Sunday, September 18, 2005

Ode to the Nashville girl

Like many, I am really looking forward to Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash biopic coming out in November (well, I don't really know when it will be released in Greece, but you Americans will get it in November).

I admit I've always liked Reese Witherspoon, partially because she is a good actress, and partially because she is a Nashville girl. Once a relative (perhaps her mother?) was in my doctor's office waiting room, telling a friend about Reese's unhappiness while away filming A Far Off Place. A friend of mine allegedly almost got beaten up by her brother for stealing the brother's girlfriend. Whether or not that is true, I don't know. What I do know is that Nashville is home and Nashvillians are family. So there you go.

The New York Times has a great article about Ms. Witherspoon and her new movie, including the ways she charmed our governor. It does require registration to read, but who doesn't want to read articles in the New York Times?

WHEN "Walk the Line," the film dramatization of the life of Johnny Cash, was in pre-production in 2004, budget concerns dictated that it be shot in Louisiana - which was offering financial incentives - rather than Tennessee, where Cash forged his sound, recorded his earliest hits and made his home. But Reese Witherspoon, set to portray his wife June Carter Cash (opposite Joaquin Phoenix), beseeched Gov. Phil Bredesen to make Tennessee more financially attractive to the producers. When he asked why Ms. Witherspoon was campaigning so hard, her response had nothing to do with the fact that she is a $15 million-a-movie Hollywood star. Sitting in an overstuffed striped chair at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Ms. Witherspoon smoothed the hem of her gauzy Alberta Ferretti dress and acted out her response, narrowing her eyes, pursing her lips and letting her high voice slip into its natural Dixie rhythms. "I told him, 'Because ah am a Nashville girl.' " It worked.

So there you have it. Southern girl charm can go a long way. And she does her own singing!

Of course, no matter what, she will always have her newfound autoharp skills - even if only played in a closet somewhere, since she put the instrument away after the film wrapped and hasn't looked at it since. "It was a hard movie to make and a hard film to end," she explained. "Sad. Challenging. It wasn't a light experience, a lot of deep emotions. It's hard to listen to any Johnny Cash. It still haunts me a little." Does that mean she has given up crooning, too? Ms. Witherspoon shook her head no. "I'm still belting out 'Wicked' tunes right and left," she said. "When I'm with my children in the car I think, I'm a fantastic singer."

You can't beat that.

1 comment:

sappho said...

I agree-nice girl. Lives very close to me & see her and her kids often--always very nice.