Judy Greer, co-star of the "Cursed" Movie!
Actress Judy Greer went to Winston Churchill High School in Livonia, MI, before studying theater at DePaul University. She made her film debut in Stricken, a low-budget horror movie shot on video in 1998, and, that same year, found her place in romantic comedies with Kissing a Fool, starring David Schwimmer. Continuing with comedies throughout her career, Greer then appeared with Rose McGowan in Jawbreaker and got a starring role in the independent romance The Big Split. In 1999, she showed up briefly as a reporter opposite George Clooney in Three Kings. On television, Greer was cast in the CBS sitcom Love & Money as a member of a wealthy family with working class in-laws. Following that short-lived series, Greer worked with her TV co-star Paget Brewster again in a number of films, including Desperate but Not Serious and The Specials. She appeared in Mike Nichols' What Planet Are You From? in 2000, giving her an opportunity to work with comedy big shots Garry Shandling and John Goodman. Greer later starred in a couple of indie titles as well as the big-budgeted What Women Want and The Wedding Planner. After catching the eyes of many in the 2002 Charlie Kaufman/Spike Jonez comedy Adaptation, Greer saw her stock rise considerably and was soon beginning work on the Jennifer Garner vehicle 13 Going on 30 as well as Wes Craven's highly-anticipated werewolf film Cursed, both landing in theaters in 2004. Judy was born on July 20, 1975, in Detroit, Michigan.
Judy Greer's 2004 Calendar is Rapidly Approaching Full Capacity
Judy Greer on "13 Going on 30," "The Village," and "Cursed"
"13 Going on 30" director Gary Winick calls Judy Greer his "secret weapon." Winick claims Greer is a comic genius and after seeing "13 Going on 30," it's tough to argue with his assessment. Playing Jennifer Garner's co-worker at the fictional glamour magazine, "Poise," Greer comes close to stealing the film from Garner and co-stars Andy Serkis and Mark Ruffalo.
INTERVIEW WITH JUDY GREER ('Lucy'):
Were you a child of the 80's?
I was, definitely. I was obsessed with Madonna and Duran Duran and John Stamos and “Facts of Life” and “Silver Spoons” and “Growing Pains.”
Which elements were you happy to see brought up into this movie?
Well, I really loved “Jessy’s Girl” so I was really excited that that was there. I think that the stuff that I really loved about the 13 section had more to do with just the gawkiness of being a young kid then necessarily all the '80s stuff. I liked that – that was really fun – and the soundtrack’s going to be great, but I just loved how sweet the girls were. I mean, obviously except for the little me (laughing).
Were you anything like your younger version in the movie, or were you more like the young 'Jenna,' the Jennifer Garner character?
So much more like Jenna. I was so much more gawky and weird and nervous and geeky and dorky and scared all the time. Yeah, that little me was incredible.
What did you think when they asked you to play someone who they say in the film has had 'work' done on her face? You haven’t, have you?
No, I haven’t.
So what did they see in you?
That’s an interesting question. I think it was more exposition probably, just to like to insinuate a character who would do that, who would get a lot of plastic surgery, who would care more about her looks than her relationships. I think that’s probably why that was in there.
Have you ever done something really mean to a guy you like?
Unintentionally, probably all the time. I used to call this one boy that I didn’t really like. Oh, this is terrible... I sort of forgot about it. This boy that I went to junior high with, my friend Laura and I would call him and pretend that I was the girl that he really liked. The night we called him I said I was Rachel and that I wanted to go out with him. The next day, Laura and I saw him following Rachel around the school. She was like giving him the weirdest looks and he didn’t understand why. That’s so terrible!
That was your training for this role.
It was so funny but I swear that at the end of the day we were like, “Okay, that was us that called you last night.” And we were friends with him all through high school, too, so it wasn’t like he never talked to us again after that. God, that’s so mean. I can’t believe we totally did that.
Do you feel kids are more sophisticated now than they were in 1987?
Hell yeah. I would be terrified to have a 13 year-old right now. I’m scared of junior highers right now. They make me nervous. They just know so much. I mean, with the information age, you know, they can log onto a computer and learn anything about anything. They can play music like I was never even allowed to hear. They have access to everything and yet they seem like, because of that, they are smarter, they are more advanced, they mature faster. I don’t know. I think it would be really hard to be a parent right now. There’s so many ads for how to limit cable use, like how you can have a lockbox on your cable or your Internet or whatever. You’d have to do that. Commercials are getting shorter and more intense and it’s so much more manipulative.
The women in this movie are sort of sabotaging each other. Have you ever had something done to you and then done something back? Or have you had a competitive relationship with someone like that?
Well, I kind of got into this whole crazy business because of a competitive relationship with this girl in high school. I did do some theatre in high school but by no means did I want to be an actress or anything. This girl that I sort of competed with, and didn’t like, she was telling me about this acting school that she was going to audition for. They only accepted 10% of the people who auditioned. It was an extremely hard program and probably it was a little too advanced for me. I was like, “Really? What’s the name of this school that you’re talking about?” I auditioned for it and I got in (smiling).
She did. I said to my mother, “I think I might just go to this school. It’s in Chicago. It’s close but not too close, it’s in a big city. But if this girl goes to this school, I can’t do another four years with this girl.” She ended up not going. She went somewhere else, and now I’m an actress. It’s the weirdest thing.
Was it tough to tap into your inner bitch to play this character?
(Laughing) I’ve been suppressing it for so long that it just came bubbling to the surface. I was afraid that I was not mean enough. But yeah, it was pretty easy. It was pretty fun.
What about playing opposite Jennifer Garner?
