July 15, 2008

INTERVIEW - Cold-Blooded Transsiberian Has Ways of Making Emily Mortimer Talk

Transsiberian is one weird little movie. Watching Emily Mortimer's calm demeanor shatter into a thousand little paranoid bits triggered a weird vicarious reaction in me; as a viewer, sometimes you really do feel like an accomplice.

Emily has been in so many great movies, but her appearance on 30 Rock seems to have cemented her as the eternal face of Avian Bone Syndrome, which has entered the pop vernacular as a catch-all excuse for avoiding anything you don't want to do. "It’s always good to have a syndrome up your sleeve as an excuse," she told me. I asked whether her hollow-boned character might ever return to the show, but she's as much in the dark as anyone. "I’d love to come back," she said, "But I was so objectionable that I don’t know in what context they could possibly bring me back; I’d have to be the baddie, and (Alec Baldwin) can’t possibly marry me, poor guy!"

In my column this week, Emily speaks at length about the depths she descended through in order to make this diamond-hard little thriller. I have one bonus response from the actress, however. Does she personally ever feel in danger while traveling?

"I’m terrified of flying, and I always feel like I’m plummeting to my certain death. All the danger I’m in is imagined, but it feels very real. I concoct the danger for myself, which is equally, if not more, terrifying than reality. I wanted to kiss this boy all the way back from Yalta to Moscow on the airplane because I was so frightened, and I hardly knew the guy. It was the only way I could take my mind off of the fact that I was about to die. And then it was quite embarrassing landing and having to deal with the aftermath!"

I consider that an excellent travel tip! Especially since after Transsiberian I may never set foot on a train again...

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