Friday, August 26, 2016

30 MINUTES WITH Rebecca Hall at Sundance: Hollywood is scared of 'ugly' female characters

Rebecca Hall
Poster by T.A.


Rebecca Hall at Sundance: Hollywood is scared of 'ugly' female characters

The actor on starring in an acclaimed Sundance drama about Christine Chubbuck – the news anchor who achieved notoriety in the 70s for killing herself on live TV – and why she’s rarely offered parts this complex

Nigel M Smith in Park City, Utah
Friday 29 January 2016 12.02 GMT

Hi, Rebecca! How are you?
Full of a head cold, but otherwise fine.

I think so. I think it’s just travelling and generally being over-adrenalised and happily pulled in too many directions. But yes, cold!
The last time you were in Park City was with the broad comedy Lay the Favourite(1). 
It’s a completely different thing to go with a film that doesn’t have distribution(2); it’s a really different animal. I had no experience of that. The two I came with before both had distribution; premiering them there was more like just having a coming-out party. There were stakes with Christine. It was also playing in the competition, which was a different thing as well. There was a lot more nerve involved. You wait for reviews, for buyers to circle it, and then you wait for the juries. It’s a nerve-racking process.

I was at the Sundance premiere of Christine: did you sit through the entire movie?
I did, yes! I saw a cut, but it wasn’t with music. And I think there is a difference when you see something with an audience, so I wanted to sit through it. I don’t think I’ll ever do it again. I found it really hard.
It’s a tough watch for anyone. Watching it took me back to the space I was in when I was doing it. I wasn’t really conscious of it while I was watching, but halfway through I thought: God, I’ve got this really bad tension, and why is my shoulder seizing up? My posture was changing in my seat as I was watching.

Rebecca Hall

Then you had to face the audience after for a Q&A.
I’m happy to talk about this film, because I think it needs talking about. Part of the reason I wanted to do it is because I wanted to portray some sort of empathetic version of a mental-health disorder, which often doesn’t get portrayed truly. I wanted to do it with no filter or worrying about being liked – but also for the audience to sympathise with her on some unimaginable level.
Getting up and doing a Q&A after people have just seen it is not exactly comfortable. You’re looking at a group of people who have the expression of: what did you do that for? And there are always people who are going to ask: why did she do it? I don’t know. None of us will ever know. I can make a guess as to why my version of Christine did it, but we will never know what was going on inside her head.
That’s not the focus of the film, solving the riddle that is Christine.
Absolutely not – exactly.
Before learning of your film, I was totally unaware of her story. Had you heard of her?
No, I’d never heard of her. It’s a funny one, because when I talk to people about it, lots of people have an odd reaction, like you have towards some urban myth or legend. People say they’ve seen the footage, and I’m always thinking: no you haven’t, because it doesn’t exist (4).

But there’s something in the consciousness that people vaguely understand the story, or the way in which it’s been filtered down through films such as Network (5).
Given that you had so little footage of her to play off, how did you prepare and feel you were sufficiently ready to embody Christine and do her memory justice?I felt that I had to be faithful to the script, above anything else, to bear in mind always that this was a piece of art, that I wasn’t trying to re-create someone who existed – and in the process, capture the spirit of someone who did something tragic. I thought it was important not to glorify the act, not to turn it into some sort of macabre act of heroism, leaning into the political statement of what she did. It’s first and foremost a tragedy. She should have led a good career and died of natural causes.
I had 20 minutes of her on TV, and that was incredibly informative because it was 20 minutes of her presenting a show that was in no way indicative of how she walked or talked throughout her whole life. To do an impression of that would have been a mistake, but it did give me a jumping-off point in the same way you can have a first impression of someone you meet and how often that gets misguided the longer you know them.

The script alleges she was a virgin her whole life. How did you factor that into your performance?
In my head, she was someone who got stunted at the point when most of us are developing who we are and how we are: in adolescence. It was a conscious choice for all of us – it’s why she had a pink bedroom and an interest in romantic songs. Behind this severe exterior, there is this adolescent little romantic girl, who’s not developed really. That was very informative.

