Some time ago when Leighton Meester was in town, I shared a back seat with her enroute to the airport. Parts of that interview are here, here, here and here. This post is what she told me about her role as Nina Ostroff in The Oranges, which features a terrific cast, including Hugh Laurie. (The film had its TIFF opening at the Winter Garden Theatre last night. When asked whether they knew about Hugh's role as a spokesman for L'Oréal Paris Men Expert, castmates reacted with surprise, even shock – see them here.)
LEIGHTON MEESTER "...I did a movie called The Oranges. That was a wonderful cast. We shot it in New York: Hugh Laurie, Katherine Keener, Allison Janney, Oliver Platt. [It's] about two families who are best friends and neighbours. My character is the daughter of one family who falls in love with the father in the other family. It's very funny and dark.
BEAUTYGEEKS That kind of role is going to make some people uncomfortable. How do you deal with that, prepping for it, then just doing it?
The script is amazing, one of the best scripts I've ever read. I fell in love with it the first time I read it, and being on the set... it was a delicate subject because I know a lot of people wouldn't understand. But at the same time, the two characters actually love each other. It's a real love story, not just lust. It's not necessarily a happy story, but it has a lot of truth in it, and is all about learning about life and how things change. It doesn't always stay the same. I think we executed it in a way people will understand and sympathize with... and, I mean, it's Hugh Laurie.
I did "House," years ago. I played a young girl who gets sick in the brain and becomes obsessed with him. He's wonderful and a completely different character in this. In "House" he's so cool and sarcastic, but in this movie he's very funny, but he's so awkward. He lives a very rigid lifestyle; my character helps him break out of that. We have a lot of fun together. We had a blast on that movie; I adore him.
What's it like working with someone you've worked with before, but in a completely different story, as a different character?
...the beauty of working with someone like Hugh Laurie [is that] he really makes excellent choices as far as what he decides to do with the character. Whether it's from wardrobe to the way he to the way he walks – I really admire that. You have to make really firm choices with your characters and really follow through.
That's the beauty of my job, I get to play all of these different people and fall in love with each one of them for different reasons. And also notice their flaws and love them for that, too. This character in The Oranges is very imperfect.
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I didn't see the movie last night, so I'll head for the theatres when it's released. Will you see it?