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||Bombshell comedian meets hump-backed funny lady in girl-on-girl free for all!
Well known for her bit as Stifler's head-turning mom in American Pie, Coolidge also sizzled as a bored trophy wife seduced by her lesbian dog trainer in Christopher Guest's Best in Show.
AMY: I fantasized about us doing a cop show together. We're a team. You're so tall and I'm so short. We would be roommates, something like Ren and Stimpy, but we're real. Nobody really knows what our relationship is, but we're pals. Maybe we solve crimes. We'll call it Pretty Ugly. It would be fun to do something like that with you. You just ooze sex and trouble.
JENNIFER: Somebody once told me, "You have this really crazy look in your eye, like you could be insane. It's the same thing that Karen Black had." I'll take the sexy thing, but when people say you look insane …
AMY: Insane is a wild card. But it's always been my choice to play ugly rather than pretty. I'm the one-eyed guy in the lobby. I think that's what my audience is, too ugly people. My brother did a book tour, and he said, "Amy, I always knew who your fans were because they would always be the ugliest people."
JENNIFER: I think those one-eyed guys are more interesting in the end.
AMY: Oh yeah. They're the real diamonds, the geeks.
JENNIFER: Tomorrow I'm going to meet Paul Reubens for lunch.
AMY: Peewee Herman?
JENNIFER: We're doing this show on Monday that is a takeoff on bad actor showcases, the kind where everyone makes really bad choices. Paul is playing the blind guy in Butterflies Are Free. Of course he doesn't know his lines and has to read them off of his hand. He's amazing. I'm playing a Beverly Hills housewife doing The Glass Menagerie.
AMY: Whenever I had to bring a monologue into an audition I would take something from Our Bodies, Ourselves. I wasn't going to fucking memorize some boring Shakespeare thing that you'd already heard three times that day. Instead it would be, "I like something small in my anus during lovemaking. No pressure, no movement, just plain there." It's really good. And people learn from it.
JENNIFER: I don't know how actors are able to walk into an audition, win everyone over, and at the same time be aloof enough so that people think you don't quite want the job. It's a really complicated moment. You have to play fifty different things at once.
AMY: You might as well be naked. They're staring at you and you're like, "I can't make you laugh right now. I want to know that you're into it, too."
JENNIFER: I used to go into auditions and present one hundred different possibilities for one part. I thought that would be interesting to some directors, but that just confuses them. I know this sounds stupid, but the less you give, the better.
AMY: You're right. You have to go in with a solid choice and stick to it.
JENNIFER: Even with one choice, you have to do less than what you set out to do. I can't explain it, but if you really nail it, you don't get the part. You have to leave it where you don't quite give them what they want so they feel like they can give their input. I've never really pulled it off. Christopher Guest doesn't make people audition for his shit.
AMY: Best in Show, forget about it, I can't even imagine getting to work with those people. SCTV was my favorite show growing up.
JENNIFER: That is such a talented group. They're very cool people who got a dose of fame, but none of them are full of themselves.
AMY: They seem grounded like that. All they want to do is make each other laugh. It was all improvised, right?
JENNIFER: Yeah. All the dialogue was. I didn't really know how Best in Show was going to turn out. Christopher has a vision, but it's not really clear until the movie is completed. I got a rough outline that said I'm in a relationship with an old man and eventually I end up falling in love with my female dog trainer. I had to figure out how I was going to get there, what this character was going to say. Christopher is the genius behind making it all work. He's an incredible editor. There was tons of footage where I knew I wasn't funny. Actually, the stuff I thought was going to be used was sort of darker.
AMY: Everything that came out of your mouth was perfect. I hate to go see improv, but I come from it. I was at Second City and I still use improvisation as a tool, but I have no desire to get up on stage and say, "Who, What, Where." But, when people are good at it, like everyone in that movie, boy, it's like magic.
JENNIFER: The great thing is that anything that I pre-planned didn't come out well at all you really can't cheat at improv. All the good shit happens when you're winging it. It was such a fun thing to do. I live in LA and I was in all these wretched acting classes
AMY: Los Angeles is some weird pretend land. It doesn't seem real to me at all.
JENNIFER: Yeah. There's a girl in my gym, and she had all this weird shit done to her face. I can't take my eyes off her she doesn't look like any human being I've ever seen. My trainer was saying that her face had been green for about four months. I'm not talking light green. She had a bright green face. It must have been a cheekbone implant that backfired. And there's a guy there who winks at himself and talks to himself in the mirror. It's bizarre. His trainer just stands there and waits for him. He's having a sort of love affair with himself.
AMY: Have you ever lived with a guy before?
JENNIFER: When you live with somebody, you're showing all these incredibly real moments. If I get married, I'm going to live in the house next-door.
AMY: I'm the same way.
JENNIFER: Otherwise, I don't know how you can possibly stay attractive and full of mystery and all that stuff
AMY: when you're on top of each other all the time. You need your space.
JENNIFER: James Bond couldn't have lived with a woman. I mean, who really wants to know that James Bond can fart?
AMY: When they become real and human to you, or you to them, the game's over.
JENNIFER: I just feel it's really hard to maintain the desire to fuck someone's brains out if you live together. I can't speak for the guys, but I'm sure I become less attractive. I can't live with a man unless he goes on long trips. My father was always out on a boat or spending time in his studio playing his piano. My mom felt like she didn't get enough of him, but she always said that was the key. Maybe she instilled that in me.
AMY: Are your parents alive?
JENNIFER: My mother passed away about six years ago. My father is still alive. He's like eighty-three.
AMY: Was your mom supportive? Did she get to see you work?
JENNIFER: She was very supportive, even though she really didn't know what to make of my dream to be an actress or a comedian or whatever I am. Before she died I appeared on an episode of Seinfeld and somehow that made everything right for her.
AMY: Losing your mom changes everything in the world.
JENNIFER: The best, most interesting thoughts I've ever had in my life were when my mother was dying and right after she died. Everything was so raw. I was so clear when she was dying. I don't feel it now. A porthole opened up, a sort of objectivity. It becomes very clear what's not important. If I was a songwriter, I would have written all my best songs during that time.
AMY: Because you feel alive. You have to be right there in that moment, you can't be dwelling in the past or looking at the future. You're living this thing, and that's all that matters. When you perform, I swear, that's what I see. I see you right fucking there, in the moment.
JENNIFER: For every good moment, there are a hundred bad ones. Sometimes I really suck. It's always incredibly humbling. It was really weird doing Legally Blonde with Reese Witherspoon. She didn't have those moments. She never had a really shitty take.
AMY: What are you working on now?
JENNIFER: I just finished the new Christopher Guest film, A Mighty Wind. It's a mockumentary about folk music. I play a publicist. We did it exactly like Best in Show, with the same group of people. I think it's his best work.
AMY: Do you have any hobbies or things you like to do when you aren't working?
JENNIFER: I'm becoming obsessed with collecting bad art.
AMY: Art is tricky. What kind of bad art do you collect?
JENNIFER: Paintings that are done very badly. I discovered that true, great art, is art with an intention to be great. I just found this amazing painting of a bullfighter and his bull. The bull has an absurd expression on his face, like he has a sense of humor, and the bullfighter looks like he's mentally retarded. But you know the guy painting it was thinking this was a sexy bullfighter.
AMY: They did the best job they could.
JENNIFER: If someone gives it their all, even if they're not very good, something amazing happens.