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A former child star whose flame continued to burn bright into her teen years, blonde beauty Elisha Cuthbert has successfully carried the success from Popular Mechanics for Kids and Are You Afraid of the Dark? into a featured role on the hit FOX series 24 and a successful film career. A Calgary native who landed her first modeling job at the tender age of seven, it was a mere four years later that Cuthbert instinctively knew that she wanted to spend the rest of her days in front of the lens. Following an appearance in the 1997 feature Dancing on the Moon, Cuthbert landed a job as a field correspondent for the acclaimed Canadian television series Popular Mechanics for Kids, and her reporting proved so effective that she caught the attention of first lady Hillary Clinton, who invited Cuthbert to Washington for a meeting. Though she spent the majority of her youth in Montreal, Cuthbert moved to Los Angeles at age 17 in order to pursue an acting career. Featured roles as a reluctant pilot in Airspeed (1998) and a time traveling teen in Time at the Top (1999) were soon to follow, and by the time Cuthbert joined the cast of Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark? in 1999, it was obvious that her talent was growing. Her role in the made-for-Canadian-television feature Lucky Girl only furthered her reputation as a dramatically capable rising starlet, and her distinct onscreen facial expressions and convincing performance soon caught the eyes of producers who were preparing a new thriller series for FOX. Cast as Jack Bauer's (Kiefer Sutherland) damsel-in-distress daughter, Kimberly, in the breakout hit 24, Cuthbert's character suffered through multiple kidnappings and a mountain lion attack over the course of the series' first two seasons. In the episode of 24 in which she shared a scene with the mountain lion, Cuthbert made news when the beast actually attacked her on the film set, sending the frightened actress on a trip to the hospital with an injured hand. On the heels of 24, Cuthbert took a supporting role in the comedy Old School before appearing in the subsequent romantic comedies Love Actually (2003) and The Girl Next Door (2004), the latter of which found her taking the lead as an ex-porn star who becomes the object of affection to a lonely suburban boy unaware of her past.
Interview With "House of Wax" Star Elisha Cuthbert and Producer Joel Silver
Elisha Cuthbert and Joel Silver at the 2005 San Francisco WonderCon
"House of Wax" star Elisha Cuthbert and producer Joel Silver made an appearance at the 2005 WonderCon held in San Francisco the weekend of Feb. 18-20th. For the uninitiated, WonderCon (a significantly more intimate version of the San Diego Comic Con) provides a full-range of comic book fare as well as a chance for movie fans to get a sneak peek at some of the upcoming comic book-inspired movies and other assorted studio releases.
The Scoop on "House of Wax:" While the 1953 3-D "House of Wax" horror film centered around a wheelchair-bound professor who fills his wax museum with real dead bodies covered in wax, the 2005 version follows a group of teenagers who discover something evil while passing through a tiny town on their way to a football game.
What appealed to you about the character of Carly?
ELISHA CUTHBERT: The character was most appealing at first because I was coming off of “The Girl Next Door,” which sort of was a great first film for me, but I wanted to do something extremely different. And when Joel brought me “House of Wax,” I thought this is perfect because the genre is different, the idea is different, and the character is nothing like Danielle in “The Girl Next Door.”
We kind of created Carly in the sense that she was a lot more tomboyish, not so particularly pretty – but pretty in her own way - and a little bit more together and driven. So that was sort of the basis of Carly. And I liked the idea of the brother figure, the boyfriend figure, and then sort of her own personality within this huge group of teenage kids coming together, which was kind of nice.
What’s the appeal of William Castle’s work?
JOEL SILVER: I mean, I love what he did. When I was a kid I saw the movies and I remember one of my [production] designers, Mike Reva, actually saw “House on Haunted Hill” in the theater when the actual cardboard skeleton went on a string and for weeks he couldn’t function. But I just think they were the pure essence of what the horror movies could be. They didn’t have a lot of money. It was all about the ideas and about the promotion, which was a very important part of it too. And I just like horror pictures. I’m a big fan of horror movies. I love that genre and I like to always be involved in them. We started “Tales from the Crypt” in ’89 on HBO and did 93 ½ hours there. When Bob [Zemeckis] and I decided to continue on with Dark Castle, we really want to water this garden. We want to really work in this genre and try to do one or two every year. This is our fifth one – “House of Wax.” It is definitely the best. It is the best we did. It came out fantastic.
What makes it the best? What sets it apart?
JOEL SILVER: I don’t know. Jaume [Serra] is really talented. This young guy is really good. We didn’t do kind of a ‘teen horror film’ at Dark Castle up to now. We didn’t do one. We didn’t want to replicate “Scream” or “I Saw What You Did.” We really wanted to stay away from that, but the studio really wanted us to try to work with “House of Wax.” They loved that title. And they have this notion of intellectual property there – at Warner Bros. – where they like to kind of work with their own material. They said, “Why don’t you try to do ‘House of Wax?’” And we heard like 60 concepts for the movie and they were all s**t. And when this one came along, it ended up being kind of a ‘young people in jeopardy’ story, but it worked for us. But we really wanted to… How do I say this nicely? We really wanted to fill it with actors who could really perform the roles. The only one who is a wild card is Paris [Hilton], and she really pulls it off.
ELISHA CUTHBERT: And I can agree to that.
JOEL SILVER: But Elisha and Chad [Michael Murray] are both, you know, really good. I showed the movie to the studio yesterday and they just were over the moon. I mean, they kept saying to me, “How tall is Elisha? Is she really [that tall]?” People say she’s short but she doesn’t look short because the movie is really impressive. Chad and Elisha are really awesome in the picture.
In working with a celebrity figure like Paris Hilton, was that more difficult?
ELISHA CUTHBERT: I assumed it was going to be. We talked about it a little bit and she knows this, too, because I told her the story. I thought, “Oh my God, what’s going to happen? What are we going to do?” And she got there and I can’t say one bad thing about her. She was there on time, she did a great job. She looked good and she was a blast to hang out with and shoot the movie with. I can’t imagine anyone else being in the film except her for Paige.
JOEL SILVER: It has a unique structure. They really only have one or two sequences where they’re all together and then that’s it. They’re never together again. Look, Elisha anchors the picture. You’re with her and you stay with her. She’s the star of the movie and is incredible. And Chad, who plays her brother, which is a little unusual too for these kinds of pictures. They end up being together in the movie, but you’re following her in the picture.
