Robin talks about her films "The Zodiac", "Hollywoodland", "Runaway" and "Open Window". She also discusses her career, how she has fallen in love with acting, and the world of Independent Films.
There are also two beautiful shots, that I've added to the Gallery, in high quality.
Click on Read More for the transcription of the interview.
Page 1 - LINK Page 1
Page 2 - LINK Page 2
Page 3 - LINK Page 3
Shots (click on the images to enlarge them)
Photos' Credit: Photos by: David Miezal - Miezal Photo.com
Other two images (same as the above, but with a different coloring) can be found in the Gallery, at THIS LINK All of them in high quality.
I think these two shots are one of the best I've ever seen. Robin looks absolutely stunning in them!
Special thank you to my friend Van, for the help in finding the magazine! #TeamTunney :)
The stars align for Robin Tunney
by Jose Martinez
Actress Robin Tunney is straightforward when she confesses that for years she was known as "the girl from 'The Craft'", the 1996 film about four teenage witches who wreak havoc on their high school and ultimately each other. Since then memorable roles in independent films such as 'Niagara, Niagara', 'Julian Po', and 'Cherish' have followed, as well as forgettable parts in studio films such as the Arnold schwarzenegger disaster 'End of Days' (1999) and 'Paparazzi' (2004).
But throughout it all, the 35-year-old has been carving out her niche as one of her generation's consummate actors. This month she'll be seen in 'The Zodiac', the THINKFilm drama about the infamous Bay Area serial killer (in theaters March 17).
Three days later her current television series, 'Prison Break', returns on Fox. Not bad for a Chicago girl who packed her bags and moved to Los Angeles at 18 hoping to make it as an actress.
'The Zodiac' tells the story of the grisly Bat Area murders that began in December, 1968. as the body count increased so did the killer's notoriety. To this day The Zodiac killer remains at large. One telling scene in the film is the mentionning of the Sharon Tate murder at the hands of the Manson Family. Soon more serial killers followed: The Son of Sam in New York; the Green River Killer in Seattle; the Atlanta Child Killer; and Los Angeles' Hillside Stranglers and Night Stalker. America would never be the same again. Innocence was lost among the bllody crime scenes as a new generation began locking their front doors.
Yet Tunney is quick to point out that blame should not be placed on film, often the medium that recounts these terrible events, no matter what the likes of ted Bundy say.
"I certainly don't think that seeing a film makes a child go out and become a serial killer," the actress states. "I think that whole fantasy about certain films being responsible for high shootings is B.S. Those kids definitely had real problems that cinema could never have penetrated."
The actress also notes that 'The Zodiac' isn't a slasher film with no redeeming qualities. "Many films sensationalize killers, but there has never been one to show the repercussions of what this kind of violence does to people personally affected by the crimes".
The daughter of an Irish immigrant car salesman and first generation Irish bartending mother, Tunney has won her share of acting awards, including Best Actress at the 1998 Venice Film Festival for 'Niagara, Niagara'. She has three more feature films due to hit screens this year: 'Hollywoodland, 'Runaway' and 'Open Window'. But for now 'Prison Break' and the intense drama 'The Zodiac' continue to propel Robin Tunney up the Hollywood ladder.
Venice: How familiar were you with the story of the Zodiac killer?
Robin Tunney: Really vaguely. I knew who he was but I didn't understand the historical significance and how it changed [things]; how people started locking their doors and the fear that followed. This was the first serial killer who was really covered by the media. Before you had Jack the Ripper who was this mythical boogeyman. But this was almost sensationalized and it seems that the killer enjoyed it and did it through the media.
Exclusive for robingreenshades.blogspot.com
There's a scene in the film where you're home and the radio mentions the Manson Family murder of Sharon Tate.
It was a real turning point in America. Things changed with the Vietnam War, and America has never been the same. But I refuse to believe that people are just flat-out more violent today. I think the awareness of it makes people a lot more scared and it has become like a rolling ball. My boyfriend's son was at my house and was checking all the sexual predators in my neighborhood through a website. It was really creepy. They say the definition of paranoia is knowing all the facts. My nephews are 15 and 13 and they're not allowed to leave their block on their own. And I think it's sort of sad.
Why do you think we have a fascination with this kind of subject matter?
It's like a car accident where you slow down [to look]. I think people have a macabre sensibility and like to dabble in situations that they'd never want to be in. I try to stay away from that.
Did you meet the woman whom your character in 'The Zodiac' was based on?
I didn't meet her. I don't have that fascination. And she wasn't a public figure like Capote where everyone knows what his voice sounded like. It was a different time. She's vacuuming and cleaning all the time and I think it was her way of trying to provide some sense of normalcy for her family and work out her own anziety. But it was also a different day and age and I don't think her husband spoke to her what was going on because he didn't want to scare her.
