Alexis Bledel first shot to fame as one of the two “Gilmore Girls.” Now she’s doing a radically different kind of shooting
In “Gilmore Girls,”the drama that premiered to critical acclaim on the WB in October 2000 and ran for seven seasons, Bledel won accolades for her portrayal of Lorelai Leigh ‘Rory’ Gilmore, the only daughter of a single mother who dreams of going to an Ivy League college to become a foreign correspondent.
On the big screen, Bledel has appeared in “Tuck Everlasting” (2002), Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s “Sin City” (2005), “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” (2005) and its sequel (2008), and “Post Grad” (2009). She also played the recurring role of Beth Dawes during the fifth season of AMC’s “Mad Men” and played Lady Jaye in the popular Funny or Die short, “The Ballad of G.I. Joe” (2009).
Alexis Bledel’s latest project is “Violet & Daisy,” which follows a pair of young female assassins as they descend into a strange and surreal world following their supposedly last “job.” Written and directed by “Precious” screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher, “Violet & Daisy” pairs Bledel up with Saoirse Ronan, who’s no stranger to playing a trained killer after her recent turn in Joe Wright’s “Hanna” (2011).
We spoke with Alexis Bledel about “Violet & Daisy” and her upcoming return to television in this fall’s Fox comedy, “Us & Them.”
BRYAN ENK: A good trailer is hard to do these days, but I really like the trailer for “Violet & Daisy.” It starts as this kind of fast-paced thriller with James Gandolfini and Danny Trejo shows up and then about halfway through it shifts into something a lot more surreal and sinister. Would you say that’s something that translates to the feature film itself – does it reinvent itself as it goes along, or how would you describe the film and what makes it unique?
ALEXIS BLEDEL: Yes, the trailer is definitely a good indication of what the film is. The film starts and ends in starkly different places, blending different genres along the way. The story takes place in a very unique universe that Geoffrey created and we all dove into it head-first!
BE: How did you come to be involved with this project initially and what made you want to be a part of it?
AB: I auditioned for Geoffrey and [producer] Bonnie Timmerman. It was the dialogue of the characters that seemed very distinct – just the dialogue alone explained who the character was to me and as I started, you know, playing around with it in different ways in front of Geoffrey, I kind of landed on a version of it that he really liked.
Then we got into rehearsals with Saoirse and … you know, once the two girls start sort of spitting that dialogue back and forth, it’s such a distinct world … it almost starts to define the world of the film by itself, just because it’s so specific – it has this unique sort of cadence to it.
But the overall reason I wanted to do this film is for me, as an actor, it’s always an incredible challenge to play someone who’s so extreme and different from other characters I’ve played.
BE: Was there any project or a particular role you’ve done before that you feel was a good warm-up or preparation for “Violet & Daisy”?
AB: I’ve worked on some films where I’ve been able to stretch and go in different directions and play characters that deal with darker subject matter. I think every time you get to stretch a little bit more … “Sin City” was obviously darker stuff, and I’ve done some independent films that never came out [laughs] in which I got to play more disturbed characters, though Violet is certainly the most disturbed of all.
BE: Going into as many or as few spoilers as you like, is there a particular moment or scene in the film that you can’t wait for audiences to see?
AB: I think one of the scenes where there’s a shift – you know, one of those shifts we were talking about that you see in the trailer – that sort of bends the tone of where the film is going a little bit is when the girls … they’ve gone on their mission and they’ve fallen asleep and they wake up and … this man is sitting in a chair across from them, calmly, sort of waiting for them to wake up – of course, the wonderful James Gandolfini, who’s playing against type in this film, he does something so delicate, just a really cool performance on his part. But that scene … I think it will throw off the audience in an interesting and fun way because it’s … nobody reacts the way you think they’re going to.
BE: Is there a particular good memory you have from shooting the film – was there one particular day or scene that went really well … or maybe something funny happened? [laughs]
AB: [laughs] Certainly. I’m trying to remember now, we shot this film like three years ago. [laughs] I’m trying to remember something that’s a whole story, I remember bits and pieces … every time Violet leaves the apartment, she’s really charged, there’s almost like a survival instinct that kicks in and she’s so reckless and troubled so that every time she was out on the street by herself, there’s this really charged energy that’s interesting to play … and then any time she’s working off of Saoirse’s character Daisy, they have such a unique and strange relationship. Geoffrey really wanted to run with the dynamic that we found, and we really did, so it’s just all the little things you find along the way with your character and it keeps growing until you finish filming the movie.
BE: What do you have coming up next?
AB: I did a pilot for Fox [recently titled “Us & Them”], a single camera comedy that’s based on a BBC series called “Gavin & Stacy” and it got picked up, so we start filming on it this summer in New York. I’m really excited about it – we have a wonderful cast, and the story is a lot of fun – it’s about a guy from New York City who meets a girl from rural Pennsylvania online and on the phone at work and they decide to meet up in person and their two worlds basically collide and come together and … comedy ensues. [laughs]