2011 Sedona Film Fest Preview

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Are you anxious to see the final product?
I wouldn’t say anxious. I’m excited to see it. I’m looking forward to seeing the rough cut. We deviated from the script a little bit here and there and made it better and different.

Do you have plans to attend the film festival for the screening of the movie?

I’m hoping to. Beth and I want to come out. It was very much a family affair in that so many of the investors are from Sedona.

You’ve had a very interesting career. You’ve done everything from TV shows to indie films like Sedona to the second highest grossing film of all time, Titanic. Tell us about that.
I make my choices based on where I’m at in my life and what’s coming toward me. If it feels like it’s a character I want to explore, I do it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s theater or film or television. It’s the character who I feel an infinity toward, and I want to explore her journey, or perhaps I want to work for a director I admire. The difference between indie movies and big budget movies is just that: the budget. It all comes down to the people for me and whether or not I want to play with them. That’s how I make my decisions.

Tell us about what it was like to play Ruth Dewitt Bukater in Titanic.
I saw her as someone who has grown up in a certain society. Her husband has left her, and she’s had to live with the pretense of being wealthy and pulled together when really she has no money. She’s desperate. Women didn’t have the vote at that time, and most women didn’t work. They were wives or prostitutes or maybe nurses or teachers. There wasn’t as many choices for women, especially if you came from society, and it was a step down to have to go to work if you were a society woman. She was caught in a bind. She was trying to the best of her ability to survive. Her way of seeing the world was to be able to marry her daughter off so her daughter would be taken care of and thus she would be taken care of. When people are arrogant, it’s a lack of self-worth. She could be a mean girl because she didn’t really feel whole in and of herself. When her daughter chose to be with a man for love, she saw her daughter go down – no pun intended. In her vision, the only way to survive in life was to have money.

Surely you get asked about Titanic all the time. Are there any other performances you’re particularly proud of?
I made a movie called Jolene, which is another independent. It’s a role I’ve never played before – a guard in a women’s prison who falls in love with the leading character. It’s the non-cliché of a prison guard. I went against all the possible ways you could do it as a cliché. Unfortunately, not that many people have seen it [laughs].

Are you a fan of film festivals?
They bring people together and showcase a lot of filmmaker’s work that otherwise might not get any attention at all. It’s a place for gathering and networking where the public can be educated on what it’s like to make a film. There’s something really great about going into a theater and sharing the experience with strangers. It’s different than watching a film alone in your house or on your iPad. It’s a very healing experience.

It’s going to be exciting for our town to watch Sedona together in a theater.
It’s going to be neat because it’s named after your town. Hopefully it does it justice.

What was it like to work with Tommy Stovall?

Tommy is very easy going and open to any suggestions. We would make changes right there on the spot. It was lovely to work with him.

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