The sexy and naughy blonde actress has appearead in various major movies such as 1999's "Girl Interrupted", 2002's "8 Mile" with Eminem and 2003's "Just Married" with Ashton Kutcher and "Uptown Girls." Murphy first came to the attention of film audiences when she starred as Tai, one of Alicia Silverstone's airhead friends in the 1995 comedy Clueless. After making her name as this dim bulb character, Murphy went on to prove that she was anything but clueless with a number of television and film roles that gave expression to the scope of her talent and versatility. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 10, 1977, Murphy was raised by her mother in Edison, New Jersey. A precocious child who began putting on shows when she was a toddler, Murphy was acting in regional theatre productions by the age of nine. Work in various commercials followed, and in 1990 she landed her first television role, on the sitcom Blossom. She then went on to a lead on the short-lived sitcom Drexell's Class in 1991, and the following year she made her film debut in the dysfunctional family drama Family Prayers. Murphy's talent for portraying all sorts of dysfunction was further exhibited in such films as Clueless; the Reese Witherspoon trailer trash odyssey Freeway (1996); and the made-for-TV David and Lisa (1998). Murphy won particular acclaim for her work in the last film; the story of two emotionally troubled teens (Murphy and Lukas Haas) who reach out to each other allowed the actress to prove herself in a purely dramatic role. In 1999, Murphy could again be seen portraying an emotionally damaged character in Girl, Interrupted, in which she played a patient at a mental institution. That same year, she explored the collective insanity of the beauty pageant world in Drop Dead Gorgeous, playing a pageant contestant who'd rather be living it up in New York with her cross-dressing brother. On the small screen that year, she switched to much darker fare with the Holocaust drama The Devil's Arithmetic. With her plate increasingly full moving into the new millennium, Murphy could be seen in the both the Michael Douglas thriller Don't Say a Word, and alongside Drew Barrymore in Riding in Cars With Boys in 2001. Cast opposite Eminem in director Curtis Hanson's 2002 /drama 8 Mile, Murphy provided a compelling performance as an aspiring rap star's unapologetic muse before starting 2003 on a lighter note with the /comedy Just Married.
In addition to the praise she has received for her film portrayals, Murphy has won a different sort of acclaim for the work she has done on the animated TV series King of the Hill. As the voice of the Hills' beauty school sex kitten niece Luanne, the actress earned the kind of recognition that can only come from an animated character who was named one of the sexiest women on television by a major men's magazine.
Brittany Murphy slams surgery rumours
Brittany Murphy is sick of accusations she has undergone plastic surgery, insisting a series of accidents have altered her appearance.
Brittany Murphy is sick of accusations she has undergone plastic surgery, insisting a series of accidents have altered her appearance.
Commentators claim Murphy looks dramatically different from when she starred in teen comedy Clueless in 1995, and that she must have received cosmetic treatment.
But the 26-year-old is adamant the rumours are false.
She tells website pagesix.com: "I have broken my nose three times. But I've never gotten it fixed. I know that changed the shape of it, but it made it wider."
Brittany Murphy dismisses cocaine rumour
Brittany Murphy is dismissing rumours that she owes her weight loss to cocaine.
Brittany Murphy is dismissing rumours that she owes her weight loss to cocaine.
The '8-Mile' actress insists that she's never tried it - and has in fact never even seen it. She also says that she's too highly-strung for drugs and imagines her heart would explode.
Brittany Murphy - Did U Know?
Real Name: Sharon Murphy
Brittany Murphy's mom and dad divorced when Brittany was just two.
Brittany has been the voice of Luanne Platter on the animated series King of the Hill since 1997.
Brittany Murphy has appeared in ads for The Gap
Brittany beat out Courtney Love to play the role of Janis Joplin in a flick called A Piece of My Heart but the project was scrapped over music rights.
Brittany Murphy's mom, Sharon, is a survivor of breast cancer.
Brittany constantly sings between movie takes.
Brittany Murphy stars with Eminem in the flick 8 Mile. The two became good friends.
Brittany Murphy Says...
"I've always seen myself as one of those 'show people.' My earliest memories are wanting and needing to entertain people, like a gypsy traveler who goes from place to place, city to city, performing for audiences and reaching people." Brittany Murphy on being an actress.
