Monday, March 07, 2005

Joan Cusack: Ice Queen? (Q & A)

Working the L.A. entertainment beat can be fun but sometimes you don't get the one on one interview and have to sit through roundtables with various and sundry journalists of varying talent asking "the burning enigmas" that would suit their respective reading audiences and that's fine. Last weekend I participated in the junket for "The Ice Princess" over in Century City and got a little face time with the film's cast which included Joan Cusack, very nice. If you're in my age bracket then you've seen her in something, yo. While I'm gonna use parts the transcript for pending pieces elsewhere, I thought I'd post the shite I'm not using on here -- WTF?. I thought Joan had some cool things to say about parenting that wouldn't play elsewhere but was worth a gander nonetheless. I've parsed throught the whole thing after transcribing it, because sometimes the schnooks overran the perimeter with "what's your favorite color" kinda ,questions. That said, I've culled a couple of replies from John Cusack's big sister and no, I didn't find out what her hue of preference was...by the way, your epidermis is showing...Laters. CeeP.

Q: In light of all of the hipper roles you've portrayed in the past and being a mother of two, was it a stretch to play the uptight mother for a change?

Joan: You know, I can understand that. I remember like, right after I gave birth to my son and they were taking him to print his feet and I was like 'No!' You just feel protective and you want the best for your kid, you know? And the stage mom is the worst scenario [laughter] but as a single mom in this part I could [relate] It's such a huge, big part of your life. The most meaningful and important part is that you only want the very best that you can get for your child...that's definitely, what you want...I think that it's a good message. It's not about making a little mini-you, it's about bringing out the best potential person that they can be. Not imposing your will on them which, I think, is hard for parents, hell yeah. But it's not going to be [difficult] every day...you have to enjoy it.

Q: Was there something in the script that really appealed to you? Something that stood out initially that made you want to take the role? Did the fact that it was close to Chicago shooting in Toronto have any bearing on your decision?

Joan: Yeah it was definitely that, I'm a really big (does finger quotes) 'parenting person' -- way into it. I love it, I mean it's so hard and challenging...so, I liked that the role involved that (parenting).

Q: What's the most challenging about being a parent?

Joan: About parenting? Do you have kids?

Q: No [burst of laughter]

Joan: It's pretty evident. [laughing] You know, it's 24-7. Kids are passionate and you have to get in their midst and you have to be strong and you have to do what's [for them] best in the long run and you have to separate your SELF out of the equation. It's not about being a friend to them or having them like you [all the time]. You know, there's a million challenges, I think, and they're all a part of it. But you're also helping give someone tools to be a happy person in the world. That's so great. You enjoy them as you see them [grow as people].

Q: Are any of your kids inclined to follow in the family business?

Joan: You know, my oldest son is an extrovert...he reminds me, a little, of my dad. But I think a lot of kids are like that, you know, they're not inhibited. If they're that kind of kid who is not shy, I mean that would be, for me, like the "ice skating, Harvard thing" [the bone of contention she has with her daughter in The Ice Princess]. Being an ice skater/ athlete is such a hard life.

Q: So would you discourage or encourage such a decision made by your real-life offspring?

Joan: I would discourage because it's a very difficult lifestyle; even if you're really successful at it, sometimes moreso. Because it's like insanity and it's so unstable but if that's what they wanted to do then I'd have to figure it out...

Q: Did you base any part of this character on yourself and your experiences at all or did you just go with what was given to you in the script? I thought Joan was a like that lady in School of Rock but at home with a kid

Joan: Well, yeah. A lot of it was just the way that the director wanted it to be and the way that the script was. But then, also, I grew up with a very feminist mom, I had that [to draw from] and then some of it is putting yourself in that particular situation, you know, you have regrets about your own life and you don't want to pass that on to your kid. You have your own passions, your take on stuff but I definitely could see with how going to Harvard [compared] to ice skating...it definitely makes more sense to go to Harvard. I think it's a little bit sad, with those ice skating girls whose parents push them so musch. They don't have a life outside of it. I just think 'my God, they're just little girls,' that's not right.

Q: What was your favorite moment and your least favorite moment while shooting this film?

Joan: My brother always says, "The best day is when you get the part and the worst day is when you get the part" and then you have to go and do it. [laughter]...

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