Vainty Fair interview with Dark Horse’s Selma Blair
By Krista Smith
Since her captivating debut as the naïve ingénue in Cruel Intentions,Selma Blair has built a diverse career in Hollywood, appearing everywhere from Portlandia to Hellboy. Her latest project is Dark Horse, a Todd Solondz film in which she plays a disillusioned women named Miranda. V.F.’s senior West Coast editor, Krista Smith, caught up with Blair about working with Solondz, her envy of glamorous moms like Jessica Alba, and what she has to learn from Charlie Sheen on the set of Anger Management.. Highlights from their chat:
Krista Smith: In Dark Horse you play Miranda, an unsuccessful lady who catches the eye of the equally unsuccessful Abe (Jordan Gelber). They both still live with their parents. Are they the same sad person?
Selma Blair: He likes living at home. That’s the difference—he loves it, and she views her life as a total failure. His job is a fake, horrible, stupid, nepotism job. I think it’s equally depressing and real. I’ve never played such an honest character as her. People think it’s a joke or something. Why doesn’t she just give up on hope and love and just get married and have kids?
At one point when I was watching the film, I thought: What is it about Selma Blair that catches the attention of Guillermo del Toro, Todd Solondz, and, most recently with Anger Management, Charlie Sheen?
You’d think Charlie Sheen and Todd Solondz would be worlds apart and have very different muses. I’m so happy that, at least for the moment, I get to have my hand on two different sides of a tent. I think that’s probably why I’m such a failure in this business. Because there’s no identity. It’s just like,“Oh, you’re that same girl”—the audiences would never meet, so each audience thinks that I’m off. One audience probably thinks I’m off in an institution for the rest of the year when I’m not making a Solondz film, and then the other audience is probably like, “Wow, the poor girl never works, but Charlie gave her a job.” Because the audiences would never go to the same thing.
Krista Smith: Which person do you think the Hellboy audiences identify with?
Selma Blair: Probably Charlie Sheen, because he’s kind of a superhero. He would get that Comic-Con, real addict type of fan. Todd Solondz gets a more cerebral, collegiate audience. You’d hope he’d get a wider audience because I love his films, but it seems like that’s an elite bunch. Guillermo’s is a different, comic-book fan. Charlie’s like a superhero. I’m not saying that just to kiss Charlie’s ass because I’d like to have a job with him again, but it’s true. He proves it with whatever he does. Just a huge performance-art comic book.
Krista Smith: Back to Todd Solondz—is your character, Miranda, the same character you played in Storytelling?
Selma Blair: I didn’t know it was until Todd gave me the job. But, yes it is. If you look at the end credits, it says Miranda, formerly known as Vi. If you know Todd’s work, Vi was the character I played in Storytelling, the college student who says, “Fuck me, n—–. Fuck me harder.” I don’t get to say that enough anymore.
Krista Smith: That was a profound line.
Selma Blair: I really haven’t said it in days. [Laughs.] No, I haven’t said it in years. It’s the same character, and I don’t know if it matters, other than it shows how much Todd actually does care about his characters. He let one live on and gave her this somewhat happy ending. It just helped me go, “Oh, well, I’ve already played her. I don’t have to do shit.” But I did. I loved playing her after she was so idealistic in college. She was kind of condescending and really had so much ambition. It made it a lot deeper for me to see her now having failed.
Krista Smith: You were so thin in that movie.
Selma Blair: Yeah, I was probably 20 pounds lighter. I hadn’t eaten any sugar in Storytelling. I was really happy with that.
Krista Smith: But with your baby, don’t you eat sugar just to keep going?
Selma Blair: That’s the problem, but then you pass out and then you feel sick. I mean that’s what I did yesterday. I got him a birthday cake, albeit a really puny, puny one because I didn’t want him to eat sugar. I was really passive aggressive. I was like,“You can’t have cake, but here’s a cake.” Of course I ate it. I wasn’t eating sugar at all on Dark Horse. Then I got pregnant, so if you’re looking to get pregnant, apparently don’t eat sugar. I haven’t eaten it in two and a half years. I only recently, in the past month, started eating sugar again. It feels horrible, and it tastes wonderful.
Krista Smith: Are you excited to continue Anger Management with Charlie Sheen?
Selma Blair: I have no idea if I’m going back to work in the fall or not. We shot 10—two episodes a week—which is unheard of, because normally you shoot an episode in 7 or 10 days. Basically most people shoot a pilot and see if they’re picked up. We shot like a five-hour pilot. There was no time to correct anything or see what you’re doing or learn your lines, you know—it was just: Get it and go. Not sleeping and going on a set and learning your lines right there. I really hope I get a chance to reevaluate my character and play it again in the fall. I don’t know if it’s picked up. Charlie has a huge fan base, and I think he’s great. I hope I get a chance to come back, because he has a lot to teach me about charisma. I’m hoping it’s teachable. People say it ain’t. You either got it or you don’t. I apparently have never had it, but I’m knocking on Charlie’s door because I need it.
Krista Smith: Well, your baby Arthur’s got a ton of charisma.
Selma Blair: I know, and I’m going to try to suck it from him, too. I’m riding on the coattails of the two most wonderful men in my life right now—Charlie and that baby. And I’m hoping both of them get me the places I need to go.
Krista Smith: What do you think of all the tabloid magazines that showcase celebrity moms like yourself?
Selma Blair: I don’t understand it. I love pictures of babies now that I have one, but it’s weird and it’s so creepy because they’re taking pictures of your baby. A baby that could be kidnapped, God forbid. I don’t look good when I go out with my baby because all your effort goes to “Do I have the stroller? Do I have the food? Do I have breast milk? Do I have formula? Do I have a change of clothes?” I don’t know how Jessica Alba does it. It’s so much work, or she has a nanny all the time. And in that case, fuck her. I mean of course I know she has a nanny all the time, but still—I can have a nanny as much as I want to too, and I still don’t manage to really get it together.
Source: Vanity Fair The Hollywood Blog