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COED Magazine - The Best of College Life - The home of Miss COED.



Imagine Me and You:
How to Play a Spurned Fiance



Imagine Me and You is not a typical romantic comedy, where boy meets girl, boy loses girl and boy gets girl back. Instead, the film begins with boy and girl's wedding, where she meets¦ another girl? Yikes, poor boy.

But star Matthew Goode did not seem to be upset to be playing another spurned lover (see Match Point), or a character that could be defined as a loser. Goode was in high spirits throughout the interview on press day, laughing and throwing in off-color remarks, though it was hard to tell whether his demeanor was due to his affection for the movie, or his self-professed jet lag. Regardless, he argued that Heck is not a loser, but a very real character striving to do his best in a very difficult situation. Goode went on to describe the particular acting challenge he faced while playing Heck, that of not making him too sympathetic. If audiences identified too strongly with Heck, then they might hate his bride, Rachel, for falling in love with Luce. To that end, writer/director Ol Parker cut out some of Heck's more sympathy-engendering scenes, a move Goode commended. Wait a second, an actor happy to have less screen time? Is that possible?

Goode's agreement with Parker's decision epitomizes the way all three actors described the writer/director heaps of praise and little negativity. The actors even claimed that Parker's script, particularly his witty, natural dialogue was what drew them to the film, his directorial debut. Parker, in turn, praised his actors, particularly Heady, who he implied had the most difficult role; she had to generate sympathy for her character through her acting and facial expressions, with little obvious aid from the script. Interestingly, though both Parker and Goode praised the female stars, they noted that neither was originally supposed to be in the film. The role of Rachel was actually written for Parker's wife, actress Thandie Newton, but plans for her to star had to be scrapped when she became pregnant. But, as they say, everything turned out all right in the end.

Parker offered another interesting tidbit: in his first draft of the script, Rachel fell in love with another man at the wedding, not a woman. That incarnation, however, failed so utterly that he was planning on scrapping the entire idea until he thought of changing the gender of the third leg of the triangle, an enormous surprise to him. Everyone at the interview contended that the film is not a gay love story or a gay movie, but a love story that happened to be between two women. Parker added that he consciously left out any scenes of Rachel questioning her sexuality to keep the movie light and ensure that it would have broad appeal with many age groups. I got the impression he wasn't trying to make a statement but to tell a story, one which happened to contain homosexuality.

Perabo and Heady actually conducted their interviews together, and it was clear that the two are friends and have a good rapport, as they were riffing on each other and finishing each others' thoughts. Or else they're just really good actresses. They both made fun of their earlier co-starring venture, a movie called The Cave that they hoped was, and would remain, forgotten. Perabo was very energetic and seemed to enjoy the questions, while Heady seemed more reserved, letting Perabo answer many of the questions. Perabo, the only American in the cast, had to perfect an authentic British accent for her role neither she nor Parker would accept anything less than a native-sounding accent. To accomplish this, Perabo actually went to England weeks before shooting was to begin on her own dime no less to work with a voice coach and make sure the accent was accurate.

The press day for Imagine Me and You was essentially a love fest everyone loved the movie and their co-stars. Funnily enough, though, it almost describes the movie itself fun, happy and with no villains. Go figure.

©2006 CO-ED Magazine. All Rights reserved.

 

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