Elisha, were you a fan of horror films coming into this project?
ELISHA CUTHBERT: Yeah, I was. I mean, there [are] people that are really experts on the genre and they get it. I have just seen a few and like the idea of going into a movie theater and feeling like it’s going to take you somewhere and make you feel really scared. I liked the idea of it, but I had no idea how intense it was going to be to actually film it. I was going into it going, “Ahh, it will be another movie. It’ll be great.” Jaume was like, “Get ready for all these sequences.” I was like, “It’ll be fine. I can do this. I’ve dealt with ’24.’ I know how to do this stuff.” But I got there and had no idea it was so physically challenging and demanding.
But it was great. It was really cool.
Are the scares taken out of it while you’re actually working?
ELISHA CUTHBERT: You think they’re going to [be]. You think it’s going to diminish the scare for you because you’re there and you’re partaking in everything. You read the script and you know what’s happening. But then the cast got to see some of the stuff at the studio, and for it to be put together in a way that Jaume has created this sort of film, is not what I remember on the page. It’s so frightening. A lot of the kids in the movie are kind of separated. We do our own thing so I wasn’t there for shooting a lot of the stuff, and you jump. We all jumped. I remember thinking there was no way. I was like, “I’m going to go in there and I’m going to be so cool and prepared.” No, it was like hit the roof! All of us completely jumped. I had no idea. So yeah, you get just as frightened as everyone else.
What were the high and low points of filming “House of Wax?”
ELISHA CUTHBERT: It was always high energy because the movie, once it hits a certain point in the first act, you’re gone. You’re totally into the film and there’s so many things boom, boom, boom, happening one after the other. So to kind of get in there and do some of my sequence stuff was really high energy. We had a lot of stunt stuff going on. We had a lot of things happening and fire and wax. Lots of crazy prosthetics and things, so that was the exciting part.
The low part was we had a little bit of a fire mishap on the set, which kind of was a high point because it was kind of cool, actually (laughing). I was like, “Wow, I get to witness this studio up in flames.” But it was a low point because we had to stop for about four or five days. It kind of put a little dent in it, but then we kept going, which was good.
Joel, how did you keep everybody calm after the fire incident?
JOEL SILVER: Nobody got hurt so that’s the most important thing. We didn’t plan on the place burning down, but we took precautions in case something did happen. We had built two sets of the House of Wax set. We built one on one stage that was kind of a non-effects stage, where it was the full-on set. And then one was designed as the effects stage. It was elevated so that they could get underneath it. It was all designed and rigged for the fire gags. But you know, it just got out of hand. There was too much stuff.
Again, it’s the thing I always said on “The Matrix.” When Larry was saying to me, “I want the actors to come in for four months and train to be able to fight.” I said, “When you paint your house, you don’t hire an actor to be a painter. You hire a painter. Let’s hire stuntmen.” And Larry would say, “No. I want the actors to look like they can do what they’re doing.” It’s the same thing in this. You know what I mean? You don’t really want to use real fire. You are telling a story. You are making a movie about it. But fire is fire and it just got away from us.
ELISHA CUTHBERT: Once you put aside that no one got hurt, you got to realize that we were shooting this MTV series in conjunction with the actual shooting of the film and how brilliant it was for this episode (laughing). Because it was like all of a sudden people are going to be watching the show and go, “Oh my God!” They’re witnessing this huge stage get completely demolished. It’s like great television, too. So it was like perfect.
You had an MTV crew shooting throughout the filming?
ELISHA CUTHBERT: Yeah, we still have them. They’re out there right now.
JOEL SILVER: We did a show which is called “Movie Life: House of Wax” which is kind of like… I don’t know. I think it’s the first time anyone has ever done this. But we chronicled the making of the movie for that kind of a reality show. There’s no contestant. There’s no prize component but they actually, I guess it’s almost like “The Real World.” All of the actors in one location in Australia.
ELISHA CUTHBERT: We’re all taken out of our lives and sort of put there, and we’re there to make a horror movie. At first I was thinking, “God, I hope it’s exciting,” because for us, it’s a lot of waiting around. You’re waiting to go in there and do your thing and get out. I’m thinking, “What are they going to shoot?” And let me tell you, they got all kinds of stuff.
JOEL SILVER: You never know what’s going to happen. Example: the stage burning down. It’s Episode 3. But there’s five half hours. [Joel asks someone from the studio when it will start airing] Probably the first week in April, last week in March. It’s going to be five episodes of the show leading up to the release of the film.
Is the MTV series a nod to the old William Castle marketing?
JOEL SILVER: Of course. We’ve always tried with these Dark Castle movies to be conscious of the kind of promotion/marketing things, because that’s what was a mainstay. That’s what Bill Castle always did. So I mean, we’re always looking for unusual stuff and we did one this time.
Do you have a scene where you confront yourself in wax?
ELISHA CUTHBERT: Confront my character seeing herself as wax? No. But I confront myself in a lot of wax so… It’s interesting. We had many different substances that kind of replicated wax. We actually had wax. It was interesting and messy, but it was fun.
JOEL SILVER: There’s a scene in the show where they tell Jared [Padalecki] that he has to literally be sprayed with wax.
ELISHA CUTHBERT: And it’s real. And he came to me and he was like, “Do you know how hot this is going to be?” (Laughing) I’m like, “They’re going to fry you.” He was like, “Oh my God!”
JOEL SILVER: But they blew it on him in a way that it wasn’t.
ELISHA CUTHBERT: It wasn’t dangerous but you think about it and you’re like, “Whoa!” He had two replicas of himself in wax and they actually scared me at one point because I ran by one of his wax figures and it looks just like him, the facial hair and everything. There [are] people there applying each hair on his face and head, to replicate his actual structure. It’s incredible. Sitting there watching the women is crazy.
Did you watch the original “House of Wax?”
ELISHA CUTHBERT: I didn’t watch it on purpose because I didn’t want it to sort of alter the idea, or put any ideas into my head about it. I’ve yet to see it. I know there’s an original before the Vincent Price [version], as well. But I’d like to check it out in 3-D. I heard it’s pretty crazy and fun. But I’m going to wait to see ours first and then dabble with the original.
