SARA FOSTER & JORDANA BREWSTER Contributed by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for Radio Free Entertainment
March 14, 2005
Originally a movie short that found success on the indie circuit, D.E.B.S. quickly caught the attention of Hollywood and was remade into a feature film. Written and directed by Angela Robinson (Herbie: Fully Loaded), this action/comedy focuses on a quartet of cute girls who are recruited into the world of espionage via a secret test hidden within the SAT: Amy (Sara Foster), the academically perfect protege who is the pride and joy of the D.E.B.S. academy; Max (Meagan Good), the group's take-charge, trigger happy, de facto leader; Janet (Jill Ritchie), the enthusiastic rookie who steals the show with her wide-eyed, comical innocence; and Dominique (Devon Aoki), the slightly nihilistic, chain-smoking French nymphomaniac with the shortest skirt. When a chance encounter leads to Amy falling in love with the feared nemesis of the D.E.B.S., Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster), the loyalty of these secret agent schoolgirls is put to the ultimate test.
In this interview, actresses Sara Foster (The Big Bounce) and Jordana Brewster (The Fast and the Furious) talk about firing guns, lip-synching to classic '80s tunes, making out with each other onscreen, and blowing up Australia in the heat of passion...you know, all the fun stuff.
MEDIA: Were there any difficult challenges in filming the action sequences and stunts in D.E.B.S.?
JORDANA: If anything, it made me feel [totally uncoordinated]. These guys...I think at the same time they were training us for four days, they were training Milla Jovovich. So they'd be like, "Milla's really great" and "Milla trains for hours." And we're like, "I just got here!" So the second they saw us attempt the choreography, they brought in the doubles. But we did try. But it was a twenty-eight day shoot, so there wasn't really that much time at all to learn stuff.
SARA: Shooting guns and making it look real is a lot harder than you think. [laughs]
JORDANA: Yeah, it is.
SARA: A friend of mine saw my performance in the movie--I'm blinking the whole time.
Did you have any previous experience with firearms?
SARA: Yeah. I used to go to the shooting range with my little brothers and with my dad, right near a batting cage. So we'd do the batting cage and we'd go shoot some guns. That was our Saturday.
JORDANA: My previous experience was just the Nintendo game with the ducks.
So did you have any reservations about firing a gun?
JORDANA: Yeah, because they make it look so easy on Alias and movies. It just looks so seamless, as if the gun's really light. But there's this kickback thing that happens. And it's so hard, especially if you're shooting with one hand--forget it. With two, it's much easier. But the way you have to steady yourself, and the way you can't blink and you can't flinch and you can't jerk back. That was really difficult. It takes a lot of self-control. So I was really surprised by that.
And what about the sound of the guns going off?
JORDANA: That was the other thing. Yeah, constantly having to remind yourself to wear those...
SARA: ...earplugs, yeah. We had assigned earplugs. Everyone.
Jordana, can you talk about the scene where your character is dancing and lip-synching to Erasure's "A Little Respect"?
JORDANA: Can I talk about how much I didn't want to do it? [laughs]
Go for it.
JORDANA: Well, the thing is, I'm not good at improvising. I love script. I will speak the words, and I will figure out different ways to say it. Because I can blame the writer. I can be like, "Well, Angela, sorry, your dialogue here...that's why it's not working." But when it's your own, you're just out there. I can't take that. So it was petrifying. So I just put it in my car, memorized it for like twenty days, and then when it came time to do it, she was like, "Just go for it." And I was like, "What do you mean 'go for it'?" And it kind of gave me an appreciation for people that have to do music videos, because you feel so silly lip-synching, and being like alternately goofy and then sexy and then silly. I just really needed somebody to be there with me, but they weren't. But I was happy with the outcome.
How did the two of you prepare for all the kissing scenes between your characters?
SARA: Alcohol. [laughs] Literally.
JORDANA: We had a couple wine coolers. Whether it's a guy or a girl, it's just always weird. I think it's not awkward necessarily with the actor you're working with, it's awkward in terms of like the DP, the AD, the makeup artist, the hair person, the boom person...everybody's watching you kiss.
SARA: Being intimate onscreen is hard. It's really nervewracking.
JORDANA: You feel really self-conscious, too, because you're basically being judged on kissing style. It's just weird. Like what are they going to tell you? And I've had that note working on a soap opera. Like, "You guys were too loud."
SARA: Oh my God! [laughs]
JORDANA: Yeah, it's awful! It's mortifying. You feel really vulnerable.
SARA: We definitely psyched ourselves out. It was like on a calendar marked down until you get to the day [laughs] where you got the big kissing scene. But you know, after the first hour...
JORDANA: It was fine.
SARA: Yeah, it was fine.
JORDANA: Then you realize you're being silly. It's like you dread it and you're scared of it, and then it's so normal.
SARA: Yeah, people make such a big deal. Remember the kiss in Cruel Intentions? It was like the biggest deal.
SARA: And they weren't even a couple. It was just this kiss. And it was this huge...
JORDANA: But theirs was better. Theirs had spit. Ours didn't.
SARA: Yeah, theirs was way more kind of graphic than ours.
Would you be surprised if you won Best Kiss of the Year at the MTV Movie Awards?
JORDANA: I would more than love it. I would relish that moment! [laughs] I think it'd be a lot of fun.
SARA: Yeah, I mean, I think we deserve it.
JORDANA: I think we do.
SARA: [to Jordana] You were a good kisser.
JORDANA: [to Sara] Thanks. I think it would be cool.
What was your experience of working with director Angela Robinson, who has both D.E.B.S. and Disney's Herbie: Full Loaded coming out this year?
JORDANA: I'll tell you this a million times: I've never seen Angela in a bad mood. She just never faltered or was discouraged. I find that pretty astounding. Especially considering she's a workaholic. So it's a weird combination. She's like a really happy workaholic. [laughs] She has none of the neurosis or the brooding of an artist. She's a very cool person and she knows exactly what she wants. And when I didn't really want to play Lucy because I didn't feel like I could pull it off, she was just so specific with what she wants, obviously, since she wrote the script. So she was just dead on. Like she never seemed scared or nervous. She's just like a rock.
SARA: I never saw her tired.
JORDANA: And she hasn't changed since doing a huge budget movie. She's still so hands on and so excited about every little aspect of the business, and so appreciative. And that's so rare.
SARA: She commanded the ship, that's for sure.
Jordana, your character Lucy falls into the lifestyle of a villainess and is viewed by the D.E.B.S. as public enemy number one. How evil would you say she is on a scale of one to ten?
SARA: [to Jordana] No! Not four out of ten!
JORDANA: Like it chose her, she didn't really choose it. Because her intentions aren't bad. She's just doing what she's got to do.
[smiles] So her threatening to sink Australia is just a fun aside?
JORDANA: Yeah. In the heat of passion. [smiles coyly] Will she? I don't know...