Beth Grant

One friend said, “Donnie Darko movie was weird!” And I thought, “Hmm. I don’t think we’re as good of friends as I thought.” It’s not like I disliked him for it; it just meant we weren’t on the same page I thought we were. Because I can’t imagine watching that film and not being moved to tears.

I love Child’s Play 2! That movie has a great theme: You better listen to children. That’s why I wanted to do it. I was scared to do a horror movie – a blatant, studio horror movie – but I liked the script, and I thought that was such an important theme, because I don’t think adults listen to children enough.

The Coen brothers: Of all the directors I’ve worked with, they’re the only ones who have given me the storyboards attached to the script. It was very cool for me, because I knew when I was in close-up or if it was far away, and it also made me know that anything that happened in the edit wasn’t personal. Because they edit their own movies, so they were editing it as they went.

I love Fargo, I love all of them, but Miller’s Crossing just happens to be my favorite. When I heard Coen brothers were doing No Country For Old Men, I thought, “This is it. This is their masterpiece. This is going to be the one, because it’s going to bring every element together.” I just had a feeling about it.

I love Maude Pearson character from Agel. I love that she walls her son up because he has a girlfriend! In fact, I have that clip on my reel – her walling him up and saying, “What are you going to do about that streetwalker now? You belong to me! What are you going to do?” And did you know the ghost mom has her own Angel trading card?

The brilliant costume designer Mary Zorphres had done all this research on West Texas in 1980. Every woman looked like that. At a certain age, they would get their hair cut off, let the gray go in, get that permanent, and wear those big glasses. She gave me a beanie bra so my boobs would hang down, and these old dresses. My hat’s off to her, because I thought it was perfect for the movie. It was so great to have some comic relief right at that moment. No Country For Old Men is such an intense film.

I didn’t understand Southland Tales script at all! Is there a single word to describe it? Cacophony? It’s celebrity meets pornography meets politics – it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my life. And slapstick humor, communism; I mean, what doesn’t it have? It’s crazy. I didn’t go to Cannes, but I guess the first cut was three and a half hours or something?

All of a sudden I got a vision of Guernica – Pablo Picasso’s painting, which is one of my all-time favorite paintings in the world. I remember reading that it was very controversial at the time – some people said even used the word “childlike drawing” – and all of a sudden I thought, “This is like Guernica in Los Angeles!” And then it all made sense to me. It was all the elements that are the Southland.

To me, All About Steve movie is sweet-natured and sweet-hearted, and I can’t get enough sweet-hearted movies. I want to be inspired right now. I think things are pretty tough in the world. And people at the première were loving it – I mean, loving it! So I’m so sorry to hear people saying that it is the worst movie of 2009. I don’t buy it at all.

My daughter loved All About Steve movie, because she’s 6 feet tall and she’s different. And I got a lot of great e-mails from people who are different. I’m a gay icon. I’ll just say it. That’s what they say to me, so I’ll accept it. I got so many e-mails saying that it meant so much to those people. My daughter said, “They didn’t like it just because she didn’t get the guy! If they had lived happily ever after, people would have liked that movie.”

I never heard Coen brothers get defensive, ever. You get with these filmmakers doing the hardest work in the world, and they’re not defensive. They’re happy together, they crack jokes together, they have different opinions – and it doesn’t bother them that they have different opinions. So no wonder their work is so good, because you’re getting two for the price of one.

I love to take chances. I love first-time directors. I love super-low-budget movies. I’ve done 80-something movies, and I want to just keep experimenting. First-time directors have new, fresh ideas, and lot of times they’re risking a lot to do it, so it means so much to them. They’re not just hired; they have their heart on the line, because if you’ve gone that far, you’re probably a very passionate person.

Everything I’ve done hasn’t worked out – you know, some things aren’t as great as others – but I’m having so much fun, who cares? Isn’t that what an artist is supposed to do? We’re trying to change the world. Otherwise, why be an artist? You want to shake people up and make ’em think.

I have such a great thing I want to do with Lady Macbeth – make her one of the witches – and I have this whole thing where she’s very light and dressed in pink and dancing Gaelic dances and throwing roses, but then when her husband’s coming home, she does incantations and pulls her hair back, puts on a black leather trenchcoat. I mean, I could tear it up if somebody would give me the chance! But do you think someone would ever let me do Lady Macbeth? I doubt it. But I’m going to keep talking about it.