What do you make of the irritating fact that often, the best roles for women are found in smaller films?I really think that Christine is one in a million, in terms of independent or studio. But I know what you’re saying: that there are many more opportunities in independent film for women. But I do think that Christine is unusual, in that I was allowed to be bold and not be concerned about being liked.
I think that female roles: they can be victims, they can be sympathetic, they can be in pain, they can be in suffering – but they can’t be ugly. I think there’s so much fear surrounding that, that it makes a film unlikeable, that it won’t sell. If I’m going to be honest about it: I think men get to do this sort of thing all the time. You look at countless performances by great male actors who get to play the whole gamut of human emotions. Women aren’t regularly allowed to do that, and I don’t know why people are so frightened by it. The moment you do, I’m struck by how many people come up to you. Since Christine started screening, I’m overwhelmed by the response from women and men – that it’s so rare to see something like this. We’re just not given the opportunity so much.

Rebecca Hall


(1) In the Stephen Frears-directed comedy, Hall played an ex-private dancer turned gambling prodigy. Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta-Jones co-starred.
(2) Christine is still seeking distribution in the US.
(3) The footage of her suicide is untraceable on the internet.
(4) It’s believed by some that the 1976 newsroom satire was loosely inspired by Chubbock’s suicide.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

30 MINUTES WITH Jennifer Jason Leigh: 'Until Tarantino, I had forgotten who I was as an actress'

Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh
The Hateful Eight by Tarantino


Jennifer Jason Leigh: 'Until Tarantino, I had forgotten who I was as an actress'

The Hateful Eight and Anomalisa actor on why she thought she was out of touch, and how to wash fake brains out of your hair

Nigel M Smith in Los Angeles
Friday 8 January 2016 11.36 GMT

Hi, Jennifer! How would you characterise your past year?
I would characterise it as: a hell of a year.
What accounts for this comeback you’ve had (1)? Was it a change of management or just good fortune?
I am well over 40. I feel like the door was closed, and I had made my peace with it and I was fine. I worried a little bit about money. “Am I going to work again … Maybe I’ll go more into writing.” But I’m very happy being a mom. I just thought I had a great run and that’s that. Anomalisa we voiced two years ago!
We did that two years ago, they lost the financing; or not “lost”: they ran out of money. I didn’t know if the movie was ever going to be completed. Charlie [Kaufman] didn’t know. To have that and then getting The Hateful Eight was beyond surreal.

Jennifer Jason Leigh
The Hateful Eight by Tarantino

That shouldn’t be surreal for someone like you. Sure, Tarantino’s great, but you’ve worked with the Coen brothers, David Cronenberg - the list goes on …
Thank you, I appreciate that, but a lot of times, this town, or this business, really only looks at your last three projects. Quentin is the exception to that. He looks at your whole body of work. He would talk to me about moments I had in Flesh+Blood as though they were yesterday. He’s that thorough and that’s just how his brain works. When he looks at you, he doesn’t see just what you did the last two years and he doesn’t think you’re not that person you were in, whatever, 1985.

He doesn’t think in terms of box-office draw.
He just sees you and what you’re capable of. That’s such a blessing, and it really made me remember who I was as an actress; I just had forgotten. Not in a bitter or sad way; it was just like I didn’t feel particularly meaningful or relevant right now. I was OK with it, I had other things going on and that’s fine. It’s just the way things go.

This is really remarkable for me. Honestly, I still look at the poster for The Hateful Eight and I can’t believe I’m in the movie. I love it so much and the experience was so grand. It really was exceptional.

Jennifer Jason Leigh as Dorothy Parker in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994)

It clearly lit a fire under you. Did making it make you more ambitious going forward?
I’ve never been a careerist and I live in the present, so I don’t know where this is going to go, but I know I just had this experience and now it will live on forever and I feel really lucky.
Funnily enough, you were in the audience for Tarantino’s staged live reading of his initial draft of The Hateful Eight (2). Did he invite you?
No, I just happened to go. I didn’t think he was going to do it as a movie. Then, when he decided to do it as a movie, I was one of a handful of people that he was thinking of to come in and read.
Talk about a fluke!
Yeah, right!

Daisy gets a beating in The Hateful Eight (3). Were you at all apprehensive about how that might be perceived?
She’s one of the Hateful Eight. She happens to be a woman, but it’s not about that. I never felt like the set was about that at all either. She’s as tough as they come. She’s seen a lot of violence in her life and you can tell by the way she takes a punch. She gets her sense of self from that, too.

She seems to enjoy it, somewhat.
Yeah, because she’s tough. They’re not going to break her. I don’t consider myself very tough. I could be this tough in this movie, because I was working with Kurt Russell and I knew I would never get hurt. He’s the best dance partner in the world. I really felt I was in safe hands, so I never anticipated one single blow.

