Rose McGowan is pretty game for anything. I mean, she plays a character who puts a machine gun on her amputated leg stump in the Planet Terror half of Grindhouse. But one thing she had a hard time adjusting to was Robert Rodriguez's style of digital filmmaking.
Rose McGowen On Grindhouse And Planet Terror
"Everybody made fun of me," she recalled. "I messed up some lines [and said,] 'That's okay, just cut it.' Robert and everyone started laughing because [there's] a half hour tape or whatever, and I said, 'Oh no, you're wasting film.' The whole crew started laughing. So that took me a while. I still get nervous that I'm wasting film. The one thing I love about film, I love the sound, I love the whirring sound that you hear very gently."
Technical concerns aside, she was all game for to be the gun chick. "I really didn't have any reservations. I thought it was hilarious but because it was completely absurd. I love the absurd. Kind of absurdist comedy, absurd things in life and this was certainly one of them. Robert called me once, he was struck in traffic while he was writing the script, and he said, 'I got it. She's going to have a machine gun leg.' Cool. All right. Fantastic!
The effect required her to wear a cast that could be removed in CGI. "It's really weird, because I completely forget that it's CGI. It completely looks real to me. It just looks completely natural to me, which I suppose is bizarre in and of itself. I thought it was pulled off wonderfully."
From an acting perspective, it's easy to find this character's motivation. "I'm not really one of those people who goes and writes some big back story and agonizes over characters. I think you kind of can get it. For me personally, it's just kind of more instinctive. But I don't have kind of an acting background. I fell into it accidentally. Just kind of did Doom Generation, my first movie, and I kind of went from there. So I just kind of got her."
A longer version of Planet Terror, perhaps to be released individually, could feature a more character-intensive story of amputee stripper Cherry Darling. "When this is played in the long form, there are scenes where Cherry is kind of a loser and crying, and kind of weak in the beginning, and there's more of that that's going to be in the longer form. And then she turns and has to rise and stand and save the world."
Playing the stripper was no problem for McGowan either. She has a dance background, so she only had to learn to navigate the pole. "I never knew how to dance the pole. That was accidental. I didn't want to touch the pole. I had them Windex it, but if you think about it, they use Vaseline on it. You know how they tell you not to put Vaseline on a cut because bacteria breeds there? Just think about that. I'm just saying. But you know I'm doing this kind of dance in five-inch heels and doing back bends and all those crazy things, I kind of slipped a little bit. Made it look like it was part of the dance. I mean, there's so much more of elaborate dancing than there was in the sequence. But I just kind of slipped on it and I wound up just twirling. Hey, it works. So it kind of worked a little bit but it wasn't my primary focus to go and watch strip clubs. It wasn't that kind of a thing."
Grindhouse opens to theatres on April 6th.
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