Traci Lords talks Kevin Smith, ‘Zack and Miri,’ and hints about ‘I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell’
By Ben Rhudy Feb 15, 2009, 16:32 GMT
Get ready for the wild comedy that goes where no movie has dared go before! Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express) and Elizabeth Banks (Role Models) star as two cash-strapped roommates who try to get out of debt by making an adult film. Once the cameras start rolling, things quickly get complicated...and hilarious! Writer/Director Kevin Smith is at his funniest, backed by a motley cast, including Craig Robinson ("The Office"), Jason Mewes ...more
Lifelong friends and roommates Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) are facing hard times and a mountain of debt. When the electricity and plumbing get cut off, they seize upon the idea of making a homegrown porno movie for some quick cash, enlisting the help of their friends.
The two vow that having sex will not ruin their friendship. But as filming begins, what started out as a business proposition between friends turns into something much more.
“Zack and Miri Make a Porno” marks the return of writer/director Kevin Smith to the often scatological comedic realm that he has become famous for. For Smith, the display of crude humor with a heart is a trademark.
“Zack and Miri Make a Porno” is available in stores now on DVD and Blu Ray disc.
From TraciLords.com: “Traci Lords exploded on the entertainment scene in 1986 via a tabloid TV feeding frenzy. Reporters had a field day with the notorious teenager who had left behind an abusive home and landed on the pages of Penthouse Magazine. America was fascinated with the eighteen-year old sexpot who reportedly had starred in dozens of hardcore porn movies and dared seek a legitimate acting career.”
Lords took a few minutes to talk with M&C about her role as “Bubbles” in Zack and Miri Make a Porno and the amount of work involved with balancing a big-name movie with a new baby.
M&C: How did you get involved with Zack and Miri, and just tell me that story, I guess, a little bit.
Lords: I’ve been a fan of Kevin Smith’s for a really long time, I like a lot of his films, and the script was sent over to my agent and my manager, and so I got the call and they said, “The good news is that Kevin Smith wants you to be in his next film.” and I said ‘Fantastic!’ “The bad news is that it’s called ‘Zack and Miri make a Porno’, and I said, ‘oh what?’ At the time I had just had my son. He was just 6 weeks old and that’s just a whole surreal experience in its own because you’re not sleeping and all that stuff is going on.
Lords: I thought, “This is like a sick joke right?”
M&C: It seems like a practical joke.
Lords: Yeah, right. And she said, “You really should read it, it’s very funny.” I wasn’t going to give up the opportunity to meet Kevin Smith at least. I went over to his house and a woman showed me in, and I went and sat in this big room and I read the script and Kevin was nowhere to be found. And I laughed from start to finish. I was completely prepared to say no, but the script was so funny and so much fun that it was intriguing so I’m sitting in this massive living room by myself and I start to get paranoid and I’m thinking, “I wonder if they’re watching me? How am I going to get out of this house? I wandered down this long hallway, like “Hello? Hello?”
At the end of it, out on the patio smoking is this lone figure and it was Kevin and he came walking toward me and he said, “So what do you think Lords? And I said, “Well, I think your film is really funny, but there is some nudity in it and I’m lactating at the moment. I just can’t see myself doing that.” He wrote a really funny script I was prepared to be kind of grossed out but it really made me laugh.
Lords: And he said, “Well, if you want to do the part, we don’t need your boobs for this one.” And we sat and we talked about what he was going to do and all of that and I don’t know, about an hour later I walked out the door and we decided to do the picture together.
M&C: So how long after that did you guys start shooting?
Lords: Let’s see, I time it all with baby development. He was three months old so what, around 7 and a half, 8 weeks later?
M&C: What was your reaction to filming on location in Pittsburg?
Lords: Who doesn’t want to go to Pittsburg, PA in the dead of winter, right?
M&C: Oh, so you guys filmed everything there?
Lords: Yeah, it was freezing.
M&C: I was kind of wondering if any of it was on a sound stage. Because I knew there was a sky line and I knew that was on location.
Lords: No, it was all in Pittsburg. My husband is an iron worker, he does construction iron and he took off three months from work and came back to Pittsburg and he was you know, daddy day care by day and I was sort of going and wondering around on the set, sleep deprived, you know?
Typical mom of a three month old except for the fact that I was dressed from head to toe in leopard print and had high heels and a huge push up bra on, It was really a surreal experience. I was glad I didn’t have too much dialogue because I had “mommy mushy brain” then.
It’s true what they say about women, well at least in my case, after they have babies you don’t really know what not sleeping is like until you have a kid and you’re like, “Wow, it’s that cold cut.” I would be up all night with the baby and I would be wandering around the set, sort of, it was very surreal.
M&C: How’s was the transition to becoming a Hollywood mom…obviously your son is a bit older now.
