ComingSoon.net talked to Amanda Bynes on the set of her new film Easy A about the character she says people are going to “love to hate.” Wearing a high waisted black skirt, a white buttoned up blouse, heels and a cross necklace, Bynes explained how her “uptight” character causes a lot of drama in the Screen Gems comedy.
Q: Tell us about your character.
Amanda Bynes: Marianne is sort of an uptight, religious girl who has very strong beliefs about virginity and basically, her relationship with Olive is sort of strained because they just don’t get along from the get-go.
Q: They were never friends at all?
Bynes: No. So my character has to get over the fact that she finds out that Olive has had sex. Obviously, my character believes in abstinence until marriage so it’s a funny relationship they have. They become friends for a few days, like basically, a day and then I plant some information and I hate her again. So, it’s really fun for me because I haven’t actually gotten to play the ‘mean girl.’ It’s done in a way where you love to hate her because you can’t tell that she’s evil because she seems so put together and sweet and charming but it’s actually that she wants to rule the school. So, it’s a really funny role. It’s a good one.
Q: Seeing that she is so religious and has these conservative values and beliefs, it’s strange that…
Bynes: (finishing)… that she’s so judgmental of others. Well there you go.
Bynes: Exactly. It’s really fun for me to play. I’m having a great time so far.
Q: Is Marianne the role you originally went out for?
Bynes: I never tried out, so they gave me this role.
Q: Do you identify with anything about the character?
Bynes: Not really. I’m not judgmental. I live and let live. I don’t judge others and I don’t want others to judge me so I figure it’s good karma not to judge others. Actually, I don’t really relate to her at all but I’ve met girls who are evil and try to cut you down so I can draw from experience for sure. But what’s funny is she is a virgin and yet she wears these sort of vampy clothes that are trying to be conservative but are still sort of pushing the envelope. I do know girls that are so virginal yet dress like… big tramps [we laugh]. It’s been really fun so far. The cast is amazing. Emma Stone is hilarious and Aly Michalka is so funny and Penn Badgley is doing an amazing job and Cam Gigandet is playing my boyfriend and he has a funny role too. It’s been a great experience. Will Gluck, the director, is so funny and I love the way that he gives notes because he’s always trying to just make it funnier or better. He’s extremely fun to work with. Everybody loves him. The actors love him. He’s definitely an actor’s director.
Q: He takes your input when you have ideas?
Bynes: Yeah, but he definitely just wants the movie to be amazing. He wants everybody to be great so it’s really fun to work with him. I’ve been having a ball. I love working with him.
Q: What is your character’s relationship like with her boyfriend? Is he supportive of you not wanting to have sex?
Bynes: Yeah. He’s actually very dumb in the movie. He really just goes along with it and I think I push him. I want him to be a minister. It’s like my dream. Whatever I want him to do, he’ll do. He sort of abides by my rules which is nice.
Q: Did you have a “normal” high school experience or were you home-schooled?
Bynes: I went to high school and I also home-schooled. I was in and out because I was doing shows so I would do school on set but, because I’m very social and I liked being around my friends, I would make both work.
Q: Did you have a “mean girl” experience in high school?
Bynes: Yeah. I did. There were some girls who were jealous and mean. But, I was really shy when I was in high school because I was getting so much attention [working] that when I was in school, I really didn’t want it because I wanted to fit in and have friends. I didn’t want people to think I thought I was that great so I sort of downplay it. But, then I realized you have to be true to yourself and your friends will like you no matter what and it’s cool.
Q: So what are we seeing today?
Bynes: We’re shooting a scene right now where I’m talking to Rhiannon who was Olive’s ex-best friend and, right now I’ve persuaded her to come to my side. That’s Aly’s character. So, I’m telling her “Olive didn’t come to school today and I’m really glad you’re on our side.” I don’t want to give away the whole movie.
Q: Can you tell us the rumor you started about Emma’s character Olive or no?
Bynes: I don’t want to say too much but I basically just say mean things about her and try to turn people against her. I overhear something and it spreads around school and then she becomes real popular and I don’t like that and I despise her and think she’s a total whore. It’s really funny but I don’t want to give away too much.
Q: Are you all having fun on the set bonding? It looks like you are having fun working together?
Bynes: Yeah, we’re having a great time. It’s a fun, young cast and I got to work with Lisa Kudrow who I’m a huge fan of and it’s great, Patricia Clarkson, Thomas Hayden Church, Stanley Tucci. It’s amazing. We have such a great script and Screen Gems is amazing so I’m really happy. So far, it’s been extremely fun. We’ve been bonding, hanging out and having a really good time.
Q: So how did you get the script or hear about the project?
Bynes: It’s a long story but basically, I heard about this movie and I asked my agent and so I read it and I really liked it, responded to it so it kind of just worked out and they offered me the part.
Q: What did you like about the script?
Bynes: It was really real and edgy and it’s something that I would want to see. When I read a script, if it makes me laugh, comes off the page, I can only imagine once actors bring it to life. It just felt hip and fun and a great movie to be a part of.
Q: What did you like about the part of Marianne?
Bynes: What I liked about the part was it’s something I’ve never done before. I’ve always played the humble girl in school, sort of plain so it was fun to play that girl who has a bad reputation. It’s not that she’s trampy but she’s extremely uptight and controlled.
Q: Penny Pingleton’s (Penny, her character in “Hairspray”) mom would have loved this girl.
Bynes: Exactly. Precisely!
Q: What has made her so uptight and conservative?
Bynes: Who knows. I think maybe it’s repressed feelings or… who knows? I think a lot of girls get this idea in their head to be perfect for their parents or whatever. I think it’s a type “A” personality.