An expressive actress whose charm lights up the screen, Selma Blair's characters tend to be the best ones in every film she is in. Although she is a natural beauty, due to her superior acting range Selma is rarely cast as the female lead because her talent is more useful is more layered roles. After a couple of years of independent films and TV, Selma Blair began to make her name in late-'90s teen-targeted work. The Michigan-born and educated Blair originally moved to New York to pursue a career as a photographer, but wound up taking acting classes at the Stella Adler Conservatory instead. After being discovered by an agent, Blair played substantial roles in indie films Strong Island Boys (1997), Girl (1998), and Brown's Requiem (1998), and the TV movie No Laughing Matter (1997). She truly arrived, as the proverbial young actress to watch, in 1999 as level-headed New York teen Zoe in the WB sitcom Zoe, Duncan, Jack, and Jane (retitled Zoe in 2000), and more prominently, as the gullible and bumbling Cecile Caldwell in the popular Les Liaisons Dangereuses update Cruel Intentions (1999). Although Cecile played a secondary role in the film's nefarious sexual machinations among rich Manhattan prep schoolers, Blair's attention-getting onscreen kiss with co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar earned the teen seal of approval with an MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss in June 2000. Blair continued her youth movie work as a school drop-out-turned-porn star in the college romantic comedy Down to You (2000). After the cancellation of Zoe, Blair turned her attention again to movies. Though she played the lead in Kill Me Later (2001), Blair had a higher profile supporting role in the hit summer comedy Legally Blonde (2001). As the WASP Harvard law student Vivian Kensington, Blair was the uptight, brunette opposite of Cruel Intentions co-star Reese Witherspoon's pink and blonde Los Angeles princess Elle Woods, initially sneering at her vulgar rival before being won over by Elle's legal smarts and their shared love interest's idiocy. Taking a break from Hollywood froth, Blair also appeared as a co-ed who has a fateful intimate encounter with her writing professor in indie film provocateur Todd Solondz's customarily acidic third feature Storytelling (2001). A role as Elle Woods' (Reese Witherspoon) adversary turned friend in the hit 2001 comedy Legally Blonde found Blair offering an effective ying to star Witherspoon's yang, and subsequent roles in The Sweetest Thing (2002) and A Guy Thing (2003) found her offering a pair of winning supporting performances. Her status as an of-the-moment ingenue was further sealed by her participation, along with such other actresses as Julia Stiles and Mena Suvari, in the newfangled, tasteful 2002 version of the Pirelli Tires Calendar, and in 2004 Blair opted to expand her resume into special-effects laden blockbuster territory with the larger-than-life comic-to-screen adaptation Hellboy.
Selma Blair was born on June 23, 1972, in Michigan, USA.
Selma Blair Wanders into 'Fog'
Selma Blair will lose herself in "The Fog."
The 32-year-old actress joins "Smallville's" Tom Welling and "Lost's" Maggie Grace in the Revolution Studios remake of John Carpenter's classic horror film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The story centers on a Northern California town where a ship sank 100 years ago due to a mysterious fog. Now, the ghosts of those lost souls have returned to seek revenge for their deaths, which wasn't accidental after all. Welling will play a local boat owner, while Grace will play a college girl who returns to the small town on her summer break.
Blair is set to play a DJ and owner of the lighthouse.
Also joining the cast is DeRay Davis as Welling's best friend and Rade Serbedzija as a priest.
"Stigmata" helmer Rupert Wainwright will direct the project, based on the screenplay written by the late Debra Hill and Carpenter for the original 1980 film.
Davis, who appeared in the "Barbershop" films, will soon begin a recurring role on HBO's "Entourage." Serbedzija's credits include "Mission: Impossible 2," "Snatch," "Eyes Wide Shut" and "Before the Rain."
Blair recently appeared in "Hellboy," "A Dirty Shame" and "In Good Company" and her upcoming films include "Pretty Persuasion" and "The Alibi."
Selma Blair: Hellboy's Girl
Bringing a comic book to the big screen is always daunting. It's even more so when the source material is a beloved underground title like "Hellboy." The film's chances for mainstream Hollywood appeal could be further hampered by its unlikely hero — a demon, conjured from hell by Nazis, who is rescued and subsequently raised by a secret government agency and ends up as the world's greatest defense against evil powers.
Comic flicks have become big business, but can "Hellboy" draw audiences outside of the legions of fanboys already down with Mike Mignola's Dark Horse source material? So far the flick has won over one convert: actress Selma Blair, who knew nothing about the comic before being handpicked by director Guillermo del Toro for the role of pyrokinetic beauty Liz Sherman. MTV News' Ryan J. Downey recently spoke with Blair, who talks about pleasing hardcore "Hellboy" fans (like her husband) while still making a movie that speaks to mainstream moviegoers.
MTV: Have you ever worked for a director with the same kind of passion that Guillermo del Toro has for "Hellboy"?
Selma Blair: No, and this is the first thing I say about Guillermo — he's the most generous, big-hearted, passionate man I've ever met. He did this movie for what is not a big budget. It was such a labor of love, and he did it with a smile on his face every second. He gave me this package [before shooting], and it's nine pages of my character [Liz Sherman]'s backstory, from her birth and killing her family and killing operatives out in the field to how she loves Hellboy's flannel shirts and her favorite book. I always carried "The Catcher in the Rye" in my purse [during shooting]. You never saw it. [He provided] these little secrets that made you feel like you really own [your role]. Which is stuff that I do on my own, but when a director gives it to you, you're that much more confident it's the right choice.
MTV: The "Hellboy" comic book has such a rhythm to it, and its sense of humor isn't all one-liners like corny action movies — it's dry, almost observational. Are you satisfied with how it translated onscreen?