Why do you think this film needed to be made?
I think when you're telling a true story there's no reason to tell it unless it has some sort of significance today. And I think this story really does because you can see the beginnings of how the media started affecting things. it's interesting to see that and how we view things today and how we live our lives.
You said you don't think we're any more violent as a society but what do you think the film says about us as a whole?
It's about supply and demand. People want to see violent movies. They want to see horro films. I think after the '70s there became a chicness with criminals, like 'The Sopranos'- I think people have gotten more and more desensitized to violence and there's obvisouly an audience for that. And I think it has to do with the media reporting on real life things and there being really graphic details in how they report. People aren't as sheletered as they once were. What I liked about the film when I read the script is that it is at its core an independent film because they don't find the guy. And that's generally what makes people feel better. There isn't any satisfaction in it because it doesen't mean that a crime like that is not going to happen again. It doesen't make people feel safe.
Why do you think someone should go see a film about the Zodiac killer?
What's interesting about the film is, you can make an independent film, I mean there thousands of them, but you can't pinpoint what it is. It's not a horror film, although it does have really scary sequences when you see the murders but it's very artfully done. And because of the pacing of the story and basically the core of the story is how [the killings] affect this one family, it is a drama, and I think it's told in a really highbrow manner. And it's really historically correct. This isn't a slasher film and it's not the quintessential Hollywood film where the daddy finds the killer in the end and everybody is okay.
There's also another production abou the Zodiac killer going on right now.
Oh, you mean that little David Fincher film?
The real-life Zodiac killer wrote, "I wonder who will play me in the movie?" Do you think this is pandering to him? Do you think he'll go see this film?
I think we can assume he's dead. I think it's interesting that two people decided to make these films at the same time and I think it's because the filmmakers are of the age where this is something from their childhood that was really resonant. I think that's what the timing is about. I don't think it's pandering to him. I think the story had to be told. It's hotbed for drama but it's not just about this story, it's sort of an American tale.
Exclusive for robingreenshades.blogspot.com
it's great watching Rory Culkin in 'The Zodiac'. He's so poised. How long did it take you to get comfortable as an actress?
I think with 'Empire Records' (1995) I felt comfortable. I don't know why. I did a lot of TV stuff before that an it was all pretty hand-to-mouth and pretty amazing for me. I'm from the South side of Chicago and it was amazing to me that anyone wanted to pay me to be in a movie. Because I didn't start out in a film where a director found me me and had a vested interest in my performance; nobody told me how things worked. I had to figure that out. You have to be on your mark because you need to be in focus, nobody tells you that. I didn't have somebody mentoring me. I was thrown into it and left to fend for myself.
So a year later in 1996 when you did 'The Craft' and you're starring in the film were you completely comfortable?
I was, and Andy Fleming, the director, made the enviroment feel very collaborative. And he was really frank. He'd say, you know these people talk a lot more than I do so if you want to change a line just do it. And I think there are a lot of directors who are a lot more dogmatic. I think that's why Andrew Fleming is so good at directing young people.
Did you find after you left that set that it's not always like that?
Absolutely, but I have to tell you, I think the good directors try to provide that enviroment because actors are always at their finest when they feel safe. Terrence Malick says he never makes an actor say a line that they don't want to say because they're never going to be confortable saying it. I felt really collaboraive on 'Niagara, Niagara' (1997) and on 'Cherish' (2002) and I think that's why I like to do independent films. There isn't so much red tape to change a line. You don't have to call the President and talk to seven other people and have nine people collaborating wheter your hair looks better up or down. When somebody is operating under fear it's really dangerous. Anything that is creative, people always will do their finest work when they feel safe to fail. If you're in a position where you feel you can suck on a take, and somebody is not going to judge you for it, you're always going to be better.
'Prison Break' returns on March 20. How is it going so far?
It's so cool to be part of something that people really enjoy. People are genuinely addicted to the show. It's like the water cooler show. My character is pretty self-possessed and I always find myself in outregeously dangerous situations that are preposterous at the core but she's really tough and independent.
Did you have any reservations going to TV?
I think 'Prison Break' is better than most movies. I didn't want to judge it on a genre. Studio movies have become so much about event and broad strokes that there's no room for any character development. So if you're going to try and to something that's commercial then you should try and do something that's commercial where you feel that the character can grow and change and at least have some sort of acr.
On 'Prison Break', because you are not in the prison scenes, you could easily become a break from the action but you have you fair share of intense moments and action.
