CULTURE

Young star not acting her age

Despite being 24 years old, the young actress Alison Lohman is absolutely convincing as Nicolas Cage’s 14-year-old daughter Angela, who is charmed by her dad’s swindles in Ridley Scott’s latest film, «Matchstick Men.» After her collaboration with Scott, Lohman, who is one of Hollywood’s up-and-coming actresses, worked with Tim Burton in the film «Big Fish,» which will be screened later this year, playing the role of young Jessica Lange, Ewan McGregor’s wife. Despite her success, Lohman is hesitant and soft-spoken. Kathimerini met her in London where Lohman, after an exhausting day full of interviews, would ask her public relations manager for permission to even go to the toilet. How did you land the part in «Matchstick Men?» I went to the audition, did a video and met Ridley a week later. It was much easier than other things I’ve had to do, like pass six tests before getting a part. Why are crooks popular in cinema? Because they make a living out of lying and getting away with it. They must have guts, be clever and ahead of everyone else. And, inevitably, they suffer from guilt. People are fascinated by what they don’t do in their daily routine and that’s why in the cinema, criminals, crooks and assassins are successful. Although you are 24, you played the part of a 14-year-old. Were you happy to go back to that age? Yes. I spent a lot of time with a cousin whom I used as a model for Angela; I went along with her and her friends to shopping malls, listened to the music that they listen to and saw what kind of relationship they have with their parents. Although it’s not such a long time ago that I was 14, things are very different now. What kind of father is Nicolas Cage? He is very good, but the truth is that during filming there is not enough time to get to know one’s colleagues in depth. Our relationship was mostly based on the characters of Roy and Angela and that went very well. And what about Ridley Scott? Everything he does is wonderful and there is such a variety in his work. I felt safe with him, I felt I could trust him and he also trusts his actors. He gives you a lot of freedom to try things out and to experiment and puts you at ease to discuss whatever might worry you during filming. He gets into the soul of his characters. I always need help from the director. I know the character and I am aware of what I can offer, but I need someone close to me who can create a safe environment. It makes things much easier. In this film, though, it was easier for me to get into the mind of a 14-year-old than it was for Ridley. As a young actress, do you find it difficult to become established in the film industry? Sure. I still go to auditions and try to find jobs, although things have become slightly easier. I don’t need to go through four auditions any more. The worst part is waiting, or when they tell you you didn’t get the part because you don’t have the appropriate «look.» What look? I know I can act the part, be that person. That’s the hardest thing: being rejected for small, insignificant reasons. Do you feel that, in order to become a star, you must exhibit a certain kind of behavior? You mean to have a boyfriend who’s an actor or something like that? No, I’ve never done that and I don’t intend to. What I always wanted was to become an actress, not to sell my soul. I don’t go to parties, because I feel sleepy by 10 o’clock, and when I do go, I only talk to people I know. I am interested in people who treat me as an actress, not as a celebrity. That’s something I want to stay away from: I don’t want to be pointed out in the street, I want people to watch my films. What are you hoping for concerning your career? I just want to produce good films, tell nice stories and make people laugh and cry. The interview was translated from the Greek text.