Over the last 15 years the versatile Amy Smart has tackled a multitude of genres on both the big screen and TV including comedy, action, sci-fi, teen stories, and horror films like Strangeland, Mirrors and Takashi Shimizu’s upcoming supernatural spookfest set on a plane – 7500.
Smart is currently celebrating the March 6th release of another recent horror project- the dramatic thriller Columbus Circle– in which she plays Lillian Hart, a privileged but battered wife who reaches out to socialite recluse Elizabeth Clayton (Selma Blair) for help when her husband’s (Jason Lee) abuse goes too far.
Giovanni Ribisi, Kevin Pollak, Beau Bridges and Jason Antoon round out the Columbus Circle ensemble.
Dread Central recently had the opportunity to chat briefly with Smart about what excited her about coming on board Columbus Circle, why she likes keeping her resume so diverse and just how scary she thinks 7500 will be for audiences when the flick arrives in theaters this August.
Dread Central: Can you talk about how you got involved with Columbus Circle? It had to be a great experience working with the great cast that you had on this.
Amy Smart: Columbus Circle was such a fun movie to work on because the material was so great; the story has so many different twists and turns and I thought it was a lot different than a lot of other thrillers right now because you just never know where the story will end up going. That’s the kind of movie I like to watch so I knew it was going to be a great experience.
When I got offered the role and realized who I’d be making this movie with, that got me really excited to be a part of it. Jason is such a nice guy in real life but a lot of our scenes were really intense and emotionally charged so that was kind of strange because he’s not that guy in the movie at all. I’ve actually known Selma for years, but this was the first time we’ve actually been able to work together so that was pretty great. I think the fact that we are so comfortable with each other and have that familiarity really translates in our scenes together- and really, everyone was great to work with. There was a lot of talent involved with this movie and it shows in the final product.
DC: What I thought was very interesting about your character, Lillian, is that you spend about half of the movie thinking one thing about her and then out of nowhere, secrets are revealed and there’s an entirely new character that we’re following. Was it fun to play a complicated character like you did here?
Amy Smart: Lillian was a really interesting character to get to know and breathe life into because she has that duality- she is deceiving and conniving but she also plays off everything very innocently, like she blames everyone but herself when things start to go wrong. Lillian certainly was a deceitful character but I also think there is a small part of her that genuinely wants to connect with others- she lives a lonely life on the run and I think deep down, Lillian just wants to settle down into a normal life and leave all the deceit behind her. Unfortunately, she never gets that chance because of how everything works out in the story and even though Lillian is a villain, she’s kind of a victim too.
DC: Your resume is incredibly varied after working so steadily in the industry for 15 years now- what is it that you look for now when new considering projects to keep things fresh?
Amy Smart: You know, I always like to keep my work varied so I don’t get pigeonholed into one category of movies or really- just end up bored professionally. I like trying new things and challenging myself as an actress so while I’ve done a lot of drama, I’ve also done a few comedies, some romantic comedies and some horror- I think the only way you can continue to improve as a performer is to keep pushing yourself.
DC: I know you recently just worked on 7500, which is a supernatural horror flick set inside a plane- so how much is this movie going to mess with people who already hate flying?
Amy Smart: Oh wow, let me just tell you something – that movie is going to be scary! (laughs) But yeah, I knew the scares were going to be there from reading the script, but to actually see the atmosphere while shooting on set was something else entirely. It was just creepy stuff and the fact that it’s set on a plane is just so unnerving because we all hate to fly; any time you feel turbulence, you can’t help but start to panic and the ‘turbulence’ they had on set was just insane. Even though our director Takashi (Shimizu) doesn’t speak English, his kind of horror was able to translate, and I really think fans are going to be terrified by this movie.
George Gallo’s thriller Columbus Circle stars Selma Blair, Amy Smart, Jason Lee, Giovanni Ribisi, Kevin Pollak, and Beau Bridges. Look for it on DVD and Blu-ray on March 6th, 2012.
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