It's odd being a completely separate storyline because I don't know the other actors terribly well because I'm always on the out side and work different days. it's really strange to be part of something that is a phenomenon. I was the girl from 'The Craft' fos so many years. I'd be in other movies but I was generally always the girl from the 'The Craft', so be part of something that people really love is great.
What can expect this new season?
It's like the Bush administration, they don't tell me too much. I have no idea beyond these nine episodes. I think the second half of the season is more emotional because it's getting closer to the execution of Lincoln.
You moved from Chicago to Los Angeles at 18. Why were you so determined?
There are a few things behind it, like sheer naivete. It didn't occur to me that it was a slightly reckless, dangerous thing to do, and that is a pretty predatory place. I had legitimate representation because I had screen tested for a big movie in Chicago, so I had a real agent and a real manager and I wasn't going to soft-core porn auditions. And I didn't know what else I wanted to do. My parents weren't supportive of [my] studying drama. They're Irish; they're working class, and if they're going to spend all that money [on college] they want me to learn something that gets me a 401K, health insurance, and benefits. I didn't want to fail in they eyes so I knew I had to go out and do it.
Did you ever have a fallback plan in mind?
I didn't have another plan until about threee years in because I felt I was so bad at it. I was watching my work and thought if that's the best you can do you should do something else. So I moved to New York because there weren't so many bad jobs to get and I was so young I felt that I was being rewarded for bad acting. So when I moved to new York and thought if I can't stand to watch myself in a year's time I'll go and study art history or try to do interior design, but I'm not terribly ambitious. I mean I love what I do but it never occured to me to try to develop some persona or try to wear outfits to parties or [on the] red carpet. I never took a moment and thought about my image. I have a better time confusing people. After 'The Craft' I could have done any other teen movie they were making and I went and did 'Niagara, Niagara' which I don't think anybody really expected. And I had such a great time doing it and it was a really defining moment for me as an actor.
What originally got you into acting?
I was taking an acting class when I was 14 years old. And my interest in it was that my older sister did it. I was doing a scene and one day I just forgot people were watching and there was an endorphin rush afterwards. I still remember what I was wearing.
Looking at your filmography, you've worked pretty consistenly. Have there been struggles?
The struggles were more about my ego than they were about can I eat tomorrow. I've been really lucky in that. I don't fly first class. I don't drive a terribly fancy car. I lived in a one-room apartement in New York while 'The Craft' and 'Vertical Limit' came out. I was always pretty conservative and thought this could be the last job. And there were certainly times when you felt better going out for dinner than others. It's a very fickle business And there have been frustrating time when certain women would get jobs because they were the women of the moment. There's a real solace when you see who is still standind when you've been doing this as long as I have. And I think that people who are still around and still work consistenly are really good.
You have a few films waiting to come out. What can you say about 'Hollywoodland'?
'Hollywoodland' is going to be such an amazing movie. I'm so excited. I was throwing up the night before the table reading because I thought they were going to change their mind. I was the only one without an Academy Award. It's Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, Ben Affleck, Bob Hoskins, and it's the true story of George Reeves and what really happened the night of his death.
How about 'Runaway'?
I'm so proud of it. I had met Tim McCann, the filmmaker, who has made great little movies for $30,000 and $40,000 in New York. He teaches at S.U.N.Y. Purchase and he sent me the script and I didn't think it was all there and he said, "Come on, what are you going to do for the next three weeks? Come, and we'll rewrite it and rehearse for a week." And Aaron Stanford, who was in 'Tadpole' and the new 'X-men' movie, is such a kick-ass actor. We just rolled our sleeves up and made the film for $400,000. It was a real fun part for me. It won the Austin Film Festival and it was on Toronto and Tribeca and now it's going to Vail. it's coming out later this year.
And you also have 'Open Window'.
It was at Sundance and I play a character that was raped in her house and it's about the ramifications of the rape on basically everydoby around her: her family, her boyfriend. Joel Edgerton, this Australian actor who is going to be in 'Kinky Boots', is really great, and Cybill Sheperd and Elliott Gould are in it.
What do you hope people take away from a project of yours?
I think with the independent films the most important thing is that they walk away thinking it was original and not like anything elese they've seen because I think that's the only reason to make an independent film. So many of them, if the script had more famous actors in it and it cost more money, it would be a studio film. There are people who are using independent film as a steppingstone, as opposed to really loving independent film. I thik the point of making and Independent Film is to tell a story that otherwise would not be made within the studio system.And I can firmly and proudly and confidently say that 'Niagara, Niagara' and 'Cherish' would never have been made by a major studio. And 'The Zodiac', as it stands, is so much different than what David Fincher's is going to be. It's about the ramifications of a family.
Exclusive for robingreenshades.blogspot.com