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Contributed by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor
for Radio Free Entertainment

November 5, 2005

In the romantic comedy Just Friends, a social outcast (Ryan Reynolds) harbors an unspoken love for a girl (Amy Smart) who views their relationship as strictly platonic. Stuck in this dreaded "friend zone," he eventually overhauls his image and hopes that they can develop their bond as best friends into something more intimate. The movie also features Chris Klein as a rival suitor, and a scene-stealing Anna Faris as a psychotic pop diva who considers herself the center of the universe.

In this interview, Amy Smart talks about dealing with the friend zone, working with her castmates, and staying fit.

The Interview

MEDIA: When you were in high school, did you have guys in the friend zone?

AMY: Uh...Yes. I've had both ways. I've had it where I've been in the friend zone, which is not as fun. And it's terrible--the more you want something more from someone, the less it's likely to happen. And then I've had to tell friends that I just want to be friends.

You've probably had to tell a lot of friends that, yes?

It's happened. You know, I think it's just important to be honest from the get-go. And it's never an easy conversation. But I think when you have any kind of male/female tension, it's always weird having a friendship, especially if you're really good friends.

So can guys do anything to get out of the friend zone? Give us some tips here!

I can just tell you what I think is really attractive about guys. I think confidence is. Genuine confidence of who you are. I think a good sense of humor is really important. And to me, a pet peeve is...if you think you're better than anyone? Yech! Some people can be arrogant, and I don't like that.

In high school, were you ever like your Just Friends character, with lots of friends and pictures of them?

Kind of. I mean, I went to a pretty big high school, and it didn't feel like such an intimate high school as the one in the film. And I had a lot of friends, and a lot of different cliques and groups and all that stuff. But I never felt like I was the "popular girl."

Were you a cheerleader?

I did it for a semester in junior high school.

Would you have been friends with someone like Ryan's character?

Absolutely. I would have been friends with him.

Have you ever had a guy write a song for you?

No. I want a song! [laughs]

Have you ever had a guy make a mixtape for you?

I have, actually, had a mixtape.

Your character designs a pretty silly shirt in the name of friendship. Have you ever done anything like that?

No. I haven't. But you know, I have a great videotape. I have a tape of my friend and I singing ["Wind Beneath My Wings"] in like 8th grade. [laughs] It's terrible! And my friend was so mean. She gave me the high part. I'm like cracking.

Do you still have it?

Yeah, I do. It's funny.

Have it on you?

No, sorry. That won't be heard by anyone. [laughs] And then I did this music video at Universal Studios with my friend. She was in [Los Angeles] for the first time, and we made a whole "Vogue" video. [laughs] You just basically sing in the mic and dance in the room, and they do cool effects behind you.

How long ago was this?

I was 15. It was a while ago.

What was your favorite scene to do in Just Friends?

I had fun with the car scene, where [Ryan is] just freaking out in the car. It's a tiny little scene, but it was really fun. And it was hard keeping a straight face, let me tell you, because I have to watch him be hilarious. But I laughed the hardest in the diner scene. I think they cut out some of the funny parts. But there's something about what we were doing that day, and I just couldn't stop laughing. And I had to turn my head around, and he had to say his lines to the back of my head. [laughs]

What was it like working with Ryan while he was wearing the fat suit?

Great. Honestly, it was so fun! Our first day of shooting was the bedroom scene where we come running in, and then Chris Klein comes in with his pocked face and the stringy hair. It was the best first day of work I've ever had. And Ryan in the fat suit is the funniest thing ever. First, it's like his whole persona changed. It's just like he's this mushy teddy bear. And then, trying to find funny things to do with his three chins and his body and the way he carries himself...It was really funny. He was sweating in that thing, by the way. [laughs]

Did the two of you do anything between takes to keep the fun, comedic atmosphere going?

Sometimes, like when we'd been doing a scene and it was starting to get repetitive, we'll make a face, or he'll say something really ridiculous or something to get us back into it. But, pretty much, it was fun to work on all the scenes.

How would you describe Ryan as a person?

I think he's really, really smart. He's a good business guy. I think he's really creative with his character. I think he has a great sense of humor, and I find him to be a genuine person.

Do you mean "good business guy" in terms of his movie career?

Yeah, he's really just on top of his career. He's smart, he's making good moves, he's really in touch with what's going on in the business. I think he'll always be working, and I think his success is just building now.

What did you think of Chris' character and performance?

I'm so happy for him, because he's never really had this kind of character before. He's so funny in this, in like a really dark way, which is great. [laughs]

Have you known guys like his character, who put on a total act to get close to you?

A little bit. But in the film, my character doesn't really see it. And I think there [have] been guys that. You sometimes don't see it, but you know it's there.

You guys get to goof on The Notebook. What's your personal opinion of that movie?

I really liked it! I cried like three times! [laughs] I liked the story, and I thought Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are good actors.

What was it like working with Anna?

So fun. I didn't have that many scenes with her, but what I did have with her, she just is able to really go for it with her character. And it was fun because we're such different characters, so it was fun to play opposite each other.

Do you have any special routine for staying thin?

I eat healthy, and I work out a couple times a week, do some yoga. I change it up. But I also enjoy food. I don't try to limit myself to never eating. I'm not a big diet person. I just enjoy eating healthy because I like feeling good. But I don't have any, like, tricks of the trade. [laughs]

Ever try to cut out a particular thing from your diet?

You know, just for the next month, I've cut out wheat. Which is, "Whoa, big deal." [laughs] But I've just recently started reading [Eat Right for Your Type], which I find kind of accurate...or interesting. So I'm giving that a try.

So what is your blood type?


Is this no-wheat thing for a new movie role?

Well, I'm working on this film called Crank right now. It's not a drug movie! It sounds like one. But I'm working with Jason Statham, and he plays this guy who's a hitman, and he's been shot up with Chinese poison. And so the whole movie, in order to keep alive, he has to keep his adrenaline up. It's kind of like the movie Speed, but in a body. And he tries everything--grotesque, whatever it is--to keep alive. And I'm his girlfriend that's just in her own world. But I have this scene where I have to get in a little bra and panty kind of thing. So I'm like, "Yeah, I'm going to try cutting wheat out for a month!" [laughs]

With Thanksgiving coming up, do you have any suggestions for avoiding undue weight gain?

I would say eat and enjoy yourself. Work out, and don't even worry about it.

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