Jennifer Jason Leigh

You never got one?
I never did. Really, that’s a credit to Kurt. A lot of my performance is a credit to Kurt – Quentin, too, of course, but Kurt, a lot. He was so there for me.
I’ve had a competitive streak and sense of focus from a very young age – I can really focus in. Daisy has that. She’s not going to let them see that it hurts her. She’s not going to let them see her vulnerability. She’s not going to let them win in any way. She’s going to win.
Was that your real hair in the movie?
Yeah …
I’m asking because the brains and vomit must have been a pain to wash out.
Yes, it was all a bitch to get out, but luckily, we had dressing rooms. Luckily, that stuff was done on a stage here, so even though the stage was freezing, when you walked out of the stage, it was not freezing (4). We had these little bungalows with good water pressure.
Sitting in a chair at the end of the day and getting all my makeup taken off and the black eye, and the facial massage, was like a little luxury.

Did you relish the opportunity to get all mucked-up on screen?
I loved it! Also, there’s a funny thing that happens. There are moments where Daisy’s covered with blood with teeth missing and it’s maybe one of the prettiest images of me that’s been done, because it’s Bob [Robert] Richardson, and the light just happens to be beautiful. In that moment, that character shines. What is beautiful changes from moment to moment. Yeah, there are moments in the movie where it’s just like, oh, my gosh, right out of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and it’s “the ugly”, but I love every second of it. It never even occurred to me to …
… think about how you would look?

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Were the fake teeth painful to wear?
At first they hurt, but then you got used to it and they didn’t hurt at all.
You’ve done your fair share of theatre over the years.
The Hateful Eight is like theatre.
Did Tarantino ever talk about doing it as a play?
Yeah. I think it would be an amazing production, to see that kind of violence on stage. If you could figure out a way to do it, it would be such an exciting theatre piece. Even just seeing the reading was an exciting theatre piece and that was just people sitting down and reading.

You strike me as a director-centric actor. Is that how you typically sway when it comes to projects?
Yeah, I do. It’s the director’s medium. There have been been some mistakes I made in the past, which I wish I hadn’t, because either I was tired at the time, or it was a great director I wanted to work with and I, for whatever reason, didn’t want to do the project. Now, with time, you realise: oh, that was dumb. If it’s a great director, you always do the project, so these were life lessons learned. Still, given that, yes, I’ve been really fortunate and worked with some of our greatest directors.
Pick your favourite working experience.
I would think it was this, really. Georgia is very personal to me, Anniversary Partywas great. Anomalisa is also another one that, particularly, is in my heart and will be forever. I do think it’s a masterpiece, I really do. This experience, doing this … I wish we were still filming.

Jennifer Jason Leigh and Quentin Tarantino


(1) Leigh has had many roles in movies over the years, in addition to recurring turns on the TV shows Revenge and Weeds, but her role as Daisy Domergue, a foul-mouthed criminal in The Hateful Eight, marks her first major role since Margot at the Wedding in 2007. Last year, she also received major acclaim for her voice work in Charlie Kaufman’s animated romance Anomalisa.
(2) Following an online leak of Tarantino’s script for The Hateful Eight, the film-maker hosted a staged reading of his screenplay in front of a live audience in Los Angeles in 2014.
(3) Leigh’s character, Daisy, is chained to a bounty hunter, played by Kurt Russell, throughout The Hateful Eight.
(4) To achieve authenticity, Tarantino had his set chilled to mimic the frigid temperature inside the cabin.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

30 MINUTES WITH Gene Simmons: ‘I still fly up to the top of the rafters and spit fire’

Gene Simmons


Gene Simmons: ‘I still fly up to the top of the rafters and spit fire’

Descending to the stage on a flying-saucer is a dangerous business, says the Keane-loving Kiss frontman

Peter Robinson
Thursday 19 May 2016 12.00 BST

Hi Gene!
Hello! I am Gene Simmons.
Great. Your summer tour is called the Freedom to Rock tour. Is freedom to rock a right or a privilege?
You’d like to think it’s a right, but it really is a privilege. We can say here in western culture that it’s a right, but that doesn’t mean anything in North Korea, Iran or other places. So, do I think it’s an inalienable human right? Of course. Does it exist like that as a fait accompli? No. You’ve got to fight for it.

