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February 22, 2011

‘All-Star Superman’: Christina Hendricks went for ‘strong, sassy and spunky’

Posted in: Movies

It’s a big year for actress Christina Hendricks, who is making the most of her time away from AMC‘s Emmy-winning series “Mad Men.” With three upcoming films, including the big-screen adaptation of the Allison Pearson novel “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” Hendricks is working steadily on a variety of projects. The latest is the new animated film “All-Star Superman,” due out Tuesday, in which she gives voice to outspoken news reporter Lois Lane. Hendricks joins a long list of actresses who have taken on the role of Clark Kent’s love interest (among them Erica Durance, Dana Delany, Kate Bosworth, Teri Hatcher and Margot Kidder) and Jevon Phillips got a chance to have a quick talk with her about the super role.

Christina Hendricks (Francois Durand / Getty Images)

JP: You have a number of movies in the works. Are you making the transition away from television into features?

CH: It’s just roles I like. It’s not really a transition thing.  Contractually, my commitment is to “Mad Men.” So since I’m already on a television show, the stuff that I’m able to do in between is film. Luckily, I’ve found some really fun projects to work on and hopefully there’ll be some more things before I get back to “Mad Men.”

JP: What do you look for in a role?

CH: You know, I get very very spoiled on “Mad Men” because the writing is so extraordinary. So … when I read things, it really has to be of really good quality and really good writing, and it’s less about the genre and the format. Whether it’s a TV movie or a TV show or a movie or a play, whatever it is, it just has to be something that excites me.

JP: That bodes well for “All-Star Superman,” then. How did you choose to become Lois Lane?

CH: Well, they chose me, fortunately. I got a call from my manager, and he said they’d come to me with this role. And, of course, we all know Lois Lane, so I was familiar with the role. That was something exciting, so as soon as they asked, I jumped on board.

JP: What’s your experience with superheroes?

CH: I grew up with a big brother, so I grew up with the Superman movies, you know the Christopher Reeve movies, and we’d watch reruns of the old TV show.  My brother also had stacks and stacks of comic books, so even though I didn’t read them myself, the images were always around me, and I would always see the covers and stuff.

JP: So how did you approach playing Lois?

CH: When I think of Lois Lane, I think of this strong, sassy, spunky kind of character. Those are the qualities I see in Lois Lane, and I really wanted to incorporate that, and then I really wanted to be truthful to what the script was and take a lot of notes from Andrea [Romano], who’s directing it, because she has such amazing experience.  Since it was my first time, I just wanted to listen to her and get her feedback and follow her lead.

JP: It was your first time doing voiceover work then?

CH: That was my very first time. And since then, I did an episode of “American Dad,” which I don’t think has aired yet, and I did a quick animated pilot a couple of weeks ago.  I definitely caught the bug, and I think it’s really, really fun and a whole different way of expressing yourself.

Superman and Superwoman (DC)

JP: James Denton mentioned that you all didn’t get to speak much, if at all. Did you even get to talk about character development?

CH: I didn’t get the opportunity to speak with anyone else, but I think that’s what’s so amazing about Andrea. She would have us do a line with maybe three different variations on how we were saying it. That way, she has all these different options so that depending on how James said his lines she could match it up with the correct expression of something that I did.  Not only is she fantastic in the room and guiding us along, there’s a whole process of piecing it all together afterward.

JP: They just named a new “Wonder Woman for the David E. Kelley TV show …

CH: Oh they did?! Who!? 

Christina Hendricks as Joan in "Mad Men." (AMC)

 

JP: Adrianne Palicki, an actress from “Friday Night Lights.”

CH: Oh! OK.

JP: Now, it was rumored that you wouldn’t mind slipping on a lasso and bracelets for a “Wonder Woman” movie. Is that true? Would you consider it?

CH: Of course I would consider it! You know, someone started that rumor, and I don’t know how it got started, but I was very flattered by it. I didn’t have anything to do with that, but it was fun, and if they did it on the big screen, of course I’d consider it. I love Wonder Woman!

JP: And,  for the “Mad Men” fans out there, we know that the show’s coming back, but do you know when?

CH: I really wish I knew. We’re waiting to hear as well.  There hasn’t been anything set. We generally go back around May or June.  I hope we don’t go back any later. It’s already kind of a long wait in between since we only do 13 episodes, so I think it’s nice for the audience to not have to wait so much longer. I hope we get back as soon as possible.

–  Jevon Phillips

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