*Exclusive official photo from The Rocker, courtesy of Fox Atomic


After Christina Applegate and Tom McNulty sat down with me, the vibe I started to get was that I had been taken care of, which was true. I had asked several times for Emma Stone, but I wasn't going to push too hard for it after everyone had treated me so nicely. So for the rest of the night, I found an out-of-the-way place to sit and just watched as Rainn and Christina filmed a long scene where they walked from one end of the main set to the other, in front of an enormous green-screen, which I think will have some kind of music video footage when it's finalized. The scene revolves around Fish trying to get Kim to reveal the name of her old punk band (see the Christina interview in Part III) and she ends up revealing it -- Scream Weavers. They also eventually get into a little on-the-spot contest to see who can name the most rock bands with a place in their name: Kansas, Berlin, Bay City Rollers, etc.

At one point, while I was watching all of this, Emma, who had to be present to do background work, came over to where I was to relax between takes, but I resisted the urge to hit her up for an on-the-spot interview. Nothing else memorable happened for the next couple of hours, except for an AD telling me I was standing too close to the shooting area at one point. (Also, I forgot to mention this: earlier in the night, I had requested an interview with director Peter Cattaneo, but instead of granting it, he invited me to come over and tape-record him being interviewed by a TV station! Obviously I'm not printing that.) Anyway, around 6:00am on Sunday morning, I stumbled out into the morning light, flagged down my driver and rode back to the hotel. Overall, I had managed to bag three good interviews, and had been able to take a lot of notes, so I was pretty happy. The next Tuesday, back home in Jersey, I got an unexpected bonus -- a phone call from Emma.


ES: Hi, how're you doing?

RS: Pretty good. Sorry I didn't get to meet you Saturday night. You're probably wrapped on the whole movie by now, right?

ES: No, no, I'm actually leaving for work in like, twenty minutes. We're gonna wrap on the 31st, I think, next week.

RS: So why don't you give me some details on how your character fits into the story? I still don't know much about her.

ES: Well, she's the bass player for the band. You know the general outline of the movie. Rainn joins the high-school band and I'm in that band. And basically, Teddy, who is the lead singer and guitarist and then Josh plays the keyboards, and he's Fish's -- Rainn's character's -- nephew, and I'm just a friend of theirs that plays bass in the band.

RS: Does your character have, like, a love interest or anything?

ES: Yeah, she's kind of into Curtis, Teddy's character, and that's kind of an underlying current. Their definitely not dating or together in the movie, it's just kind of ... I think they have an attraction to each other kind of, throughout the plot-line.

RS: Was there one thing in particular that got you interested in this part?

ES: Well, there were a lot of reasons. When I initially read the script, it kind of came at a perfect time -- it was the first script that I read after my show was cancelled, and so it came to me like the next day, and I read it and thought it was great and funny and fun, and I love, love, love Rainn Wilson, of course, on The Office, and I thought 'this seems like an awesome opportunity.' I really liked the character, she's really sardonic. She's very much ... I have a tendency, which is funny because I'm kind of a character actor by nature, I was in the past, well, not in my past, I'm still able to do it, but for some reason I've been playing kind of straight characters in comedy recently, which I like a lot. She was kind of a straight character that had that edge of comedy to her, that I haven't really gotten to act yet on screen, so I like that whole thing about her. And to learn to play bass and be in a band and come to Toronto and be away from L.A. for the summer. Everything kind of fit together pretty well.

RS: Did you learn to play bass for real? Did they get you lessons and the whole nine?

ES: Oh yeah, I got the part and the next thing I knew I was getting a phone call from Fox Atomic, like, 'Hey, are you home tonight?' and I was like 'Yeah ...' and they were like 'Cool, can we send a guy who plays bass to your house?' Up until that point, Amelia was supposed to play the keyboard, which is easy to fake. I was on this show, The Partridge Family, on VH1, and I had to play fake keyboards to be Laurie, so I was like, 'Oh, keyboards, easy,' and all of a sudden they're like 'Okay, you got the role and you're playing bass now, and you have to actually learn to play bass.' And I was like 'Allright' so they sent the guy over. It's actually so much fun and I'm crazy about the bass now, and I'll be getting one when I get back to L.A., hopefully. I need to go buy one. But I can play all the songs now for the movie, and I'm learning to kind of fiddle around and do my own little jams and learning where the notes are and things like that.

RS: I heard you're a Beatles fan. Did you get to meet Pete Best?

ES: You know what? I didn't get to. I was on set that day, but I got there, like, as he was leaving. But I was so excited, I freaked out when I saw his trailer. I didn't realize that I was singing -- I'm constantly humming Beatles songs non-stop -- so I was singing [sings] "she said, I know what it's like to be dead" and I was singing that all around base camp and I looked around at the trailer next to me and it's Pete Best's trailer and I was like 'Oh God, I hope he's not in there.' I'm singing Beatles at the top of my lungs. It was terrible, but it was fine. I heard he was, like, the nicest guy ever, and super-kind and funny.

RS: Are you into any particular rock scene these days?

ES: Currently, out in the world, I don't know if there's any rock n' roll music. Like, classic rock, you see it in a lot of artists these days. I see it in like, but as far as standard rock goes, I think you have to go back to the sixties and seventies to really find that, unless you count hair metal and AC/DC and stuff, but I never really listened to that. So my style is kind of old-school when it comes to rock. I like The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin and things like that. That's rock to me.

RS: Did you hear they're prepping a Vesuvius movie?

