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Interview with Patrick Fugit and Heather Matarazzo

From "Saved!"


Heather Matarazzo and Mandy Moore star in Saved

Elizabeth Thai, Heather Matarazzo, and Mandy Moore in "Saved!"

Photo © United Artists
Did you hook Mandy Moore up with the script?
HEATHER MATARAZZO: There’s 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 I’m like, “She could do this. There’s 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 didn’t 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… She’s 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, they’ll 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 shouldn’t be, is because we’re talking about God, we’re talking about Jesus, we’re talking about people that we’ve never met. We’re talking about a divine entity that some people believe exists and others don’t. We don’t know. There’s a fear that grasps each individual and what they think is right and what they think is wrong. But let there be controversy. It’s good to get out of the closet and talk about it and find out other people’s 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 wasn’t sheltered so I think it was magnified. Especially when you’re a teenager and you go to high school and you’re in the business and you are known. There’s a resentment and a jealousy, and I think that it’s very hard growing up in the public eye and being in the business that we’re 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 that’s 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 it’s just kind of one of those things where you just have to look at it as it’s a job. It’s a job and you have your private life and you have your public life, and just don’t 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 can’t surf. I’ve been once and I’m horrible, but I skateboard and there could probably be more opportunities to show the character skating then surfing.” He was like, “Yeah, yeah, that’d 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 doesn’t 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.

Interviews with Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, and Macaulay Culkin
"Saved!" Photos, Trailer and Credits

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