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[Movies] Famke Janssen Discusses The Decision to do Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and Not Being Afraid of Genre Roles
Posted by Larry Csonka on 01.22.2013

- Famke Janssen recently spoke about the decision to do Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and not being afraid of genre roles. Here are the highlights…

On The Decision to do The Film: There are a lot of factors that go into a decision about what to do. But, the main factor [laughs] at the time was money because I took three years off from acting. In the end, it wasn't meant to be three years, but I needed that time to write and direct my own movie and it ended up having so many false starts. It wound up being a five year window, but three of those years I couldn't go back to acting. That time was up and I was like, 'What do I do?' This came along and I thought it was pretty cool. It was a young European filmmaker with his own take on a fairy tale that people are familiar with and has a specific meaning to children and adults. And he gave it a different spin and the cast was another big factor. Jeremy couldn't have been more hot coming straight off of Kathryn Bigelow's movie. It was a interesting scenario. But what I thought was ironic was going back, after being in charge as a writer-director and calling the shots, to being on a set and in a make-up trailer for three hours every morning and going through this transformation. I thought, 'Right, that's what it's like being an actor!' [laughs]

Is She Afraid of Genre Roles?: No, the thing is is everyone gets typecast. It's part of the game. You walk into a room and 99% you bring as a package is how you're going to be cast. The 1% of you can go against that and fight against type. But I've learned early on that clearly people saw me as this alien, exotic, weirdo breed and I could fight against it or pay my rent or mortgage off. And then I could go and fight for the roles in independent films that I want to play that no one in the studios wanted to cast me as, so that's what I've done. Over the last 20 years I've gone back and forth playing various roles in independent films, but the problem is is that the general public is not going to see those small films. They'll think, 'Right, she always plays the villain.' What's interesting about my career is that it has been so diverse in playing a little pool hustler in Turn the River or working with Woody Allen in Celebrity or Robert Altman. It crosses the board, but it's not ultimately what you're remembered for or how people see you. I'm almost six feet tall [laugh] and shrinking hopefully and I have a specific look - I may as well go with it.

Credit: shocktillyoudrop.com


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