Friday, February 10, 2012

My Rachel McAdams Interview

Rachel McAdams on loving with heart and brain
By Raymond de Asis Lo, L.A. Correspondent (The Philippine Star) Updated February 10, 2012 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments

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Rachel with co-star Channing Tatum (left) in a scene from the new romantic drama.
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MANILA, Philippines - “Are you in love with the idea of someone? Or are you in love with the fight more than the outcome?” Rachel McAdams posed this rhetorical question during our recent interview with her at the junket for the new romantic drama The Vow, which opens in theaters today.

The Vow tells the moving love story of a couple whose relationship had to endure a very difficult test when the wife lost all her memory of the husband after a tragic accident. Rachel portrays Paige, the wife, while hunky Channing Tatum, who is transitioning into an A-List actor, plays her devoted husband Leo.

The heart of the story is the struggle that Channing’s character had to go through in trying to win back the affection and love of his wife who sees him as nothing but a stranger. “I think the hardest thing about this is that ultimately no matter what you do the other person who’s lost their memory — it has to be their idea,” Rachel explained. She also noted that after researching for her role and after talking with experts on memory loss, she believes that “even if all your memories are erased, you will find your way back.”

Rachel, who was stunning in the royal blue dress she wore to the junket, added, “There’s this kernel of truth inside of you, no matter what happens to you, that you can connect with and that extends to the people that you connect to in life.”

In real life, her love life has a more ordinariness to it. Thankfully. No memory loss to worry about, just the occasional paparazzi and the curious questions posed by journalists.

The beautiful actress, who has previously dated Ryan Gosling and is now in a relationship with British actor Michael Sheen, is known to be very reserved and private in real life so our interview with her was markedly different from our session with Channing.

While Channing was a little more candid and forthcoming — and no particular topic was off-limits to him, his The Vow co-star was more scant with the information she wanted to share with us during our roundtable interview.

This limitation opened up the roundtable to the more interesting and serious subject of the psychology of love and of falling in love that the movie brings up — and Rachel’s thoughts and ideas turned out to be just as fascinating.

Consider these questions:

Don’t people fall in love with their hearts and not with their brain?

If one meets a stranger then falls in love in the process, why can’t someone who lost her memory fall in love again with the same person even if that person is nothing but a stranger yet again? Can’t she teach herself to fall in love again?

These are some of the philosophical questions that Rachel happily shared her ideas about.

“Because there’s so much pressure to remember,” she replied to the latter question. “That clouds your ability to just be with the person. That clouds your ability to just go on and have nice easy, breezy dates and get to know each other again. There’s so much pressure. There’s so much disappointment.”

She cited one line in the movie when Paige, her character, said to Leo in surrender: “I am so tired of disappointing you and I can’t look into your eyes and see how much I’m hurting you anymore.”

When asked if she thinks it is easier for someone to fall in love with a complete stranger than with someone whom the person had a history with but can’t remember, she finished the question, supplied the last word and immediately responded, “Absolutely!”

“(The Vow) brings up a lot of interesting ideas about fate and destiny and who you are if you don’t have your memory,” she added.

But, all memories intact, can she fall in love again with the same person with whom she has fallen out of love before?

“Well, yeah. I think, in that case, you have these ties that bind, you have the past that tells you, that informs whether you can maybe make it work or not,” she replied before breaking into a short smile and said, “It’s funny how we have selective memories about those things. You break it off and then you come back and it becomes totally different than the first time. It’s selective amnesia!”

And back to the first question, does she love with her heart or with her brain?

“I think it’s both, isn’t it?” she replied but was already holding herself from cracking up because the interview has turned a bit cheesy. “I love cheesy!” she declared before she started laughing the sweet laugh that has endeared her to so many movie fans all over the world.

Our roundtable interview was punctuated by occasional bursts of laughter over some of the more philosophical and cheesier questions except for one awkward moment when one journalist from Israel dared to ask her about Michael. And how Rachel responded to the question was very cute: She just smiled.

Rachel met Michael on the set of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. They have been together ever since.

Before we let Rachel go, we had to ask her one last cheesy question that some of the more romantic people would rather believe — and her reply was a real surprise.

Could it be true that, even if we try, we can only love one person in our lifetime?

“I think that you can fall in love with maybe not hundreds of people but a handful and there is one that you want to really do that for a very long time with,” she offered and ended the interview with a smile, leaving us taken by her gentleness and charm, much like how her characters in movies usually win the heart of the men they love.

My Channing Tatum Interview

The daring, baring Channing
By Raymond de Asis Lo, L.A. Correspondent (The Philippine Star) Updated February 06, 2012 12:00 AM Comments (1) View comments

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Channing Tatum (with Rachel McAdams in The Vow) is so secure with his masculinity that he can talk about his life and even his private part.
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“I did not prank anyone! No, no!” Channing Tatum declared when asked to provide more details about one particularly naughty prank he pulled on the set of his new movie The Vow during last week’s junket in Beverly Hills.

“The swinging pinky d--k?” he asked. “That’s amazing, who told you that?” He was laughing and shaking his head at the same time after we pressed him for details.

The hunky actor, who is enjoying a hot streak in Hollywood at the moment, strapped on a fake penis during a scene that called for him to stand naked in front of co-star Rachel McAdams and started jiggling the extra appendage to annoy her.

