FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Mar 25, 2009

Lena Headey is my number one Top Friend

As you may or may not remember, the season finale of Ghostella's Haunted Tomb, "Top Friends", featured a Person You May Have Heard Of, one Lena Headey of 300 and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. After the episode aired, I really dug reading speculation on a couple of websites regarding how I possibly could have gotten her on my show. Blackmail? Did someone owe me a favor? Was it a mafia thing?

Alright, so I fueled that last rumor myself. But still, people wondered about it...but the answer is quite simple: I got her in Ghostella the way I've gotten everyone who's been in Ghostella in Ghostella. We're friends, and I thought it would be fun so I asked. Mystery solved- rest easy, internet! See, a mutual friend introduced us at San Diego Comic-Con and that was that.

LH: Quite sober, I think. We laughed, I remember, Ponder, and I was feeling very fond of you immediately.

SP: You made fun of my drink.

She did, and since I spent the night drinking whatever candy apple red thing it was they were giving away free, I probably deserved it.

We watch horror movies, we play video games, we both like Dallas, she gives me Toblerone, and neither of us can resist a photo booth. It's like having anyone else for a friend, except my mom gets excited because she'll go to Best Buy and, like, see Terminator: TSCC on the shelf.

Believe it or not, there's a point to all this, I swear! That point is, Lena stars in The Broken, one of After Dark's 8 Films to Die For, hitting a store shelf NEAR YOU on Tuesday, March 31. For my AMC column this week, I attempted to sit down with her for an interview. Upon transcription, however, I realized that what I'd recorded was an hour of...of...well, not quite madness, I suppose, but certainly nonsense. I cobbled together what I could and you can read it now at AMC.

But...AMC has, like, rules and stuff about length and format, you know? And there's an editor. All those ellipsis? That's where they made with the chop chop...which is fine, that's their bag. However, I think people (myself included) like to read interviews that aren't so TV Guide, Q & A boring. Cutting out quirky speech patterns or whatever makes everyone sound the same, and it's strictly dullsville. Take the last question, for example, where I ask her about being paprazzied; I think her full answer gives her a little more, you know, personality, and I think it makes the whole affair more interesting for someone who might want to learn more about the actor.

LH: I think I’ve been paparazzied twice in my life since I’ve been out here and it was sort of…horrendous, do you know what I mean? I don’t go anywhere. You know me. I’m such a big spaz, I’m happy to sit here with my dogs and hang out with people I like. All that doesn’t appeal to me. I do think it is a conscious effort of keeping your head down so you can remain anonymous. It’s very funny, I feel like I have this thing where they’re like, “She’s Sarah Connor!” Nobody knows what else I do or what else I’ve done. It’s funny to me, and it couldn’t be farther from me. But I do love shooting stuff!

Or maybe the question where I ask about The Sophisticates, the short film that marked Lena's writing/directing debut, the film she hopes to expand into a feature:

LH: As you know, directing is a long road and I’ve got many ideas and the movie that I’ve written, The Sophisticates, which is a comedy. Yeah, all these other things are exciting, but you know, I’ve never directed before so I need to make sure that people know that I can do it. In terms of that, The Sophisticates is a small ensemble comedy and I hope it’s charming and funny. I think female directors, first timers, always seem to set out and do a drama, a two-person drama. I think, oh fuck it, I wanna make a goofy movie. And I think making people laugh is really fucking difficult. Part of the reason for me writing The Sophisticates was sort of that Wizard of Oz element. I want people to go in and have a treat, be uplifted and charmed, and have a colorful thing to stare at for a minute. And not to please this sort of short memory we’ve got. But you know, I get into trouble for that, for saying no to things.

But anyway, I'm not going to go back and forth, comparing and contrasting. Rather, I'm going to post here what didn't make the cut...the ridiculous nonsense. Why? I don't know. It's like DVD special features or something.

SP: So if life was like The Broken, what would you do if you were out on the street and you saw someone drive by and it was, like, kind of…you? What would you do?

LH: I would just punch her in the face.

SP: “There’s only room for one Headey in this town!”

