Amanda Peet Talks Disaster Movies and Staying Out of the Tabloids
By Mike Ryan Posted Nov 11th 2009 05:00PM
Amanda Peet stars as Kate Curtis in Roland Emmerich's new apocalyptic thriller, '2012.' Kate, a single mother of two, must navigate her children through an obstacle course of the world imploding while also stroking the egos of both her ex-husband, Jackson (John Cusack), and current boyfriend, Gordon (Tom McCarthy), who are both along for the ride.
Peet sat down with us in Midtown Manhattan to discuss the rigors of filming her first big-budget action film and gave us candid insight on how she avoided the pratfalls of being in the limelight.
This is your third film with John Cusack. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan did three movies. Why isn't this talked about more?
But I want to do a romantic comedy with him, that's the thing. That's the final frontier.
This is your first big-budget action film. What drew you to this one?
Well, Roland Emmerich, certainly. I feel if you're going to do a disaster movie you want to do it with Roland Emmerich. Then Chiwetel [Ejiofor] was cast, then John was cast and it was pretty much a no-brainer. I thought the script was a page-turner and I loved 'The Day After Tomorrow.' I feel Roland is the master of this genre. So, if you're going to do it, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
Were you a fan of disaster films from the 1970s?
No, because I get really scared. I couldn't watch 'Jaws' and I can't watch those movies.
Even something like 'The Towering Inferno' that might not be as scary?
Like 'The Poseidon Adventure?' No.
Was there anything frightening about filming a disaster movie?
The Gimbal (a pivot that rotates around an axis, like a gyroscope or compass) is a little scary because it feels like a real earthquake. It probably is like a 10.5. Whatever it is, it's hard to look cool and it's a little scary.
Speaking of that, is there something you have to bring differently to a role when you're competing against explosions?
(Laughs) Speaking of looking cool? I never think about genre. I don't know if that's annoying or if I'm different from other actors. But whenever I'm so lucky enough to f------ get a role in a major motion picture I don't think, "Oh, this is comedy, so I should be like this," or, "Oh, this is an action movie so I should be like this." I do it all the same way. I don't know if that's a disadvantage. I don't know if that's the right thing but that's what I've been doing.
Did you have a bad experience on television? Considering 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip' and 'Jack & Jill' were critically acclaimed but didn't last long.
I love television and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It's the same things with movies, more than half my movies have flopped or tanked. You don't stop. If Aaron Sorkin said, "Hey, I have this script. Do you want to read it?" I'd say, "No, I don't want to read it. Just tell me where to show up and I'll do it. I'll sign my six-year contract."
Speaking of 'Studio 60,' your character, Jordan McDeere, got in trouble with the tabloids. You, personally, have seemed to avoid that.
First of all, I was a lot older. I know I'm not very famous but when 'The Whole Nine Yards' came out and 'Jack and Jill' came out I was already 28. I had already gotten drunk a lot and thrown up on the sidewalk drunk and no one was taking any pictures. That's one thing. I think I have a really good family and I think my parents and my sister are quite fulfilled in what they chose to do. Whatever success I've had, the way it is fairly public, is not that interesting to them nor has it created that much upheaval since they have a lot of recognition in what they do in their own lives. But, I do think it has a lot to do with being a lot older.
It would be hard to imagine being 17 and thrust onto the world like that.
Yeah, a few people are able to come out unscathed. I mean John [Cusack] is quite sane and grounded and he's been incredibly famous for a really, really long time. Natalie Portman is doing great but it's very hard for a lot of people.
In '2012,' do you think Gordon [Tom McCarthy] was holding back about his flying lessons to Kate? For a guy that's had two lessons he had some great maneuvers dodging falling debris. Maybe he's just a natural?
(Laughs) That's funny. You'll have to speak to Tom McCarthy about that. Though, he did have a co-pilot in the one big plane. Try not to think too logically when you go and see this movie.
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