Blair: I was so surprised by how funny it was. I saw it the other day [at a screening] with the fans; I was screaming and I was hollering. I had so much fun. It was beautiful, very romantic. ["Hellboy" creator] Mike [Mignola] uses so much black, more than others, and it's so vivid and film noir. The film could've gone more with that, but then it would've been dragged down too much. I think [the look is] perfect. I was very shadowy, and none of us were glamorous, which I thought was great. We all didn't sparkle and glimmer and shine. Liz was right up there with being really awkward. Guillermo was so conscious of everything.
MTV: How do you think the movie will do in terms of connecting with a broader audience outside of comic-book fans?
Blair: I am not a comic book girl. I wasn't; now I really am. I had no idea what "Hellboy" was [at first]. I thought it was some child, and I was gonna play his mother. Really, I had no idea. Maybe immediately it won't grab the women audience, although it should, 'cause it's really romantic. Hellboy's so endearing with his love for Liz Sherman. The monsters are just [part of] the world they're set in. It's really [a] love story [about] father-son [relationships], and [Hellboy's] love for Liz and finding her womanhood — all this stuff that girls can completely relate to.
MTV: You didn't even have to audition for the part, right? Del Toro was like, "I want Selma Blair."
Blair: Yeah, it was very kind. I'm very grateful to be thought of [that way]. He just stuck to his guns. He wanted Ron Perlman, and he wanted Selma, and that was very flattering. Liz was really just a presence in the movie, but hopefully in "Hellboy 2" she'll kick some ass. I wish that was the next project I was going to [do]. I love being with all these people.
MTV: Your MTV history began with an MTV Movie Award for "Cruel Intentions," and now you've gone and married Ahmet Zappa, an MTV personality.
Blair: I actually saw him first on MTV like 10 years ago, and thought, "Oh my God, what a geek. They just hire any ol' fool to host a show these days. What a fool." I just thought he was repellent. Then when my friend introduced us, I thought, "There's no way I'm gonna go out with that guy." I mean, he is just the biggest geek in the world. But no, he's the kindest, most loving, joyous person I've ever met, and I'm so happy to have Ahmet in my life. I found out he was a "Hellboy" fan on our wedding day. I was like, oh, now it makes sense.
More fun stuff about Selma Blair
Birth name: Selma Blair Beitner
Height : 5' 3" (1.60 m)
She studied acting at the famous Stella Adler Acting School
As a young girl, Selma went to Hebrew School and her Hebrew name is Batsheva.
Spouse: Ahmet Zappa (24 January 2004 - present)
Audtioned for the role of Buffy on the tv show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997).
Was supposed to be a regular on the TV show "Getting Personal" (1998), but was fired after the original pilot.
Originally moved to New York to pursue photography. Her plans soon changed, however, as she wound up studying at the Stella Adler Conservatory and Column Theater.
Before heading to New York, Selma spent her freshman year (1990-91) at Kalamazoo College where she did a play called "The Little Theater of the Green Goose".
Throughout high school she disliked her first name and went by just Blair.
Attended Cranbrook Kingswood School.
Engaged to Ahmet Zappa (October 2003)
Sister-in-law of Moon Unit Zappa, Dweezil Zappa, and Diva Zappa.
Wore a very large pair of fake breasts to play a stripper in the movie A Dirty Shame (2004), directed by John Waters.
Graduated from the University of Michigan in 1994 (BFA in Photography)
Her personal quotes:
On husband Ahmet Zappa's noteworthy proposal: "I said, 'I need something to make sure that this is real,' a Ferrari or something, and so he gave me a highlighter pen. It was a yellow highlighter pen. ... He told me that his father, Frank Zappa, had asked his mother to marry him with a pen."
Selma Blair Talks About "A Guy Thing"
SELMA BLAIR ('Karen')
Are you getting tired of playing the girl who gets dumped on in romantic comedies?
Yes [but] I didn't really realize it until [the press] have all brought it up over the past couple of days. I guess there's got to be someone who gets dumped on and I'd rather be that someone than have someone else be that someone. It's okay but it's probably time for me to move on. I think I've kind of worn out my welcome as the 'country club mutated girl that doesn't get the guy but gets the very big ring.'
If you're tired of the role, why take this one?
Actually when I got this script, I so wanted to play Becky. I got the script and I thought, "Oh, God, Karen's kind of a snooze cruise." I didn't even think of it. I thought it was just being sent to me for Becky, and that was it. I called and said, "Yeah, I'd love to play Becky. Thank you." They said, "What are you talking about? Becky?" So I was playing Karen. I thought, "I don't wanna play Karen. I just don't. I've kind of done this." Then I went and met with [director] Chris Koch and I fell in love with him. I really did, I fell in love with him in the way he said, "We don't have to make her the bitchy fiancée. She doesn't have to be 'Vivian Kensington' [Blair's "Legally Blonde" character] all grown up. It doesn't have to be the same thing."
It was really important to me that there was no animosity in this movie. There was a sweetness to it. It's a romantic comedy. We don't have to have some little catfight, even if it's unbeknownst to the girls. I wanted it to stay kind of like an old Hollywood throwback where it's good, clean fun and merry mix-ups.
I didn't know what I was in for exactly because it was very tough to walk that narrow line for Karen while supporting our stars. What Paul [Jason Lee's character] does in this is very kind of 'off.' It's a bit tricky because you don't want to like him. You think he cheated on his girl or wants to cheat on his girl or isn't gonna get married, isn't gonna through with it, and you don't want to like him but we have to like him because he's our guy. Then you don't want to like Becky [Julia Stiles' character] because she's kind of a home wrecker. [But it] keeps coming around, no one's being honest with each other, and the only one that's honest is Karen.
[Karen] just wants to get married and [it would have been easy to] make Karen a bitch, but I refused to do that. It was really a fine line to not go to that stereotype. I had to just make her really focused on this wedding and it was hard. Chris had to reel me in a lot and say, "Okay, you're getting too sensitive now. You're playing it for the real too much. Our hearts are breaking for Karen." I'd always have to go and play her much more focused on the wedding in order to not play her like the biggest dingbat in the world. But you have to play her a little bit daft or else we wouldn't have a movie, so it was actually a bit tricky for me.
