And of course working with someone like Hugh Jackman [on "Les Miserables"], you’re like, ‘I want to be like that guy.’ He literally is grateful for every single opportunity. He’s grateful for every interview he does. He’s grateful for every platform he has to speak about something. I mean, holy… this guy is Buddha! I want to be that grateful. I have such a privilege of being in the public eye. I can use it for good instead of using it for evil. I’ve just been around, so it feels good to finally get to this point at this age because I don’t think I could have done it a couple years ago. Everything happens in good time.
Did doing good in the public eye make you want to play Linda Lovelace?
Yes (laughs). I mean, this woman so desperately wanted to be heard. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody makes bad decisions. The facts are she was domestically abused -- there was just plain old domestic violence in her relationship. There was also a lot of psychological abuse and rape. It was just this terrible relationship. I think she wanted people to understand why she got sucked in, and why it happened and how she was feeling. She’s famous for being famous now and people have this one idea of her. It’s just nice to set the story straight, or at least from her point of view, give her a voice.
There’s nothing ok about domestic violence. Thankfully she wrote these books about it. Things have changed so much since the ‘80s. There’s so much awareness. I read the statistics. This was October 2012: 25 percent of women are abused in their lifetimes, I think in the U.S., by their spouse of partner. I mean, it’s crazy, but at the same time there’s so much awareness. She helped. She did! She was also a porn activist. She did some good stuff. She really did. She tried really hard.
I was really down with being her voice and having that responsibility. It was really daunting and really scary. I really wanted her children to like the portrayal of their mother. And they do! I just got an email from one of them this morning. It feels really good.
During the Q&A last night, you said that reenacting the “Deep Throat” scenes and getting physical with Peter were the most difficult aspects of the job. You paid no mention to the nudity, which no doubt surprised many in the audience.
I don’t know why I’m comfortable. Nudity: whatever! Sex: we all do it. There’s a time and a place to be naked (laughs). There’s no part in this movie that makes me think, ‘Oh, wow, she’s naked.’ She’s a porn star! We simulated some scenes but there’s no graphic content in this movie, at all. I mean the graphic stuff is when he’s raping me on my wedding night. You see my skirt go up over my head when I’m being gang raped, but it’s like so perfectly done. “Chloe” is so graphic. And this is not.
Did you find “Chloe” gratuitous?
No, no way! Atom [Egoyan] can do whatever he wants.
I personally love that film.
I fucking love it too.
"I don’t really have any interest in people seeing my vagina. It’s just a personal thing."
Critics were pretty harsh to it.
It’s a psychological thriller. Some people like them and some don’t. I think it was a big turning point for me as an actor, personally. I put a lot into that movie. I love Julianne Moore. I love Peter Sarsgaard. Why am I so lucky?
On top of getting extremely physical, you get quite intimate with Peter in “Lovelace.” How did you go about gaining each other’s trust?
Both of us are not shy about our private parts. We also weren’t walking around with our genitals out; our bottom half genitals. That might have been a little strange for me. I don’t really have any interest in people seeing my vagina. It’s just a personal thing. I don’t mind seeing other people’s vaginas. I guess I’m just insecure in that way. Peter… same thing. He was always covered up in that way. I think it’s just our mutual understanding of we needed to be naked a lot of points in the movie and it wasn’t a big deal. It’s like a costume.
I don’t know why I feel comfortable. To be honest, when I was younger, I was terrified of sex. I don’t know what happened over the years. I now have an appreciation for it, for people who don’t put so much heaviness on it.
Did “Lovelace” play a part in that?
No, I was already at that point (laughs).
Jeffrey Friedman, Amanda Seyfried, Rob Epstein, Peter Sarsgaard, Jim Young, Debi Mazar, Heidi Jo Markel, Hank Azaria, Brian Gattas, Chris Noth at The Cinema Society & MCM with Grey Goose's screening of Radius TWC's "Lovelace."
photo by Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan Co.