Kat Dennings: Kat Power (Cover Story)

She made her name playing indie girls; now Ms. Dennings is on the prowl for superstardom with a role in the big-budget epic Thor. Still, this Kat is just scratching the surface of her potential. Meow.

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Image via Complex Original
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Kat Dennings was home-schooled. Did she learn anything? Who knows. What we do know is that she is very nice. She graduated high school when she was 14, and convinced her family to move from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles so she could pursue acting. She’s been acting her ass off pretty much ever since, and now she’s not only acting in movies, she’s writing movies. Thanks for nothing, College!

So, during the eight years most people are in high school and college, Ms. Dennings was steadily chomping away at Hollywood, and this spring the 24-year-old has reached the pinnacle of artistic and financial success for an actor—she’s in a comic-book movie. Thor is about the Marvel character Thor, who is in turn based on the Norse god Thor. The film features beautiful men acting like tough men and beautiful women acting like extremely beautiful women. Thor! Word to Walt Simonson.

What is your favorite thing about yourself?
Jesus, that’s a really hard question. I think I’m a loyal friend. That’s very important.

What does that mean? What do your friends get out of that?
I don’t know, it depends...friendships are so different, from person to person. I appreciate each of my friends as the person they are and try to respect them and love them in the way that they need. Be there for them.

What would you like to change about yourself?
That list keeps growing. [Laughs.] That’s a process. I’m still young and I’m hoping to learn as I grow.

Choose one.
I wish I was a less anxious driver. L.A.’s a stressful place to drive, and I tend to seize up when I drive. I get very nervous when someone goes in front of me. I’m working on that. I’m getting better at it.

I got deep into heavy metal because of driving, it calms me down.
Do you listen to Slayer?

I love Slayer. I understand that, it’s very cathartic.

Were you ever a shoplifter?
No. God, no. In fact, I stole something when I was a little kid. I stole it from my friend Anna, from her sewing kit. It was a snowflake bead. I’ll never forget, because I love snowflakes, but I felt so bad. The next time I went over to her house, I snuck it back in.

Did she ever find out?
No. I guess she will now.

Did you take anything from the set of Thor?
No. They gave me stuff, but I never stole anything. [Laughs.] I have a problem; I don’t like to do things that are bad.

You’re better off. Follow the Golden Rule.
I’m a very do-unto-others type of person.

What did they give you from the set?
Oh, they gave me a book from the set and a poster, just little things.

Book and a poster?! What were you, an extra? What book did they give you?
I’m not sharing all the secrets. Maybe when you guys see Thor, you can try to pick it out of the movie.

They gotta give you some cooler stuff.
No, that is so cool. A book is the ultimate present for me.

Oh, then you hit the jackpot.
I did, oh my god. Huge jackpot.

Did you do any Hannibal Lecter impressions for [Thor co-star] Anthony Hopkins?
[Laughs.] Oh, Jesus. No! That would have been horrible!

That was your chance.
No. I was way too awestruck to do anything offensive.

Did you feel self-conscious around him?
No. We didn’t have any scenes together, so the only time I really saw him was the table read. If he says one line, the whole room is silent, just leaning in to hear every word. No pun intended, it’s like being around a god.

What was it like being home-schooled?
It was good. I took charge of my education towards the end of it. I just couldn’t deal with being in the tiny room with my parents anymore. But it worked great. I don’t think I could have dealt with traditional school, just the way my brain is wired. But I graduated when I was 14, so, it worked. I have to do things my own way.

Do you think you missed out on the social component of school?
I think there’s an element of that, but nothing I missed. Nothing that hurt me.

Are you substance-free?

I just don’t. I shouldn’t. I’m an idiot already, so I don’t need any enhancement. I don’t feel like I’m the kind of person who can deal with some kind of foreign stimulant. I don’t need an excuse to act a certain way. Some people use that to show their true feelings, whereas I do that all the time.

