Elisha Cuthbert International Website® - Elisha Fans Network™
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Old 09-20-2006, 04:19 PM
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Elisha Cuthbert (24, House of Wax) stars as a popular high school cheerleader whose innocence is just an illusion in the dramatic film, The Quiet, directed by Jamie Babbit and featuring Camilla Belle, Edie Falco, and Martin Donovan. A disturbing tale of betrayal and dark family secrets, The Quiet focuses on one highly dysfunctional family and the orphaned teenager with disabilities who comes to live in their home.

The Appeal of The Quiet: Elisha Cuthbert not only took a chance by agreeing to star in the film, but also signed on as a producer to help make sure The Quiet made it into production. “It was important for me to find something after, obviously 24, and House of Wax and The Girl Next Door, to kind of do something that was off the beaten track as far as those films went. My goal is to just kind of continue to make characters in films that are different from the last ones, especially now at my age and at this point in my career.

When I got the script for The Quiet, I was just blown away at the story and the fact that it was about women, and obviously the characters. And so in doing so I realized there wasn’t any funding, and no other actors were attached to the project; it was just the director. I kind of said, ‘I’m not going to wait around for a studio to figure out I could do a movie like this or even wait for the script. We’ve got it now, right here.’ I felt strongly about the movie and wanted to be a part of it.”
Cuthbert admits she never felt quite this strongly about a project before. “Yeah, because I think a lot of the other films had come quite easy, and not that I didn’t work hard, I mean The Girl Next Door took six or seven months to get attached to, but I mean hard in the sense that to find a script with a dialogue of this quality and a story at this level was important," explained Cuthbert. "And also I think it’s hard for a lot of people to kind of take risks on actors they think maybe can’t do it when you’re sitting at home knowing that you can, you know? So I took it upon myself to try and get attached to it in my own way by producing it and finding the other actors and things like that.”
The Quiet marks the first time Cuthbert has taken the added step of producing a movie she’s attached to. In that capacity, she helped to generate interest in the film. “It’s amazing that for actors mostly, it’s a risk to attach yourself to a film that you don’t know whether or not it’s going to even be made and if you sign on, in doing so, who else is going to be in the movie with you. These are crucial key elements that go into deciding whether or not you’re going to make the movie. But I felt that my passion to play this character and also my passion to be in a film of this caliber…whoever else was in it was important to me. By attaching my name and sort of getting the buzz around the film definitely generated the funding and also other actors.”
Once the buzz started building, then other actors began taking an interest in The Quiet. Edie Falco came on board to play Cuthbert’s character’s mother and that led to Martin Donovan joining the cast as Cuthbert’s father. “Edie and [Martin] had worked together on another project and they had a great time doing it. I think as soon as she was on board, he kind of jumped on the bandwagon. You know, this is sort of how it all comes about. It’s amazing how you get the snowball rolling and it just becomes this massive thing.”

Approaching a Very Difficult and Disturbing Subject Matter: Cuthbert prepared herself for the role of a victim of sexual abuse by combing through a wealth of material on the subject. “I didn’t talk to anyone specifically because I didn’t…it’s one of those things where I didn’t want to kind of revisit things that people had been going through. But I had a package that Jamie [Babbit, the director] had made up for me of authors who had been abused and had told their stories. I did a lot of research and a lot of reading and trying to pinpoint the stereotypes and sort of what they went through. It was interesting because, you know, certain people kind of thought that they had gotten out of the situation and other people hadn’t, and it was interesting. There were so many different variations and levels of it that it was tough and it was really overwhelming. I knew nothing of it, to this extent, before the film.”

Elisha Cuthbert on Gaining Knowledge of Abuse Through Research: Was there anything in particular that surprised her during her research for The Quiet? “Well obviously there was a lot of stereotypes of being sexually abused and then obviously getting away from sex altogether. And then there was also a handful that kind of were very overtly sexual after the fact. We actually ended up putting in the script her dialogue about going off and maybe becoming a stripper, and that was kind of stereotypical of maybe the situation or the aftermath. But that’s not all cases. I was really taken aback by one article that a girl had written. Someone had asked her, because she had a younger sister, ‘Was your sister abused?’ She said, ‘No, she’s not my father’s type.’ I was taken aback by that because I thought that, ‘Wow, this is a girl that is really brainwashed into thinking that her father was giving her this extra attention because she was maybe better or more of her father’s type.’ I thought that playing with that in the movie, sort of playing with her power over her father, was important. So there are a lot of moments in the movie where I toy with him to get what I want, and that seemed very real to me in going through the research. But how could she not assume that her father would abuse her sister as well? It was a psychological thing, too. There were a lot of layers.”

