Friday, April 20, 2007

Kate Busy!

No surprise here. Kate has been working like a dog lately. I honestly hope she stops to take a break soon. Don't want her to wear herself out!


Kate Beckinsale has exactly 12 minutes

Calling from a Montreal movie set, Beckinsale's just finished shooting a scene for her next film, Whiteout, and barely has time to catch a breath.

The 33-year-old actress hasn't even had time to see the finished version of Vacancy, the film for which she's taking a break to chat up. "I'll probably just have to go watch it in the movie theater when I'm done here," she says, words tumbling out in rapid-fire and with a perfectly clipped British accent. Vacancy, which opened Friday, is the story of an estranged couple who, mourning the death of their son, stops at a rundown motel after their car breaks down. What starts out as a night of awkward silences and an uncomfortable bed turns deadly when David (Luke Wilson) and Amy Fox (Beckinsale) discover a stash of videos in their room. They soon realise that the tapes, which show graphic, slasher-type scenes, are actually "snuff films" that depict real murders - and that they may be the next potential victims. What drew Beckinsale to the story, though, was the couple's relationship. "I thought it was really interesting to start a film at the end of a relationship and explore what happens," says the London native who is perhaps best known to many for her role in Pearl Harbor. "It just felt like there was an awful lot of room for actual acting." And, while the motel set sometimes felt a bit claustrophobic ("After hours in that room, we were always happy to get to be chased around the parking lot"), Beckinsale dismisses tabloid reports of any on-set friction with Wilson.

"Luke Wilson's very nice - great sense of humour," she says. "If you're going to be trapped in a motel room with someone on end, it helps if you have someone you like." She is, of course, used to gossipy attention, having endured speculation on everything from her appearance to her relationship with her husband, director Len Wiseman, whom she met on the set of 2003's Underworld. Beckinsale just shrugs most of it off. After all, she says, if you believe everything you read, then "there's this monstrous person who does crazy things and is constantly on the edge of divorce." "It's like, `I don't know who she is, but I'm not dying to hang out with her.'" If anything, Beckinsale's gotten quite adept at staying cool beneath the sweat-inducing spotlight. "It goes with the territory and there's a limit to how much you can complain about it," she says. "This is just the nature of being in the public life."

That said, Beckinsale would like to, thank you very much, focus on her work. Which, by the way, she claims is getting somewhat harder to come by. "It's a well-worn cliche that material for (older women) isn't as exciting as it is for the guys," she says. "And I do feel that there's less available and most movies aren't very good." Her own films notwithstanding, of course. "Oh no! A good deal of mine aren't very good," she disclaims, laughing. "But there were many lovely people involved, so I would never name them." OK, moving on. Despite the dearth of roles, Beckinsale says she's been able to strike a balance. For every stiff-upper-lip part in such films as 1995's Cold Comfort Farm, there's a kick-butt action flick like Van Helsing. For every serious drama (the upcoming Winged Creatures, with Forest Whitaker and Dakota Fanning), there's a vampire tale (Underworld). "It's funny, but working in action films came to me by accident," Beckinsale says. "Before Underworld, I was having trouble getting work that wasn't Oscar Wilde or very starched," she says. "So I thought, I just want to see if I can do (an action film)."

Lol at what I have bolded. That's classic Beckinsale humour and yet another reason why I think she's so great. She's got devilish charms, probably a result of being a Brit ;-)

As such, Underworld became an exercise in skill - both physical and mental. "It's not what comes easy to me - I'm not a tough girl, I'm not terribly athletic," she says. "But it is sort of an acting stretch and I'm still amazed that I can get away with it." Besides, action, drama, whatever - it's good work if you can get it. "I like entertainment just as much as anyone and it's all relevant in terms of a body of work and experience," says Beckinsale, who portrays a U.S. marshal in Whiteout. "It's all part of the learning curve." Before you know it, Beckinsale's 12 minutes are up - on the dot. It's time to return to the set and, then finally, to the trailer that she shares with daughter Lily, 8, while husband Wiseman's off shooting the next Die Hard film. And that's great, she says, because, at the end of a busy day, she's happy with the simple act of being Kate Beckinsale. "I make dinner in the trailer, we have the cats here - it's extremely domestic." And it's a good life, she says. "I try not to complain too much about anything because, honestly, I feel very lucky."

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