Did you ever consider shooting this in 3-D?
JOEL SILVER: We talked about it. The technology is not there yet and I don’t like the blue and red glasses. They’re pretty silly.
James Cameron just did one.
JOEL SILVER: Yeah, I know. But it’s still… It’s hard. I don’t know if adults would sit [through it]. We would, but I don’t know if [other adults would]. I think kids would. That’s why the “Spy Kids” movies would work. I mean, we’ll get there sooner or later. But we’re thinking about actually putting the actual movie in 3-D on the DVD. We may actually include it with the glasses. We’re talking about that now because that might be cool to show our movie and then show the original one as well.
What did director Jaume Serra bring to this movie?
JOEL SILVER: Jaume is a young Spanish filmmaker who had done a lot of commercials and music videos. And I like to work in that area with Dark Castle. We really work the scripts out so that we know where we’re going with them. It’s a fairly big entity because there’s a lot of special effects in these movies, so we just want somebody who can go in there and understands that kind of process with the special effects and at the same time, has a fresh take. We meet with a bunch of guys and we look at everybody and we make a decision.
ELISHA CUTHBERT: He has fantastic style. I saw his reel of commercials. He’s worked with Brad Pitt, Britney Spears, a lot of great, fun people, and his commercials are edgy and fast and they’re cut well. The lighting is beautiful and he brought that to the movie. It’s very edgy and it’s stylish. I think that’s what sets it apart from a teen horror film because it’s edgy and it’s fun. It looks good.
JOEL SILVER: It’s really different than you’d think. It isn’t really a teen horror. I mean, it really is good. It’s smart. It’s a smart film and the movie has different styles to it. It opens in almost a “Blair Witch”-kind of reality type story at the beginning. And then you get into the town, and we built this town in Australia. When you’re in the town, the style changes. It’s good. It’s a good movie. It came out really good.
After three seasons on “24” and now this, what’s the secret to playing a cool damsel in distress?
ELISHA CUTHBERT: To keep everything as real as possible. When you get scripts in and you think, “Okay, I’ve never been in this situation before. How can I make this look real?” You just go through all those steps and I go through different ideas in my mind and write them down, and see which works better.
It’s difficult. But as long as I can make an audience feel something, I don’t care whether it’s a good thing or bad thing, just to feel something is important to me. And so if I can convey it as real as possible, that makes the most sense.
What’s the biggest difference between Kim on “24” and Carly in “House of Wax?”
ELISHA CUTHBERT: It’s so funny. When you do television it’s a weird thing because you step into the wardrobe and you have a specific look, and Kim is such a particular person. It’s so easy for me to differentiate the difference between the movies and the television, even though I’m not doing it now. If I were to jump into it that again, it would be like [snaps her fingers] so easy. You’re lucky enough in television to always be at it, to always be doing it. It’s like you’re constantly that person, always, all the time. It gets to be like clockwork. But when you jump into a film, especially when the location’s in Australia, you’re set away from family, you get into a whole new mindset.
There [are] differences. She’s got brown hair, physical, a little bit more tomboyish. Kim was a little bit more girlie in a way, but tough at the same time. Just different ideas. She talks different, too.
JOEL SILVER: Looking at them both, Kim is very reactive I thought. And Carly is very proactive. That’s the biggest thing. Things that happen in “24” happen to her. And in “House of Wax,” she’s driving everything. She’s on her own.
ELISHA CUTHBERT: I make the decisions. Exactly. That’s great.
Will you return to “24?”
ELISHA CUTHBERT: It’s up in the air right now. I mean, they’ve inquired about some stuff. I’ve got to see. I’ve got to read some things, but we’ll see. You never know. You can’t ever put anything aside. You’ve got to leave it open, or at least that’s what I’m doing.
Is this “House of Wax” an homage to the 1953 film in any way besides the title?
JOEL SILVER: Maybe just in concept and idea. We took it further. In this story there is kind of a wax museum called the House of Wax, which is literally made of wax. So the entire building is wax.
ELISHA CUTHBERT: And it was, literally. It was very easy to melt.
JOEL SILVER: When we do that, we were conscious of the original movie. We watched it and there are some kind of shots that will kind of have a memory of that movie. But it’s a very different story and the effects are from right now, from today.
What’s your favorite scene in "House of Wax?"
ELISHA CUTHBERT: I don’t want to give away anything… I can’t give away that one… There’s a lot of them. There’s a moment in the film where Chad’s character and my character finally come together and decide that we need to do something about the situation. And we sort of reunite because there’s a little turmoil off the top of the film. And I like that moment because it’s both of our characters realizing that we have to do something about this. And we do, and that’s a great moment for me.
What’s the one scene in “House of Wax” that you felt needed to be in there because of the type of horror movie it is?
JOEL SILVER: It’s not that simplistic. The truly remarkable scenes… I mean, the end of the movie in the House of Wax is pretty fantastic. But there are scenes earlier in the picture. There’s a scene where this guy Super Glues her lips together, which is pretty outrageous. There’s pretty wild things that happen that are due directly with the House of Wax. “I’ve never seen that before,” you say.
ELISHA CUTHBERT: I was getting good at the sign language. There [were] moments in between where we had to keep rolling because they were actually glued together, and I couldn’t speak. I remember talking to the A.D. going [trying to move her lips but not prying them open]. It was crazy. It was fun.
They really glued your lips together?
ELISHA CUTHBERT: Yeah. Well, not real Crazy Glue but you had to. I wanted them to glue them because at first we had this sort of ‘mock’ and I was going to act like they were glued. I said, “Let’s just do something with it.” I said to the special effects guy, “Is there any way we can seal them because I want to actually pull them and make it show that I’m trying my best to unlock them?” So we did it, and it’s wild. It looked good – it looked really good.
Elisha Cuthbert Beggs Timberlake To Be Her Wedding Singer
24 beauty ELISHA CUTHBERT has begged pal JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE to sing at her wedding to his best pal.
The GIRL NEXT DOOR actress - who was falsely linked to Timberlake in the past - has been dating his personal assistant TRACE AYALA for just over a year and plans to marry him next summer (05).