The Relationship Between the Actors Portraying Father and Daughter: Cuthbert described her on and off set relationship with Martin Donovan: “We didn’t do a whole lot of talking, actually. I think for him it was important that he stayed true to his side of the character, which was ultimately, unfortunately, playing a love story.”
The film’s portrayal of incest is markedly different than how most films deal with the subject matter. “Yeah, I’m actually brutally honest and I don’t think that this has been shown in such a way that is so brutally honest. It is a difficult thing to kind of grasp. But our director had told Martin that, ‘You’re not a bad man. You’re in love with your daughter to the point of excess. You understand that that’s wrong, but yet you continue to do the things that you do.’
In my case, I was looking at it as sort of being victimized but coming into an age that I was discovering that this is wrong and asking herself, ‘How do I get out of this?’ She’s not sure, but she’s kind of now eventually understanding that, ‘Okay, I have to stop this.’ So there was two different chemistries going on, yet it was one whole. It was difficult because everything that Martin was playing was difficult for me and everything that I was playing was difficult for him, so we tended to naturally not really do a whole lot of talking.”

Reaching the Point Where a Break was Absolutely Necessary: “I spent a lot of time off the set. I remember getting just really upset and crying and not knowing whether or not I was going to be able to do it - just for myself - because I was just really fighting everything that I was playing. That was a difficult process for me because I had never felt that way before. I wanted to sort of jump out of my character and save her, and I didn’t want that to come across on film.
There were moments where Jamie our director had given me some time to just step away because I had a hard time not crying. I was getting really choked up, and obviously this is something that she was used to and crying wasn’t a part of the package. I was having a hard time and I didn’t want Martin to notice my pain because I didn’t want to make it awkward for him, also.”

Acting Without a Reaction: Many of Cuthbert’s scenes in The Quiet require her to work opposite actors playing characters who don’t respond to her presence. In one particularly difficult scene, Cuthbert leans in close to Camilla Belle’s ear and delivers a lengthy speech while Belle sits there ignoring her. Cuthbert describes how that scene went down: “I was in front of almost if not more than 200 extras in a cafeteria in Texas. It was brutal because it was a lot of dialogue, but it was crucial to get across her feelings of betrayal. It was one of those things where when you’re doing dialogue with another actor, there’s chemistry there and it’s almost like a tennis match. It’s like one line bouncing off another line and this was just me reacting off of absolutely nothing, just trying to find my own beats and my own timing and seeing if that worked. That also played a crucial part in trying to find my own moments in the movie that were my own and had nothing to do with kind of the response of anyone else.” Cuthbert’s character Nina really has to go it alone. “Exactly. Nina is in a lot of ways, I think, the voice the film because Dot’s checked out, the mother’s checked out, the father’s checked out. Everyone is really out and she’s sort of in. It’s interesting that I’m kind of the voice of everyone else.”

Leaving the Character Behind at the End of the Day: Elisha Cuthbert acknowledged that it was a real relief to walk off the set of The Quiet at the end of a day of shooting. “I was happy at the end of the day. I was. It was so much baggage on set that as soon as it was a wrap, I would have a major headache and all I wanted to do was sleep. I tried not to continue to think or dwell on the pain because I just felt like that would have been really excruciating for me. But on set, luckily we shot all that towards the end of the film - all those sequences with Martin and I were shot at the end of the film, end of the shooting schedule - so it was great. I was able to just deal with that in a really intense week and then the movie was over, which was kind of nice.” After having crawled into this particular character’s skin and experienced playing a victim, is it something she’d ever like to revisit? “I know it’s hard for me to play the victim. I don’t think I’m drawn to characters that are like that, so for me I actually had a hard time. I have a hard time kind of being interested in playing roles like that, so I don’t know. This one was special to me because what I was attracted to with Nina was that she had all these stereotypes surrounding her, but no one understood the pain that was happening underneath. That led me to discover, ‘Wow, this is something that is going to be so layered and is going to have to deal solely on body language.’ These were things that were appealing to me. But playing the victim for the few moments that were there in the movie was, to me, not fun. Women are a lot stronger than that. But this is a reality, something that I felt was really crucial to tell.”

Choosing to Portray Strong Female Characters: On the surface it may not look like Cuthbert’s played that many strong women, but there’s more to many of her past roles than meets the eye. “You know, 24 is hard to describe as a tough character. She was very reactive. But the things that she conquered and came through, I thought, were brilliant in a way. Because I was playing 18, 19 year olds, I want to be strong in my characters but I also want to be realistic. And then also with House of Wax I thought that was a really amazing journey that she kind of went through in the sense that towards the end of the film, she ends up even overpowering her brother and taking care of the two of them. That, to me, was amazing. Then The Girl Next Door was also strong because she changes her situation. But I also thought that, ‘Here’s a romantic comedy that just doesn’t have a hot chick in it.’ That’s something I don’t want to do.”
Cuthbert added, “Even though she’s a porn star, it’s a little crazy but at the same time it made it more interesting than just being the girl that walks around on the screen and has nothing to do but smile.”

Feedback from Audiences and Critics: The Quiet doesn’t telegraph all of its moves, which is definitely a refreshing change of pace. “It’s definitely going to be interesting for people to kind of see it and kind of expect one thing and totally experience another, which is nice. I’ve been getting all good feedback, which is great. With the topics we kind of touch on in the film, it’s one of those things where you don’t know how people are going to react. And now that we’ve had so many people see the film and express how much, kind of excitement they got out of it just because it was different and unique, it’s nice. It’s been really nice.”