The prank did not annoy Rachel but instead amused everyone on the set including the director who patiently waited for things to settle down before filming the scene. In the movie, however, only the actor’s naked backside is shown — but female fans of the sexy actor will definitely take delight in the movie because there are quite a few scenes where he takes off his clothes and bares his chiseled body.

Channing is so secure with his masculinity that he can talk about his past, his career and personal life — and his private part (fake or not) with nary a hesitation or much fanfare. Details magazine once featured an entire article about how he burned his private part while filming an action movie two years ago. He even had pictures of the burnt body part on his mobile phone that he showed to the writer who interviewed him for the story.

Today, the actor is talking less about any body part but more about his hot career, his new movie with Rachel and his upcoming movie with director Steven Soderbergh that’s rumored to be based on the period in his life when he stripped for a living — “I am not really happy to talk about it but I am open about it. I think it’s hilarious. It truly was a ridiculous part of my life.”

Screen Gems’ The Vow is an endearing new movie about love, devotion and sacrifice inspired by a real-life story of a couple who had to endure the most difficult test of their lives when the wife partially lost her memory after a terrible car accident and failed to recognize the very same man she vowed to love all her life.

The movie traces the story after this accident and how Channing’s character Leo tries to win back Rachel’s Paige. The narrative addresses those “impact” moments in everyone’s life when a sudden event plunges us to a new direction and purpose in life and forces us to examine the relationships we have built and the amount of sacrifice we are willing to offer for someone we love.

Channing, 30, is happily married to actress Jenna Dewan in real life and their love story, though it may not directly mirror the love story in The Vow, is just as inspiring and romantic.

But Channing’s part of the story does not start here. It starts miles away from Hollywood, in a small Mississippi town where he grew up not dreaming of becoming an actor.

“I was so defined by sports all my life,” he said. He described himself as a jock before he made the realization that he didn’t want to have anything to do with sports anymore. “I didn’t even want to go to school.” He spent some time trying odd jobs including becoming a stripper before a “creepy guy” (his words) approached him in Florida if he had representation. “I didn’t even know what representation meant,” he revealed.

With no previous experience in acting but armed with his good looks and determination, Channing found himself being cast in several ad campaigns for Armani and Abercrombie & Fitch, among others, and before long he was already doing bit parts in music videos and small movies. And it was when he moved to Hollywood that he finally discovered what it was that he really wanted in life. “I truly just fell in love. I will be doing this ‘til I am dead, until I can’t do it anymore.”

The biggest break, or “impact” moment, in his life came when he did 2006’s Step Up. The movie accelerated his ascent to the top in Hollywood and it also introduced him to his future wife, Jenna.

Unlike other stars, who are so guarded about their personal lives, Channing did let us in on a few bits and pieces about his life with Jenna and how he is working hard every day to make their marriage last.

“When I jump, I jump. I am all in,” he declared. “I think loving somebody and caring for somebody is the same thing. I think it’s just a different way of expressing yourself. It’s one of those things where I don’t think it’s hard to show somebody that you care for them.”

“Write ‘I Love You’ and hide it in a place where it’s hard to find. Don’t worry if she finds it or not. Just hide a bunch of stuff everywhere. That takes 10 minutes to hide a bunch of papers around the house — it’s not that hard.”
Channing’s marriage survives because he and his wife give themselves only two to four weeks away from each other before they really have to drop everything and see each other.

“There’s only so much you can do with Skype. I am not a good phone person. Every two weeks, no matter where we are, we try to see each other and she’s been so good about it. She has traveled more than I have. She’ll come in and hang out for 12 hours and get back on the plane, you know, because she’s busy and vice versa.”

Channing believes “that making time and being really aware of your connection” is the key to a strong relationship.

He also shared a little game that he regularly play with his wife to measure how much they love each other at a given time. He described it as: “It’s like ‘How much do you love me right now on a scale of 1 to 10? You have to be honest.’ And you really have to be honest because otherwise you say 10 but you don’t feel like a 10 and then you don’t get what you need to be a 10. And if you say five, then you are really annoying the s--t out of me. And you say ‘I am sorry’ because you don’t feel like you’ve done your job…”

His candidness slowed down only when we inquired what part of his character’s vow in the movie was lifted from his actual vow. “I would love to tell you guys because it actually meant a lot to me but I don’t really know if I want them out.” (Note: Channing did acknowledge that the vow that he recites in the movie contains portions of his actual wedding vow to his wife.)

To say that Channing is a charmer in person would be an understatement. The guy has an easy smile and he makes you feel like you are his friend. He will most likely gain more fans with The Vow and when his highly anticipated “stripper” flick called Magic Mike hits theaters later this year.

And, contrary to reports, Magic Mike, which he is producing, is not based on his stripping past. “Not a biopic. No. I am not gonna do a story of my life as a stripper. It has nothing to do with it,” he said, trying to shoot down the false rumor. “There is no event that actually happened in the movie that ever happened in my own life. The stuff that happened in my own life was crazier. That life was so weird, such a strange world.”

He may have had a strange past but Channing is in no way living a weird life now — crazy and exciting, yes, but certainly not weird.

(The Vow opens Feb. 10 in Metro theaters.) - entertainment