|You're three months' pregnant. How weird is it to be playing this alien who must become impregnated in this film where gruesome creatures keep bursting forth from everyone's belly?
I had to go back and do re shoots for the end of the movie when I knew I was pregnant. It's a little strange, trust me. It was a little surreal to do this one scene where my stomach was growing.
Which of the two Species aliens do you prefer playing ”Sil or Eve", your character in the new film?
Eve got to do some pretty cool things in this movie and she's rebellious. It's nice to have the human side. I get to do some cool stuff. The fun part in something like this is the physicality of things. On this set you're having fun. There's nothing better than having stunt people in a snit.
Did you have any control over what your exposure was going to be in this film?
There were some script rewrites and clauses about nudity and how much I was willing to do. Of course, they wanted to do nudity again. But this other character I now play is more human, and all that nudity didn't seem as right. We compromised and did something we both agreed on.
I don't have too much of an inhibition about being nude. I know that's a big faux pas. I just don't get it. I love going to nude beaches. I'm not a nudist; I don't answer my door naked and I don't think I have a perfect body in any way, shape, or form. I just feel comfortable. But I don't want to be naked in films because I see the reaction and the reaction is the problem.
What reaction is that?
All the focus is on the nudity. Every question of journalists is about nudity and the movies you get sent are all about nudity. And fans think they can say anything they want to you and be disrespectful to you because of the nudity
When did you decide you wanted to be an actress?
I think the acting bug hit when I was a kid, and then I got caught in this model thing. Which was great for me, but you lose a lot of your character because it's all about your look. I lost the acting bug for a while. Species helped me out a lot.
Think ahead a few years. Do you look forward to getting wrinkles and doing the Jessica Tandy roles?
That's a hard question. But the better actress I become, the more I won't rely on my looks. Jessica Lange said, "As I get older I have to pull myself out for every role" and she's a beautiful actress.
Would you say that models get a bad rap?
Yes. Some people are skinny; it doesn't mean they're starving themselves. People are different. But I understand the media thing that happens with magazine covers and models. It's like, "Get over it!" There's nothing worse than with Joan Rivers doing that whole thing: "She's too thin." "She's fat." I mean, get a life! I think it's so stupid.
After Species, when you were hyped as young, beautiful, and naked in a hit sci-fi thriller, what sort of scripts were sent to you? Femme fatale stuff?
It used to be . . . my God! I got every femme fatale science fiction script and some turned out pretty damned good. Like Men in Black or Independence Day. Now I see a much wider range of scripts.
You turned down those movies?
I won't say they were offered to me. But Independence Day and Men in Black, I read those scripts and I couldn't get through them. And they turned out to be these really cool films. I like comedies and dark, edgier kind of things. I'm more into that light stuff. I'm a fluffy little girl.
What have you seen lately that you liked?
Bridges of Madison County was so fluffy and pretty, I loved it. I liked Unforgiven a lot too.
You're a fan of Meryl Streep's?
Who isn't a Meryl Streep fan? If you're not, somethings not quite right. She's brilliant. So incredible. I like Clint Eastwood in a different way not as a great actor but as this legend.
Do producers now take you seriously as an actress?
I've done seven films now. It's taken a while to get people to trust me to do romantic comedy, but those are the last two things I've done . . . and not a bit of clothes shed. If that goes well, I think that's the direction I'd like to go in.
Has there been one great role you wanted but didn't get?
The role Kim Basinger played in L.A. Confidential. I read with writer-director Curtis Hanson. It was the only one I'd read in so long, and for some reason it affected me. And when she got the Academy Award for that, I thought, "It's possible!" She used to model and she's beautiful and she was one of the people who you never think of getting Oscars: "They can't be good if they look like that." I was so impressed, and it felt so close to me because I'd read for it.
How do you rate your career this far?
I think I made bad choices. The studios want to pigeonhole me and put me in science fiction. I needed time to gather myself, get some coaching and take classes. I did a few movies early on I am not particularly fond of. Now, it's coming around and I just did a couple of movies I'm proud of.