She’s a nut. She’s such a breath of fresh air. I just loved working with her. I tried really hard to get on “Alias.” When we were shooting, I was like, “Are there any new roles coming up?” She’s like, “Yeah, yeah! They are putting another girl on.” So my agent called and tried to get a part on the show, but it didn’t quite go the way I wanted it to.
Were you going for the Melissa George part?
Yeah, I guess I was.
At the time, Jennifer didn’t really know what the role was and so neither did I. She said that there is another part coming up for a girl, so I went in and I guess obviously it didn’t work out. But I really wanted to work with her. If I could just go to work with her every day, it would be awesome. She’s so fun; she’s so easy. When I say she’s easy I mean she doesn’t come with like 100,000 people and baggage. She’s just like that cool co-worker who just makes everything more fun.
Did you do any magazine research?
(Laughing) If I didn’t already read every magazine cover to cover I probably would have. They shot a video of a magazine office - I forget which one. They went into their office and shot videos of it and then they played us these videos, and showed us the pictures of these offices. That was kind of the research.
Are you sworn to secrecy about your role in “The Village” or can you say anything about it?
I can tell you some stuff. I can tell you it’s M. Night Shyamalan’s new film. I can tell you who is in it. I can tell you Adrien Brody, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Brendan Gleeson – do you know who he is? I’m making sure everyone does because he’s my new favorite actor. Did I say Joaquin Phoenix? Bryce Dallas Howard, it’s her first movie. She’s the star, the female lead.
But even Mel Gibson was allowed to say “Signs” was about crop circles.
Yeah, but that was on the poster (laughing).
Did you have to sign a disclaimer?
Yeah. A lot of stuff we were sworn to secrecy about was shot after everyone pretty much left, after the actors pretty much left Pennsylvania. It’s about this group of people. It’s a period film that takes place in the late 1800s. This group of people moves out of society and tries to start their own utopic community in the middle of the woods so that they can kind of start over. They can create an environment that they would want to raise their children in. My character’s name is Kitty Walker and I play William Hurt’s daughter, and the sister to Bryce Howard. And I’m the first child, basically, born of the village. So my character is kind of the incarnation of what they were going for when they moved out of civilization. And then…
Did they take pages out of your script or did you at least get to read the whole thing?
We got to read a draft of it but things change a lot when you are shooting.
Does it have a twisted ending?
It might. I want them to hire me again so I don’t want to say anything (laughing).
Okay, then how about "Cursed?" Did you do any reshoots?
Oh yeah, we’re probably going to do them forever.
What’s happening with that?
“Cursed” had a major rewrite. We shot a lot of a movie before I shot [“13 Going on 30”], actually. Then there were some problems with the ending. As they went back to try and finish the ending, other things kept getting changed. Then it got to the point where the movie was completely different. Because they were having a hard time with the ending, they decided to take a little break shooting the movie for a couple of weeks. In that time, a lot of the actors – myself included – became unavailable. I got this movie, then I got “The Village.” Luckily, they worked with our schedules. But Christina [Ricci] and I stayed in the film, Scott Baio stayed in the film. Omar [Epps] didn’t. Skeet Ulrich didn’t, Joshua Jackson replaced him.
What did you play in the first version and how does that differ from what’s happened with your character in the final version?
My character stayed the same, basically. No, that’s not true. In the first version, I played Scott Baio’s assistant and I was in love with him. In the second version, I played Scott Baio’s publicist. The plot stays the same but the ending is what changed. Oh, and Jesse Eisenberg is another actor who was in "The Village" and he’s in "Cursed" with me. Or I’m in it with him, I should say. His part's much bigger than mine. He plays Christina Ricci’s brother and their storyline changed a little bit.
What was director Wes Craven’s mood like during all the "Cursed" reshoots?
It’s pretty much like when we were doing it the first time. He’s extremely mellow and so much fun to be around. He never seems stressed or irritated or annoyed. He hangs out; he does the crossword every day. He was irritated because of some home improvement projects gone awry, like the rest of us. He’s a really great guy. I really liked working with him.
I was shocked with what a sweet man he was. He’s this guy who’s screaming more blood all the time. I was like, “What did you do this weekend?” He’s like, “Oh, I went bird watching in Malibu.” I was like, “Who are you? You are so weird.” He’s like the coolest guy ever.
Do you like the first or second version best?
Wow, that’s a good question.I think I like the second version better. I think it has more heart. It seems to come from a more real place. The first version maybe had a lot more like blood in it, or a lot more action. But the second version seems like it’s a lot more of a fable, like more of a tale, so I like that. The story is better.
Judy Greer Talks About "Adaptation"
JUDY GREER ('Alice')
Can you describe your experience working on “Adaptation,” and working with Nicolas Cage?
It was like working with a real, true actor who loves his craft and is really passionate about what he does. It was really great to be in that environment.
The author says it is a story about passion. Did you feel that on the set?
Yes, everyone there was so excited to be there and had so much energy. It was really an exciting environment. It made me want to work as hard as possible.
What do you hope audiences will take away from this movie?
I guess I would love for them to appreciate what everyone does to try to be liked. We all are really insecure inside.
Are you getting used to these premieres?
It's a little scary because I'm so new at it. I'm quivering a little in my 9” heels that I'm wearing right now.
You've worked on projects with big name actors - Mel Gibson, Jennifer Lopez, and now Nicolas Cage. Has there been any craziness on any of the sets?
Every set I've worked been on… I keep hearing stories and I've yet to experience a crazy set. I don't know what everyone is talking about (laughing).
You worked with Jennifer Lopez in "The Wedding Planner." Did you enjoy working with her?
I really did. Again, I was really lucky. She's a real star and she carries herself so well. She's very kind and very nice.