Shannyn Sossamon talks ‘The End of Love’, doing comedy and ‘Amadeus’
On March 1st, The End of Love will open in limited release. Written, directed and produced by its star Mark Webber (Scott Pilgrim vs the World and For a Good Time, Call), it also stars Amadeus (A Knight’s Tale andOur Family Wedding). TailSlate had the opportunity to discuss the film, among other things, with the beautiful actress.
TailSlate: I read somewhere that you chose to add the “Y” to your name. Why? Why the Y?
Shannyn Sossamon: I actually wish I’d changed my whole name. I never felt like a Shannon. So I added the Y.
TS: Too late to change it now.
SS: Yes. But the Y stuck. When I did A Knight’s Tale I barely thought about it, but I should have.
TS: Blame your agent.
SS: That’s always a good idea. It almost isn’t Shannon anymore.
TS: Aside from films you were in or connected to, what is your favorite movie?
SS: Amadeus. Hands down. Ever since I was 16 or 17 and I can’t figure out why. It might not be the strongest movie but it’s something that I think, when you like a movie a lot you just can’t explain it. Everything about it is wonderful. The acting and especially the music.
TS: Were you a musician?
SS: Music has been a huge part of my life. I’ve never been very good at any instruments but I was a dancer, so music has always been very important to me.
TS: Hollywood is your oyster, you can work with any director you want. Who would you want to work with?
SS: I would really like to work with Woody Allen. I know everybody says that but if I were going to do comedy he would be my choice. I just love his sense of humor.
TS: Why do you think most comedic actors can do drama but many dramatic actors struggle when they try doing comedies? First, would you agree with that statement?
SS: Totally. I think it is a backwards thing. I don’t think dramatic actors have ever done the pratfalls. They also take themselves too seriously. Well, some dramatic actors do anyway. But then again Daniel Day-Lewis is a dramatic actor and I can watch him until the cows come home, so if he wants to take himself seriously, fine. He’s incredible.
TS: DeNiro is brilliant in both drama and comedy.
SS: Bill Murray.
TS: But he started in comedy.
SS: Oh, I see what you’re saying. I think age makes a big difference. When you get older as an actor you stop taking yourself so seriously. So what I want to do is figure out a way to do it earlier in my career.
TS: So you want to do comedy.
SS: I would love to do comedy. But what I think is funny. Maybe my pocket of comedy isn’t funny to everyone. I just want to do what’s funny to me. I think actors are so competitive that it can make them crazy.
TS: Isn’t part of that the way you have to compete so intensely for roles?
SS: You have to be competitive with yourself to become better but they become too competitive overall and it ruins their childlike magic. My point was going to be that some actors want to prove they can do comedy and it just isn’t their pocket of comedy but they try anyway. I’ve only done one comedy, Our Family Wedding and I had such a blast doing it. To this day I still reminisce about the two scenes I did with Forrest Whittaker because I want to do it again.
TS: If it isn’t the right pocket of humor for you it won’t work.
SS: Of course. You don’t see a comedian go on-stage and do somebody else’s act.
TS: Well, they could try but it wouldn’t go over very well.
SS: An actor’s best strength is to know what they aren’t able to do.
TS: I loved you in this part. I thought you were very good and I’m not just saying that. If you read my reviews you’ll discover that when someone or something is bad I’ll say so.
SS: I’ve had bad reviews in my career and they’ve been brutal. I recognize that there is truth in some of it but sometimes I think they go too far and rob people of their spirit.
TS: I want to be honest, so I try to be kind but I want to be very clear. What made this so interesting to me is that while you have kids and being a mom in this role was natural for you, but the part of being a business owner probably wasn’t. Yet you did it so well. How?
SS: I’m not a lot like this woman. I might be a bit lazier as a mom. She’s very type-A in a way that I’m not. She dresses her daughter like herself. I have two boys.
TS: I hope you don’t dress them like you.
SS: Well I do dress like a tomboy sometimes.
TS: That’s fine but I’d be a bit concerned if they were dressed like you.
SS: Yes. <laughing> Although they do look like girls though. It’s those long eyelashes. I really enjoyed playing that kind of super-mom. I’ll never be like that. I’m very loving and nurturing but she isn’t me.
TS: How did it feel to be constantly upstaged by a two-year old?
SS: I thought it was beautiful. I think Mark is a great father and I just loved Isaac. How did you like the movie?
TS: There’s a lot about it I liked. I found it very effective in how it blurred the line between the truth and fiction, so that if you don’t know Mark’s story you can’t tell what’s real and what is not real.
SS: I like that.
TS: It’s a very good film. Thanks for your time.