I actually learned a lot on this little movie. And I loved it. I had the best time shooting this movie. I've known Julia for years. She's someone we've sent postcards back and forth for years. We met on another movie years ago, and Jason I had known through friends. [It's] just a great cast and so I was thrilled to be with Julia. We really got on.
Did you ever break into laughter while filming "A Guy Thing?"
I love to laugh and well, who doesn't? Jason Lee made me laugh all the time because he's so big, and I love how goofy bodies can be. He has it in him to be such a stable, strong, Jimmy Stewart-kind of regular guy. Then we'd yell, "Cut," and he'd turn into monkey boy. [He has] this big body and I just crack up when bodies do things that you just don't think they can. I like doing that with my body, too. Everyone got in the spirit of really 'no holds barred' zoo behavior. [It was] all in good clean fun although I think sometimes our mouths did run away with us. My character was so constricted and restricted that it was kind of fun to let loose between takes. I have a lot of energy.
What's your idea of romance?
I truthfully don't know. I mean, there's all the clichés that I'd like to say like, "Oh, I'd love a secret admirer and persistence and things left in front of my door, and John Cusack under my window playing 'In Your Eyes.'" I buy into all that and I kind of dig that the most. But I guess, honestly, it would be [where] I can be my unfiltered self without being embarrassed about that in front of someone, because God knows, I never want to hurt someone's feelings. I never want to be a showoff or attention getter or something that, truthfully, is kind of repulsive to me, but I get uncomfortable.
I don't always know how to communicate. I think I get a bit unfiltered and a bit strange to people. I do get from guys a lot like, "Oh God, you know, she's just so weird." That's not that romantic to me. But they still go after me and they still say, "But we're meant to be together." And I think, "But we can't be. You can't possibly mean that. What are you liking if that makes you uncomfortable?" And I get that a lot, you know, "Oh God, if you just stop running around at four in the morning, you'd be a great girl." Well, I can't. I go to bed when you wake up and that's just the way it is. So, if I could be a little bit more comfortable without feeling ashamed, I think that's awfully romantic. And if a fellow let me face out in the restaurant in the booth, if he gave me a good seat instead of just immediately sliding his big a** into it, I'd think that was romantic. I'd like to look out at the restaurant for a change.
Selma Blair Interview - "The Sweetest Thing"
The part of Jane was a difficult part to cast because a lot happens to the character in the film. Director Roger Kumble had worked with actress Selma Blair in the 1999 romantic drama, "Cruel Intentions." Kumble says, "I knew that she would be the right person to play Jane, because she'll do anything. And we get her into some screwed-up situations in this movie, so to speak."
SELMA BLAIR (Jane)
Roger says you can do anything he asks. Is there anything you won’t do?
I will do almost anything for the sake of a joke or for the sake of someone’s real belief in something to help tell a story. I will not do something shocking for the sake of being nasty. If it’s not hurting anyone’s feelings, I’m in on the joke. I have no ego, I’ll make fun of myself, and I’ll make fun of being humiliated. I get it. But [not] if it’s something that, when I get home, I’m gonna be ashamed because someone might be hurt because of it, or [if it has] to do with violence, which is something that I have a real problem with on film. I think our priorities in this country are a little off that we won’t see nudity but we’ll see someone’s head cut off. That’s just a personal thing for me that I can’t reconcile. There are certain things that are too horrific for me, but nothing too ridiculous.
You have a very interesting scene with a banana in this movie. Can you ever look at a banana the same way again?
That banana gave me some of the best memories of my life. No, having Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate and a whole crowd of extras behind me with my head in a beautiful guy’s lap, it’s not that bad. No, I’m just being silly. It was okay.
Do you and your boyfriend have plans to get married?
I had been engaged a few years ago actually to a lovely, lovely man and yeah, I keep giving the rings back. This one’s going back so something’s amiss with me.
So you're not the marrying kind?
No, I’m just not thinking of marriage right now. There’s too much I want to [do]. If I get married, it’s something you really have to work at. It’s hard enough to work at having a relationship with best friends and girls that are in the business. I’m lucky I got to work with Christina and Cameron, such amazing girls to work at a friendship with, but a romantic relationship is too much for me to really work on right now. I wanna give it my all.
Are romantic comedies for women by woman an untapped market?
Nora Ephron has been doing it for a while - and very successfully - and everyone loves [them]. Her movies were great. I think there’s always room for them because there aren’t a lot, and this is not a full-on romantic comedy. This is a screwball comedy that has a great support group of friends in it. You won’t probably go see this if you really wanna bring the Kleenex. It’s not that kind of good, sappy romantic comedy.
Do you have girlfriends like this?
Are they actresses?
Yeah, my best friends. Reese (Witherspoon) is one of my closest friends. I’ve worked with her twice. I knew Cameron two years before this movie. I think she hangs the moon. Christina too, these are girls that I’ve known before the movie and they’re my pals; I’ll be friends with them forever.
What about bathroom humor for women by women?
Bathroom humor, fart, and poo poo humor in movies gets a laugh. It’s a pretty easy audience, and that’s been around for ages. [There's] not a lot written by women and now we have it in this movie. I think it’s high time, although let’s face it, they’re fart and poo poo jokes. I don’t think we’re contributing to the dumbing down of America and all the things that people will probably be saying. There’s plenty of room for this kind of inane stuff but it's also really supported by a lot of screwball comedy.
Will you be in "Legally Blonde 2?"
I don’t know. I know that they’re making one. I know it’s in the works and I imagine Vivian would have a meatier role considering she’s a nice girl now instead of the adversary. It depends what they do with it. I don’t think there’s a script yet, so that’s yet to be decided.
What are you looking forward to about playing the nicer version of Vivian?
It was hard being the adversary against someone as sunny as Reese. People really hated me. I want to be liked, too. I’m friends with Reese so it would just be fun to get to pal around again.
What's next for you?
