INT: Zooey Deschanel
the past few years, it seems
Sony Pictures was kind enough to invite a few of us to a little luau they were having in honor of the duder penguins with a love for all things surf. There was food, drinks and thanks to Baskin Robbins, Penguin Cones (look for it at your local 31 Flavors). We got to hang out with a dude-in-penguin-suit dressed as the lead character Cody Maverick, played by Shia LaBeouf, but he wasn’t the one in the suit. And we also got a chance to hang with a couple of real live penguins. I for one was a tad worried about their safety, but I was promised that they were fine with it. They apparently are used to take to elementary schools to further this countries love for the animal. Starting the penguin love young huh…
Soon after the fun, food and drinks, we were given an opportunity to see about fifteen minutes of the film. And as a fan of penguins myself, I can honestly say it looks like it might be fun. We are introduced to penguins and how surfing has always been part of their culture. Young Cody Maverick is desperate to break out of the hole in the ice that he calls his home and convinces an annoying little bird who works for a talent agent to let him participate in a major surfing contest.
We see bits of interviews with the penguins, much like a real documentary. The best part is when Cody holds on for dear life and makes a dangerous attempt to jump on the whale carrying some of the contestants in the surfing challenge. This is not HAPPY FEET (which I for one enjoyed) aside from the fact that they are penguins. It has a different look and a different feel. But it continues to bring these black and white and cuddly animals to the big screen. I am looking forward to taking my son to check out SURF'S UP.
The leading lady penguin… you know, Cody’s love interest, is voiced by the lovely and talented Zooey Deschanel. Zooey has a very impressive resume including ELF, THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY and the recently released BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA. But she has not always taken the easy road. Her films are often not seen in your local theatre and you are more than likely to find her work at the local video store.
The first time I saw her was in the Lawrence Kasden film MUMFORD and the bittersweet romance ALL THE REAL GIRLS. It was here that I was really taken with her. In a very real and touching performance she was nothing less than brilliant. And she continues to take risks and take on projects that may not become the next blockbuster. But better for her fans that she continues to take on intriguing characters. With all this, it is a surprise to hear her in something as commercial as SURF'S UP. As the voice of Lani, she exudes charisma, is it obvious that I’m a fan? So with a tad bit of excitement built up, I was pleased as a penguin that I had the opportunity to go one on one with her.
I sat down at the table with her, she felt about as un-Hollywood as
you could imagine. Being as
cold as it was, she had wrapped herself in a SURF'S UP promotional
towel and she wore these fifties style glasses that made her even
more adorable in person. And
you all will have to forgive me, but I had a very short time with
her and did not get to ask her about many of the things I would have
liked to. The truth is, I
could have talked to her all evening.
She is unbelievably charming and has a very warm personality.
Sometimes I really love my job.
And Zooey, if you are reading this… I hope to see some of
those impressions… Read on
First off, I wanted to say that JoBlo.com loves you.
you for talking to us.
me talk a little bit about the first time I saw you which was “Mumford”.
was your first one?
Oh, that was a great movie.
thought it was very underrated.
How did it happen, how did you get the part?
was in high school and I was doing theatre in school and I did a
play outside of school. And
then I just sort of got managers and I just auditioned for it.
He was looking for someone who was really in high school and
really that awkward. [Laughing]
is not you, that was pure acting right?
[Laughing] Well, I was definitely acting more. But, yeah, he was looking for somebody who kind of had some… I was never like a really rebellious kid or anything but some people saw that in me, so I guess some of the characters I’ve portrayed have been sort of irreverent.
that’s the thing. The
one thing that really struck me… “All the Real Girls”…
yeah. I love that movie.
thank you. I love David
Gordon Green, he’s an amazing filmmaker.
he amazing to work with?
Yeah, I know. When I read that script it was like, I have to do this, its so… It just really hit me and it really stuck with me and it was, I found it to be so poetic and poignant and I was just so excited to get to do it. And I love “George Washington” so…
with that film, you’ve done all these… okay, the deal with
try. It’s hard to be
like… I feel like it requires a certain amount of like keeping the
blinders on all the time. You
can’t take in too much of it if you are going to try and be
read somewhere that you don’t pay attention to box office, that
you can’t pick hits.
No. I never thought about it. Because if I have that as a goal then I’m going to be lead astray, the only goal I can ever have is trying to make good movies and trying to tell stories that I want to tell. That can be my only goal because if you have two goals, then you’re like hmmmm…
you’re kind of torn.
And if you’re just for box office then sometimes maybe you’ll make good movies but then like, you know… it’s like you have to choose what’s important to you. So I’ve done some movies that have made some money and other movies that have made no money or that no one has seen. But it’s just like, if I’m always trying to make good movies then hopefully they’re will be a larger percentage of good movies.
Yeah, that's Jeff Bridges on the right!
it’s funny because “Surf’s Up” is a pretty big film.
What was it that attracted you to it?
was so excited that they had, sort of, “Spinal Tap” as what was
the model for this. That
it was a mockumentary about penguin surfing and that it was going to
track the history of penguin surfing.
You know, it was very tongue in cheek and I just thought it
was such a great idea and so beautiful when I saw the animation test
they had done the first time I went in I was so struck by it.
Their so creative, it was such a great experience as an actor
and to work with Jeff Bridges…
yeah. He’s one of my
Oh, me too. I was so excited. When I first met him I was so nervous.
still nervous with him?
because I’ve worked with him, so I’m a little like, ‘hey, how
are ya?’ [Laughing] but yeah, he is so terrific and such a nice
I’ve got a question, I was reading a little bit about the Janis
is happening with that?
like on hold for right now. But
I have done so much work on it that I am determined that it will
happen one day. Cuz I worked
for like seven months on that movie.
I was like growing out my bangs.
did you work on?
doing all the singing. I’m
a singer but I don’t sing like her.
She’s not who I naturally sound like so it was like getting
the voice right.
had that voice.
really gravelly, so it was a lot of work and working on the
character and growing out my bangs and my eyebrows.
It was like, you know, it was the Sixties.
Very cool… well with that, I was reading that you do impressions and sadly our readers won’t be able to hear this, but I would love to hear an impression.
me see; let me look at my list.
What did I say I did impressions of?
let’s see, we got Judy Garland…
got Debbie Reynolds. And
my personal favorite, Julie Andrews [Childhood crush, sue me].
I can’t do this right now.
I’m not good at being put on the spot.
I have to like, the thing about my singing impressions is I
have to like work for it. Like,
I’ll get out of practice. If
I’m put on the spot, it doesn’t necessarily work out.
It’s something like, I have to be surrounded by it and then
it just comes out.
a natural thing.
I’m very much about, like, whatever… I’m not feeling
that right now but if I do, I’ll videotape it and I’ll send it
That would be awesome.
Thank you very much,
it was lovely meeting you.
you. It was nice meeting
Let me know what you think. Send questions and comments to email@example.com.
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