In the Works – My Sassy Girl: Cuthbert confirmed she will definitely be starring in My Sassy Girl. “I’m really proud about the movie. It’s going to be great because not only is it going to be fun but it’s going to be another way to kind of…it’s time to look pretty again, but at the same time, this character is sort of crazy and off the wall. This story is absolutely beautiful so I’m totally excited to get going on this one.”
After The Quiet and the thriller Captivity, Cuthbert admits it’s a release to be able to just be kind of crazy in a film. “Yeah. It’s fun because I get to kind of get away with things that maybe I wouldn’t normally. It’s exciting because she is going to be attractive, but in her own way. The attractiveness comes from the personalities of all the different characters. It’s interesting. A lot of people have come up and said, ‘Wow, you look great in The Quiet,’ and I think I look horrible.” In fact, Cuthbert looks beautiful in The Quiet. She just doesn’t see it that way. “To me I feel like she’s going through so much pain, how could you look beautiful, you know what I mean? But I understand it, too, and I think the beauty comes from sort of the vulnerability. And then this character is interesting, too, so it will be fun to play.”

Is There More 24 in Elisha Cuthbert’s Future?: Will she be back for the 2007 season of 24? “I haven’t heard any word yet," answered Cuthbert. "I would love to be. They’re sort of family to me. Anytime that they want me back, I would love to go. But no phone calls yet...” Does it bother her that her character Kim isn’t necessarily a favorite with audiences? Cuthbert responded, “ No, because I think that’s TV. It’s one of those things where my whole goal was to sort of make the audience feel something. I never just want to go into a project, any project, just kind of coming in and going out and just being there. I want to make an impact, and 24 has made an interesting impact. I’m just glad that they take notice.”

Expanding on Her Experience as a Producer: Cuthbert hopes to produce more films in the future, and not just ones she’s attached to star in. “I would love to. I’m working on a couple things, but they’re very early in the process. I’m interested and as I get older, I learn so much more. I’m so much more fascinated by the whole process of the business side of it, just as much as I am on the creative side.
You have a lot more creative control as to where you’re steering the project and where it’s going. It’s not an easy thing to do. If anything, it’s somewhat more difficult because it’s a big ocean of producers and executives and studios, and it’s a lot more people to answer to. But at the same time, when you get something off the ground and make it happen, there’s nothing more satisfying. It’s a really fun process for me.” Cuthbert admits she has a special attachment to The Quiet because of what she went through both in starring in the film and in her capacity as a producer. “I’m proud to be a part of it as an executive producer and it may have been a small push, but it was the right push. And now that it’s built the confidence in me to continue doing that. I’ve been kind of trying to find other things, and not necessarily to act in, either. I have a lot ideas and I want to get them out there.”

http://movies.about.com/od/thequiet/a/quietec082406.htm
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Old 09-20-2006, 05:05 PM
Johnny Curly Johnny Curly is offline
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gr8 interview thanks Karl
wow good news about My Sassy Girl
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Old 09-20-2006, 07:49 PM
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Very nice, thanks a lot! While reading it I thought several times: Our Elisha is so smart

Can't wait to see the first pic of her in "My Sassy Girl"
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:51 AM
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I still don't understand what was in her head when she got involved so much in the making of "The Quiet": I understand that the need to play various roles might have had a big effect on her, but still, that's a bit weird: as you may read between the lines, she kinda went out of her way to make this movie.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to see this movie on DVD. Maybe I'll write a review.
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Old 09-23-2006, 05:57 AM
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I think she went right out of the way as to not get typecasted. She went from hot chick, to slasher teen; extremely bad typecasts if you keep doing them.

I think now, however, she's safe. She will probably never be typecasted, and will be more flexible in the roles she's given.
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Old 09-23-2006, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Liquid47 View Post
I think she went right out of the way as to not get typecasted.
No sh(...)! Really? Dude, I read that the first time, no need for you to repeat it all over again, but it's just that she said this role was kinda tiresome and very hard to deal with. That was what some people worried about.
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by LightSabre View Post
No sh(...)! Really? Dude, I read that the first time, no need for you to repeat it all over again, but it's just that she said this role was kinda tiresome and very hard to deal with. That was what some people worried about.
You asked a question so I gave you an answer.

The film industry is so hard, it's like pushing against a very, very strong current. Elisha could easily get any typecast role she's done before, as she said she gets hundreds of offers. Once she's cut the path with this drama thing, which is like thick and heavy vines she must cut through, her path is open to a much greater variety of roles.

Now she will go all out for a comical role. Once she's covered all her bases it will be significantly easier to get the roles she wants.

Yes, she's smart, but thats not the title I would give her for such a choice. I'd call it hard working.
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Old 09-26-2006, 02:26 AM
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6th Season of 24 ! We want you there ! <3
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:00 AM
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6th Season of 24 ! We want you there ! <3
Good point, we want Elisha there.
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Old 09-26-2006, 03:59 PM
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I would have thought Elisha is bound to appear in season 6 or the film, otherwise they might as well have killed her off.
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