The casting call for Off the Lip stirred up a lot of interest amongst young actors who were intrigued by this low-budget surf movie. Casting director Cathy Henderson, who coincidentally is a surfer, knew theyd found the star when Moreau turned up to audition. When Marguerite Moreau read I knew immediately that I had found Kat. She had both dead pan comic timing and great dramatic ability. And she had this incredibly effervescent quality about her, recalls Henderson.
INTERVIEW WITH MARGUERITE MOREAU (Kat):
You did this movie several years ago. Is it strange to come back and do publicity for it now?
Not so much. Weve all been talking about it over the years. Weve all remained really close friends. Its been waiting for the genre to kind of catch up. It felt like its a little ahead of the curve, like with Riding Giants, Step Into Liquid, Blue Crush you know, these all have been picking up on the whole surfing interest all the television shows and stuff like that. We were just waiting until like, When is everyone going to get it? Its a nice little romp of a film with great surf footage. We were just kind of waiting.
Did you enjoy surfing? Had you surfed before?
Im from Newport so yeah, totally. I think thats one of the reasons the director and I clicked. He goes out way more than I go out. [He] surfs Zuma all the time so we had a good talk about it. We had a good debate going the whole movie about longboard versus shortboard.
What was the debate?
I was for longboard, he was for shortboard. Hes more about cutting it up.
Do you still surf a lot?
Im more of like a recreational surfer but not like a consist surfer. Some people get out every week or every day.
Its such a good workout.
If you like that feeling of the water turning you upside down and spitting you out viciously (laughing).
How much time did you spend in Hawaii?
I think two months. It was bliss. I ran away with my girlfriend, we were in Poughkeepsie, New York going to Vassar and it was freezing. We were like, What are we doing? My parents are like, Were staying at the Ritz Carlton and we have a free suite. My girlfriends said, Im turning 21. Lets go. We just split. We didnt tell anyone for two weeks we were in Maui and I was like, Im not going back. My parents were said, As your graduation present, we are going to pay for your last semester at college. I was like, I have to go back. The minute I graduated they [said], How would you like to do this movie in Maui where youve just been and almost moved? It was kind of like Kats dream job was too good to be true, and that was completely my experience as well. Everyones been asking me, Do you identify with your character? Yes!
So finishing college helped?
The long term is yet to see. But I did choose a field called acting so my parents are much more traditional in their view of a life passion, as it were.
But youve been in a few major movies now.
Theyre very happy with it. Theyre like, Were a little more comfortable with this idea. Shes actually doing well.
What was it like shooting Off the Lip?
It was cool. It was like shooting on tape so you could shoot as much as you wanted. You were with a really light crew. You shot pretty much in order so it kind of gave you a lot of room to evolve your character, and kind of change it every day. I didnt know what my character was going to do. Wed all get into [working] on the character and at the end of the day it would be like, It doesnt really work. Okay, lets try it this way. And we had a script that was really solid and we knew how we were going to shoot and how the energy of it was going to go. So it gave us a lot of freedom to use the camera as a character. Its unlike a lot of formats in that you could be really experimental and see what would happen. We didnt even know if we would have a film and what I think came together was like a really unexpectedly nice ride.
We started out with the idea of going dogme and then as we got there we realized we needed to have a little bit more structure for the kind of budget that we had, and the time that we had, and the capability of the locations. So we started out as far to the left as we could and then we found every single day of making a movie is going to bring new problems, so we just kind of adapted to make our thing.