The casting of Kate Winslet opposite Jim Carrey sounds strange, and even Winslet admits it's an unexpected pairing. Co-star Carrey says of Winslet, "Kate is someone to learn from. She is just so good at what she does, and so smart. And the best thing of all is shes not as tough as she thinks." Producer Anthony adds, "Kate Winslet is very much Clementine. Theyre both headstrong, passionate, and unpredictable and completely loveable."
INTERVIEW WITH KATE WINSLET ('Clementine'):
Is it your goal to defy expectations of traditional leading lady roles?
No, its not my goal. Its fun. Its really fun to take risks and its really fun to play lots of different characters. Clementine was the most eccentric part that Ive ever played. I just had so much fun doing her. What an unlikely pairing. I mean, you wouldnt imagine that Jim Carrey and I would ever do a movie together. When I was sent the script and was asked to do it, I just thought, Well, theres no way Im not going to do this because I knew that it would be a totally new experience and very challenging, which it was both of those things.
Why was this an unlikely pairing?
Because I have played Ophelia, and he was Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
Its that simple?
Absolutely not. I don't know what assumptions that people might make as to the actors that I would work with, but I imagine people would think Derek Jacobi, Kenneth Branagh - those are the things that would spring to peoples minds. And believe me, Ive been lucky enough to have worked with them and had an amazing experience. But as an actor, you always want to mix it up and play different parts. Jim and I have been in completely different movies to each other in the past and so the pairing of us in this film, I think, is exciting and challenging and different. I would hope that people will think its an unlikely pairing in order to make them go and see it.
Did it change your approach, working against expectations?
No, I just knew that I had to be something very, very different from what I had been before. In a way, whilst it was very challenging for Jim to play Joel Barish, this kind of shy, introverted guy, at the same time, I am known for being this classical English rose in all these period pieces. I knew I had to break that mold completely, which meant that I just worked very, very hard on the dialect. I wanted her to look totally different from everything else Ive ever done. I think we can safely say she does. I just knew that I had to completely change my whole persona and I was thrilled to be able to do that, and be given the opportunity to do that.
How do you reign in the characters eccentricity?
Well, I had to be prepared to let people dislike her at times because shes a bit of a bitch, but at the same time, shes gorgeous and shes funny and shes silly and you sort of feel for her. You kind of sense her confusion about who she is and her life. Shes very, very vulnerable, I think, underneath all of that stuff. I just had to work very, very hard. Sometimes I would say to Michel, Let me know if Im not going enough. Let me know if Im going too far. And more often than not, he would be pushing me further. I was so terrified of being over the top and he would just say, No, no, no. More, more, more. And Id be like, Really? Hed go, Yeah, it doesnt matter. Just do it, just try it. That was fantastically liberating. When you do classical period films, you dont get the opportunity to do that. Its a more subtle approach.
Were there particular scenes where you were pushed further?
The scene where theyre set in the forest - I don't know how it was cut together because I still havent seen the final cut of the movie - but I believe you suddenly find them in a car and they get out and theyre in a forest. Hes like, Look, Im erasing you Clem, and hes trying to hold his eyes open and she goes, Cant you just try? And he tries and it works for a split second. Michel had me jumping all over the place in one version of that scene we shot. I had not expected it was going to be like that. I figured that would be the two of them maybe sitting on a log just talking to each other. But no, he had us running up and down, kicking leaves around and it was so much fun.
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