I have "A Guy Thing" coming out July 13th. I love it. Jason Lee, Julia Stiles and myself and it’s a complete ensemble love triangle. I’m the engaged girl; I’m playing a grown-up. I play a woman that’s obsessed - not obsessed with getting married, but obsessed with my wedding plans. This is the guy, this is Mr. Right, and I have to book the band, have the right ring on, and my family, and the country club. At his bachelor party there’s a hula dancer, Julia Stiles, who is everything I’m not, which is fun and quirky. She’s the girl who embodies the free spirit and I’m a little more rigid. He wakes up in bed with her the next morning and doesn’t know what happened and he’s really torn. Is this what I want in my life or can I not get married? Am I not ready? It’s done in a real screwball way but it’s very funny. You have to see how it ends because it’s not your typical 'everyone lives happily ever after,' but it’s still not anything that will put you to tears.
Were you and Julia Stiles friends before?
Yes, we’d actually done a movie called "Down to You" that we all want to forget - that most people did forget to see, which is really fine in my book, but my mother liked it. My mother said, "I thought that was a really nice movie."
What does your mother think of this film?
My mother is the biggest Todd Solondz fan, which is strange that she would be a fan of "Down to You." She loves "Storytelling." I don’t even know if she knows about "The Sweetest Thing" yet. I should ring her up and let her know what I’m doing. She knows about the movie, she just doesn’t know that my TMJ bills - my jaw pain bills - have gotten a lot worse since the banana scene.
Do you have to prepare her for this stuff?
No, it doesn’t freak her out but I do think she says, "Oh, Selma, what will my friends think?" That’s her big concern. My mom really is pretty bullet-proof.
What about the rest of your family?
I have three sisters, that’s it for the family. I think my sisters get a kick out of it. I think one of them thought it was a bit odd to see me without clothing in a movie on a big screen for Todd Solondz, but that’s about it. We’re sisters. We grew up like these girls in "The Sweetest Thing." We’ve talked, we’ve been raunchy, we’re silly, we run out of clean clothes and you wear your bathing suit and you pee in the urinal. These things happen. We’re three sisters. You spend enough time with someone, you’re bound to do things that seem a little dirty.
Selma Blair Weds a Zappa
Selma Blair has officially been Zappa'd. The Legally Blonde actress and rock-scion beau Ahmet Zappa have capped their six-month whirlwind romance with a walk down the aisle.
The couple swapped vows at Carrie Fisher's Beverly Hills home on January 24. The nuptials were originally meant to take place at the Ritz-Carlton in nearby Marina Del Rey, but the actress and her rocker fiancé changed locations at the last minute.
On hand to witness the traditional Jewish ceremony were a small circle of family and friends, including Zappa's sister, Moon Unit, and brother, Dweezil, who was accompanied by gal-pal and cohost of the Food Network TV show Dweezil and Lisa, Lisa Loeb.
According to People magazine, the bride wore a white satin tailor-made Karl Lagerfeld gown while the groom wore a black suit.
For the reception, Blair changed into a black version of the same dress as the 70-plus guests danced to disco tunes and dined on grilled salmon and a three-layer coconut wedding cake.
It's the first marriage for both. Blair was previously linked to Rushmore star Jason Schwartzman, while Zappa was tied to Charmed thesp Rose McGowan.
The engagement was first announced on the Friendster Website on September 19 by Zappa himself, who wrote, "I'm getting married...she said yes. I'm so happy. Love az."
Zappa's dabbled in show biz, singing on Dweezil's albums and appearing as a judge on Star Search and a panelist on Hollywood Squares. He's also guest-starred on MTV's now-defunct New Tom Green Show, as well as The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, Roseanne and Growing Pains. And he starred in the 1990 movie Pump Up the Volume.
Blair's claim to fame was the title role on the WB's short-lived series Zoe…, originally called Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane. She auditioned for the TV role of Buffy the Vampire Slayer but lost out to Sarah Michelle Gellar. The two actresses later swapped an infamous wet and sloppy one in the film Cruel Intentions.
She most recently starred in the comedies A Guy Thing and Legally Blonde. Blair has two movies in the pipeline for 2004. In April she'll star in the feature-film adaptation of the comic-book character Hellboy, about the son of Satan produced in a Nazi experiment gone wrong, who's later raised to do good by Americans. Blair stars as Liz Sherman, a pyrokinetic love interest for the bad boy turned good. She's also set to appear in the family dramedy Hating Her opposite Johnny Knoxville, but that film doesn't have a release date yet.
Demure in pearls, bawdy in leather: Who's the real Selma Blair?
After years of playing teens, confused coeds and dimwitted young adults, Selma Blair, 30, finally grows up in her new film, "A Guy Thing", a comedy of errors with Jason Lee and Julia Stiles.
"I really liked playing someone who wasn't a child," Blair says over pancakes and sausage in a Soho coffee shop. "I've never worn high heels in a movie, so that's a big departure."
Then she reconsiders: Maybe her details-obsessed bride isn't that far from Cecile, the naive prep school student in the 1999 teen blockbuster "Cruel Intentions".
"Actually, my character might be immature, because she has this one kind of focus -- to get married -- which to me is also kind of childish, but everything I do is childish. Look at me," she adds, gesturing to her outfit: black sweater, white shirt, black cashmere tights ("very, very indulgent, but on sale") and a black corduroy skirt. "My skirt's a little too big, so I look a bit like a schoolgirl. And I've had this shirt since seventh grade. My mother bought it for me in Royal Oak, Mich."
With 24 films under her belt, Blair is an "it" girl in waiting, one of a handful of young ac-tresses who seem poised for major stardom. Her role as Reese Witherspoon's Harvard Law nemesis in 2001's "Legally Blonde", and her stint as sidekick to Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate in last spring's raunchy girl-power movie, "The Sweetest Thing", landed her on "Vanity Fair's 2002 Hollywood cover along with other actresses anointed Next Big Things. Furthermore, her lessons in lip-locking with "Cruel Intentions" co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar sent male fantasies into hyperdrive while earning both actresses the Best Kiss prize at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards.