ES: Yeah, that's what I heard, and Will is really into it and everybody is pretty excited. Which I think will be hysterical. Vesuvius was only in for like, four days, and I was only with them one day, but it was the funniest day on set. I think everyone would agree with that. The stuff that they come up with was like, off the charts. It was amazing. They'd make an incredible movie of that .

RS: So the Anna Faris Playboy movie is next for you, right?

ES: Yeah, I go next week, on the 1st, and I start shooting like, on Monday.

RS: What is the working title of that movie?

ES: There isn't a working title yet, it's just the Untitled Anna Faris Bunny Project. [this was in July]

RS: And you're the leader of the sorority.

ES: Yeah, Anna is a Playmate who gets kicked out of the mansion on her 27th birthday -- they say it's 59 in bunny years -- and she can't stay in the mansion. You don't grow old there. So she loses everything and she can't get a job, because she's never worked in her life and she's lived at the Playboy mansion for ten years. So she sees some girls from UCLA running by and she sees UCLA and thinks it looks like a bunch of tiny Playboy mansions, so she's like 'I could live here!' and she ends up becoming the house mother to the nerdiest sorority on campus, and I'm the president of the nerdiest sorority on campus. She and I become friends throughout the movie and she kind of teaches us how to be popular and get boys to like us and we kind of teach her what it's like to have smarts and how it's okay to be a smart girl in the world.

RS: So you're going from rock girl to total nerd.

ES: Rock girl to total nerd to Playmate makeover, which has been interesting to try out. I went to do the camera test and we all got extensions and a bunch of fun stuff. It's from the writers of Legally Blonde. It's cool, cause it's got the Playboy thing but it's got a lot of heart to it, so it's really ... it's hysterical, with the Happy Madison guys behind it. So it should be really fun.

RS: So what are you looking for these days?

ES: To be honest? I don't want to dispel doing another comedy after the Happy Madison movie, but I would love to dive into a little bit more drama, for the next thing, if I'm lucky enough to be able to do that. There are some scripts I've been reading and some things I've been looking at lately that are really interesting, and there's a lot of really cool stuff coming out, just drama-wise and yeah, I think that would be a cool thing to do. I like to think I'm kind of a 50-50 actor -- I don't want to be one way or the other, comedy or drama. I'd like to delve into drama a little bit more after this, cause three comedies in a row, as much as they're all really different, it would be nice to expand with a dramedy or a drama.

RS: Have you developed a preference for movies over television?

ES: You know what? Just between you and me, I think a little bit, I have. I did a bunch of guest roles when I first came out to L.A. I mainly did TV -- my first movie was Superbad, so I had already been in L.A. for like three years, or two years, and I did a bunch of guest roles which was fun because you're only on set for a day or two, and then I did Drive, which was a real roller-coaster. It was a year and a half of ... we did the pilot and we re-shot and then we ended up meeting our fate with getting cancelled. It was wonderful and it was great, but I think I have too short of an attention span to stick with a character for possibly years and years. I kind of like the whole three months on one character and then getting to dive into another character thing that you're able to do with movies. So I think that's kind of clicked with me pretty well. But there are so many shows that I'm absolutely crazy about that I would just die to be on or have been on.

RS: So you're 'the dream girl' in Superbad, right?

ES: Yeah, but she's definitely not ... she's ... who was it in Fast Times at Ridgemont High?

RS: I'm blanking on her name.

ES: But you remember the dream girl in the pool, the bikini, and she's like, topless.

RS: Yeah.

ES: Well, she's not that! [laughs] She's not far-fetched. She's not 'real life dream girl.' She's very girl-next-door, and I like to think that she's very approachable. She's written that way, so hopefully I played her that way. She's a very, very regular girl that would be in any high school. She's no, like, fantasy girl.

RS: So is there anything you're not interested in, like horror or something?

ES: Oh, I think horror would be the most fun thing ever. I think it would be crazy to, like, sit in a theater and watch yourself die. I mean, that might be a really morbid thing to say, but I think everyone thinks 'what would that be like, to shoot a scene like that.' I love horror movies and I love anything. Sci-fi movies. The Matrix, V for Vendetta, things like that. They're really awesome -- there's nothing I would ever rule out. I think all genres have a lot of gems that have come out of each of them. It could be exciting to do anything. Challenges, that's what I'm kind of hoping to base my career on. Things that scare me.

RS: By the way, I wanted to ask, how come your character in The Rocker has big, poofy 80s hair? Cause she's present-day, right?

ES: Yeah, it's all present-day. A lot of people have gotten to thinking that the movie is in the 80s, which makes sense because of Vesuvius and Rainn starts out in the 80s, but yeah, our characters are never in the 80s. She just kind of has a problem throughout the whole movie, of unmanageable hair. She kind of comes to a forte in that scene where the stylist tries to brush her hair and she completely freaks out, so my hair doesn't look like that at any other point during the movie. It's not quite that insane. She just kind of has a meltdown. I think it's about more than the hair, the meltdown itself.

RS: So who do you think they're making the movie for? Rock fans, a general family audience?

ES: To be honest, I think anyone. It's fun for young kids who want to see, like, a cool band and cool songs and funny moments. It's cool for adults who had a dream and it came to fruition or not. In the end, it's great to see Rainn's character kind of down and out. His dream was never fulfilled and he finally fulfills the dream and goes on tour and shows up Vesuvius. When I read it, I thought it appealed to every demographic. Parents can go see it with their kids. The Office fans, I'm sure, will go see it to see Dwight in full 80s garb, so hopefully it will appeal to everyone.