Lords: He’s fifteen months old now, huh?
M&C: Yeah, that’s crazy…so it was a smooth transition?
Lords: Still crazy, you know it’s weird, because I had my baby and then I had no intention on going back to work that quick and was just going to chill for a while then the Kevin smith project came up. I didn’t gain a lot of weight when I was pregnant. I had one of those stick figure bodies with a basketball. Women talk about that with me and then it just sort of all came together very quickly.
Lords: but I worked more last year, I think, than I have my entire career, so it’s like, it just, I don’t know what that was ... babies are lucky or whatever but I’ve been really blessed. I don’t think you can have it all. I think you get little pieces of this and that and maybe some women can pull that all off but I find it really complicated and amazing to be a mom and just the juggle of being a mom and being an actress.
It’s actually the perfect job, I think, for a mom because you can go do a little, a piece of work and literally not have to work for quite some time
Lords: Kevin Smith’s movie was perfect for me because it was a big ensemble piece, it was hilarious, I had a memorable role but it wasn’t an overwhelming role and just as far as the work load of it, it wasn’t bad. Elizabeth Banks had to do the heavy lifting, so it was perfect. And then after that I went and I did ““I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell”” which is coming out next, it’ll be out I think, early summer.
M&C: What’s your part in the movie?
Lords: Well I’m not really allowed to talk about that…
M&C: Oh, okay.
Lords: I’m a bit of a surprise in it? How I wander through it. It’s very funny and she’s a really wonderful role so it’s nice to have two really funny comedies back to back.
M&C: I noticed on the DVD of “Zack and Miri” that there were a shit ton of deleted scenes. Did you guys film for a long time and they cut a lot out of it?
Lords: I think that Kevin cuts as he goes, he had a lot of great coverage and he had a lot of really talented actors that did a lot of ad-libbing and then at the end of the day they didn’t want a five hour movie. I haven’t seen the DVD so I really don’t have an idea of what you’re talking about.
M&C: There are around 50 deleted scenes, which five times as much as what’s on a normal DVD these days.
Lords: Kevin Smith, he’s a bit of an overachiever.
M&C: He likes to give the fans what they want I guess
Lords: He does things all the way.
M&C: Are you ever going to watch the movie with your son when he’s older?
Lords: I don’t see why not. I think the dirtiest thing about “Zack and Miri” is the title.
M&C: Speaking of the title, what did you think of all the press that it got for people being opposed of the posters in public?
Lords: I thought it was silly.
Lords: I thought that it’s telling the nation, that week “Saw V” opened at the same time and it was accepted in the theaters that we were banned from, so the message is truly that it’s ok to mutilate women but it’s not ok to imply sexuality. I think that’s pretty perverse.
M&C: Not to mention the fact that the DVD’s are up everywhere and they’re in movie stores that children walk in. It just seemed kind of pointless to me.
Lords: Oh, it just seemed so backward. Puritan bullshit. It makes me sick.
M&C: Were there any special clauses in your contract for some of the scenes that you did or was it all just kind of on the fly?
Lords: Well, you saw the movie right?
Lords: I’m not naked in it and nothing in it is really all that explicit so …
M&C: That’s true
Lords: I had made sure I had M&M’s in my dressing room and in my contract, but nothing other than that.
M&C: Other than that you’re fine with everything.
Lords: It’s pretty harmless. I mean Katie [Morgan] should have had some sort of clause in her contract. She threw her back out twice.
M&C: What can we expect next from you, other than the movie you mentioned already, is there anything you’re in the middle of working on?
Lords: “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell” comes next and then after that I wrapped the day before Christmas actually, we were stuck in Kansas, another freezing locale in the middle of nowhere. And we did a film there called “Au Pair Kansas.” I starred in it, but that’s a little indie film.
I think that’s a really nice position to be in to have another big comedy coming out next and then a really sweet indie coming out. That will be the one after, but other than that I’m filming a biography next week, next Thursday, I’m doing the ghost story series that they have.
They have different celebrities that have had whatever kind of experience, and they’re doing one of my stories so that should be fun.
M&C: What was the story that you submitted?
Lords: Well I can’t really tell you that.
M&C: I see, so they got the rights to it, ok.
Lords: They have the rights to it so…. I know they did my friend Jon Waters’ story yesterday; he had a really good story. So you tell them your story and they reenact them with actors, so I’m not sure who will be cast in my story but the lead role is a man in his sixties, so I’m clearly not right for that part.
M&C: So you know Jon from “Cry Baby”? Is that when you first met him?
Lords: Yeah, that was when I first met him that was in 1989. And then we did Serial Mom after that we have a nice history. He’s a good man and a good friend and fiercely talented.
M&C: Thanks, Traci!
Lords: Take care!