Still, Blair is enough of a newcomer that not everyone is clear on exactly who she is. Some confuse her with Salma Hayek or Sela Ward. Others can't believe the pink-haired writing student who was sexually brutalized in the Todd Solondz film "Storytelling" could possibly be the fresh-faced Zoe of the WB's "Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane". Even friends find Blair a tangle of contradictions. Her former boyfriend, actor-musician Jason Schwartzman, declares her "just really weird. She's a brat meets an angel."
Blair has heard this description before but insists it mystifies her.
"I really have no idea why people think I'm weird, unless it's because I carry a hanky and like fine writing papers -- little things out of time. Or because I'll swear like a truck driver, but then I make sure I always blot my lips after I eat. But I cannot really [speculate] why people think I'm weird, other than I can't make up my mind about a single thing, so everything is a contradiction, so maybe it is weird."
"She's a little wacky," echoes Witherspoon. "But wacky in that great way, [like] a Mary Tyler Moore sort of personality. She's got that Everywoman quality, someone who's willing to fall on her face to make you laugh. She could easily break out in something really big, because she's just one of the great comediennes of her generation. She just steals your heart."
The youngest of four girls, the actress was born Selma Blair Beitner in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Mich. When her mother would introduce her daughters, it was with a bit of flip history: One was the brain, one the athlete, another the klutz, "and then there was Selma, the manic-depressive," Blair recalls with a laugh. "I'm not truly. But one of my first gifts from my mom was a necklace with a smile on one side and a frown on the other, so I could switch it as quickly as my mood changed."
Childhood friend Fran Lee Carlson, who attended the tony Cranbrook Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills with Blair, likens her to an old soul: "She definitely doesn't act like she's 30. But inside, she could be a 75-year-old woman, on the beach in Florida, wrinkled and tanned and smoking a cigarette. She has always had an underlying sadness in her."
Another Cranbrook friend, Kelly Spence Wandoff, sees a different side to Blair: "She was always the silly, goofy one, and definitely a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants gal. If the party is boring, she'll do a handstand."
After graduating from the University of Michigan (magna cum laude with a degree in photography and a minor in English), Blair headed to New York to pursue fashion photography but instead ended up studying at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Eventually she caught the eye of a talent scout who beckoned her to California, where she now lives in a cottage once owned by Groucho Marx.
Her parents divorced when she was 23, and she legally changed her name to reflect that "I have nothing to do with my father. He is out of my life."
Her mother and sisters admire her fearlessness as an actress. Says sister Katherine Beitner, a New York book publicist, "She has the range and the chameleon-like quality where she can really become somebody else."
And that's the best part of being an actor, Blair says.
But just who is Selma Blair? "Oh, I don't know," she laughs. "Let's ask a complete stranger." With that, she turns to a fellow coffee-shop customer. "Who is anybody?" the man replies existentially. "I know," Blair sighs. "But apparently I'm a girl who is obnoxious enough to ask a stranger in a coffee shop who she is."
Selma Blair Weds
Legally Blonde beauty Selma Blair has married her rocker beau Ahmet Zappa in a low-key ceremony at actress Carrie Fisher's Beverly Hills mansion. Blair, 31, and her 29-year-old boyfriend of just six months were due to exchange nuptials at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Ray, California, but switched locations at the last minute. A source says, "Selma wore a simple gown with no veil." The pal adds that the guest list for the traditional Jewish ceremony "was very small" and included Zappa's sister Moon Unit and brother Dweezil with girlfriend Lisa Loeb.
Selma Blair Gets Engaged
Cruel Intentions beauty Selma Blair has got engaged to her rocker boyfriend Ahmet Zappa after a whirlwind romance. The raven-haired movie star - who previously dated Friends hunk Matthew Perry - was delighted when Zappa proposed to her after just three months of dating. The excited groom-to-be immediately posted a message on internet site Friendster.Com gushing, "I'm getting married - she said yes. I'm so happy. Love az." Blair's representative says, "Selma and Ahmet are very happy together and look forward to a future together."
Cameron, Selma And Christina Get Their Hands Dirty
Cameron Diaz, Selma Blair and Christina Applegate teamed up to transform a barren schoolyard into a butterfly park for fashion magazine Marie Claire. The trio, co-stars in new road movie The Sweetest Thing, took on the challenge of sprucing up Los Angeles' Kester Elementary School after hearing how kids were desperate to turn their wasteland into something really worthwhile. And the actresses split the kids up into three teams - Team Selma, Team Cameron and Team Christina - to get the job done. Their efforts make up part of a eight-page spread in the new Marie Claire. Diaz, who last appeared in the magazine when she spent three days in the desert with her Charlie's Angels co-stars Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, says, "I love being in Marie Claire because you get to do something, rather than sit down and talk about the same things over and over again. I come from a long line of sturdy, hearty women who've been bent over in the garden. It's all in the technique."
Selma Jokes About Harrowing Nude Scene
Selma Blair cracked jokes to help cast and crew feel comfortable after her naked rape scene in new movie Storytelling. In the harrowing scene, Blair's character is forced to yell racial slurs at black actor Robert Wisdom, while having intercourse with him. The scene was so graphic, director Todd Solondz was forced to digitally `shroud' it, in the finished film in order to avoid a dreaded adult-only rating. Blair, 29, admits she understands why the sex scene has caused such a fuss, and claims her years as a photography model helped her get naked for the part. She says, "I have no problem with nudity. I studied to be a photographer. I've posed for my friends. After the scene I was quick to put the robe on, because I didn't want other people to feel uncomfortable. People can't hug you if you're not dressed. As soon as Todd yelled, 'Cut, ' I told a joke: 'What do you call a girl run over by a truck? Patty.' Maybe that's how I felt."
