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 411mania » Movies » Columns

411 Mania Interview: Anne Heche
Posted by Tony Farinella on 10.16.2012

Anne Heche has been acting in unique and thought provoking projects since 1987 when she made her debut on the soap opera, Another World. Since then, she has shown many sides of her personality in the films John Q, Spread, Cedar Rapids, Rampart, and the remake of Psycho. Her television resume also includes Nip/Tuck, Ally McBeal, Men in Trees, and Hung. Her most recent film project That's What She Said will hit theaters and VOD on October 19th. In my interview with Anne Heche, we discussed her new film, women in comedy, her upcoming projects, and how she prepared for this role. There is also a You Tube link which has the audio of the interview as well.

TONY: This is a great time in your career right now with films like Cedar Rapids, Rampart, and That's What She Said. You're finding some really great, well-written scripts. How satisfying is this point in your career?

Anne Heche: Oh my gosh, I could not be happier or feel more blessed, honestly. Actually, when I hear you list the movies I've been able to do and I know what I have coming up in my future, I can't believe it. It's everything I hoped for. They're unique projects, beautiful, amazing directors, stories. The actors have been phenomenal. The group of talent that I've been able to work with and continue to work with, it's really, really wonderful. I feel really lucky.

TONY: In terms of the character of Dee Dee, were there certain aspects of her that you related to and connected with?

Anne Heche: (laughs) No, I'm happy all the time. Yes, of course, that's why I wanted to play her. I think we all have rotten days. Although when I was working on her, I really wanted to create someone who had lost all hope. Fortunately, I don't know anybody in my life that could ever say that's me. I tend to have a pretty positive outlook, no matter how bad things get. My boyfriend James kept saying, ‘Go darker, go darker.' It's such a dialogue heavy script, obviously, and there were many, many, many words and it came off the stage, and I wanted them to be so much like a part of my being as I do any character. There's a lot to say and the way that Dee Dee needed to talk, I just remember just daily he would test me on my lines and say, ‘Get that hope out of you. Get that hope out of you. Keep going into a place that you've never been.' To be able to get an opportunity to do that, it's kind of once in a lifetime. It's very, very rare that you get to play a character so deeply wounded.

TONY: The thing that I took away from this film is that with films like this and Bridesmaids, we're seeing that girls can be too bad too, girls can be funny, and girls can be part of great ensemble pieces like this and carry a film. How do you see how Hollywood changing where we're seeing more female ensemble comedies and dramas and they're getting a chance to shine?

Anne Heche: Of course I feel like it's about time. Being a comedian and probably I speak for every actress in the world, like, ‘Hello? We've always been here waiting to do this kind of work.' But it is really great that the doors are opening more and people are realizing that female comedy is as much a commodity as male comedies. And that's what really exciting.

TONY: In terms of that friendship and chemistry with your fellow actresses, how did you girls find that?

Anne Heche: Oh god, we love each other; there's no question about it. I had done a movie with Alia, Cedar Rapids, and I didn't get to have that many scenes with her. That really bummed me out. I had to pull her along to do this. I didn't think anyone else could play a nymphomaniac and make it funny. She does. That was great. Marcia, she was so beloved and adored by Carrie and Kelly based on their experience together doing the play in New York years ago, nine years ago I think, that there was already a true connection that I had with her based on the belief that these other two women had carried with them about her being the lead of this movie and knowing they would never make another choice. That in and of itself, that's how much there was in it before we started shooting.

TONY: This is such a sharp script and I thought the way you delivered your lines was just brilliant, the timing. As you were reading this script, did you have an idea how you wanted the scenes to play out or was it show up to set and be there in the moment?

Anne Heche: No, I've never rehearsed so much for a role and never said the lines so many times out loud to try to find the voice and the rhythm of the character. It was very particular to me. One, we were on a shoestring budget, so I didn't want to waste anybody's time trying to figure out character, that's the last thing you need an actor to do is not know who they are when they arrive. Fortunately, my costars felt the same way and we rehearsed. I appreciate that you say that. Dee Dee was one of the most specific characters I've ever played and making her voice real was quite a challenge to me because she doesn't exist in the place of hope and light and love. I really needed her to be depleted and on the other side of that. That's a place that I don't like to visit very often, but I definitely needed to with Dee Dee. In order to make it funny, I needed to get really dark and really look at an ugly side of myself. That challenge is what I figured would make it funny. I'm glad I pulled it off. (laughs) I only knew that I was funny when my boyfriend James finally said, ‘OK, you got it. Now you can go for it.' I definitely turned up some murky water.

TONY: In terms of scripts right now, is there something in particular that you're looking to or gravitating towards?

Anne Heche: I always look for women that I believe in and that need their story to be told. And if it's not that, I look to participate in a story that I feel I can participate in a truthful way. That's the beauty, the bounty of my life that I get to do that. I'm doing a TV show for NBC right now that I start shooting next called Save Me. It could not be more opposite of Dee Dee. It's an Ohio housewife who thinks that she's been saved by god and it's a comedy about true lightness of being and belief and spirit and faith and total groovy joy. That has been a departure that has been really, really, really fun for me to explore. I like to take things in different directions with myself and with my humor. To be able to be on NBC is really a dream for me because the comedy is so open and so loving. It's really fun for me to be able to do that and we'll see what happens after Save Me, but that's what I'm digging right now.


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