Have you ever tried anything?
I’ve had drinks before, with friends, but no, no drugs, ever ever ever. I’m constantly playing people with drug problems, but yeah, never.

Would you agree that naked men look disgusting?
No. Some of them are, sure. But not all of them, no.

Oh, that’s nice. Do you like Wu-Tang?
Yes. Do you like the Jungle Brothers?

Yes, but they’re my least favorite of the Native Tongues. It goes: De La, Black Sheep, Tribe, Leaders of the New School, then the Jungle Brothers.
It’s probably because growing up, my brother played a lot of Jungle Brothers, so it’s a good memory for me.

You have an older brother?
I have two older brothers.

That’s lucky. I have an older brother, and I benefited from all his music and dating and stuff. It enables a younger sibling to time-warp ahead of where they would have been.
Yeah, it’s pretty great.

Have you ever had to run from the cops?
No! [Laughs.] I’m very boring.

Someday you might have to do that.
Someday, who knows. But hopefully not.

Have you ever socked someone in the face?
Yes, but it was in a self-defense class. Does that count?

Sort of.
I hit him like eight times in the side of the head. The side of the head is the most points. But no, I’ve never really hit anybody. I don’t like violence at all. I enjoy watching it in films.

It can be a healthy thing to watch, and it can satisfy violent urges.
Yeah. Like, watching Fight Club is really satisfying. Punching people and getting punched? Not satisfying.

Have you ever kicked a guy in the nuts?

I have.
Wow. Terrible.

How do you pronounce the name of Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir?


Have you ever heard of Beta Ray Bill?
Yes, I’ve heard of him.

Do you think people who read comics are weird?
Absolutely not! I read comics. Another thing I took from my brother was his comics.

Sounds weird. I read comics and think people who read them are weird.
People who are obsessed with anything, it’s a problem.

Not me, though.
No. Anything in excess is a problem. But there are worse things to collect. Like human heads.

That’s bad, most of the time. What sets actors apart? Why do some make it and others don’t?
I don’t know. If I knew, I would do that. I would do whatever it is. People make the mistake of drinking the Kool-Aid, believing your own hype, letting people tell you you’re this or you’re that or you’re too this. Just listen to yourself and take the roles that challenge you and try to do a good job. If you do that, if you’re honest about things, you can’t get too far astray. If it’s about the work for you, then you’re gonna go far. If it’s about the glitz and anything else, forget it, you’re in it for the wrong reasons.

If someone gave you a suit of the softest fur ever invented by God, would you wear it inside-out?
Wow. What a weird question.

I would.
Would you? I don’t wear fur.

It’s not even made from animals.
Um, yeah. Then, totally.

You shouldn’t exercise in it, though.
I’d probably use it as a duvet cover.

No, you can’t.
Yes, you can!

What is the best thing you know how to cook?
I just invented some kind of accidental eggplant situation.

Sounds gross.
It’s cooked eggplant, then you mush it up and then you add things. It sounds kinda gross, but it’s really good and it was a complete accident. I was very pleased with myself.

Sounds like it would look gross, but maybe taste good.
Exactly. Thank you very much.

Does it bother you that there’s a double standard for man sluts versus woman sluts?
I don’t care, to be honest with you. I think people are just people, and if they let themselves get labeled as anything, then they gotta fix it.

You mentioned you’re answering sex questions.
No, I’m not. I’m sorry.

Is that just for interviews, or do you not talk about sex in general?
Oh, I’m not answering those questions. [Laughs.] I’m not answering any questions about sex, I don’t feel comfortable doing that. I wouldn’t talk about politics, either.

Me neither. OK, who is your favorite comic book hero?
Thor! Come on!

Besides Thor.
Besides Thor? I know it’s weird, but I always really loved the Silver Surfer when I was a kid. I don’t know why, it was probably all the silver, I was into it. And anything with girls. I was always into Supergirl and Wonder Woman. Any kind of lady.


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