Dwayne Johnson is finally trading in his Tooth Fairy wings and football pads for a '71 Chevy Chevelle and a revolver for his return to action films in Faster, in theaters today. Fueling the high-throttle revenge flick is a supporting cast that includes Billy Bob Thornton, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Carla Gugino, Maggie Grace and most appealingly (to our eyes at least!), one of our Complex classic chicks, Moon Bloodgood. Needless to say we've been digging on MB for a minute, so we were geeked to chat with the beautiful 35-year-old California native and listen to her confessions about director George Tillman, Dwayne's (non-existent) machismo, the challenges of playing a heroin addict and, arguably the most controversial, her lifetime Laker loyalty.
Interview by Tara Aquino
Complex: So tell me a little bit about your character in Faster.
Moon: My character's name is Marina. I play Billy Bob Thornton's wife. We have a child together. I don't have as many scenes with Dwayne as I do with Billy Bob and it just kind of shows, with the reveal at the end, that we have a past sort of intertwined with Dwayne Johnson's character and the whole plot. I'm someone who's not on good terms with Billy Bob's character and quite frustrated with him.
Complex: I read that your character is a heroin addict. Is that true?
Moon: Yeah—am I allowed to say that? [Laughs.] Yes! I was so excited. I had to audition one scene being high, which was such a great challenge. It was such a good moment for me as an actress to actually get this part.
Complex: Did you do any prep work or any research for the role?
Moon: I did. What was so instrumental for me was that I started looking online and watching people that were high. I remember really making sure the physicality was down when you're high on heroin. They start to lean forward and they lean so far forward that they don't even know that their whole body is heaving. I did that in my audition with George [Tillman, the director] and I'd like to think that helped out. Watching stuff on the internet and having no experience with drugs myself, I definitely researched it.
When I got the part, George was so great. He gave me a binder full of all kinds of research of what happens, from how your eyes dilate, to your heart racing, to your slurred speech, to everything to really get into it.
Complex: How was filming this movie compared to the rest of the work you've done?
Moon: I got along really well with George. I've never had a director who's actually given me all the research. That's my job to do, but to have someone give you a binder filled with everything—from the back story to what it's like to be high—really just made me feel like he cared. That's important as an actor because playing a heroin addict, where you feel really vulnerable—with a crew of people and a director you don't know that well—is challenging for me as an actor, though a good challenge. But when he did that and we got to do rehearsal with him, I got along really well with George.
Complex: In the past, you've played a lot of really strong characters, especially in Terminator Salvation. What kind of role do you prefer: vulnerable or tough?
Moon: I feel like I'm just playing tough so much that I'm gravitating towards other roles. But I find that to be an easier role for me; it's a little more natural. I think we all have our strengths and weaknesses as actors and places where we're more comfortable than others, and I think I'm more comfortable in sort of a masculine, physically dominant woman role versus the vulnerability. I'm glad I got to do this movie because I got to actually do both: the really tough woman whom life tries to beat up, and a single mom going back to school. But there's also the heroin issue. You see a lot of vulnerable moments between me and Billy Bob Thornton's character. I want to try to everything; at least, I think I do.
Complex: In terms of all of your roles, which would you say comes closest to your personality?
Moon: Every actor, I don't care what they say, their roles are a lot more interesting than we are, and at the end of the day, it's still entertainment or fantasy. I think we can learn a lot from the characters we play and I find that the characters are even more noble than myself. But there was a role I played in Day Break with Taye Diggs that I feel was most like myself. But, I'd like to think in every role there's a bit of me. Every actor brings a part of them to each role. You give a scene to thirty actors and they'll all play it differently.
Complex: In terms of the project itself, what drew you to Faster?
Moon: I think it's a really good script and I think Dwayne is fun to watch. I thought it was a departure from the stuff I've played. I felt the script was really great. It was a simple story about revenge and it had a lot of energy and action. There's some physical stuff in there. It was a really solid script.
Complex: Speaking of Dwayne, this is his first real action movie in awhile. Which do you prefer, the more sensitive Dwayne in a leotard, or the muscle tee-wearing, unmerciful tough guy?
Moon: I actually feel like Dwayne is both of those things. He's the kind of guy you can joke around with; he doesn't take himself too seriously. He knows he's masculine so he doesn't have to prove it. He doesn't have to prove he's tough at all. There's no bravado. Absolutely zero machismo. He's just a nice guy. He's genuinely very nice, very grounded, very down-to-earth, funny and playful. He's quite lighthearted. It's really nice because it kind of goes against the persona of The Rock. I think people can see that in his interviews, even though he plays a pretty hard role in this movie.
Complex: You were a former Laker girl. How do you feel about the team and the threat of LeBron James and the Heat?
Moon: I am someone who totally gets why LeBron James went to the Heat. I grew up watching the Lakers and I love Pat Riley. I think it's really important that [LeBron] maximize his time when he's in the zone—when his body is healthy and he's ambitious. And I love Kobe Bryant. So I just love the drama of it. I love how LeBron seems like he's having fun and like he's messing around. LeBron seems like a funny dude and I love Kobe's quiet intensity. I've always been such a big fan of the Lakers; I feel like I'll always be a big fan. I'm from California so they're something I grew up with. I hope they three-peat.
I love Phil Jackson. I got to go to a Laker game once and I swear he winked at me. [Laughs.] I'm sticking with that. I know he winked at me, I just know it. I was sitting on the floor, like dream seats, and he just looked back and winked at me.
Complex: So, if you had to choose, Kobe or LeBron?
Moon: Dude, Kobe! I'm a California girl. What I love about Kobe is that I feel like he's misunderstood. I know a lot of people have a beef with him but I love that he's so intensely focused and just his crazy work ethic. I think he's the most lyrical player. I love watching him. I don't even know how he gets his body to do what it does.