Brittany Murphy: "Little Black Book"
"Tired is not a word in my vocabulary", exclaims a perky Brittany Murphy, who is desperately trying to finish a slice of pizza prior to her next round of interviews. There is genuine warmth to this Hollywood actress, and sense of affection that doesn't seem forced. Sitting in a hotel room overlooking New York's Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty, Murphy loves to laugh. With her high-pitched voice, Murphy, who stars in the black comedy Little Black Book, says her attraction to what could have been a far more conventional romantic comedy was its unusual honesty. "The main reason that I was attracted to this film is that it was real, I love that the 'romantic comedies' heroes were not only flawed but were all betraying themselves in other people," Murphy explains, as she downs some more pizza. "I also love the character of Stacy, and that everyone has a devil and angel on their shoulder tempting them to do something. I loved that she had this whole journey of planning her whole entire life, getting her career in line first, college second then adhering to her career, get the man, and so forth."
Murphy's Stacy is an associate producer for a daytime talk show, and becomes confounded by her boyfriend Derek's (Ron Livingston) unwillingness to talk about his previous relationships. Egged on by her co-worker Barb (Holly Hunter), Stacy sneaks a look at his Palm Pilot, scores the names and numbers of his ex-girlfriends, and sets up interviews with them-all in an effort to get closer to her man. However, her plan starts to unravel, when she becomes friends with one of the women. In trying to define her character without revealing too much, Murphy sees Stacy as someone "who had been taught her whole life to control everything, and the more she starts to try and control her life, the harder she is grabbing onto the reins, until there is a snowball effect."
Murphy avoids directly offering parallels between this character and her own life, only admitting that she identified with the character as "a real breathing human, who can control things. I think there are those moments in life where to me I think anybody would be lying if they say they didn't try to control something at some point or another." As the theme of 'jealousy' tends to rear its ugly head throughout Little Black Book, Murphy insists that is one character trait she does not share with her fictional alter ego. "God forgot to give me the jealous bone," says Murphy, laughingly. To the point that whenever the actress is in a relationship, she is more than happy to trade secrets, including past loves. "I just happen to ask. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but I'm very curious. I always ask tons and tons of questions in the beginning, but I've noticed that men don't like hearing about ex-boyfriends, because they don't like, I don't think, correct me if I'm wrong, envisioning women with other past relationships. I think it's the visual that is the most off putting." But, Murphy adds, that some secrets are still left unsaid. "As Stacy says, some secrets should remain secrets. "I'm not sure that I have yet. For some reason I cannot think of myself that way, because I am very close with my family and I suppose that I live a life that's sort of very separated from the Hollywood to-do's. I understand that there's a premiere, I understand my face is on the poster and I feel very blessed. But I look at Little Black Book as an ensemble piece."
Murphy laughs loudly when asked if she takes Hollywood seriously. "I don't even take mySELF seriously, so how could I possibly take Hollywood seriously?" Yet after pausing, she further concedes that as far as her work goes, that's a whole other story. "I take business seriously, and I take work very seriously, and telling the truth in my job and professionalism. But I don't think Hollywood per se is supposed to be taken seriously, otherwise, dear Lord, that would be frightening."
While there remains a youthful spirit within this actress, Murphy says that she has grown up at last. "This year has been really, really a large one as far as life experiences are concerned," she says, partly referring to the end of engagement to talent manager Jeff Kwatinetz, which she won't discuss. "I know I'm a young woman, and I'll always have a childhood spirit. I know that. I just, love gaining wisdom, any bit where I can get it. Unfortunately, it takes most of the time, and the more trying experiences to gain the greatest amount of wisdom in life, so you have to go through these things. But I can't wait until one day I can sit back when I'm 60, and all the personalities get to know each other, and it'll be pretty great. But I feel the most myself and the most in my own skin and feet on the ground that I ever have in my life, happy to be alive and happy to be young."
Murphy is equally happy to have a busy acting career, not to mention developing her music. "I've been working in the studio for the past year, have been learning more and more what type of music I am going to make and have started to do the album very slowly. It's something that I never wanted to do while doing anything else, but actually after this film opens I'm going to take three weeks aside and kind of plough through a chunk of it with someone that I decided to work with for a while. It's turning up to be a hybrid of jazz and hip-hop." Murphy says that her music is likely to reflect who she is now, as much as her acting, "if not more so. But I've noticed that there are alter egos within what I've been writing and characters within the album, so I don't know if it's life affecting art or art affecting life. As long as it comes out OK."
