In this interview, Cuthbert talks about playing a porn star, researching the industry, and working with Emile Hirsch and director Luke Greenfield.
INTERVIEW WITH ELISHA CUTHBERT:
Did you do this during the "24" shoot or while it was on hiatus?
During. Our weekends were Monday and Tuesday and the show was, obviously, Saturday and Sunday, so every day for three months.
What did you find appealing about this character?
A lot of things. I had come off of doing "Old School" and "Love Actually," and they were small parts that I didn't have the weight of the film riding on my shoulders, as they say. I wanted something to kind of showcase more of a range of emotions, obviously.
Will you be following in the porn star footsteps of Heather Graham?
No, no, I think I have my own little path going. We're trying to pick projects that I feel somewhat connected to. I didn't feel like I was anything like this character but I think I read the script going, "I know what I want to do with this scene. I know what I want to do with that scene."
Did you research the porn industry?
Not really. What I did was I had spoken to a few of the girls from Wicked Pictures and Vivid and kind of got a take of what they were like. I was surprised - I had this stereotype in my mind that these girls were like the two girls that were my friends in the film. And they're not. They're really into fashion, normal girls, and so I was pretty impressed. It was pretty wild.
The director said the industry was a lot more businesslike than he expected.
That's what I mean. I mean, these girls are entrepreneurs. The capitalize on what - I don't really think it's cool per se - there is somewhat of a cutthroat [feel] to this business. I mean, there's a lot of girls, and there's a lot of producers, and it's pretty wild.
Did you attend any porn conventions?
Yeah, we went to a convention. The convention in the film is actually the real convention that takes place in Las Vegas. We got them to pack up and set up in L.A. so all the real girls were there. The only people that weren't real were the characters in the film.
How old were you when this movie was shot?
And Emile Hirsch was seventeen?
The sex scene took place separately, actually. Because of the nature of the scene - it was shot in a limo - we had to cut out the back of the limo and a camera was basically where the trunk is. Because of the positioning of us, they shot Emile separately, and me separately, so we were never actually together.
How hard was that?
(Laughing) To pretend you're making love to a box? Because that's exactly what it was. I don't know. You do the best you can, I guess. You know what? I think the love aspect of it all was the drawing point for me. I mean, just the chemistry and all that.
Did you rehearse with Emile?
Yeah. We had about a month, which is pretty amazing for a movie, to get to sit down, and I mean every day. It was every day. Not so much always with Emile, though. I mean, sitting down, rewriting scenes with Luke [Greenfield] and telling him, "Well what about this movie? Remember that idea?" And, "I remember seeing this. I know a friend who does that." With everyone, it was just a collaboration. We were so excited to get this film going.
How is Emile as an actor?
It's funny, the one thing that set him apart from the other people that we had auditioned was the idea that he had this vulnerability to the character. Myself, I had to try and bring out this kind of confidence to persuade him and kind of intimidate him throughout the film, at least in the beginning. And Emile had a vulnerability where he had to believe all that and be intimidated. And it's hard for a confident person like Emile to kind of [downplay that]. It's not really him, I suppose.
And working for director Luke Greenfield?
He had very strong opinions about what he wanted to do with this film. [He was] very excited and very motivated, and just so much fun. He's a funny, funny guy.
Were you expecting this to be a broad teen comedy?
When I first read it, yeah. Of course, when I first read it I had my apprehensions about it. It was just like, "What are we going to do with this?" And this film could be really, really great, but depending on who directs it, and who else is in it, you could do something completely different. So the collaborations with the director made me feel really confident going in to shoot it.