And Elisha knows exactly what would make her special day complete - a special performance by the ROCK YOUR BODY hunk.
Elisha enthuses, "It would be cool if he sang at the wedding but I don't know if he'll do it."
Both Timberlake and fiancee CAMERON DIAZ are reportedly top of the guest list.
Elisha Cuthbert didn't show everytihng yet
The smokin' blonde's sizzle is downplayed on 24, but she's on fire on the big screen. Under the influence of Paris Hilton, her co-star in next year's House of Wax, we expect to see more of Cuthbert. Much more. Love thy neighbor.
Playboy.com: With your sexy long hair in the movie, you look much different than with your shorter conservative coif on 24. Is this longer hair your real hair?
Elisha Cuthbert: This isn't real. [Indicating her hair extensions] These are real! [Indicating her chest]
PB: In The Girl Next Door, your character did porn. In 24 you were kidnapped by your boyfriend and tracked through the woods by a cougar. What is the craziest thing you've done in real life?
EC: Moving to L.A. at 17. That was a big step for me, because I'd been working in Canada for a long time, and there was no real reason to leave, except for something was telling me I should. It was scary, like starting over.
PB: Your character has at least two semi-nude scenes in the movie: in the window, stripping down to her panties for bed, and dropping her robe from behind in the porno movie-within-the-movie. Not to mention a striptease in the street. How did you explain The Girl Next Door to your family?
EC: I said to them, "It's a lot of things. First off, it's a teen comedy. It's about a teenager going through what every teenager goes through, I suppose. It's also reminiscent of what teen comedies were in the '80s. Like 16 Candles and Risky Business." My parents saw it when I was in Montreal doing voiceovers. At first my dad was really quiet, then his first reaction was, "Well, she didn't show everything."
PB: Did your Old School co-star Will Farrell -- who memorably streaked through town to re-live his college glory -- give you any advice before doing a nude scene of your own?
EC: No. He's really quiet. He's kind of shy, but, man, when those cameras come on, he's a character. He's wild.
PB: So, how do you prepare yourself for stripping down?
EC: You really don't. You kind of just close your eyes and hope it works out. [Laughs] The window scene, which is as far as I push it nudity-wise in The Girl Next Door, is the second time you see my character in the entire film. My main point with the director was, if I show all myself the second time you see this character, what's to look forward to and what's Matt's drive for the entire film to come?
PB: Did you use a body double at any point?
EC: We did. We used a double for the clip of me in the porn film. I take off my robe and it's a shot of me from the back. You don't really see anything. Originally you did, but then they opted not to use the full shot. That wasn't my body. The front was, but the back wasn't. In the window it was me.
PB: What kind of research did you do? Did you watch adult movies?
EC: No. A lot of porn magazines were scattered all over the hair and makeup trailers. You kind of get numb to it after a while. You're just like, "Oh, that's good hair." That's how we came up with the red wig and the false eyelashes. Everything just seemed larger than life.
PB: In 24 you date an imperious secret agent. In Girl Next Door you go for a high school kid. What's your type in real life?
EC: Someone who's got their stuff together. I like someone who's got a plan and an idea for themselves. It doesn't have to be anything crazy. Someone who is down to earth and normal and fun. There is a lot of give and take and compromise when you're in a relationship, and if they're willing to listen, then I think that's a really nice quality to have.
PB: When have you risked everything for the person that you love?
EC: I don't think I've plunged into that undertaking yet. I haven't risked it all. You try and do nice things. When you're an actor it's hard because you're always working and you're always traveling and doing lots of things. I think it's nice just to make that person feel connected.
PB: Do you hang out with your 24 co-stars at night?
EC: I like to separate myself a little bit or else it blends into one long day for me. Carlos Bernard (who plays Kim's boss Tony Almeida) and I had worked till two in the morning, then we got up the next day to do it again. As we got going, I thought, "Did I even go home?" We're in the exact same position, in the exact same clothes doing the exact same scene.
PB: What precautions would you give teenagers to not get kidnapped as often as Kim Bauer?
EC: Just watch the show and do the opposite of what I did. I hope no one gets attacked by any cougars. [Laughs] There's actually been reports on the news of that going on in L.A. It's weird because you don't think you're going to sit and watch the news and go, "I can relate to that." Unfortunately, I can.
Elisha Cuthbert builds her career brick by brick
The coolest thing about living in an exlusive LA beach community with neighbors like N.Cages, D. Hopper, E.Clapton and J. Roberts is that the public focuses on the famous and never recognizes you, according to E. C. , who plays Kimberly Bauer on the drama series''24''. If anything, she has the remote chance of getting hurt by a frenzied mob rushing past her in a heroic effort to touch Pink.
''Some of these people literally live next door and we chat all the time'', says the 22-yers -old Elisha. ''While those guys get hounded by excited fans, I'm rollerblading, playing volleyball or walking my dog in the background. Actually, it's my boyfriend's dog, a black Pomeranian named Joey.''
Cuthbert is not complaining, but wishes that her squeeze of the past 1 1/2 years actor Andrew Keegan- would be around a bit more often. ''He's in Ireland shooting a film and I'm working 7days a week. We never see each other-maybe that's why our relationship work. The only way to communicate is via e-mail.''
The personable and totally unaffected Cuthbert, devoid of makeup and her short hair a mess, spent an hourfielding questions in a spare, borrowed dressing room-trailer parked on a dirt lot in mostly rural Calabsas. Calif.,a half-mile from a nonedescript liquor store serving as the day's location. If tired from 15-hour days, five days a week on ''24'', and every weekend for 2 1/2 months in the title role of the feature film ''The Girl Next Door'', she doesn't show it. Not even with a yawn.
''It's getting somewhat insane,'' she sighs, shaking her heads. ''Iam already working 10 months a year on ''24'' and probably will have an independent film lined up as soon as we wrap production in April or May. I'm also promoting two movies that I did in my last huatus, '' Old School'', a comedy feature just released shot in L.A. and ''Love Actually'' with Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson. It's a small role about an American girl and an admiring British actor that I filmes in London. The truth is that I get sheer enjoyment from working and it's important to me to have a film career as a TV carrer. I'm trying to build a career brick by brick.''
And what is she doing with all the money rolling in that she hardly has time to spend?
