Posted: 10/29/2007

 

Amanda Peet on Motherhood, Marriage, and Martian Child

by Paul Fischer



Exclusive Interview


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Amanda Peet, who won critical acclaim in the short-lived Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, admits that despite an extensive career behind her, the actress, next seen opposite John Cusack in Martian Child, finds it consistently challenging to find interesting women to play. “It’s getting tougher and tougher, unless you’re really an A-list star, so hopefully at some point my husband will write something for me,” Peet says laughingly, referring to husband David Benioff, a successful screenwriter. “That’s why I married him, and then I’ve gotten nothing out of it so far.” She is pleased at least with her current acting gig, the romantic drama Martian Child, which casts John Cusack as a recently widowed science fiction writer who forms an unlikely family with a close friend (Peet) and a young boy he adopts that claims to be from Mars. The new couple ignores some sage parenting advice from the widower’s sister (Joan Cusack) and gets more than they bargained for when a series of strange occurrences lead them to believe that the child’s claim may be true. Peet says she was attracted to Martian Child because “I thought the script was really sweet and charming, and I liked the message of the movie. So I just simply wanted to be a part of it, and I’m a huge John Cusack fan, so it kind of seemed like a no-brainer.” She describes her character as being “reluctantly flirting” and says, “It’s always fun to play that kind of girl.” Asked if she is a reluctant girl in her own life, Peet laughs. “Not when I’m with my husband, thenI’m a shameless flirt.”

At 35, Peet gave birth to her first child and admits that balancing motherhood and acting are not as challenging or difficult as she thought. “I feel really lucky. My sister’s a doctor, one of my best friends is my lawyer, and they don’t get to bring their children to work. The truth is that I’m quite lucky because I can be a real diva and demand that she comes to the trailer and hangs out, so I really can’t complain.” Peet says she relishes motherhood conceding that she “wanted to be a mom like ten years ago but I had to find the right partner.”

Consistently working for over a decade, the actress is still yearning for the one movie that will place her on that exclusive A-list, in order for her to pick and choose projects. ” I think it has quite a lot to do with the role and it’s about either doing a brilliant audition where you win a role that just gets into the hearts of people, like Renee Zellweger in Jerry Maguire. That’s why they call it a breakout role, because it’s just really special and winsome. They’re really hard to get, especially if you can only get it through auditioning and if you choke at all, or get nervous, then it’s very tough.” Peet doesn’t recall why she wanted to act, but does remember that as a child, “I was a big show off and I always had quite an imagination. Besides, I don’t think I would have been able to do a real job.”

Peet says she is trying to use all of her seductive powers to persuade her husband to write for her, “but he just isn’t having it. He just doesn’t write very many roles for white women.” Next up for Peet is Real Men Cry, a movie with Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke set in Boston. I play Mark’s wife.” Peet will next be seen in Five Dollars a Day, with Christopher Walken and Alessandro Nivola. “I just finished that movie in Albuquerque. It’s sort of like a father son movie, but I play Alessandro’s love interest.”

Paul Fischer is originally from Australia. Now he is an interviewer and film critic living in Hollywood.



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