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Part-time Slayer: Kate Beckinsale

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Snow Angels seems like a real departure. Did it feel that way to you? Actually, it felt more like a return to what I knew better. The big stretch for me had always been the action movies. Finding myself taken seriously as an action-movie heroine is hilarious to me. That said, I did Underworld, but I also did Laurel Canyon. I did Van Helsing, but I also did The Aviator. Still, something changed somewhere in there. A big thing happened to me right after I did Brokedown Palace and The Golden Bowl. I got pregnant—unexpectedly and quite young. And I basically became a single mom. My first priority was to make sure my child was okay. It changed my criteria for what kind of movie I could do. There was absolutely no way, when my daughter was 2 or 3, that I could have committed to as painful and emotional a character as Annie in Snow Angels. Does that mean no more blockbusters? I love big pictures too. My favorite movie is All About Eve, but I’m also happy watching Rocky. David Gordon Green is known for improvisation. How did you deal with that? As an actor, the thing you’re always looking for is that moment where all the preparation and intellectualizing completely falls away and you’ve just got two people in a room. Some of the scenes I did with Sam Rockwell, my heart was pounding for real—these were some of the most thrilling moments of my life. In Nothing But the Truth (Rod Lurie’s forthcoming feature, based on the Valerie Plame affair), you’re essentially playing ex-Times reporter Judith Miller, right? Kind of, yeah. It’s not her, really, but there are parallels, and of course people are going to make a thing out of it. Are you worried about playing a character that so many people already have such strong feelings about? I’m not. I met with Judy Miller because I wanted to know what it was like for someone from her background to go jail. But there are important differences. I don’t want to spoil too much, but my character is an incredibly heroic woman. With Judy Miller, there’s this real debate about what she did. A number of films you’ve done lately feature troubled marriages. What’s that about? Everything I’ve seen in life confirms my belief that relationships are the whole point of being human. I haven’t been married twice, but I’m essentially on my second marriage, and I have a child, and my heart has been blown open several times. I’ve always found solace in literature and other people’s performances. Art helps make sense of it all.

Snow Angels
March 7


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