''Not much- I just put it in the bank'', she says.
The sub-compact Canadian was born in Calgary, spent the early years in Vancoverand graduated high school in Montreal. By then she had amassed a handful of impressive professional credits, including two years as a regular on the cable-TV children series ''Are you afraid of the dark?'' and for four years as the co-host of the award-winning educational series'' Popular Mechanics for Kids''. ''Popular Mechanics'' didn't call for much acting, but it did get Cuthbert around to the far corners of North America while a high school student. The low-budget cable TV series also drew attention of then first lady Hilary Clinton, who invited Cuthbert and her cohort to the White House in 1998 for an informal meeting.
''It was a lot of fun and Mrs.Clinton couldn't be more charming,'' says Elisha. ''She was very interested in educational TV and regarded our show as one of the best. After congratulating us on a job well done, she took us on a private 20-minute tour of the White House. We met their cat, Socks..It was a fabulous experience.''
Cuthbert attributes a great deal of her success to her parents, automotive design engineer Kevin Cuthbert, and stay-at-home mom, Pat , who also cared for the other two kids in the family, Lee-Ann, 16, and Jonathan, 11.
''Unlike my ''24'' character who suffered through her parents divorce before her mother was murdered, my parents have been together for almost 25 years and always provided a strong family base for the three of us, '' she says appreciatively. ''Their support until I gained independence was wonderful. I have a great relationship with my father, my mom and I are very close as well. I'm lucky to have them- they are cool people.''
''24'' season 1& 2 Box Set
''24'' was the surprise package of 2002; within weeks of it’s debut it was clear to 20th Century Fox that they had a hit show on their hands, and as they say, the rest is history! The first season went on to win a couple of Emmy awards and brought Kiefer Sutherland back into the big time, earning him a Golden Globe award in the process. For anyone who hasn’t heard of the show, it is shot in real-time (if you ignore the time allotted for commercial breaks) and it also uses split screens, so that multiple storylines can be shown on the screen at once. The complete second season has just aired on UK TV, and the following day the full season was available on DVD as a separate release or packaged in a box set along with the first season. This is a review of the box set.
As mentioned above this box set contains Seasons One and Two packaged together for the first time. The box set is supposed to be limited edition, and for that reason it was advertised as only available for 24 hours (released on 11th August 2003). However, the fact that this box set was available with online retailers a few days later makes me wonder if that was a clever selling point, and not strictly true. The box set itself is basically the separate season one and two releases, bundled together in nice looking packaging. If you own either of the seasons already then it doesn’t really make sense to purchase this set, however it is still nicely packaged and should appeal to newcomers to the series.
Elisha Cuthbert's next big role
Bryan Singer has found his SUPERMAN. This much we know. But what about everybody's favorite damsel in distress? Superman-V.com is reporting that the list of potential actresses to watch for the role of Lois Lane has been narrowed down to three. Kate Bosworth, Elisha Cuthbert, and Claire Danes are on the short list. The site goes on to state that their sources say many actresses are hesitant to take the role for fear of being typecast and playing second fiddle to Brandon Routh’s Superman. According to the site, former favorite, Evangeline Lilly looks to be out of the running because of her commitment to the awesome television show Lost.
Elisha Cuthbert is official 24's sexy star
Time flies when you're having fun with 24's foxy, fearless daugher-in-peril, Elisha Cuthbert. We had some bad days, but none as unremittingly crappy as the one Elisha Cuthbert had all last season on 24, Fox's inventive thriller that devoted each episode to one hour of a labyrinthine assassination plot. As the rebellious daughter of counterterrorism agent Kiefer Sutherland, Elisha was kidnapped, shot at, arrested, and kidnapped again for good measure. Plus, she spent most of the season in the same strategically tattered T-shirt. "Someone's got to do it," shrugs the 19-year-old Canadian cutie. "I was the one with breasts, so that was my job, to look good." Danger and conspiracy no doubt find Elisha again in the new, similarly constructed second season, though she says her outfit will be "ad little more sophisticated, but still sexy." We're counting down the minutes.
All your troubles on 24 last season started when you sneaked out of the house to meet an older guy. Did you draw on experience?
I couldn't. My family had a Great Dane, and if you made a move he'd freak out. I kind of let my friends do the rebellious thing and lived vicariously through them. The worst I ever did was get drunk when I was about 16.
You didn't even throw tantrums when you were a child model?
I mostly did catalog stuff and kids' clothes, so I wasn't exactly jetting off to Paris and hanging out with rock stars. But I did get cookies — I remember that. I was also a foot model. I had hot feet.
A few years later you hosted the show Popular Mechanics for Kids. Can you overhaul a transmission?
Oh, yeah, I'm a handy chick. I could be a mechanic after doing that show. I can fix a fan belt; I can change brakes, depending on how bad they are. they had me doing things like sitting in an F-15 and going aboard an aircraft carrier. I was a total tomboy for four years.
And you gave all that up for Hollywood glamour?
I decided to give L.A. six months. I figured that if I didn't get something in six months, I'd go back. And I was actually ready to go back, I was over it, when the script for 24 showed up.
Does working on a show with so many conspiracies make you check under your bed at night?
I'm into that stuff, but I was a real freak when I was a kid. I thought aliens were going to come after me. If I saw something in the sky, I wouldn't make direct eye contact,because I thought it would take me away. [laughs]
Aliens, Hollywood producers — same thing. Can you stay up around the clock, like in the show?
I'm actually more productive at night. The morning freaks me out for some reason, which helps on 24, since half the shooting is at night. It forces me to be a vampire. I have no problem going to bed at four in the morning and waking up at four in the afternoon.
Do you watch 24 at home?
No, because when you're shooting a show like 24, where everything has to be consistent with the episode before — the way you look, the way you react to everything — you don't want to watch and say, "Ooh, I don't like that," and try to change things in the middle.
So what shows do you watch?
I like Crime & Punishment, because they have real court cases and you feel like you're part of a jury. I'm also hooked on Unsolved Mysteries and Dateline.
Jeez, you must get only two channels or something.
No, I have DirecTV. And when I called to figure out what channels I wanted, the lady on the line was, like, "Would you like any porn channels?" But they cost $15 extra a month. That's bullshit!