Gene Simmons

When we last spoke, 10 years ago, you told me you were a fan of Keane because they were bringing melody back to music. Do you still like Keane?
I really liked Keane, I thought the guy’s voice was really great. You have to remember Keane came before Coldplay, as far as I understand it. (1) Good songs are good songs, whether it’s Abba, Keane or Motörhead. So, yes, I really liked Keane, but the masses didn’t grab on to them, did they?
They were quite big in the UK.
No, I think you’re misunderstanding. The word “big” has some value: you can’t apply it to “big in Leicester” or “big in Sheffield”. You’re either big worldwide or you’re not big. Otherwise you devalue the word “big”. U2 are big.
I would have said “huge” is a possible next step up from “big”. U2 are huge, Keane were big.
You know, you’re right. These are semantics. But I’m not anti-semantic.
You used that exact same joke when we spoke 10 years ago.
I only know five things, and I repeat them.

What are the other four things?
How about “you’re a powerful and attractive man”?
You said that to a writer from Vice last week.
You know, what I’m shocked at is that you remember what I said to you 10 years ago. Don’t you have a hobby or something? That’s fascinating.
Why haven’t Kiss had a platinum record since the 80s? (2)
It is what it is; the people speak. That’s the beginning and end of it. I will say that I think, in hindsight, we never spent enough time in the studio. We’ve always been more of a live band. Personally, I don’t have the patience to be in the studio. I admire bands like Pink Floyd and the Beatles who’d spend enormous amounts of time honing their craft, but I don’t have that DNA in my system. Some bands are more about being live. You want to get in there, bang it out and go out and play.
Speaking of which, there’s a Kiss live film coming to cinemas. (3) What happens in it?
We were going to try some new technology for our show and we planned to rehearse in Vegas and set up the stage, then we figured, if we have the place for 10 days, why don’t we do 10 concerts in front of a live audience? We tried descending on a flying saucer thing from the back of the hall. There was no net; if you fall, you die. We only did that once or twice. I still fly up to the top of the rafters and spit fire – there’s enough life-threatening stuff during the show without adding something else.
Gene Simmons

Some of your recent comments suggest you’re planning to vote for Donald Trump. Is that right? (4)
That’s totally inaccurate. I’ve known the man over the years, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to vote for him. To be quite honest, I wish celebrities would shut up: I don’t like the idea of celebrities announcing who they’re for and not for, because a number of their fans will be voting just because their favourite band said to do so. That takes away the honesty of the democratic process. I’m totally against advertising who I want to vote for, and I haven’t made up my mind, quite honestly. Celebrities should shut up and keep it private. (5)

Do you think there’s a place for artists to speak up over issues such as North Carolina’s discrimination law?
I do – but that’s not a political issue, that’s a human rights issue. Discrimination of any kind ... Well, I don’t agree with Donald Trump on his views on, say, Mexico – I would certainly speak up over the border.
Do you ever consider the circumstances of your own death?
I suppose it won’t matter, will it? Once you’re gone, you’re gone. But I’d like to think on my tombstone it’s going to say: “Thank you and goodnight.” Rather than “Coulda, woulda, shoulda.” If I look back on my life so far, I’m pretty proud of the decisions I’ve made. (6)

Are there any surprises in your will?
I’m very corny, I’m giving a lot of it away to causes and ideas that I believe are important. Most of it will not go to the inheritors. We all do what we think we should do. Mostly, I think, not to betoo corny, we should all try to leave this place a bit better than when we came into it.
Thanks Gene. Next time we speak, let’s have some new jokes.
Yes, sir. I’ve got some visual jokes – we’ll have to meet in person and I’ll show you those.

Gene Simmons


1) Gene’s right and wrong. Keane formed in 1995, but released their first single in 2000; Coldplay formed in 1996 and released their first EP in 1998.
2) 1987’s Crazy Nights, which had Crazy Nights on it, went platinum in Canada.
4) Gene told Rolling Stone that Trump was “the truest political animal I’ve ever seen onstage”.
5) Let’s take that as a yes, then.
6) On 31 December 1973, Gene set his hair on fire for the first time.