Selma Blair And Sarah Michelle Gellar's Tearful Kiss
Cruel Intentions (1999) stars Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair broke down in tears when they prepared for their first on-screen kiss together - because they had such a huge audience. The two stunners, who won an MTV movie award Saturday for BEST KISS in the movie, say they were unprepared for the number of people who would watch them film the scene - shot in the middle of New York's Central Park Gellar says, "During the whole movie everyone kept teasing us and Selma and I were trying to be professional. We got to Central Park and there were about 300 people there and Selma and I basically broke down in tears." But she adds, "The kiss was interesting. We had to kiss for six hours. I had the best fun doing that movie we put a lot out there doing that kiss and the award means a lot."
Selma Blair speaks to Suicide Girls
The pierced, tattooed kids over at SuicideGirls have a great interview with Selma Blair and she shares some great stories from the set of A Dirty Shame. But it's also pretty clear that Selma doesn't quite fit the SG demo:
SG: What's your fetish?
SB: I don't have a fetish. I like a nice, comfy tempurpedic bed and some Frette sheets. I don't have any fetish at least none that I'd say to you. I'm a lady.
SG: Do you have any tattoos?
SB: No I don't. I don't want any either.
SG: What are you afraid of?
SB: Permanence. My mind changes all the time. I can't decide on what personality I want to play from one day to the next. I don't need that kind of map of a day that a tattoo would have. I'm not that type of girl that has a statement that I need to make so strongly that I'm going to etch it on my body.
SG: What about piercings?
SB: I have pierced ears that I got in kindergarten. I'm vain so I like a little shimmer.
SG: No gauge?
SB: Oh god no! That's just too much. I saw someone with earlobes that were huge and I thought it was gross.
Selma Blair is cool chick
I figured that Selma Blair would be a pretty cool chick. She’s not some bloated and pretentious movie star that only does movies set in the 16th century or biographies of the first women to walk on the moon. Instead Blair does nutty independent films like Storytelling with Todd Solondz and her big budget studio film Hellboy has the added factor of geek director, Guillermo del Toro. Plus any woman who gets married to a Zappa in Carrie Fisher's Beverly Hills mansion has got to have an awesomely cool aura.
Her latest flick is A Dirty Shame for America’s funny version of Pasolini, John Waters. Blair plays the big titted go-go dancer Ursula Udders who has fallen under the spell of Ray-Ray the sex god of Baltimore.
Daniel : Did you save those giant breasts?
Selma Blair: Good grief no! Once they were taken off at the end of the day with all that oil and everything, the boobs looked as if they had leprosy. They just sort of disintegrated. It was foul. No, I have a very small house. I have no room for those boobs.
DRE: Were they heavy?
SB: They were pretty light. They were foam latex and sometimes they had a water balloon in them for a certain je ne sais quoi. They were light but cumbersome. I sound so foolish because I had done all this work to play Ursula Udders. I mean, I’m just embarrassed to say that, because she is just a big clod. I look like David Hasselhoff with the long hair. But I had done all this research, watched all these Annette Funicello films, and I really had an amazing dance routine worked out in my living room. I have to tell you, it was darling. Then I put the tits on and it all went to crap. I couldn’t move and platform shoes were not meant for go-go dancing.
DRE: That’s why those girls get the big bucks.
SB: Well, it was not a cakewalk to try and dance in that. So Ursula, alas, was not a very good go-go dancer. But she had a real presence.
DRE: Have you gotten sick of talking about the breasts yet?
SB: No it’s ok since I’ll probably never get to talk about my big breasts again seeing as how I don’t even need a brassiere. I did my mommy proud.
DRE: Have you ever thought of go-go dancing professionally?
SB: I do everyday for my dog and my husband. I truly do. I wake up in the morning and I give them a little sugar.
DRE: How did you convince John you could be Ursula Udders?
SB: I didn’t convince him. I don’t know if I have yet convinced him that I should have done this. He came to me for this role. I met with him years ago for another project that didn’t work out. He remembered me so I got in on the John Waters camp.
DRE: John Water ssaid you freaked out Suzanne Shepherd [who plays Big Ethel].
SB: Oh God, I’m just a terrible child! I’ll never learn my lesson. The more uncomfortable someone is with something, the more uncomfortable I have to make them. I think that’s hysterical. But Suzanne Shepherd is a serious actress. She teaches acting at Sarah Lawrence I think.
DRE: Sarah Lawrence [laughs].
SB: [smiles] She’s really an impressive woman and I think she did the movie at her agent’s insistence but I don’t think she had really read the script or had ever seen a John Waters movie. So when she came to rehearsal, she was quite beside herself. Johnny Knoxville was comforting her as she was sobbing on his shoulder. She’s like, “I don’t know why I’m here! I don’t know what this is? What is felching?” I would volunteer all the proper answers, much to John Waters’ horror. We were at his house for rehearsal and every page, she said, “Oh God, what is this? I can’t do this! I’m a married woman! I have children! I can’t do this!” She was really in need of some medication at that point, and I just piped up every chance I got: ˜Oh, well, that’s when someone sits on your face and takes a crap, Suzanne. Didn’t you ever hear about that? That’s when someone puts a rubber band around their ding-a-ling!” That just really, really took her breath away.
But she got in the spirit of it and we became fast friends. Once the initial shock of my foul mouth was over, I seemed to calm down at bit. [Suzanne] was great and such a sport. She’s quite a party girl as well. So I think she pulled one over on us, pretending to be such an earnest little biddy. She was like a 30-year-old party girl.
DRE: What was it like coming into a John Waters’ crew because they’ve all worked together for so long?
SB: I’ve been pretty lucky in that I really have been in some pretty loving situations. I do a lot of independent film and I think everyone on an independent film winds up being there not for the money but because they actually want to be there. You really get into the spirit of John’s films. How could you not want to love these people?
DRE: What’s your favorite Waters film or the one that left a lasting impression on you?
SB: Well, the one that made the biggest impression on me is not my favorite [laughs]. I was a little girl and I was at my sister Marie’s house and she was having some Christmas party and Pink Flamingos was on in the background. I thought Divine was anything but and really scared me. The movie was horrifying to me. I mean really, truly off putting. As a little child I didn’t see the fun and joy of John Waters I just saw the colorful horror. I was raised on Ralph Lauren and pearls so it was really devastating. That made the greatest impression and now I am a huge fan of Serial Mom, which is really unlike any other John Waters film.