So you would have gotten the porn if it were cheaper?
Yeah, just to be cool. So when people were flipping through, they'd be, like, "Wow, she has every channel." It's a materialistic thing. If you've got porn, you've got money. With cable, I mean.
Are old beaus coming out of the woodwork now that you're on TV?
Actually, I've had random guys from back home call: "Hi, I never spoke to you in high school. Want to hang out?" But it's me who usually approaches a guy. Except this one guy who tried to pull my bikini string. It was quite embarrassing, but thenI went on a date with him.
That cad. Have the 24 creators already told you what they're going to toss at you this season?
I hear rumors of me having a job baby-sitting some kid, which scares me.
Because child actors are iffy. It's like working with an animal. I should know.
The Bombshell Elisha Cuthbert is America's Favorite New Star
Fox's 24 was undeniabley one of last season's runaway hits. The series, which took place in "real time" over the course of 24 hourlong installments, depicted government agent Jack Bauer trying to prevent the assassination of a presidential hopeful on the day of the California primary. Along the way, he must locate his wife, who has amnesia, and uncover the truth about a Serbian warlord who faked his own death. At the same time, Bauer must identify the turncoats in his own agency who are working against him and, most importantly, rescue his daughter, Kim, who's been kidnapped by Eastern Block terrorists.
Sound unrealistic? Perhaps. But with 19-year-old Elisha Cuthbert sporting a sweaty, skintight, low-cut T-shirt during nearly every episode in the role of Kim, such a concern was hardly an issue. In fact, the show has become so popular that the second season's premiere episode this fall will be aired without commercial interruption. So kick back. And enjoy.
Q: What's the best way to say hello?
A: What's up?
Q: Are you a manipulator?
A: No, I'm too sweet for that. I'm Canadian.
Q: Is it true Canadian girls are easy?
A: There are easy girls all over the world.
Q: Tell FHM something about some sexy business.
A: My stomach looks good and I don't have to work on it. And bellybuttons are cute. At least mine is.
Q: Do you think it's fair to say your show, 24, portrays the most ridiculous, impossible day ever?
A: It's a bit far-fetched, but it's possible.
Q: No, it's not. Kidnapping, murder, frame-ups, more murder, amnesia, exploding cars and then terrorists—
A: I never thought of it that way. It's so genius though.
Q: Which farm animal would you not want to wrestle?
A: A cow. I'd have no chance. They're like tanks. With a pig, at least I'd have a chance, but a cow?
Q: What's the name of the last dirty movie you saw?
A: I don't watch porn. I've heard of Debbie Does Dallas though.
Q: Have you ever operated a chain saw?
A: No, but I'm handy with tools. I was a co-host on a show for three years called Popular Mechanics for Kids, so I'm pretty hands-on. I can fix a fan belt and change brakes.
Q:What's the dumbest thing you've ever asked someone in bed?
A: Did I brush my teeth?
Q: You once steered an aircraft carrier on that show. Answer this question: How long does it take to do a figure eight?
A: Twenty minutes.
Q:Bingo! Twenty minutes at a standard 32 knots. What's the strangest thing you've ever put in your mouth?
A: Seal. It tasted like blood. Have you ever cut yourself and sucked on it? That's what it tasted like. It's raw flesh. It was disgusting.
Q: What's the strangest movie role you've been offered?
A: Funny enough, a porn star. Her name is Danielle. But I don't know if I'm going to be doing it.
Q: What's the combo to your gym locker?
A: 55530. I didn't choose it. It came with the lock.
Q: When is it OK to call a guy a bitch?
A: I don't think I'd ever call a guy a bitch. I'd rather use prick.
Q: What's the worst thing about going to the doctor?
A: Everything. Doctors freak me out. The smell, the ... the list is endless.
Q: Bikini wax?
A: Yes! I live at the beach.
A: None of your business.
Q: Where on earth have you visited that you will never return to?
A: Texas. It scared me. I didn't fit in. I had never seen a gun until I went to Texas.
Q: What's the one great thing Canada has contributed to this world that Texas hasn't?
A: Maple syrup.
Q: Fill in the blank: "If a man's ______ is hairy, that's good. In fact, the hairier, the better."
A: His head.
Q: You're only 19. Please tell FHM something about yourself that might get you into trouble with Mr. and Mrs. Cuthbert.
A: I gave my younger sister alcohol on Christmas Eve. I bought three bottles of Smirnoff Ice for her and her friends.
Q: That's a good Canadian. We have a giant American flag hanging in the FHM office. Would you like to pop in and salute it?
A: Why would I salute the American flag?
Q: Quickly moving on, how far would you go with a dying man?
A: All the way.
Q: Who is your favorite Baldwin?
A: The one from Bio-Dome, Stephen. He is so funny. He's my favorite. He cracks me up. I like funny guys.
Q: Do you throw like a girl?
A: Nope. Except for when I'm mad. When girls get angry, they can't throw.
Q: Can "it" ever go on too long?
A: Yeah, if it's boring. But that doesn't happen very often.
Q: The best part about flying is...?
A: Nothing. I'm terrified. I cry. I vomit. I freak out. Then I pass out.
Q: You were born in Calgary, which is famous for its Calgary Stampede. Have you ever been bitten or trampled by a horse?
A: No, but I've been bucked in the stomach by one. I was doing this movie Nico the Unicorn with a horse. The horse started getting aggravated, and I was sitting right behind is legs. It kicked me across the barn.
Q: Have you ever hooked up in the back of a chuck wagon?
A: No! And I don't know if I want to.
Q: What about your mom's station wagon? Whose music did you listen to when you were getting freaky in the back?
A: Bjork's "It's Oh So Quiet."
Q: Show FHM what's in your pockets right now.
A: My license, two credit cards and 50 cents.
Q: If FHM housesat for you and rummaged through your goodies, what would we be most shocked to find?
A: You would probably think I was a pyromaniac because I have 10 of those long torch lighters, the kind you use to light a barbecue. I have a candle fetish, and bigger candles are easier to light with the longer lighters.
Q: When do you turn into a complete bitch?
A: When I haven't eaten. But I'm really not all that bad.
Q: Ever had a gun pulled on you in Mexico?
A: Never been to Mexico.