30 minutes with Fiona Shaw: 'I prepared for True Blood by going to witches' meetings'

Fiona Shaw


Fiona Shaw: 'I prepared for True Blood by going to witches' meetings'

The acclaimed Irish performer talks about the call from Hollywood that every actor dreams about

Fiona Shaw
Photo byJohn Swannell

Let's start with True Blood ...
We're going to end with True Blood, too, aren't we?
Er, no. Anyway, you're a witch ... It's not exactly typecasting.
No. I just got a phone call one day. They didn't even go through my agent. Hollywood ringing – it's what everyone dreams about. They'd seen me in Medea(1) and decided I'd be ideal. Medea was very glamorous, though; Marnie isn't, but I wanted to do something that was so far away from what I was used to. I did a lot of research by going to witches' meetings …
How do you find a witches' meeting? Is there a Witches' Anonymous?
There's the Bodhi Tree book store (2)in Hollywood, which has books on healing and that sort of thing, and in the window there are notices for a phenomenal range of offerings. I went to one meeting to bring back the dead.
Did any dead people come back from the dead?
Well ... They do. But not in the form of True Blood. They come back vocally.
You believe that?
I didn't say that! But it would be rude of me to be unpleasant about people who let me observe their meetings. So let's say I saw them talk to the dead. At one meeting, a woman apologised for not being able to make contact with the dead. I said not to worry as I'm having trouble contacting the living.
How do you say a line like "Great Minerva, take us from our realm to yours" with a straight face?
It was a challenge.
Was appearing in Harry Potter useful training?
No. I was Petunia Dursley, a muggle, in those films.
Didn't you get any tips from the others?
No, they kept us all apart. They filmed witches work on one day and muggle scenes on the other.
Would you have taken this role 10 years ago?
I've never taken myself too seriously, but it's true that big TV shows like this have become more acceptable. HBO has become the hedge fund of classical acting. The writing is excellent and they aren't afraid to use the full potential of wide-screen TV. It was like being invited to appear in 12 movies. It's by far the biggest thing I've ever done: it gets an audience of 30m in the US. I get mobbed walking down Fifth Avenue. That's never happened to me before.
Are you keen to do more vampire roles?
Not particularly! But True Blood is a critique of the way the US treats minorities. Now that the vampires have conformed and no longer drink human blood they get equal rights and the vote.
Is it true friends call you Fifi?
Very few people get to call me Fifi. And even fewer get to call me Feef.
Fiona Shaw by Eamonn McCabe for the Guardian

Can you still recite The Waste Land (3)
Of course. It doesn't leave me. The words are like a movie that I see in my head. I can also remember most of As You Like It and Much Ado, which I performed in my 20s. The plays you learn when you are young tend to stay.
How do you learn your lines?
The key words are learning by heart, not learning by head. When you're on stage, it doesn't feel like memory, it feels like the present. I don't have to rummage through mental files to find then. Plays like Beckett's Happy Days(4) are the trickiest. The dialogue is much, much more fragmented and exists only in rhythm.

Have you ever lost your place in a play and had to ad-lib?The key words are learning by heart, not learning by head. When you're on stage, it doesn't feel like memory, it feels like the present. I don't have to rummage through mental files to find then. Plays like Beckett's Happy Days(4) are the trickiest. The dialogue is much, much more fragmented and exists only in rhythm.

Ah, there's your stupid question! I was waiting for it to come. The answer is no ... A play is not an act of running lines. If it feels that way to you as an audience, then you ought to leave and go have dinner. If an actor is distracted and forgets his lines, it means the play is under-rehearsed. A play is about the concentration of the moment: you can't say anything else but what you say. There is an inevitability about it.
Who is the best person you've ever worked with?
Are you mad?
So my shrink says.
I've got to live in the world, so I've no intention of answering that question. I'd end up alienating almost everyone else I have ever worked with.
Alain de Botton is planning on building a temple of atheism. Would you worship there?
I find atheism as ludicrous a notion as theism, though a world with theism strikes me as a more imaginative one. True or not, the imagination of religion is useful to being human. I don't believe in God, but I can't not believe in a world where God exists.
You once played Richard II (5). Are there other male roles you would play?
I've no desire to play any more men. Richard II was an odd man – more like a girl – so it seemed a valid experiment. The job of the theatre is to excite the imagination, not to reinforce history.
Is there one character you identify with?
Hedda Gabler. She lives primarily in drawing rooms and we all live in drawing rooms. She also constantly doubts her courage: when I feel frightened about something, I think of her.

