Were you heated Amanda Seyfried from Mean Girls only had to show half a breast, when you had to go full frontal?
[Laughs] I was totally impressed with her work, with that scene. She's this young, beautiful temptress. What I think was funny about the difference between the female characters in the movie is there were the pretty girls—I think Dominique Swain, Amanda, all those girls were the pretty girls. And my character was like, she's just insane. I mean she's not ugly, but she's kinda crazy messy, like really raw.
Yeah, she's over the top.
Right. There's the scene with my parents where you realize I'm not from a trailer park, which you might have predicted. But I'm not, I'm just from this suburban, white middle-class family, which is kinda what the movie is about. About being from these very cookie-cutter homes and pretending you're from this rough neighborhood. So the difference between our characters is so great that it definitely didn't heat me because I thought of her as being a completely different creature in the movie. But I liked that. I think the thing that made my character fun is that nothing was halfway. Everything was extreme. It was like, if I was gonna be drunk, I was gonna be wasted. If I was gonna be laughing, I was gonna be screaming. If I was gonna be yelling, I was just like, gonna be destroying.
So guys are gonna want to get the DVD and watch the outtakes of you…
Oh God, I hope there's no outtakes [Laughs].
I always thought I was gonna die young so I had to do everything really fast. But it's not a bad way to live, it's not a bad philosophy.
[Laughs] So many people have made the Alpha bitch connection that I was wondering when it was gonna…umm, yeah, okay. Well, to turn that into a serious question: I do think there was something cool about that relationship, between Emile and myself, where if he was the powerful guy, I was his equal. For some reason, he got all these guys to do what he wanted, even though they're not weak people. The only person he doesn't have power over is this girl, me. So in that sense, yeah—if he's the Alpha Dog then I'm the Alpha bitch. It doesn't sound quite as insulting. [Laughs]. That's the sequel, Alpha Bitch.
Okay, this one is pretty raunchy. They say a Manwich isn't a meal, but the real question we're finally seeing in Alpha Dog is, Is Emile a meal?
[Laughs] I can't even answer that; it's just such a mouthful. No! That's the wrong way to say it!
Can you describe the scene where you're lying in bed naked with Emile? Were there a lot of people there? Because you hear that when there's nudity involved they usually close the set.
They say that. "Closed set" means there's only 60 people instead of 100. It's so funny: I swear on a closed set there's extra people who you didn't think were working on the movie, and then you look around and you're like, What does that guy do? "Oh, we need him to hold the guy who holds the guy who holds the light." It's like, Sure.
Okay, so that character's completely unlike you. But when you were growing up in D.C., you were probably more advanced-looking for your age than most girls. Did you get into trouble?
Yeah, I got into a lot of trouble, but I was always very serious about becoming an actress. And even when I got into trouble, I was very solid in that I knew where I was going. I may have jumped on different paths, and taken the scenic route, or taken an elevator instead of the stairs, but I've gone to the same floor. I had this direction that I was dead set on going in, and I was very passionate. So even though I went through my rebellious stage, it wasn't like completely losing it, or a lost stage at all.
Well what would you do that was bad?
I couldn't understand not being able to go and do whatever I wanted at anytime. I remember once I told my parents I was going to a friend's house and instead went to New York, and just hung out with musicians and friends of mine. Another time I went to Philadelphia and lived with some street musicians that were drumming on the sidewalk and I thought that was pretty exciting. I never left out of resenting my home life; my parents were really cool about giving me independence. But it was as if I just couldn't stay in one place for too long. I just wanted to explore all the time.
So you never got grounded?
No, I got grounded. My parents were definitely not happy with me. But you know, I didn't understand boundaries. And then when I was 13 I got a tattoo to be rebellious. And my mom, when she saw it, I didn't get the reaction I wanted. She was like, "Wow, if I was gonna get a tattoo, I probably would have gotten something else." And I was like [gasp]…
What did you get?
It's a dragon spitting fire, and the fire is also a shark. It was my 13-year-old vision of wind, fire, and water [Laughs].
Where is it?
It's on my lower back. Very lower back, very lower back.
And you did this when you were 13?
I always thought I was gonna die young so I had to do everything really fast. But it's not a bad way to live, it's not a bad philosophy. It's very much in thinking of living every moment to the next. So it's never been a bad thing. It's gotten me into trouble, but it was never a bad thing.
Styling by Alexandra Keeling; Hair by Jonathan Joseph Hanousek/Exclusive Artists Management; Makeup by Natalie Miller/Cloutieragency.com
Clothing by Alessandro Dell'Acqua, Jimmy Choo, La Rok, Seven, and Zandra Rhodes. Third Image: Top by Rozae Nichols; shorts by Marc Jacobs