Q: Ever slip a boy the tongue at summer camp?
A: I've never been to summer camp, but I have slipped a boy the tongue.
Q: You visited the White House during the Clinton years. Did he?
A: No, he was in Australia. I met the cat, Socks. That was fun. Even though I don't like cats.
Q: Nobody does. Even cat folk don't like cats. Cats don't even like themselves.
A: That's funny. You know, you don't ask the normal questions. Everyone else just asks what it's like to work with Kiefer Sutherland.
Q: So what is it like to—
A: I hate that freaking question! I'm sorry, I shouldn't have brought it up. He's the coolest guy ever, but it's like, what do you mean, "What's it like to work with Kiefer Sutherland?" Why isn't it, "What's it like to work with Elisha Cuthbert?" That's what people should be asking him.
Q: Is it true Kiefer is always flashing his old fella on the set?
A: No, not at all. Old fella! I've got to remember that one.
Q: The show has built quite a devoted following. Any crazy fan bits?
A: I saw a bracelet from the show sell on eBay for $5,000 — a cheap $2 bracelet. I don't know if the person who bought it knew that, but now they do.
Q: Tell FHM a secret about 24.
A: Mr. Floppy! He's this stuffed animal dog that the director, Stephen Hopkins, tries to put in the background of all the shots. If you look really carefully, you'll see him, silhouettes of him. He's everywhere.
Q: Who sees your breasts more than you do?
A: But I see them all the time! Who can see them more than all the time?
Q: In this month's issue, we're saluting TV's crappiest offerings. Do you have one you'd like to add?
A: M.A.S.H. It bores the hell out of me.
Q: What's your favorite bit of rap jargon?
A: There's a line in Nelly's "Hot in Herre" where he goes, "I got secrets can't leave Cancun." Everyone who has been to Cancun on spring break has done something screwed up.
Q: What have you done in the past that you would now like to fess up to?
A: When I was little, I lied and told my mom that I was allergic to milk so I wouldn't have to drink it. It went on for many years. I used to say I was lactose intolerant. Actually, there are a lot of people who still think I'm lactose intolerant, but I'm not.
Q: You're an avid snowboarder. Describe the way your can felt after your first day.
A: My butt cheeks were fine. I don't really have an ass, so my tailbone was in a lot of pain.
Q: If you were a porn star, what would your screen name be?
A: Speeder Murdoch
Q: Fill in the blank: "For God's sake, please ______".
A: Don't smoke around me!
Q: Describe the underwear you're wearing right now.
A: They're purple, bikini cut and from the Gap. And they're seamless.
Q: What's the best way to say goodbye?
Hot shot Elisha Cuthbert
Not all actresses have to wait tables until they get a break. On her second day in Los Angeles, Canadian Elisha Cuthbert found herself auditioning for the female lead in the upcoming Spider-Man. “Reese Witherspoon sat right next to me, and Amy Smart walked in afterward,” Elisha, 18, recalls. “I thought, ‘Who cares if I get the part? I’m all right in this town!’” Although the role of Spidey’s squeeze ultimately went to Kirsten Dunst, Elisha landed another plum part as Kiefer Sutherland’s defiant daughter Kimberly on Fox’s hot new drama 24. The premise of the series—which takes place in real time—has Kiefer trying to prevent the assassination of a presidential candidate while searching for Kimberly after she sneaks out of the house. For Elisha, playing a rebel is a major stretch. “Kimberly wears a cutoff tank top, tight jeans, has wild hair and makes out with boys.... I call my mom every Sunday,” she says. Her character’s road-warrior ways, however, hit closer to home. As cohost of the series Popular Mechanics for Kids from 1997 to 1999, Elisha met with Hillary Rodham Clinton at the White House, sampled seal meat at the North Pole and snorkeled with sharks in Southern California. Swimming with sharks? No wonder navigating through Hollywood doesn’t scare her.
Elisha's first starring movie role - The Girl Next Door
Elisha Cuthbert has endeared herself into the hearts of action fans as the long suffering daughter, Kim Bauer, on TV’s 24. Though she always finds herself in peculiar situations – from kidnappings to abusive fathers to mountain lions – she perseveres as often as her father. It was only a matter of time before she broke into movies, and after some memorable supporting roles, her first starring vehicle is a doozy.
The only action in The Girl Next Door is the action our heroes hope to get from Cuthbert’s character. She plays a porn star who opens the eyes of a nerdy high schooler, but he must win her back from the lifestyle she feels she belongs to. Can Cuthbert go from weekly catastrophes to movie comedies?
Q: Do you hope to follow in the porn star footsteps of Heather Graham?
A: No, no, I think I have my own little path going. We’re trying to pick projects that I feel somewhat connected to and I didn’t feel like I was anything like this character but I think I read the script going, I know what I want to do with this scene, I know what I want to do with that scene.
Q: Did you research the porn industry?
A: Not really. What I did was I had spoken to a few of the girls from Wicked Pictures and Vivid and kind of got a take of what they were like, and was surprised that I had this stereotype in my mind that these girls were like the two girls that were my friends in the film. And they’re not. They’re really into fashion, normal girls, and so I was pretty impressed. It was pretty wild.
Q: Isn’t the porno industry more businesslike than erotic?
A: That’s what I mean. I mean, these girls are entrepreneurs. The capitalize on what- I don’t really think it’s cool per se- there is somewhat of a cutthroat to this business. I mean, there’s a lot of girls, and there’s a lot of producers, and it’s pretty wild.
Q: Did you attend any porno conventions?
A: Yeah, we went to a convention. The convention in the film is actually the real convention that takes place in Las Vegas, and we got them to pack up and set up in L.A. so all the real girls were there. The only people that weren’t real were the characters in the film.
Q: How do you play sexy to teens? Is there a line you can’t cross?
A: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I didn’t feel the pressure of having to do it for the public. I think just personally for myself, I had a place where I felt like I had to stop, which was full nudity. I push it to a certain point, obviously, in the opening, but [director] Luke [Greenfield] and I kind of talked about it, and you know, I had a strong opinion on the fact that we could make a teen comedy and not have to do full nudity.
Q: Is nudity something you won’t ever do? Just right now in my career, I don’t feel the need to go there. Maybe down the line I will, I really don’t know. But at this point in time in my career I don’t feel like it’s necessary
Q&A about ''24'' Talk
Q: What’s the future of 24?