Brittany Murphy:"Uptown Girls"
Brittany Murphy seems genuinely surprised that the 25-year old beauty has become something of a teen icon. The star of some 30 films including her latest, the comedy Uptown Girls, merely exclaimed "Really" and "no way" when the whole teen icon thing was suggested when we spoke at a Los Angeles hotel recently. After finally giving the matter some thought, she simply feels that:"It would be an honour to be able to affect people that way; I want to make the world a better place, which I know sounds pretensions, but it's true and that's what I've always wanted to do. I didn't know what medium it would in, acting, music whatever, so I got out of Jersey and started acting and that basically parleyed into us being here today," says smilingly. Despite her varied career, though, including a year-long stint on Broadway opposite Anthony LaPaglia in All my Sons, the media's recent fascination with the actress had more to do with her brief fling with fellow actor Ashton Kutcher, than her merits as an actor. Though reluctant to talk about her private life, when it comes to discussing it in relationship to the media, Murphy speaks candidly - and at length -on the subject. "Well first off, regarding that specific relationship, one great thing I've learned is, to never speak about my private life in print again. So basically, the rest of this is not adhering to my rule, but I will just comment on that," she says, somewhat emphatically. "Here's a couple, who become friends, and then 10 months later, start seeing each other as girl-friend and boy-friend, then a month after that, they start doing press for a film. The lines after that then became quite blurred between the press that we did for the film together and what our actual relationship was in real life.
"Even that became confusing which is really sexy for the media and if I was a member of the media, shoot, I would write about it. I was shocked that people were interested, thinking that it must be a really slow day in the news, and I still think that about me when stuff is written," Murphy says. "It's just a little bit shocking, but funny. The most important thing is, I grew up around this kitchen table of people and these wonderful influences in my life and I am really, really close to my family and everybody, and almost to a fault, I don't take myself seriously. So, in one regard that's really good and in another that can get you into trouble. But I find as far as misprinted stuff goes, I find quite insulting, but because it's insulting, it's funny. When you're in the middle of something, a lot of times you don't realize that it's happening and I'm sure everyone can relate to that in life, but afterwards you just go 'Whoa, my gosh. Is that what really happened? That's priceless,' but it was really funny to me and I know never to allow that to happen again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Murphy was also linked to rapper Eminem, with whom she starred in last year's 8 Mile. Refusing to confirm or deny the rumours, Murphy has a lot of genuine praise for the rapper. "To me, he was Marshall. He's a family man, an extraordinary worker and gives everything to his daughter. He's one of the hardest working, determined, brilliant people that I have ever met in my life and I think that it's great that the world is getting to know different sides of him. He's constantly been judged for what he says, tongue in cheek, and finally people are realizing a lot more about him which is great," Murphy says, with genuine enthusiasm.
As for Murphy's OWN take on her rising fame, she tries to deal with it with typical good humour over. "It sounds like I'm in denial over it. I don't see a therapist so this [doing interviews] is like self-analysis, so I realize, that yeah, I am probably in denial over it." On her current love life, all that Murphy will admit is that "I've been very in love for a long time and I'm in a healthy, wonderful relationship."
Equally healthy is her movie career that continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Trying her hand at another comedy following Just Married, Murphy stars opposite 9-year old Dakota Fanning, as Molly, a wealthy socialite who has to look after a snooty child when she finds herself impoverished, in Uptown Girls. Murphy says that she immediately fell in love with the fairytale aspects of the comedy. The thing that drew me to it was that when I opened the script there was pixie dust sprinkled everywhere and it was like opening up the Never Ending Story when he opens up the book in the attic and all of a sudden, magic. That's what this story was to me and that what Molly was. It was something that was kind of bigger and greater than something that could be contained in that page. It was a really full blown person that I immediately just understood, from what I read of her." Murphy says that she felt an immediate connection with her latest on screen character. "She has something that [co-star] Marley Shelton calls 'artful chaos,' and that's our common link, and also this love of life; there are no ulterior motives in Molly. Although she has all of these material things, they don't matter. What matters is heart and humans and she really is a true humanitarian, which is what I love about her." Yet in own life, Murphy doesn't quite know how that 'artful chaos' manifests itself. ."Well I think that's for someone else to see. I don't think if would be the case if I knew how to describe it, if that make sense," she says laughingly.
Murphy can also be heard on TV's anarchic King of the Hill, as sexy Luanne Platter. "It's the best job in town", she says, and continues her loyalty to the show. "I think this season Luanne moves back with the Hills and I think we'll see a lot more of development of her character. Doing that show has meant a lot to me and I love it." No matter how big a movie star Murphy becomes, she remains loyal to a blonde cartoon character, and in this town, that says a lot.
Brittany Murphy Talks About "Just Married"
With starring roles in movies as varied as "Clueless," "Don't Say a Word," and the recently released Eminem drama, "8 Mile," Brittany Murphy has deservedly become one of Hollywood's hottest young actors.
In "Just Married," Murphy tackles a new genre - that of the romantic comedy. Starring opposite her off-screen boyfriend, Ashton Kutcher, Murphy shows off her comic timing and physical comedy skills.
