Juliette Lewis Shoots Her Mouth Off — Natural Born Killers Image

Juliette Lewis (On the set of Natural Born Killers)

How did you manage to beat out everybody else for the part of Mallory Knox?
I just met with Oliver and I sold him on the idea that only I could play somebody who could tear your throat out with their bare hands. I said ‘If you honestly think that any other actress could actually kill you, physically, with their bare hands, then go for it.’

Did he ask for a demonstration?
No. You know, you just have to have it internally. Physically, you can be small but still be the person to actually shoot a gun, or just be able to maul someone and go crazy. And I’m really thin because my metabolism goes crazy, especially on a movie. I was a little bigger when I started. [Laughs]

Did [weapons and tactics instructor] Dale Dye help bring out some of that killer instinct?
Well, it’s always there, but I had to learn how to use the stuff. Like, I never used a gun before so I had to got used to that. And I did a little boxing which was fun and a little fighting just to get oriented with the physicalities of fighting and stuff. ‘Cause it’s all fake. I could probably fight pretty good when it’s just made up spontaneous stuff, ’cause that’s what fighting is. But when it’s staged it’s so hard to make it look raw and everything.

“I could play somebody who could tear your throat out with their bare hands.”

But you did do some of that in Cape Fear. There’s a lot of physical stuff toward the end of that, too.
Yeah, but that was mainly being like pulled about. It wasn’t me like hitting or taking a punch or something like that.

Did you look back at anything that Robert DeNiro did in that film for his character for Mallory in this film?
No, I don’t look at it ahead of time, I don’t really preplan but as I was doing it I was reminded of his character, though.

Is there anything that you may have incorporated?
No, that’s totally by coincidence. But yelling in a Southern accent and the narcissistic kind of thing reminded me of him though.

Well, do you think that a character like that which is really different than your character in that he’s a man, a big guy who looks physically challenging but like in the opening scene of this film – Did you see any footage?
No, I haven’t seen anything, I’ve read a draft of the screenplay, but the thing that is most shocking about it is that your character just f*****g coils and just rips on these guys. Do you think it’s going to knock people out of their boots?

Oh yeah, well wait until you see it (laughs). I don’t know, it’s really surreal, it’s really great. I think so, so they’re telling me. Only because from a girl, you don’t very often see a girl ranting and raving – – not in a girly fashion either. This is like… I can’t explain it to you but, I’m aware that my anger is a little bit different than most, if I could be so bold. I don’t know, you have to see it. That’s why I don’t like talking about it. I’d rather someone see it then if they’re blown away, they’re blown away and if not that’s fine, you know.

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