Despite the longshoreman in me I have a real affinity for Wuthering Heights, so I was not the typical John Waters moviegoer although I am the typical John Waters moviemaker.
DRE: What does your sister think of you being in a John Waters film?
SB: I think my sister is thrilled, she’s 12 years older but she’s so much fun. She has the same sense of love and love for people but she actually does not have a foul mouth. She’s an attorney in Detroit. I need to correct myself, because in Interview magazine I said I was first introduced to John Waters at my sister Marie’s with a bunch of drag queens around. My sister called me and she’s like, "Selma I don’t I don’t remember any drag queens at my house. I don’t know, but I’m sure you must be right, but they weren’t drag queens, they were just men wearing makeup." So forgive me but I thought that was a drag queen. So my sister has a really lovable, non-judgmental slant on life that John Waters has also. I was inspired by her.
DRE: You must be the only American actor to be in two movies rated NC-17, first with Storytelling and now A Dirty Shame.
SB: I don’t know how this happens to me. I really just wanted to be America’s sweetheart or like a Clearasil girl or something. I never thought I would fall so far.
DRE: You do have beautiful skin though.
SB: Thank you.
I don’t have one bit of commercial streak in me so I think the directors who make these movies are drawn to me. I don’t know if I pick the films so much as they pick me. There’s a few I’ll turn down here and there, but otherwise, these directors come to me. I have a sense of humor about things and I love physical comedy so a lot of that is just playing the tightly wound girl that comes undone. I look like such a prude, uptight girl but I’m not. It’s fun for me to play those things.
DRE: Have you talked to any women with such breasts?
SB: No, everything seemed kind of irrelevant with Ursula because she had such a sense of innocence and joyousness and clumsy enthusiasm. A childish streak that is unlike any sexy, jaded woman that you’d normally meet. I went to a couple of strip clubs and checked out the goods there. But no, hers were really ridiculous so I didn’t need to draw on anything.
DRE: Howard Stern plays your quotes from Storytelling on his show a lot.
SB: My mother told me that. In the background they would play “Fuck me bleeper, fuck me bleeper!”
DRE: Does that bother you?
SB: No it doesn’t. I think the movies I do aren’t quiet movies that I would get insulted if someone was making fun of it. I’m a fan of Howard’s and my mother loves Howard. She’s a magistrate in Detroit and she tells me “He just keeps playing, fuck me nigger, in the background.” She’s so funny.
DRE: Would you go on Howard’s show?
SB: I’m not game for that because I’m terrified of him. He would just humiliate me and I don’t know if I could keep up. I do think it’s great that he has a show though.
DRE: Was Storytelling a good experience for you?
SB: It was the greatest experience and one of the most effortless projects I’ve ever done. Todd Solondz is so specific and clear with his voice so it was a cakewalk. I loved it. It made me a little vulnerable to be so naked though.
DRE: Do you want to direct?
SB: I don’t know if directing is in me but producing is. I love to assemble things. I have so many ideas of how to get money and people involved. I want to build a presence as an actor first before I want to murk up my own head with all these other endeavors. But I just have to find the right thing.
DRE: A Dirty Shame is very even-handed in its treatment of neuters and sex addicts. Can you see the point of the neuters "tolerance has gone too far"?
SB: Oh certainly. We’re inundated with images that are a bit grotesque to me but I don’t know if I feel they should be censored at the same time. Everything goes in phases. There will be a backlash of good taste, I really believe that. We just have a strange society, because it’s so puritanical and so going towards this weird fascist censorship. But at the same time, somebody like Jon Benet Ramsey is sexualized. It’s just so curious to me that I can’t even begin to address it in a way that make sense.
I would take the kids to see A Dirty Shame if they wanted to see it. I don’t think there’s anything in this movie that would scar a child.
DRE: Not even learning about felching?
SB: How is that going to scar a child? I don’t know, maybe my children will be raised in a very different way than most people’s. I saw American Werewolf in London when I was a child and I thought it was a great movie, but it really fucked me up with the violence, the imagery like the corpses and things. When I was in third grade, that was something that was fine for kids to go to but it really did a number on me, whereas I just cannot imagine a man answering the door naked would really harm a child. It’s not like it’s their father answering the door naked. John Waters also never puts incest in his films.
DRE: There was incest in Pink Flamingos.
SB: Well, you know how I feel about that movie. I think his films are really joyous sweet films. I think these 14 year olds gyrating on MTV is more hypersexual than a bunch of people bouncing around like clowns in a John Waters movie, but that’s just me.
DRE: Do you have a favorite fetish in the movie?
SB: Yeah, I liked the upper decker guy. I thought that was really sweet. But they all make me sick! The movie makes me sick. I couldn’t be around that set with all the macaroni and dairy on that’s woman’s ample bosom. It really, really, really turned my stomach sour. It was just too much for me but at the same time it’s sweet.
DRE: You can get away with anything if it’s funny,
SB: I’m just a good girl raised in the Midwest!
DRE: Have you read the script for Hellboy 2 yet?
SB: I was just with Guillermo Del Toro in Spain. [whispers] We’re having an affair.
DRE: He’s all slender now.
SB: Oh yeah he’s slimmed down and toned up. It’s all that Pilates and those ballet classes. He’s in Madrid working on a movie and I’m so jealous I’m not working on it. But he made me feel better by saying he was writing Hellboy 2 and Liz Sherman will be back, thank god. I love Guillermo more than I love Diet Coke and I love Diet Coke. Aspartame will kill you by the way. In fact I think it’s the cause of Desert Storm Syndrome. Uh oh there I go becoming a crazy actress saying ridiculous things.
DRE: Did Guillermo give you that big Hellboy hand?
