2000

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.



Webby Awards

I was the host of the 2000 Webby Awards, the oscars of the internet. And boy, what a swanky affair it was. This was at the height of the internet bubble and there was a feeling of great and lavish confidence. Then of course, the bubble burst.

I hosted the awards the following year too, but they were not so lavish, and there was a feeling of contriteness and lots of jokes about former internet entrpeneurs becoming yoga teachers.  Also, to illustrate the lack of lavishness, the guy who booked me for the 2001 awards ran off with my cash and still owes me a sizeable sum.



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.



3rd Rock From The Sun

I guested in an episode of 3rd Rock From the Sun as 'The Hole', an expert at rescuing people when they fall down holes! John Lithgow and French Stewart fall in one in this episode and I am brought in to save the day. Of course it doesn't go according to plan as I lock horns with Kristen Johnston and some diva fireworks ensue.

I really had fun working on this show. John Lithgow called me and asked me to be in it, and they wrote this part for me. And I had worked with Kristen on the Flintstones movie so it was fun to spar with her.  And playing a character called 'The Hole' cannot fail. I still have a sign with 'The Hole' on the wall at my house in the country.  It's always sparks a conversation when guests arrive.



Marie Claire article

I went to Paris to see the haute couture shows and wrote about it for Marie Claire magazine.



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?



Talk Shows

I made my first ever appearance on the Conan O'Brien show to promote Cabaret.

And then here I am back later that year plugging Titus, much less nervous.

Then Metroguide (with the 'sex symbol' question), and a documentary my friend Emma made for Channel 4 in the UK about fame, entitled Starstruck, followed by me discussing my friend Geri Haliwell on Behind the Music!

Then here I am back in the UK on Ruby Wax's show, and then me plugging Annie on a very early show in LA (and I had been up all night! Sssh!)

Then plugging Plunkett and Macleane on Today in New York, and Annie on Conan and Martin Short