Soon after accepting the role of Kathy, Jennifer Connelly was nominated for an Academy Award for "A Beautiful Mind." Says producer Michael London, "Jennifer committed to it right before she won the Academy Award for 'A Beautiful Mind,' and she was immediately deluged. But she remained extraordinarily loyal to our project. I think she understood Kathy, and knew in her bones that she could take this character and give her the kind of dimension that she has. I don't think there is another actress who could have played Kathy with such power and grace."
JENNIFER CONNELLY ('Kathy'):
It seems you're not afraid to do anything. Is that true?
Yes, I'm not afraid of anything in life. No, I'm joking. In terms of this job, I was really excited to do it. I thought it was a really interesting story. I thought it was interesting to be able to play a woman who's in this time of crisis, who is deeply flawed. I thought that was really interesting that the characters are all really flawed. You don't see many movies that leave it unclear as to who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. And I liked that about this movie.
How was co-starring with Ben Kingsley?
He's fantastic as an actor, I think, and was really lovely to work with. He was attached to the movie already, and I'm a huge fan of his and was very excited to work with him. I thought he was perfectly cast for the part.
Was this movie as intense as making Requiem for a Dream?
She was a character who was so far out of control at times that it was hard to deal with her. You didn't know if you always liked her in the way she was behaving. And that was interesting for me. I think "God, I'm just not liking myself now as a human, this girl that I'm being." That was a kind of uncomfortable feeling at times. I thought it was appropriate in the story, and kind of at the heart of the story was that both these characters He is abusive with his wife and that's sort of part of the fun of the movie is that they're all sort of - at times you understand their points of view and at times you find them reprehensible. In terms of doing it, it was a really safe environment with a great group of people and talented actors who I was working with, so it was a very supportive environment.
Was it all acting or was it more personal?
It's a weird thing. I don't really know how it works. I can't quite put my finger on where it comes from but at the end of the day, I didn't really have the option of bringing it home and carrying it around with me too much - just because of my circumstances.
Because you were pregnant?
I was pregnant at the end of it and I had a then five, almost six-year-old who was there with me and who wanted to play at the end of the day. [He] was often in the trailer hanging out. And a husband who would make fun of me for taking myself too seriously.
Did you have a goal of starting with small roles, doing good work, getting the Oscar and then being offered everything?
I'm very happy with the way things are going. I read the script before the Academy Awards that year and signed on to do it before any of that happened. I thought that was just a beautifully written script, a really compelling story that was really about something. There aren't that many that you read every year that are that moving and powerful, so I was really excited to do it.
PAGE 2: Playing Flawed Characters