BRITTANY MURPHY ('Sarah')
This is your first romantic comedy. How did it feel to finally do a film of that genre?
I loved it. It was recalling my roots of any sort of acting experiences whatsoever. I began in comedy.
Is the movie a foreshadowing of real life and how your own honeymoon will be?
It's definitely a real life romance at this point. As far as the rest of it, I don't have the slightest clue. If I did, I would be a psychic, not an actor.
Interviews from the Premiere of "Summer Catch"
BRITTANY MURPHY (DeDe Mulligan)
What was it like doing this movie, surrounding by all these guys?
Oh man, it was great. It was pretty wonderful having all that testosterone around.
You have an unusual way of pouring beer in this film. Did it take lots of practice?
It was fun, and it's easy to do. No stunt double - I was the actual beer "double" myself. It's all agility, in the legs.
You play kind of the town "sleaze" in this film. How was that part for you?
Tart is a little kinder (laughing).
That's better - that was the word I was looking for.
It was really fun, I had a great time - I had fun with the role.
You were the love interest of both Freddie Prinze Jr. and Matthew Lillard for a little bit in this film. Any comparisons between the two?
Oh, apples and oranges. They were both lovely in their own right.
What's next for you?
I have "Riding in Cars with Boys," "Don't Say a Word," "Sidewalks of New York," and "Spun" coming out.
Brittany Murphy talks about "Riding in Cars with Boys"
BRITTANY MURPHY (Fay)
You and Drew seem a lot alike. How did you hit it off?
The first time we met was like fireworks (laughing). Love at first sight. We got along like a house on fire from the second we met. We sort of got to know each other through our characters.
You seem to have a natural flair for comedy. In this film, you have some unusual make-out positions such as up against a wall, kicking the back of a seat, etc. Do you do improv?
That was Penny. (Imitating Penny Marshall) "Get your leg up higher on the wall, okay, wait, no down, alright, put your left side, left side..." (more laughing) "Kick the chair, kick the chair, again." She did everything. I owe every bit of everything that I did in this picture, besides bringing my own self to work every day, to Penny. Anything that ended up onscreen was completely Penny's work, not mine. She just used me as a resource to her talent.
Did you study the 60s?
I did, but not extensively. Anything that I needed to know, I was informed about - but it's an era that I've already been informed about. I've worked in the 60s a few times before and was supposed to do a Janis Joplin film a few years ago, and I'd already researched a lot about that sort of stuff. I love that era and I thought it was a really cool time period to be in. It's one I really regret not being born during.
Things were different for women during that time period. Does it make you appreciate or think about what it must have been like for women back then?
It makes me appreciate the fact that these women that we played, and Beverly, Penny, or anyone born during that time, paved the way for people that are my age. Paved the way for me, paved the way for Drew. I hope it just continues going on like that. I just have to thank everyone. Look at how different things are today. It just blows my mind. I appreciate what everyone had to go through and the fights that women fought to get us where we are today.
What would Beverly and Fay be like today, if they experienced the exact same type of situations as they did in the film?
They were definitely branded with the scarlet letter, in the time period they grew up in. I don't know what they'd be going through today, but I know that things would be quite different though. Maybe, maybe not, different in certain ways, but not in others.
Your singing voice is pretty good in the wedding scene. Are you planning on doing more of that?
Oh yeah, I love that. That's another thing for me - like entertaining, it's all the same thing to me. That wasn't my style of singing. I sang how I thought they would sing. That was my interpretation of what I thought they would sound like. I would like to - it's a future goal - getting into that end of things.
People who work with Penny or Garry Marshall always seem to do impressions of them. Did that happen on the set?
No, Penny - her presence was definitely strong enough on the set that no one needed to do an impression of her. She was constantly there being herself, so there was no need. Of course, everyone always does impressions of Penny. That woman is just a force of nature.
Why is that that actors love to do their voices?
Because it's too much fun - too much fun. It's like people doing Christopher Walken, you know? It's just too great, and very particular. I don't know Garry at all, but if you've been inside of Penny's world - speaking from experience - you just can't help but want to do it. It's like doing an impression of your mom or a relative, an aunt or someone really close to you.
How does it feel to watch yourself onscreen?
It depends on the movie. It's definitely an odd thing seeing your eyeball the size of your whole body sometimes. That's really weird. Can you imagine a teardrop the size of your head? It's strange, but the more I do get an opportunity to see it, the more I can get used to it, but not really. Not used to it, but become more comfortable with it. I don't believe I'll ever be comfortable with it. Generally my big problem with watching myself is seeing the disillusionment of my own face when I picture these characters to look so differently while I was playing them. I never expected them to look like me.
