Just A Minute With: Angelica Huston on kooky roles

Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:26am EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - Oscar-winning actress Angelica Huston has played some kooky characters in her nearly 40-year film career.

Think Morticia Addams in 1991's "The Addams Family," the steely con-artist Lilly in "The Grifters" and the matriarch of an eccentric family in "The Royal Tenenbaums."

Her latest movie, dark comedy "Choke", opens in the United States on September 26 with Huston playing the demented mother, held in an asylum, of a sex addict son who runs a scam in which he chokes himself in restaurants to gain sympathy, and cash, from other diners.

Huston, 57, who won an Oscar for her role as the daughter of a Mafia boss in love with a hitman in "Prizzi's Honor" (1985), talked to Reuters about her attraction to dysfunctional screen roles and how actresses over age 35 survive in youth-obsessed Hollywood.

Q: You have played a lot of weird characters over the years. Do they simply appeal to you or are you getting typecast?

A: "I've been lucky to be able to make my own choices and not feel like I've been guided too much other than by my own instincts. I guess I get offered a certain type of role when it comes to mothers -- they are generally not your predictable blonde on blonde mothers. They are spikier and more dangerous, and in this case, utterly self-delusional. Putting them together and finding the honest notes is always fun."

Q: Why were you drawn to the character of Ida in "Choke".

A: "I responded to the story. I thought the character was fascinating and I liked the idea of playing young and older. It is definite food for thought, this movie. It is about trying to satisfy the great open maw of hunger for love and attention and affection and how this poor guy Victor is never going to get it from Ida.   Continued...

<p>Actress Angelica Huston poses for photographers at her arrival to the premiere of the movie 'Daddy Day Care" in Los Angeles, May 4, 2003. REUTERS/Brad Rickerby</p>