Brittany Murphy ('Uptown Girls')
'Uptown Saturday (and every) Night!'
In MGM’s 'Uptown Girls', Brittany Murphy stars as Molly Gunn, a rich New York party girl who finds herself booted out of her fancy apartment, selling off her gorgeous designer outfits, and depending on the support of her friends when her inheritance is stolen by a crooked accountant. In order to survive, Molly plays nanny to Ray (Dakota Fanning), the very adult 8 year-old daughter of a high-powered record executive (Heather Locklear).
Never having worked a day in her life, Molly finds taking care of the mature Ray is more than she’s equipped to handle. But as the two get to know each other, they find common ground and learn important life lessons about growing up.
Your 'Uptown Girls' and 'Clueless' costar, Donald Faison, has commented on how beautiful you've become. "I'm so proud of Donald and the man that he has become. Not only is he an absolute stunner [but] this is like a high school reunion, and I never was able to have a high school reunion. You really realize that someone's truly your friend if you wait five years until you see them again. Then when you see them again, everything's exactly the same except they're just more mature. He is an extraordinary man. To see this young boy who was always funny [and now] he's the same Donald, [it’s] just his responsibility has changed. He's just as brilliant an actor. He's obviously even more brilliant and more gorgeous. He is just an incredible man and I'm so proud of him."
What about your physical transformation. You've lost weight? "I actually haven't. There's a very common misconception there. When someone is 15 [in 'Clueless'] and they do their first movie and their face is a little bit different! I was actually very excited, and I'm proud of it and happy to have that immortalized. [It was] the most awkward stage definitely, aesthetically in my youth and internally afterwards, it became even more awkward that next year. I was 15 and your face changes when you're 15. It was nearly 10 years ago and I think just for some reason, people don't really get it."
Isn't there some industry pressure to be thin? "So I've read. I have never felt that because I consider myself a character actor. I've never had to gain weight for a role. Everybody says that's a difficult thing to do, to gain and then lose. But I've never had to go through that for a role. I've been padded anytime I had to be bigger than I actually was. I'm an actor. It's my job."
So as a character actor, how do you feel about having so many lead roles? "I look at it as the same thing. Just a different sized trailer, I guess."
What interested you in 'Uptown Girls'? "First of all, it was just sprinkled with pixie dust and it was very magical and really felt very personal to me. 80% of it in the beginning was there's a little girl that [I had] become very dear friends. I was a Christmas Angel. I thought she'd absolutely love this. I wanted to write her a love letter because we met in a different state, and we never got to say goodbye. I always wanted to write something. Then it became a love letter to children of all ages really, which basically means us people."
Are you a big kid? "Aren't we all?
Do you have anyone you model yourself after when it comes to physical comedy? "No. I was trained in dance. I could state the obvious, but I'm not going to. I was trained in dance and they always used to say , “She could dance circles around everyone and everything but she can't walk to save her life.” This whole physical comedy thing is far more me than a lot of other roles that I've played before. It's more truly me than the person that my family has to deal with, the klutz idiot!"
Finally, what do you have coming up next? "The next film I'm making is called 'Little Black Book' and it's great. Nick Hurran is directing it. [He directed] 'Plots with a View,' which is this Miramax film coming out. It's his first American film. But Nick Hurran, I call him Nick ‘The Man’ Hurran because he's a genius. It's costarring Holly Hunter and Kathy Bates and all these incredible people. It's a great ensemble. Ron Livingston plays my boyfriend. It's kind of thematically a mixture between 'Broadcast News' and 'My Best Friend's Wedding.' It's about basically embracing chaos. You can't avoid chaos and journalism and a girl who wants to be Diane Sawyer!"
Interviewed by Rebecca Murray
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