Meg Ryan enters the room
with an open smile and cup of coffee. A multitude of
recorders and microphones lay out on the table in
front of her, she searches for a place to set her
coffee. Somehow that tickles her and our table of
journalists, prompting laughter all around.
PRESS: Why did you choose
"Kate and Leopold?"
MR: It's got a swanky, Henry Mancini kind
of vibe to it. She [Kate] has to go from this
head-logic to heart-logic. [And] I wanted to work
with Jim [Mangold].
PRESS: What is it about
MR: He's so smart and so excited talking
about the film. He played music he had in mind for
PRESS: What is your
impression of the test screening process?
MR: It's a vicious terrible business that
way and they're so cold. Thank goodness I'm not privy
to a lot of it. They rip you apart in those things...
They try to keep [that information] from me... The
flaw is the assumption that one audience will be
representative of all audiences.
PRESS: What's your idea of
the perfect romantic evening?
MR: Okay, well, that's changing... (Laughs
all around). Do something fantastic, fun, and great
and then go to the Lenox Lewis -- Tyson fight.
PRESS: You're a boxing
MR: Yeah, I really want to go to that fight
though. I'm doing a movie about it, so I started
really getting into it. I have now been boxing and
watching fights and it's so fun. If you watch fights
with the right people, it's a really good time.
PRESS: What is it about
MR: It's a very primitive sport and I like
that, it's a gutter sport, I like the whole world
around it. I like so many of the personalities.
RA: That's the new perfect
romantic evening, what was the old one?
PRESS: How about working with
MR: He's better than you'd actually think.
He takes a philosophy seminar all weekend. I mean who
does that? His wife is this fantastic woman.
PRESS: How about Kate, can
you relate to her lifestyle?
MR: I can relate to the energies of your
life being distributed in such a way that your life
becomes out of whack. She's taken all of her energy
of her life and put it into her career to the
detriment of her life and I can relate to that
...Sometimes I'm out of balance, I mean Kate's way
out of balance.
PRESS: What's the worst job
you had to do before becoming famous.
MR: I had some bad jobs, but they didn't
seem that bad. I was a waitress, a salad bar girl at
the Ponderosa, a checkout girl at a grocery
PRESS: What do you think
about Chivalry these days?
MR: I heard that chivalry was dead, but I
think it's just got a bad flue. It's sort of around
in a way that it's so rare when it happens, it's so
exciting when it happens. In the past 20 years
there's been a lot of mixed signals how men and women
can relate to one another. As soon as women have
gotten a certain amount of confidence in the work
place ... acts of chivalry seem less like
condescension and more like polite gestures of
respect. It's not just a lack on the part of men,
it's an inability to receive on the part of
PRESS: What's it like to read
about yourself in the tabloids?
MR: I had so many mixed feelings, it was
very painful. My lawyers thought a lot of the stuff
was actionable and I'd have to decide should we sue
or just go on. It was a catch 22 situation because
neither Dennis or I are ever going to talk about the
reasons for our divorce ... it was all left to
supposition. It's just par for the course, it's just
the fame game anyway.
PRESS: Perhaps that's a
reason for this boxing thing?
MR: (Laughs) I've never taking anyone
else's definition of myself as myself, so it wasn't
as devastating as it could have been. I can't go
around to every person who's ever read a tabloid and
go, (silly desperate voice) "This is the real story."
I can't make all those calls. You get very humbled by
it, it's just going to go on, there's nothing I can
PRESS: And doing this
MR: I was grateful because I was surrounded
by really lovely people at a very hard time in my
life... so I was grateful to have this job.
Hugh Jackman enters with a
big smile, joking a bit with a fellow Aussie
journalist at the table.
PRESS: How do you deal with
this new attention?
HJ: It hasn't really manifested yet,
Leopold is such a great character, but let's be clear
here, I'm certainly no Leopold in life. I mean, I
grew up with English parents and my father being very
English in terms of manners at the table etc.
etc..... Lots of rules, specifically the English that
came to Australia who were middle class, they're the
ones that aspired to be upper class. We had all of
that growing up. I'd go around to my friends' houses
and none of my friends wanted to come to mine because
it was so formal. So I kind of revolted against it.
And now I'm doing this movie and etiquette coaching
really made me love it. It's an art form. It's a
system of treating the other person as more important
than yourself. It's the opposite about what I
thought. I thought manners were all about shutting
you up and keeping you quite.
PRESS: How have those lessons
effected your real life?
HJ: My wife likes it .. she's getting a few
more flowers these days ... but she still yells from
the [bathroom] "Put that toilet seat down, Leopold!"
(Laughs all around). But it's fading these days, I'm
going back to how I was.
PRESS: And the British
HJ: The accent is weird for Australians to
put on because upper class English in my childhood,
generally, were always the bad guy or the "wally" and
somehow not the guy you liked, not the charming
leading man. When I first put on the accent, I felt a
PRESS: How about the fame
HJ: Three years ago I was on stage in
London, I had no idea what X-Men was going to do for
me. Now, I'm just worried about my right for my child
to grow up as a kid. Other than that, I just go with
it as it comes.
PRESS: Will your son follow
HJ: I don't think I'll encourage him. Deb's
adamant ... she's worked on enough films with child
actors ... "ah no, at school, but not professionally,
not till he's older. " [She says.]
RA: At what age did you start
HJ: Five. I actually graduated as a
journalist though - radio. I love radio. I love the
portability of it. At fifteen I really wanted to be a
talk show host.
JM: Being true means you have to bring a
piece of yourself along with you.About his contribution as co-writer:
JM: In the original script, Kate was a
scientist at a laboratory that had a time machine. I
was the one that made Kate an executive...there was
no JJ. Liev's character didn't exist.About making films:
JM: It's all about the characters... It's
what I hope unites my movies is that they're all kind
of earnest -- maybe overly earnest, I do like being a
guy who wears his heart on his sleeve.