Playing the long-lost 14 year-old daughter of Nicolas Cage's character required the 23 year-old Lohman to do a lot of research. "I wanted to look young in this role, it was a needed thing. Shes 14. This role I really needed to feel 14, I had to be 14 in every way possible, so I hung out with my 14 year-old cousin for a month. [She] had a retainer and pigtails and all that. Theres something in their eyes, between age 10 and 15 I think, its just that sort of anything is possible [look]. For me, the most beautiful thing you could ever see is like a childs eyes. I wanted to really make sure that I captured her spirit, that youthful spirit," explains Lohman, adding, "For me its all about dreaming. What does she look like when she walks? Whats the look in her eye? Its not about, Oh, on this move, Im going to put my arm like that. Its just the whole spirit, so that any way that I would move would be right."
Capturing the spirit and nuances of a teenager is something Lohmans got down pat. And while her youthful appearance works well for her in "Matchstick Men," playing a teenager isnt something that normally entices her to a script. "Actually when I first read the script I was like, No. No way Im playing 14. You can just pass on this," says Alison, adding, "Usually its like the first 50 pages and you kind of know. But then reading the whole script for me was like, Okay, I can definitely do this."
"Matchstick Men" also had the added attraction of being directed by Ridley Scott. Working with Scott was an amazing and enlightening experience for the young actress. Praising her director, Lohman says, "Without even saying anything, just his eyes Its not like he forces you to do it, but the power that he has, its something in his spirit. The power that he has, its almost like intangible and kind of magical. He has an energy that kind of lifts you. Any doubt that you had is just gone. You just do it its really simple. It was so easy to work with him."
Working with Nicolas Cage was also an enriching experience. "I figured he be like a genius, because he is. Hes very, very subtle and nuanced. Its very much in the eyes. Thats how it is in real life. Hes such a great actor. I was just amazed that I got the chance to work with him," states Lohman.
Coming up next for Alison Lohman is "Big Fish," directed by Tim Burton and starring Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney and Billy Crudup. In "Big Fish," Lohman plays McGregors wife from the ages of 16 to 26. "Ewan and Albert Finney play the same character and Jessica Lange and I play the same character in flashbacks. Its [set] in the 50s [and] its a very Tim Burton-ish type of movie. The whole magical, mystical, tall tale kind of story. Its going to be good."