When you were younger, did you imagine yourself getting to this point where you'd have all this sort of stuff going on?
I just wanted to entertain, and there wasn't really a vision of a circumstance like this. I had visions of wanting to make an impression on as many people as I possibly could. I'll just leave it at that. Not specific ones, but anything I was exposed to and liked to see, that was then put on my list of something I'd like to accomplish and do, pertaining to entertaining. It basically came from wanting to get out all that's inside me, and I get to make other people happy in the process.
If you met someone who had never seen any of your movies, which one film would you pick to show him or her?
A movie of the week that I did a couple of years ago called "David and Lisa." It was an "Oprah Winfrey Presents" film.
Why that film?
I just love that movie. It is just so pure, and a beautiful story. I guess I'd also say "Sidewalks of New York" and then "Don't Say a Word."
Have you gotten sick of hearing the phrase "I'll never tell" from the "Don't Say a Word" commercial?
No, I think it's a piece of work. I'm getting a big kick out of it.
Do people come up to you on the street and say it?
(Imitating herself) "I'll never tell." Not on the street really, because my life has been a little secluded since that film has been in the world. I've been working across the street from the hotel where I'm living in downtown Detroit. So I go to the production office, and then back to the hotel room. Sometimes I'll see a movie - and this has been for the past week - so it's been sort of limited to those two blocks.
You're filming the new Eminem movie in which you play his girlfriend. How is that going?
He's great. I adore him so far. He's an incredible actor and I do believe - and you can quote me on this - he's going to be absolutely fantastic. He's a brilliant musician. He's a brilliant musician and I believe it's the same thing - it all comes from that source of energy. I sort of understand - I never really intended on being an actor, I intended on being a performer or an entertainer in any way, shape or form imaginable. In some form I understand where he's coming from and I just know him channeling that energy in another place... He's been incredible in rehearsals, better than most actors I've ever worked with, and more honest than most actors I've ever worked with before.
What's the name of the film?
It's called "The Untitled Detroit Project." (Since this interview, the title has been changed to "8 Mile")
What was it like when you first met him?
I really like him very much. He's such a cool guy. He's a good person, he's honest. He is an honest person and he's funny and talented. He's really lovely to be around.
How do fans approach you?
That's not a word that's in my vocabulary. I feel uncomfortable using that word, at least at this point in my life. I think we are all people. I use the word for myself, I'm a fan of Drew's, and I'm a fan of so many people. It seems really odd to talk about that, and use that word. For someone to be that to me - I haven't accepted that as a reality yet, so it sounds just weird. I have a friend who's famous, and she uses the words "known person" as opposed to famous, which I think is really cute. Kathy Najimy does that - she's great. I think if someone were to come up to me and remember me from somewhere, then thank you! I welcome it - I thank them, and I've always been quite friendly. It's nice meeting new people. Sometimes it makes the day longer, depending on the circumstances, but that's fine by me. I'm completely honored that anyone would remember me and feel compelled to say something.
Was "Don't Say a Word" the first film you've done that captured the box office right away?
I don't know. It's the first time I've ever been aware of it. It's the first time where I've been privy to terms like - a test screening. I mean I knew what a test screening was by people trying to get in to them, or by me trying to get into them on the street. I didn't know things about test screenings, and box office numbers, and the world of these commercial films. It's something that's very new to me. I think it's so exciting that the movie was number one and especially being the first weekend after everything that's happened, in the wake of everything, I think it's nice for Gary (Felder) the director. I'm very proud of Gary the director and I'm very proud of Michael Douglas. I'm proud to be a part of the picture, and I'm also proud to be a part of it because it's about the prevailing evil and one New Yorker's courage under a terribly stressful time, and how his courage outweighs any evil. I think that that's pretty wonderful. They didn't cut the Twin Towers out of the film, and that makes me happy.
What was it like to work with Michael Douglas?
Michael is an avid professional, a pure class act. He basically knows everything that is going on on a set at any given moment. It can take people 45 minutes to come up with an answer, but he'll keep his mouth shut and let people figure it out on their own, unless otherwise asked. He is such a classy, lovely man and obviously, a brilliant actor - that goes without being said. He was really wonderful. He's so trustworthy and honest, which I've always felt from watching him on the screen. He emits the same sort of trusting ease in person. He's kind of a really nice, normal guy.
How do you think Hollywood moves forward now in the wake of current events?
I don't know. I can only speak for myself. I was given orders on Monday by the President, because I'm a citizen of the United States, to go back to work and to be as strong and brave as possible. I think that's what we're all to do. I think that's all our duties - it doesn't separate any one of us. We are all one unit here.