LH: “Stop trying to be so pretty!” Actually, I’d probably just ask her where she got her hair done. But if she had a better car than me I’d fucking steal that. If it was a Volvo PS 1800 I would kill the person that looked like me and I’d take it.

SP: I don’t even know what that is.

LH: It’s the coolest car ever made. Just that.

SP: I’m sorry, I thought The Love Bug was the coolest car ever made.

LH: No, not Bernie. What’s his name?

SP: Herbie.

LH: Ernie. Barbara!

SP: It should’ve been Barbara!

LH: Yes! “Love Bug 2: Barbara’s Revenge”. She kills Herbie. She makes Herbie go bananas, is what she does.

SP: Well played. Let’s get Hollywood on the phone. Lindsay can star in it again…

LH: Johnny Depp can play the car…

SP: You’re very much…umm…

LH: Kind.

SP: Very kind. You have a certain grace about you.

LH: Like a kindly swan.

SP: What’s your historical disease of choice: consumption, the plague, or the vapors?

LH: That…but do you die from the vapors?

SP: No, just…people fan you and then you’re fine.

LH: Well, it’s not really a disease, is it? Just attention seeking. A narcissistic disease.

SP: Mental illness and corsets…

LH: I’ve done a few movies in a corset, and let me tell you: no. You can’t eat a Fatburger, you can’t have a pint of beer.

SP: Let’s talk about The Cave!

LH: Alright, let’s do it, Ponder. Is that your favorite film of mine? Or of all time?

SP: It is. I’m not gonna lie.

LH: It’s got amazing power.

SP: Yeah, it really spoke to me.

LH: It changes lives. It does.

SP: They play it in children’s sick wards…

LH: When people do charity walks, they play it at the beginning to get everyone pumped up. I think they play it on Romania’s travel website…

The impression I have of you…you know, you go on your first press junket and you listen to all the actors and you think, “Wow, this is so interesting!” Then you go on your second press junket and you realize that they’re all saying the exact same things that everyone on the first junket said. It’s all these standard answers, and it’s so boring. But knowing you beyond a press junket, it does honestly seem to be about the work with you. You’re always talking about ideas, we’re always talking about ideas, you’re up for anything, you know what I mean? So it’s cool to know that you’re out there.

LH: It’s a strange thing about acting- people almost think it’s some bestowed sort of honor, but it’s like, you’re fucking human. The fact is, it’s happened for us and there are many more talented people out there who haven’t gotten the work. But yeah, I don’t ever want to stop being curious about it, because when I do it’ll be over for me and I’ll go make cakes or something. Really shit cakes. But I love it. I love actors, I think there’s obviously and element of narcissism involved with being an actor, but I think there’s a bravery to it. The cinema for me is such a therapy. Even a silly movie- the lights go down and for that hour and a half you’re kind of lost. I love that. And to give people that experience- movies that move you, or make you laugh, or scare you, it’s just such a joy. And to come out of a movie, having really had an experience, that’s part of what makes me really want to direct. Working with actors, it’s a privilege to direct. Some directors don’t feel that- it’s just an excuse to yell and seek revenge for a playground experience.

We talked a bit about the internet and how there's up-to-the-minute, behind-the-scenes this and sneak peek that, how there's no waiting for a movie anymore, no real know, just general old people vs the internet bitchery.

LH: I have such a hard time on the TV show because they want me to do publicity for every single thing, speak to everybody, and I can’t- for me, it takes away everything that acting’s about. Why can’t we have mystery anymore? Why can’t people go and watch it and decide for themselves? But actors aren’t the advertisers, and I don’t think we should have to go and do all that. If I can sit like this and talk about everything, you know, that makes sense to me. But the sort of generic repetition…

SP: Well, you’re supposed to want the attention.

LH: Maybe that’s it. I have no interest in that.

SP: Alright, I think we're done.

LH: Are we? Did you get enough? We didn’t talk about anything, did we?

SP: It’s fine. I can weave some magic.

LH: You can. I don’t care what you say.

SP: Don’t worry, I won’t make you look any worse than you actually are.

Then we had pizza and watched Session 9. Holla!


Arbogast said...

What kind of pizza?

