LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kate Beckinsale has enjoyed a range of movie roles since breaking into British television in the 1990s. She has worked in epics like “Pearl Harbor,” and starred in low-budget films such as “Snow Angels.”
“Snow Angels,” which is now in theaters more than a year after debuting at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, marked a return to dramas for Beckinsale with her role as an abused mother named Annie.
Beckinsale, 34, talked to Reuters about the movie, her career and motherhood.
Q: Why this particular role in a small, independent film after recent parts in bigger, Hollywood movies?
A: “It was tragic and different, but also not melodramatic. David (Gordon Green, the writer/director) is attracted to the ludicrousness of life even in a very heavy situation and that, I think, doesn’t come out very often. And Annie’s journey is so realistic, yet so intense.”
Q: You seem to take a wide variety of roles as opposed to playing the same basic character in different movies.
A: ”I tried from the very beginning to mix it up. My big horror would be to be stuck doing one thing. I started out with Shakespeare and British movies, and people thought ‘oh she’s English and she can’t really play an American.’ So, I did ‘The Last Days of Disco’ and ‘Brokedown Palace.’ Then I did ‘Pearl Harbor,’ and they were like ‘Oh, she plays period. She’s very fragile. Can’t really imagine her tough.’ So I did ‘Underworld.’ Then, they were like, ‘Well, she’s very tough.’
And I‘m like ‘bloody hell.’ It can be kind of annoying because you think nobody’s memory is very long. At the same time, it kind of keeps you on your toes.”
Q: Over the years, then, in this variety of roles, how do you think you’ve changed as an actress.
A: “The biggest change was going off and doing ‘Underworld’ because it was so completely opposite from anything I’d done. ... It breaks down some expectations you have of yourself and boxes you’ve put yourself in. It makes you slightly more open to all possibilities. And I think that makes me want to make as bold choices as I possibly can.”
Q: Last time we talked was in 2001 for “Pearl Harbor.” Could you have done the role of Annie back then because she is such a complicated character.
A: “Emotionally, I think I could have. I felt like all my skin got flayed off the moment I had a child, (In 1999, she had a daughter, Lily) and I was so sensitive to everything, and as an actor that’s great.”
Q: Being a mom and given the things that Annie goes through in “Snow Angels,” how did that impact you when you went home.
A: “I was glad my husband and my child were there and I could go home and shake it off and crawl into bed with everybody in my life.”
Q: You seem to like working because you do work a lot.
A: “It’s amazing that you are paid for something that you feel you have to do anyway ... so, I would be doing something, even if I weren’t in a movie. That’s just how I feel best.”
Q: And you write, creatively, too?
A: “I was always going to be a writer. I took a slightly wrong turn. ... I sort of got sidetracked, then I got pregnant and even more sidetracked, so I maybe I‘m a late bloomer in the writer category.”
Q: What would you write?
A: “I don’t know. I’ve always been attracted to writing a novel, but it’d be nice to write a screenplay. That’d be cool.”
Q: It seems like you’re a very open person, in the sense of open to change in your life?
A: “I am. I‘m sure that’s the big mistake I’ve made, not having some big campaign or plan. But I like the way my life and my career influence and inform each other. It’s like an adventure to see what comes up next.”