SB: No he didn’t. I didn’t want it anyway, what am I going to do with that? Put it in my Star Wars room?
DRE: Are you trying to tell me Ahmet doesn’t have a Star Wars room?
SB: Yes Ahmet does. We need a big house so Ahmet can have his full on room filled with stuff. Ahmet is the biggest fanboy and Guillermo always makes fun of him by saying he married his very own collectible in Liz Sherman. We got married at Princess Leia’s house; let’s just leave it at that.
Ahmet gets excited about all things Godzilla and Star Wars. It’s crazy. He has a picture of Godzilla next to his bed instead of his wife. There is a baby red panda because he loves fury creatures and Godzilla. No pictures of Selma Blair around! He has a Liz Sherman action figure that looks a lot like Lucy Liu if you ask me.
DRE: How did you and Ahmet meet?
SB: We were set up on a blind date.
DRE: Jeez, I never got set up on blind dates with Selma Blairs.
SB: Yes then I fell in love with him right away. I had no idea and I didn’t even want to go on it in the first place.
DRE: What made you go on a blind date?
SB: I was terribly blue. I hadn’t dated in a really long time; I had come back from Hellboy and felt really isolated. I just couldn’t pick myself off the floor so my girlfriend suggested I go out on a date and have someone pay some attention to me. She called me a couple of weeks later and said that she had my husband. I told her she was out her tree, I asked who and she told me it was Ahmet. I said I was not going out on a date with the game show host. I viewed him as someone who was not at all like the snob I like to be. But he’s the warmest most beautiful and creative man I’ve ever met. He’s a rock star to me.
DRE: I read you proposed to him.
SB: Yes I whispered in his ear then I was shocked that I did it. It was just like one of those immature sweet moments you have. Then he looked at me and said “Are you serious?” and I said “No! tee-hee.” That kind of ruined the moment.
DRE: So you didn’t have a ring for him?
SB: I didn’t have a ring and then he didn’t have a ring for me either. Then he asked me to marry him and I asked him for a token so I would know that he was true so he gave me a highlighter.
DRE: Did you become a fan of the Mike Mignola’s work after doing the movie?
SB: Yes I love his work. His stuff is so gorgeous. I think Hellboy is one of the strongest comics out there. Guillermo and Mignola turned me into such a fan.
DRE: You worked with Roger Kumble twice on Cruel Intentions and The Sweetest Thing. Will you be working with him again?
SB: I want to. He’s working on his third movie and I want to knock on his door screaming “I am your muse.”
DRE: Did you see Cruel Intentions 3 yet?
SB: Oh god no.
DRE: How did you hookup with Roger?
SB: I had been going on auditions. I think I did like 60 and I didn’t get anything. I had done a movie with Dominique Swain [Girl released in 1998]. Then I went in for Cruel Intentions and Roger asked me how old I was so I said “Fuck you, how old are you?” I just didn’t care anymore because I didn’t believe anyone would give me a job. I had lost all desperation and he thought that was funny. I went in trying to play this sweet innocent girl so I think I was pretending to be 15 and Roger was so amused by that. I love Roger and I owe him my career and he owes me a career after The Sweetest Thing.
DRE: What’s your fetish?
SB: I don’t have a fetish. I like a nice, comfy tempurpedic bed and some Frette sheets. I don’t have any fetish at least none that I’d say to you. I’m a lady.
DRE: Do you have any tattoos?
SB: No I don’t. I don’t want any either.
DRE: What are you afraid of?
SB: Permanence. My mind changes all the time. I can’t decide on what personality I want to play from one day to the next. I don’t need that kind of map of a day that a tattoo would have. I’m not that type of girl that has a statement that I need to make so strongly that I’m going to etch it on my body.
DRE: What about piercings?
SB: I have pierced ears that I got in kindergarten. I’m vain so I like a little shimmer.
DRE: No gauge?
SB: Oh god no! That’s just too much. I saw someone with earlobes that were huge and I thought it was gross.
DRE: Have you heard of SuicideGirls?
SB: Yes I love SuicideGirls. SuicideGirls are some of my only fans. I don’t know how it happened.
DRE: Do you think it’s empowering?
SB: To them, not to me. I think women should have a choice to say whatever they want to say however they want to say it. Me being a virgin and all I find it horrifying. I wish I came up with SuicideGirls I would be fucking loaded.
DRE: What was the first film you ever saw and what kind of impression did it leave on you?
SB: I think the first one that really made an impression on me as a real film was Tess [released in 1979]. I loved it and I loved Nastassja Kinski. I would sit through it over and over and over. I don’t know how old I was but I saw it when it was out in theatres. I thought, “Well, that girl really got wronged” and that kind of set the blueprint for my whole life. I kind of emulated her my whole life. I really did a number on myself.
DRE: Did you ever send a fan letter to Roman Polanski?
SB: No, I was actually on the set of Hellboy singing Roman Polanski’s praises to Jeffrey Tambor. I said, "That’s who I want to work with so badly. He made the biggest impression on me and I love his films." He said, "You should write a letter, you should write a letter!" I just can’t. I would sound like some sycophant, and he wouldn’t know who I am. It would just be awful. Maybe one day he’ll read that I think he hangs the moon in the film world for me.
DRE: What kind of movies do you want to do next?
SB: I like to pick a film for the director. That’s why I’m only doing two scenes in a Paul Weitz movie [Synergy] because he’s amazing. I want to build relationships so someone will think of me in the future and I want to see how they work because it’s inspiring. While I consider myself a character actress I am not America’s sweetheart. I don’t sell Skittles that way. But I do now give myself permission to play leading lady roles.
I’m so drawn to period pieces, like the “80’s” just joking! When women were really corseted, I think there’s something there that people don’t play it approachable enough in many movies. But then at the same time there was nothing casual about a lady in those times. It’s just something I’d really like to explore. I’ve played so many contemporary roles, that I want to get into a character that’s such a different style of dressing and walking and talking, because clothes dictated it or music dictated it. I’d really love to get out of this modern life.