Stacie Ponder said...

I had 4-cheese with mushroom, her husband had pepperoni with jalapeno, and she had...I don't know, a whole bunch a crap on hers.

It was...okay. I still haven't found any wicked awesome pizza in if you've got a recommendation, Arbo, I'd be glad to hear it!

Jason Adams said...

Have you seen The Broken yet, Stacie? I asked you this question like a GAJILLION years ago and YOU'VE NEVER SAID NOTHING.

I quite liked it.

And I quite like this Lena woman! She's a keeper.

Stacie Ponder said...

I just saw The Broken the other day...I liked it well enough, but I thought it was very cold and in the end I didn't care much about what was going on. But it looked nice, that's for sure!

I'm sorry I didn't answer your question earlier! I'm a big lame. I'm going to go sit in the corner and think about what I've done, and no Nintendo for a week!!

Anonymous said...

There needs to be some sort of independent arbiter of horror movie titles…

When you mentioned The Broken, I got all excited because I thought you meant Broken (notice the missing The), which is currently at the top of my must see list. Having just seen what Adam Mason conjured with The Devil’s Chair I’m very keen to check out his debut feature Broken (see, still no The) which, as it turn out, has absolutely nothing to do with Lena Headey or The Broken.

Anonymous said...

This was an great "interview". I dig Lena Headey, she seems like an awesome chick!

Jason Adams said...

Aww, don't cut off your Mario supply on my account. I wouldn't want you to have a separation anxiety attack and attack some random person on the street by jumping up and down on their head or shooting fireballs at them. Because I know you can shoot fireballs, Stacie. Don't pretend.

I liked the coldness of the movie. But then, I have a soft spot for unfriendly movies. Movies that are too eager to please me, I rebuff them. It's just like my life! But yeah, I thought it was scarier than I was expecting it to be, too. The shots from inside the mirrors, with the light pouring in, and then you'd hear someone running through the dark to get to the mirror... SHUDDER! I'm creeping myself out right now at 10am in a fully lit office thinking about it. Don't get me, mirror people!!!

Anonymous said...

You lucky, lucky, lucky woman.
Lena is absolutely gorgeous, she actually looks like an ex of mine.
Did you ever see the The Hunger episode she was in? Yum...

Stacie Ponder said...

JA, don't get me wrong- what worked in The Broken really worked, and some bits were truly frightening. I loved the part near the end where SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT Gina finds herself. I just think the film was a little too self-conscious, or up its own ass, or whatever you want to call it. I never got the feeling that the characters were particularly scared, you know?

Dean, episode of The Hunger...? No, I haven't I don't even know what that show is! I'm woefully uncool like that.

Anonymous said...

Just when I thought it was safe to say "I can't possibly like Stacie Ponder more"...

Hey, that totally should be the tagline for the next Jaws movie.

Anonymous said...

Stace, here is the IMDB-entry for that particular episode :
Check it out. It's sssexay !

Annie said...

Stacie, thanks for the 'uncut DVD' interview - yeah, it can be a bitch when it's all cut to hell! Reading this just made my day! Great to know that Bobbie Sue introduced you two! Looking forward to The Broken on DVD - after all, staring at Lena for 90 minutes ain't a bad thing! I saw it four times during Horrorfest and was lucky my fellow audience members weren't looking at me gaping at the bathtub scenes - and oh yes, I have a secret fetish with The Cave too - such good dumb, let's see Lena and Piper get wet - oops, did I say that! - kinda fun!

Anonymous said...

Just when I thought I couldn't love Lena Headey more, then she admits to loving Fatburger! Girl, go get you some chilli cheese fries too while you're at it!

Miss Ponder, I think you need to do a horror movie starring Lena and Piper Perabo.

Karen said...

What fun! One of the coolest interviews I've read. Lena Headey seems like a cool person. I'm looking forward to her directing days.

Anonymous said...

Lena seems as wonderful as I've
always imagined she would be'
Cool' and easy to be around' infinitely interesting'& as you said"
" There is this 'grace' about her...
that[in my mind] puts her in a place' that most people'in her line of work, can't even get close to...
And I really Dig' that about her