Now out on DVD, Anna Nicole features Agnes Bruckner as late reality star and supermodel Anna Nicole Smith. If you’re looking for a cheesy, exploitative tale that rots the brain, you’re thankfully barking up the wrong tree.
The Lifetime Television movie comes with a pretty high creative pedigree, as the project was directed by American Psycho and I Shot Andy Warhol filmmaker Mary Harron. The all-star cast includes Martin Landau as her father figure and former hubby J. Howard Marshall, Adam Goldberg as Howard K. Stern, Sideways star Virginia Madsen as Anna’s mother, and Cary Elwes as E. Pierce Marshall.
Hollywood Outbreak had a brief chat with Agnes Bruckner about the film.
This must have been such a plum role for you, not just because of the role, but also the cast and crew that were involved with Anna Nicole.
Definitely. It was the favorite character I’ve played. It was one of the craziest and most beautiful experiences I’ve had as an actor. I was terrified because I’d never played a role similar to Anna. But after meeting Mary and our DP (director of photography) Michael Simmonds, I got much more comfortable.
They really helped me go deep into the role and find my comfort level. And then of course working with Martin Landau, who was just unbelievable and just so kind and just so cool. He told so many amazing stories of his past. Adam Goldberg is hands down the funniest person I think I’ve ever met. There were just so many people..Cary Elwes whom I’ve worked with now three times was amazing. It was a really great experience.
Was it tough playing such a complex character and cover so much life within 90 minutes?
I think I’m in every single scene except for two. So running around, and just putting on wigs and costume pieces and all this stuff. I had to kind of have people, including myself, figure out what was going on at the time. The most important thing for me is bouncing off (ideas) and acting with people who give me something as an actor and help me. Every single one of the actors, even every single kid that played a different version of Danny…Caleb Martin…Luke Donaldson…Graham Martin King…they were just so on it. I had the best actors to work with. I was very, very lucky.
How did watching video of Anna Nicole Smith help you research in shaping your role?
It’s a huge emotional journey she went through, all these ups and downs, and I really took from that. I really studied them and got a feel for, as much as I could, to what kind of person she was and what she was going through at the time. She was a really vulnerable and sensitive person, and I think that it was too much for her at the end of the day. It was really kind of beautiful to see the ups and downs she went through and as an actor it was so much fun to play all those different levels.
Are you choosy when it comes to signing onto a film?
For me, personally it’s gotten to a point where I pick and choose projects that really resonate with me and are able to show different sides of me. It’s really scary to live that way (laughs). Every project I take one step at a time. You can never make everybody happy, so I think the most important thing is just to always keep yourself happy and try to do your best and see what happens.
With Anna Nicole, I was very nervous, and even through the premiere I was live tweeting fans. The response was amazing. I was so happy that people really loved the movie. Watching with them, cringing at times, remembering what I went through, it was really amazing. It turned out to be great, and everybody’s hard work really paid off.
Finally, just wondering what you took from your scenes with Martin Landau.
When he was on set, he was like the captain. People were like, ‘okay, what do you need’ or ‘what can I do for you or bring you.’ He just kept reminding me to just take my time and really just feel it, and enjoy every single moment. That’s something that’s really rare these days because I feel like everything has become so fast paced and people are just running everywhere. Especially with actors, when you’re doing TV projects, the notes are always “speed it up, speed it up.” When he was on set, he said “Let’s just take our time with it, let’s rehearse it.” It was really nice, and he has an incredible way of working. It’s hands down one of my favorite working experiences.
To check out my interview with Anna Nicole director Mary Harron, check out the Q&A on Deepest Dream.
Here’s a Huffpost Live clip featuring Bruckner talking about the first rate make-up team behind Anna Nicole.
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posted by Greg Srisavasdi