Jennifer Connelly :: Interview Magazine
They may have put her in a cage, but here’s an actress who won’t be tamed. It took years for Jennifer Connelly to teach the world that she was a serious actress. And, as she discovered while working in Africa on her latest film, it took acting for her to learn some serious lessons about the world. She takes the Dec 2006/Jan 2007 issue of Interview Magazine. Interview by Editor-in-Chief Ingrid Sischy, photographs by Max Vadukul.
So Jennifer, where are you? Are you in the middle of a film? Yes. I’m in the middle of working on Reservation Road, which we’ve been shooting in Stamford, Connecticut. But right now, it being Sunday, I’m in Vermont, with the family. I’ve been working nights and finished on Saturday morning and the kids slept in the trailer at work. As soon as I wrapped, we piled them in the car, in their pajamas, and came up here in the middle of the night.
Was that your last day of filming, or was it just the end of the week? No, it was just the end of the week. I’m due back at 4:45 in the morning tomorrow. We’re back to working days.
Boy, easy life, huh? [laughs] I don’t want to make it sound like, “Woe is me, isn’t this horrible?” It’s a fabulous life.
How many kids do you have now? Still just the two.
How old is the youngest one? Stellan is three.
The last time I “officially” saw him you were breast feeding him at the cover shoot we did together for our February 2004 issue. Yep. He’s moved on from those days. Now he’s running around from one really horrible store-bought superhero costume to another. You never know. Power Rangers. Batman. Spider-Man. It’s amazing that with such little exposure to these characters, they still really take hold of kids’ imaginations.
He’s got a big week coming up with Halloween. Absolutely.
How about Kai? He was a budding photographer when I last tuned in. He still takes photographs.
If he keeps up the photography, tell him the next time we do a story, I’m putting him to work, okay? Then we won’t have to worry about scheduling the shoot. You’ll tell him to just take the camera and start shooting when you get up.
[laughs] Fantastic. I’ll tell him.
What’s he like? He’s still incredibly articulate. And he’s very interested in science, and very politically aware and environmentally conscious.
A Brooklyn kid, right? Brooklyn kid, yeah. Interestingly, I think, in his community, with his friends, there are a group of them who are concerned.
This is a perfect transition to the subject of the day: Africa. I’ve been noticing-as I’m sure you have as well-what a big subject Africa seems to be again. Just to name a few of the movies of the last couple of years or so, there’s been Hotel Rwanda , The Constant Gardener , The Last King of Scotland, Catch a Fire, God Grew Tired of Us, Tsotsi. . . . Now Blood Diamond is coming out, the film you star in with Leonardo DiCaprio. And soon we’re getting The Foolishness of God. Then in the fashion world, there’s Product Red, a new initiative organized by Bono and Bobby Shriver in which all these companies-Motorola, Gap, Emporio Armani, etc.-have been creating products designed to feed profits back to the Global Fund. Hey, Africa’s always been there, but it seems the rest of the world zooms in and out in terms of consciousness about it. I was born in South Africa, and spent my early life there, so maybe I’m overly sensitive about the ways in which Africa is often misrepresented, condescended to, or ignored. But now seems to be one of those times where it’s really lit up as the continent of the zeitgeist, doesn’t it? Well, I’m not really sure why the tide has turned that way, but I think it’s a great thing. Blood Diamond is pitched to a large audience, but there is real virtue in that in terms of public awareness. Our film takes place in Sierra Leone and tells the story of the conflict between the government and the rebels-the Revolutionary United Front [RUF]¬and how the profits from the diamonds which were being smuggled out of the country were used to finance the war, which is why they’re called conflict diamonds or blood diamonds. The war was responsible for the massacre of scores of people, as was the horrific campaign of the RUF, in which they chopped off the arms of civilians. The RUF also used children as soldiers, kidnapping boys and girls and using them in support of their fight.
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