie and that’s a lot

It’s a pretty male dominated set. Did u miss the female camaraderie? How was it hanging out with the guys on and off set?

Um. There were so many women in the crew that I didn’t really think about it. Because people were like, you’re the only one that was a female in the movie, and I was like “Was I?” To me there was so much energy that was feminine there and so I didn’t think that much about it and there just happened to be a lot of producers that were male but some of them are such girls anyway that I didn’t think that they were actually all male energy!

What would you say was the biggest break you’ve had so far in your career?

In my career, I think Ally McBeal. I think that was the cross over because television reaches everyone. Cause if I like go to Spain or if I travel people always bring up Ally McBeal. And Ally McBeal hits a very different crowd ­ 30 and over. And then Charlie’s Angeles is much younger. This little kid came up to me and he could barely walk and he said are you Charlie’s Angel?! And he had no teeth! It was so cute but different people see different things you know and to me that was too adorable.

Do you miss Ally McBeal?

I miss it but I see the people still. Like I was in London and I saw Jane doing Guys and Dolls. I saw her do Nine. I see Greg, I see Peter. We all had dinner about a year ago.

Do you see an Ally McBeal re-union movie coming out in a few years?

I don’t think so. I mean if there was an Ally McBeal reunion movie I don’t know if anyone would buy the ticket. Because it’s like something you have in your living room and you have in your home. And you watch it in your pajamas and your take out food.

What about Charlie’s Angels ­ would you do another one?

I would love to do another one. That would be so much fun. I don’t know what’s happening with that. It’s not like I have the say, to say, I want to do this movie, cause there’s so much production value in that you know. Unless we decide to do an indie Charlie’s Angels!

Do you keep in contact with Drew & Cameron?

Yeah. I see them a lot.

Do you have a favourite summer food & why?

Sushi. I actually eat it all the time because its light and sometimes I can just run into some place that has taken out or it’s pre-packaged. You know it’s finger food. So it’s easy. And I’m not a huge soy sauce person. Lots of people ask, do you want soy sauce, do you want soy sauce. I’m like. I¹ll tell you something. Asian people don¹t actually use soy sauce a lot. White people do. They just put it in their rice. They put it everywhere. They treat it like ketchup! I’m like, you don’t really see Asian people using soy sauce, just so you know, but you can put it all up in there if you want! So it’s not that messy for me because I don’t dip the pieces in the soy sauce.

As an Asian American actress, this role in lucky number Slevin could have been played by anyone. Do you call that colour-blind casting do you find that you are not type cast into any one type of role?

I think it varies. I mean I think I’ve had the opportunity to go to hello kitty and Ally McBeal and Charlie's Angels. Like I had gone to David and I said because originally I wasn’t going to be able to work out in the schedule because it was a difficult schedule and I said you know can I speak to David.

David who?

Kelly. And I went up to him and I said this is not Shakespeare but it represents something much bigger than that. It represents America breaking that mould. Without being political. Without making a statement, it makes a statement. And he got it. He could of easily have said we can’t do it, it’s gonna screw up the schedule and he didn’t. He understood what I was saying and he made it happen, do you know what I mean. It has changed things where people don’t talk about it, and go, oh my god your Asian and you’re a Charlie’s Angel.

They just say, you’re in Charlie’s Angels. And that’s so nice because you are now part of all the kids around. They know that’s the given. Just like in geometry. There’s a given and there’s a proof and they don’t need to prove anything. It is what it is and that for me makes me feel good because I know growing up for me I did not have that. I didn’t know that it could be. You see what it is and your parents are all that you have, you accept what it is. You don’t go and change that mould.

Do you have any health & beauty tips you can share with us?

Drink a lot of water & do pilates.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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