Interview with Andie MacDowell

Andie MacDowell began her career as a model and made an international name for herself with memorable campaigns for brands such as Calvin Klein and Yves Saint Laurent. Since 1986, she has been the global spokesperson for L’Oréal Paris. Now she joins the cast of the highly entertaining thriller/horror, READY OR NOT.

She is 61 years old.


She has served as the national spokesperson for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and the American Heart Association.


She has three children.

Q: READY OR NOT is your first film in this genre? What was the draw for you?
A: “Yes, it’s my first, flat-out horror movie – and I loved it! I loved the script, which is really clever. I was interested because, right now, this kind of movie is very successful; they are in demand, unlike art films. It’s actually hard to come up with a great story for a horror movie; I’ve tried! And the script was just brilliant. The writers [Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy] came up with an amazing concept about an over-the-top, wealthy family. Then, to bring in the idea of Hide and Seek to the story was so interesting. Obviously, as adults we don’t play Hide and Seek anymore, but I have visceral memories of playing the game as a child, and I remember that feeling of hiding and being looked for. It’s exciting and exhilarating!”

Q: The film is scary but also very funny isn’t it?
A: “It is funny and the humor was really appealing to me. When I was reading the script, I said, ‘How can I have fun with this?’ And the directors were very sweet; they let me elaborate on some lines. There’s a line where I go, ‘Oh, Holy Dick!’ It’s a tiny, fun detail I added in, which to me made everything even more amusing, because it defines my character’s weirdness and helps to make her interesting. The role involved a very dry sense of humor. It’s not silly humor. Also, they gave me great lines. There is a little line I love when I am trying to shoot Samara and I miss. I say to her, ‘In my defense, it’s been a while…’"

Q: What was it like working with Samara Weaving, who plays Grace?
A: “She is great and works super hard! The filming conditions weren’t easy for her. It was freezing cold outside in Canada, and she was running around in a ripped wedding dress for long hours. Samara is stoic and she’s got a great sense of humor. Also, she’s obviously really comfortable in this genre – horror comedy. It seems to be innately part of her vocabulary as an actor. She’s very funny too.”

Q: Can you talk about your own sense of humor? Is your sense of humor natural?
A: “I do think it is part of my nature. It’s about knowing how to deliver a line. Comedy is all about timing; it’s like good music.”

Q: Andie, you’ve starred in some indelible classics. Looking back, what are your thoughts about SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE, GROUNDHOG DAY and FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL?
A: “Well, they were brilliant movies. So many people still love GROUNDHOG DAY [the 1993 comedy directed by Harold Ramis] after all this time. It’s a film that great filmmakers cite as one of their favorites. FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL [1994, directed by Mike Newell) was made for just seven million dollars and it was revolutionary. It was a little movie that marked a dynamic change for the business. And I’m really proud of SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE [1989 film directed by Steven Soderbergh] for the same reason that, movie-wise, it changed the business. It made Sundance [the Film Festival], it changed perspectives on how to make money, and it was something everybody wanted to see.”

Q: As perceptions of women and beauty have changed culturally, are the roles for women finally improving do you think?
A: “It’s still much easier to find good roles when you’re young, because there is still the concept that the value of a woman is her looks. Men can get pudgy, men can age and they’re still attractive. It’s really hard for a woman to be perceived as interesting in our culture unless it’s about her looks. So, getting roles becomes more difficult if we see women as expiring at a certain age. I have conversations with women all the time about how scary it is to get older. It’s not easy when that is projected onto us and when we’re not seen as valuable, just because we’re older. I hope that by the time my children are my age, women will be seen as beautiful no matter how old they are, just as men are. I’m hoping that will happen for future generations.”

Q: You are still working, how fulfilling is your career at this point?
A: “Well, I went to dinner recently with a woman who’s very high up in the business; she works for an important agency and she is 61. Another friend of mine was there, who’s a writer in her late 50s. We were talking about why we still want to work and why it should even be a question, because at 60, these days, we are still young. And it is important for all of us creatively to work. We have so much life left inside us at 60. I don’t feel old, 60 is not old anymore. I’m in great shape. I can out-hike a lot of 20-year-olds I take hiking, who can’t keep up with me! So yes, work is important and it’s a valuable part of my life. I’m going to continue to work one way or another (laughs).”

(10 pictures)

Film premieres

Wreck-It Ralph

American, animation, 92 min., 2012
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