HEATHER MATARAZZO: Theres another girl who was going to play Hilary Faye and luckily she wound up not doing it. And I thought, Why not Mandy? Why not? She played with me in Princess Diaries as a bitchy cheerleader and Im like, She could do this. Theres a lot of stuff in here that I think she could sink her teeth into." Brian [Dannelly] liked the idea and I guess Sandy [Stern] and Michael [Stipe] did, too. They got her and I think we are all very lucky and thankful because she turned out to be brilliant. I think that she has a great road ahead of her in terms of her acting career.
You said luckily the other person didnt take the role. Explain that a little bit - is it because of how they were or because you wanted Mandy so much?
PATRICK FUGIT: A combination.
HEATHER MATARAZZO: A combination of both. I think that if the other actor played Hilary Faye, this movie would have sucked. It would have been horrible because her interpretation was just Shes not a good actor.
Who is that?
HEATHER MATARAZZO: She that shall remain nameless. But Mandy was perfect. Everything happens for a reason.
Are you at all surprised about the controversy over the film or did you expect that going in?
HEATHER MATARAZZO: I think we all kind of had an idea that there was going to be some controversy. I mean, theyll make a controversy about anything. I think especially with a topic like religion where there is such a dividing barrier between liberalism and conservativism and Christianity and Fundamentalists and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I think the reason there is such controversy, even though there really shouldnt be, is because were talking about God, were talking about Jesus, were talking about people that weve never met. Were talking about a divine entity that some people believe exists and others dont. We dont know. Theres a fear that grasps each individual and what they think is right and what they think is wrong. But let there be controversy. Its good to get out of the closet and talk about it and find out other peoples views.
Growing up as actors, did either of you feel sheltered from the types of problems kids are dealing with in this movie?
HEATHER MATARAZZO: I think it magnified it. For me, I wasnt sheltered so I think it was magnified. Especially when youre a teenager and you go to high school and youre in the business and you are known. Theres a resentment and a jealousy, and I think that its very hard growing up in the public eye and being in the business that were in. Luckily, none of us have been in rehab (laughing).
PATRICK FUGIT: Yeah, in some ways it can give you a hard time that way, but in some ways it makes it easier. The fact that you get to do what you want to do if thats what you want to do. You get to go do these things and have these experiences and you get to be paid pretty well for it.
Do you feel more adult pressures at a younger age?
PATRICK FUGIT: Yeah. It puts you up there kind of quick. It almost advances mental aging, I guess. It can be pretty stressful and frustrating.
HEATHER MATARAZZO: But especially if you have the wrong people within your circle. Truthfully, at the end of the day, no one cares about you in this business whether they are your agent or your manager or your publicist. They just want your money. And I think that, for me anyways being younger, I was very personal with my past representation and just kind of looked to them as family and then you wind up just getting backstabbed in the end. So its just kind of one of those things where you just have to look at it as its a job. Its a job and you have your private life and you have your public life, and just dont let them interfere.
Patrick, was your character in "Saved!" a skater before you got the role?
PATRICK FUGIT: No. He was a surfer named Ryan. I went to meet Brian and I said, I cant surf. Ive been once and Im horrible, but I skateboard and there could probably be more opportunities to show the character skating then surfing. He was like, Yeah, yeah, thatd be great. Then I got a rewrite and his name was Patrick and he was a skateboarder instead of Ryan the surfer.
Did you ask for the character to be called Patrick?
PATRICK FUGIT: No, no. The name is usually important to the character but it doesnt usually mean that much. It does take you out of the scene when people are calling you Patrick. It does take probably a week to get used to people calling you Patrick in a scene. But within the context, you could tell the difference when Jena [Malone] was being Mary and calling me Patrick and when she was just calling me Patrick.