You won't be specific about which films you weren't happy with, but how was working with Van Damme in Maximum Risk?
It was a little different. Jean-Claude would be the most incredible producer he's so business minded. I think he puts a lot of energy into the business. But it was difficult. We were working with a Chinese director who spoke little English, and with Jean-Claude the acting part isn't as important as the business or the producing part. I think he'd be a great actor if he'd care more. And if you're working with someone like that, you don't care as much. It's like, "Enjoy Toronto and go get some food."
The films you mentioned that you're proud of are a couple of independents that have yet to be released. What can you say about those?
In Dog Park I play a character named Lorna, a children's show and book show host, and it's about dogs and their owners. It's a kooky little comedy directed by Bruce McCulloch from Kids in the Hall, and Janeane Garofalo does a part in it. It's sweet. And I've just finished It Had to Be You where I'm a schoolteacher who comes to New York to plan her wedding. Her fiance has to go off for business. She meets another guy who's planning his wedding, and his fiance is also away on business. We realize we're not with the right people in our lives. But I'm a very moral character and I have a huge problem dealing with this uncertainty.
That's quite a switch, being funny after Species.
It's not like major comedy it's quirky and cute and romantic. It's not like I'm doing skits. But my biggest concern was the emotional thing: as a person I have a problem being emotionally available. When I said "yes" to It Had to Be You, I wondered, "Will I be available as an actor?" And it came through and it happened but I was nervous.
How did you get ready to film the emotional scenes in that movie?
I was a mess. Sometimes I just make things up and hope it gets me there. I'm one of those actors . . . I'm always better when the other actor's on camera. I'm sobbing when they're doing their stuff, and sound is telling me, "Can you stop!" And as soon as it comes to me, I'm not ready, and that's a problem if it happens a lot. I'm getting over that.
Have you found someone in your own life you can say, "It had to be you" to?
I'm not sure. Maybe . . . it would have to be no. Relationships have always been my downfall. It's the one problem I've had.
You've been married twice, to actor Damian Chapa. How did that happen?
We ran off to Vegas and got married and then when I went home to my folks in Canada we got married in a church. We didn't get married and divorced and remarried.
But it didn't last.
A large percentage of those marriages on impulse in Las Vegas don't. I was living . . . living that David Lynch film.
Wild at Heart?
Yeah, I was wild at heart. For a while.
Is your family horrified now that you're going to be a mother and you're not married?
Liam and I have lived together for two years and they adore him and like him more than me. They're very happy for us.
Do you figure once down the aisle was enough, and you'll never marry again?
Not necessarily. But I don't think jumping into marriage is the smartest thing to do. There's a lot to do right now. We are very close to one another and I think we'll be really good parents. As for having this baby, I have normal fears like anyone. I'm very happy.
How is life with Liam?
Everything he loves, I love, and whatever I want to do, he'll do with me. He's so great, so easygoing. We met through a blind date I was having with his friend. He'd somehow miraculously showed up at the date, and a couple of days later I told this guy, "I really like your friend." That's how we met.
He's an actor, too. Do you want to work together?
I wouldn't mind working with him sometime. It would be fun.
If the baby is due in October, that means it will be a Libra?
I'm thinking Scorpio because they say it comes a little late.
You have many fans on the Internet, almost a Natasha Henstridge cult. How do you feel about that?
I'm so fortunate fans are going to see my movies and have helped my career and my life. I'm not a big fan of the Internet and this huge freedom of my information. They think they're getting all these facts and I've never set up my own Web site.
Have you thought of taking control and opening your own Web site then?
I guess that would be the thing to do but I'm so uninterested in computers. I'm much more of an outdoor, "natural" kind of person. I love to go camping and horseback riding. That's more fun than sitting at computers.
So you're happy playing real, normal women these days?
It's funny the "grass is greener on the other side" thing is coming to my head. I was doing that strong woman thing and wanted to play the emotional characters. Now that I've done these romantic comedies, I'm ready to go back and be a wild woman!