Fiona Shaw

Foot notes

(1) Fiona Shaw appeared in Medea by Euripides in 2001 (2) The Bodhi Street book store closed on 31 December 2011. It is currently awaiting reincarnation (3) Shaw first performed TS Eliot's The Waste Land as a one-person show in New York in 1996 (4) Shaw appeared in Samuel Beckett's Happy Days at the National Theatre in 2001 (5) Shaw played the title role in Shakespeare's Richard II in 1995 in a production directed by Deborah Warner

30 minutes with The Rock / 'THAT is what I'm cooking'

Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson
The Rock

'THAT is what I'm cooking'

Dwayne Johnson on working with Michael Caine, and his trailblazing use of pecs in his new movie

Stuart Heritage
Thursday 2 February 2012 20.00 GMT

Who am I speaking to? The Rock or Dwayne Johnson? It's hard to keep up.
You're speaking to both, as well as Big Daddy (1).
How would you describe Journey 2 Mysterious Island (2)?
The film is a lot of fun. It's visually stunning with some great special effects, some great action sequences, some great tension and adventure. Last, but certainly not least, I look great in 3D.
And how would The Rock describe it?
The Rock would describe the film in the same way that I just described it. But at the end, he'd say: "The Rock looks great in 3D."
What was it like working with Michael Caine (3)? You get into some good arguments in the first half.
We had an outstanding chemistry from the beginning. I have been such a big admirer of Sir Michael for years now. He is humble, he's gracious, he's a man's man, tells a great dirty joke. We had a great chemistry offscreen, and a great biting chemistry onscreen.
You sing in this film, too. At what point did you realise this was going to happen? Can you play the ukulele?
We needed a break in the third act because there's tension – the island's sinking and there's so much mayhem – we needed a good moment where the audience could just breathe. We came up with the campfire scene, and I thought: "Why don't I pull out the ukulele, sing What a Wonderful World to the others and change the second verse around so I take a few jabs at Michael and call him Yoda?". That's me playing the ukulele. I grew up in a musical family; the majority of my growing up was done in Hawaii. It's what we do. You sing, you dance, you play ukulele and you drink.

Dwayne Johnson

So you sang What a Wonderful World in the film and you recorded It Doesn't Matter with Wyclef (4). Should we expect an album soon?
It looks that way. It just looks that way. I'm going down that road, and I'm going to get nominated for a Grammy, and then I will be on the stage and thanking everyone. I will also thank you for bringing the album up.
Thanks. I'd be delighted.
I'm only kidding.
As far as I can tell, this is the first movie where 3D has been used to show a berry pinging off a jiggly man boob into the audience. What's it like to be a history maker?
It's what I do, Stuart. I break ground. I trailblaze. I make history in 3D. The funny part is that we were the first beneficiaries of James Cameron's advanced 3D technology post-Avatar. I was on a plane with one of our producers and I thought: "Gosh, we have all these visually incredible scenes. How can I utilise my body in a way that we've never seen before?" I didn't wanna punch at the camera or kick at the camera. Then I thought what if I make my pecs – and, for the record, not man boobs, Stuart, they're called pecs (5) – bounce into the audience? My producer was eating peanuts and he says: "I got it. What if a character bounces berries off your pecs into the audience?" and I said: "That's brilliant! Then we'll do rapid-fire, so we'll have multiple berries bouncing off my pecs into the faces of the audience!" And then with that, my friend, comes making history.
Is the Pec Pop of Love (6) really a proven seduction technique?
It is proven. Not everyone can do it, because, let's face it, it's a gift. But it will get the attention of a woman anywhere around the world. Now, I'm not saying that that shit works. I am saying that it will get her attention. What comes out of your mouth next is going to be the determining factor of whether or not you're gonna do the horizontal hula with her.
Wrestlers don't traditionally have the best reputation when it comes to film-making. Are there any other films starring wrestlers that you've enjoyed?
[Long pause] The only film I've enjoyed starring a wrestler was Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler (7). That's it.
I could never smell what The Rock was cooking, by the way. What was it?
I'm glad you asked. It's Chilean blackened sea bass with crushed mango on the side, a bottle of Red Bull and a dozen hairy doughnuts. THAT is what I'm cooking.
Dwayne Johnson


1 Probably not the famed British wrestler of the same name. He died in 1997. The likelihood is this is a colloquialism. 2 Forthcoming sequel to 2008's Journey to the Centre of the Earth. 3 Michael Caine plays the grandfather of The Rock's stepson. He spends some of the film riding around on a giant bee. 4 No 3, September 2000. 5 I apologise. 6 When a man jiggles his pecs around until a woman becomes unable to resist him. 7 Other acceptable answer: They Live, starring "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.