Saturday, January 26, 2008

Diane Lane

Diane Lane has been busily promoting Untraceable -- a surprisingly satisfying slice of meat-and-potatoes moviemaking -- and she graciously chatted with me a few days ago so I could do a Q&A for the Houston Chronicle. Here are some of the outtakes:

Q: Were you able to do much preparation to play FBI special agent Jennifer Marsh?

A: Some. During my research, and the time I spent with the Real McCoys over at the FBI, I was able to meet some of the working moms who are very impressive in their profession. I’m so grateful they chose their profession, seeing how much there is a need for cyber-law enforcement. It was daunting, for sure. But I will say that their sense of humor – well, I don’t think that America is ready for the sense of humor that is needed for that job. Because, really, you have to protect your heart while you’re witnessing such heartlessness in trying to be a crimestopper.

Q: Of course, if you’re an actor, there’s another aspect of the digital age to consider: Thanks to technological advances, every movie or TV show you’ve ever made is, for better or worse, permanently preserved.

A: That’s fine and well and good. I’m OK with that. It’s the isolation of images out of context that is irksome to me. Because that’s the difference between a complex, emotional story that involves sensuality and sexuality, and pornography. Once you change or shift or eliminate the context, what have you got? It’s just bumping uglies, you know what I mean?

Q: True enough. If you ever do scenes involving nudity or sensuality, as you have in Unfaithful and A Walk on the Moon – they’re bound to wind up on certain websites.

A: It’s really demoralizing. It actually kind of makes you give up hope about human nature after a certain point. You go, ‘I guess this is what we’re contending with. Are we just going to lie down and take it, or are we going to complain and enforce regulations or rules and penalties, and tracking and tracing?’ But, I mean, you have to be able to find the people who have these sites to begin the process of changing things. And when things are – quote, unquote – untraceable, what do you do then? To me, that’s scary in itself. Whatever it is you’re trying to effectuate, if you can’t locate accountability, you don’t have a starting place.

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