2001

Sex and the City

Whilst I was appearing on Broadway in Design For Living, I guest-starred in an episode of Sex and the City in which I played 'O', a stylist from Dolce and Gabbana. O had the job of dressing Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) for a New York-style fashion show. The episode was the second of the season's double-bill premiere, and Ed Koch, Heidi Klum and Kevin Aucoin also made appearances.

I remembered how scary television is after doing this. When it came out, everywhere I went people kept saying 'me likey' and I couldn't understand why. Then I remembered that O said it a few times.  People still say it to me to this day actually.



Design for Living

Joe Mantello directed Noel Coward's play about three friends who are in love with each other, and who cannot seem to stay apart. I played Otto opposite Jennifer Ehle and Dominic West. The play opened at The American Airlines Theater on Broadway in March 2001.

I'd always wanted to do this play. I've seen it done, but never felt the true meaning of the play had ever come out. It was always one of these things that annoyed me. I thought it was such an extraordinary idea for three people to try and live together. Even now it's such a daring and provocative thing. To discuss it in the 1930s must have been an extraordinary thing. I also love Noel Coward and I love the subject matter. I love being questioned in my life and doing art that questions preconceived ideas.

It's a really hard play to do though, because you ask the audience to go on a journey that ends with them not really liking the main characters very much.  I love that notion, but it's not a common one for most mainstream theatregoers to experience.


2000

Josie and The Pussycats

Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont wrote and directed this live action update of the cult cartoon, Josie and the Pussycats, about an all girl pop group. I played Wyatt Frame, the band's manager, who has an evil agenda for our three heroines. 

I was in the middle of editing The Anniversary Party while making this film. I was back and forth from LA to Vancouver all the time. Parker Posey and I are the two baddies. We were absolutely shameless. It's some of the most shameless acting I've ever done, and that is saying something 'cause I've done some shameless acting in my time. I also have this big hunk of plastic roast beef from the set in my house.

The film stars Rachel Leigh Cook, Tara Reid and Rosario Dawson as the eponymous heroines. 



Talk Shows

Here I am on Regis and Kathie Lee plugging The Flinstones movie, except Regis was off and it's Howie Mandel instead.

Then there's a compilation with several interviews including an appearance on The Conan O'Brien Show when I hosted Saturday Night Live and other items about The Flinstones and God, the Devil and Bob,

Then I'm plugging Titus on MTV's Hot Zone, Regis and Kathie Lee again (though it's Regis' wife Joy instead of Kathie Lee -  do you sense a pattern here?), something from The Flinstones on Fox 11



The Anniversary Party

Jennifer Jason Leigh and I wrote, produced and directed The Anniversary Party. We also play the central characters, Joe and Sally Therrian, recently reunited after a 9-month separation, and throwing a sixth wedding anniversary party to prove to themselves as well as their friends that everything is all right. 

The other cast members include Kevin Kline, Phoebe Cates, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Beals, Jane Adams, John C. Reilly, Michael Panes, Mina Badie, Parker Posey, John Benjamin Hickey and Denis O'Hare.

Jennifer and I first met while she played Sally Bowles on Broadway in Cabaret. The idea for the story came from Jennifer and I getting to know each other. We thought it would be nice to make a film with friends, and so, partly influenced by the experience she had had working on a Dogma film in Africa we set out to make a film that would feel real, with a crossover of who we all are in real life and who we all are in the film and to make it about grown-up issues and dealt with in a grown-up way i.e. not perfectly and a little messy.

Here's a video diary I made during the course of the film, and some interviews we did about it...

The film premiered at the Cannes film festival in 2001 and was released shortly after. We won a National Board of Review award and were nominated for two Independent Spirit awards for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay



Investigating Sex

I flew to Berlin to play Sevy, a painter, involved in a discussion of sex and sexuality based in a real-life investigation in the 1920s in the film, Investigating Sex.

Alan Rudolph directed, and the film also stars Neve Campbell, Nick Nolte, Robin Tunney, John Light, Tuesday Weld, and Til Schweiger.

I went to The Kit Kat Club when I was in Berlin. It was very racy. Just as racy as it is in Cabaret. I love going to places where I'm totally in a different culture. I crave that. It's nice to be in a place where you understand nothing or very little. You work very hard to understand the customs of the country.

I love this film and wish it had been seen by more people. Some dispute with German producers or something or other let it languish in litigation. It was released on DVD in the US under the rather tacky name Intimate Affairs.



Spy Kids

Robert Rodriguez directed the family spy romp, Spy Kids, about two kids whose parents (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugina) are captured in a mission, and they have to go and rescue them. I played the mad genius Fegan Floop, who has captured Mum and Dad, and will turn them into characters on his TV show if the kids don't get there soon. The film was shot in Austin, Texas and I loved every second of it. Floop is such a great part, and I got to rush around my castle being mad. I also got to sing a song that Danny Elfman wrote, which was amazing.

Spy Kids and Floop really connected with kids and I love the way that they still, as adults, come up to me to tell me how magical they found this movie.



Saturday Night Live

I hosted Saturday Night Live in February of 2000.

OMFG. Talk about scary!! Not just that you have so little time to rehearse and there are new bits of sketches right up until transmission, not just that it is LIVE, but also because it is such a landmark thing to do, to host SNL! I stopped telling people I was going to do it because their reactions made me feel even more nervous. But I loved it. It was such an adrenaline rush, and I had all my New York friends in the front row of the balcony cheering me on. Plus I got to say 'Jennifer Lopez is in the house!' and 'Give it up for Jennifer Lopez!' which made me very happy.

There were some hilarious sketches.  I took part in the regular ones like Dog Show and The Culps with Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer, and also did a Lennon/McCartney fast food fantasy with Jimmy Fallon, a Siegfried and Roy one with Chris Kattan, and a Home Shopping Network segment on sunburned dolls with the amazing Ana.


1999

Get Carter

Stephen Kay directed this American remake of the Mike Hodges' classic Get Carter, which starred Michael Caine in the 70s.

This time round Carter was played by Sylvester Stallone, and I played Jeremy Kinnear, a young dotcom billionaire mixed up in some shady goings-on which resulted in the death of Carter's brother.

The film was shot in Vancouver and also starred Miranda Richardson, Michael Caine and Rachel Leigh Cook, who Alan went on to work with in Josie and the Pussycats.

What I remember most about this is that Mickey Rourke is a big chihuahua-loving softie and Sylvester Stallone is very well-read and knows a lot about the arts. 



The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas

A prequel to the Universal Pictures Flintstones live action movie, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas stars Mark Addy, Stephen Baldwin, Jane Krakowski and Kristen Johnson as the Flinstones and the Rubbles.

I played two roles: The Great Gazoo, a green alien sent down from outer space to learn earthlings' mating rituals, as well as Mick Jagged, a Stone Age rock star who takes a fancy to Betty. The role of Gazoo was shot entirely on blue screen with me in a lot of prosthetics as well as a harness in which I was flown around a sound stage having to act to paper plates bearing Fred and Barney's names.

It was a pretty hard thing. There was a lot of chafing. But how often do you get to tell your niece and nephews that you are going to be playing Gazoo in a Flintstones movie?