A: It’s ending in May, this season, and I hope it will go on for a fourth. I think so, I don’t know though.
Q: How hard is it to maintain that?
A: It is very difficult to maintain a show that has such a hype off the top. It’s got a following and people respect the show a lot, and that’s the writers’ jobs, to maintain that quality. I think when you’re writing something that’s quality, people expect it to stay that way, obviously.
Q: Did you ask the producers after the first two seasons to give you a more active role in CTU?
A: I did. We had a conversation with Joel Surnow and Bob Cochran who are the creators of 24 and I basically just said, “I have an idea about the CTU,” and they said, “Well, that’s funny, because we’ve already started writing it that way.” And I went, “well, that was easy.”
Q: Did you feel like some of the situations Kim was put in were kind of silly?
A: I never really blamed the writers, nor did I feel like it was a problem. I mean, television is television, and I love the show so much as it is, but I was willing to do whatever they wanted and we had already kind of gotten in the middle of the season and it was like, they gotta keep doing what they gotta do. So I just tried to do the best I could with the scenes.
Q: Is it true the lion bit you?
A: Yeah. I have a scar. It went through my hand. I just went up to it and they said, you’ve gotta meet the animal before you work with it, and I said okay, and I went up and it attacked me.
Q: Did Kiefer Sutherland ever give you advice?
A: His family’s very much a part of this business. Yeah, we did talk a lot about that, and I think we have a very mutual respect for each other. We have a really special relationship, not that he doesn’t have relationships with all the other actors but we have our own little special relationship and it’s almost like father and daughter in a way, but a little less, obviously. But yeah, even shooting this movie, you know, talking about how far I was going to go with the nudity stuff, and just kind of going, "Should I be afraid to voice my opinion?" And he said, "Hell no!" So he gives me a some really good advice. He’s a good guy.
I thought it would have been cooler if Jack really was a bad guy, he worked for the Salazars, and you were his mole. We actually had come up with a couple of cool things for the ending, but obviously we’re not the writers, but if we were the show would be upside down. We have too much time on our hands. We sit in the trailer and go, "Well, what if you were the mole, and I come after you, but you find out next year, and I come back, and then Nina comes back, blah blah blah." It’s ridiculous.''
Elisha Cuthbert is a hot star
Though the television ads and press materials for “The Girl Next Door” say nothing about a remake, one is overwhelmed at times by the unmistakable stench of déjá vu.
Nod inwardly if this sounds familiar: Well-behaved but secretly frustrated prepster (Emil Hirsch from “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys”) meets a sexy tradeswoman and launches a “risky business” to financially groom his path to adulthood. Hirsch never lip-syncs to Bob Segar in his tighty-whities but the dissimilarities end there.
Like most uncredited “reimagings,” this one is generally inferior to its predecessor, with one notable caveat: Elisha Cuthbert (“24”) is light-years hotter than Rebecca DeMornay, Tom Cruise’s unchaste paramour in the previously-alluded-to “Risky Business” (1983). As penitent porn star Danielle, Cuthbert slinks into upper-middle-class suburban America, improbably takes a shine to runtish, over-achieving Matthew Kidman (Hirsch) and helps the kid whip up a scheme to pay off a debt to Kelly (Timothy Olyphant, playing the Joe Pantoliano role from “Risky”), her Svengali/boyfriend producer. As adolescent male fantasies go, Cuthbert is about as perfect as they come — gooey and inviting, like a Twix candy bar that somebody left in the sun.
As a college-bound social-nothing who frets that his prime frolicking years are passing him by, Hirsch is also good (sometimes he resembles a shorter, more composed Billy Crudup), but our sympathy for the character gradually evaporates as his adventures become increasingly derived and contrived. By the end of it, he’s been transformed into the worst kind of cliché — the slick, sports-car-driving turd who has life wired like a phone exchange. Co-writers David Wagner and Brent Goldberg seem to have a soft spot for such characters, having previously penned the wholly unwatchable “Van Wilder” (2002).
Recycled elements aside, “The Girl Next Door” is at times wildly funny and not altogether insubstantial, mostly due to director Luke Greenfield’s satirical, “Heathers”-style swipes at the high school experience. Watching one of Matthew’s classmates whip a pep rally into a mindless froth, we’re reminded of how ridiculously hormonal that phase of life can be and it’s déjá vu all over again.
Elisha Cuthbert appears on the cover of the popular magazine "Maxim"
Elisha Cuthbert posed for the cover of last month's Maxim magazine in a skin-tight, cleavage-popping, tummy-baring, see-through, white cotton undershirt. It was her second appearance on the cover of the popular men's magazine. ‘‘We first put her on the cover in October 2002, and the reader response was so overwhelming that we immediately made plans to get her back on a cover,’’ says Eric Alt, Maxim's entertainment editor. ‘‘She is so mind-numbingly gorgeous on the latest cover that we have had many readers tell us that she literally brought them to their knees.’’ And, yet, some idiot at the studio didn't think she was sexy enough to play an attractive porn star who moves into a suburban home next door to a flustered but utterly thrilled teenage boy in the comedy ‘‘The Girl Next Door,’’ which opens Friday.
‘That's the truth,’’ says the film's director Luke Greenfield. ‘‘The studio people had seen her in ‘24’ (she plays Kiefer Sutherland's troublesome daughter Kim) and didn't think she was that sexy. ‘‘Frankly, I hadn't even seen ‘24’ when I tested her for this role, but I saw plenty of sex appeal. The studio made us test hundreds of other actresses for the role anyway, including some pretty big names that I'm not going to mention here, but she blew them all away. ‘‘We knew she would,’’ he adds. ‘‘We knew she was the one from the beginning.’’
The 21-year-old Cuthbert, munching delicately on a lunch of raw tuna and corn tortillas at a favorite beachside bistro near her Venice, Calif., home, is flattered that everybody thinks she's so sexy, but insists that she is more than a hot body and a pretty face. And she's not alone in that assessment. ‘‘Oh, she's much more than a pretty face,’’ her director says. ‘‘She is one of the sharpest and coolest girls I've ever met. Real smart and complicated. As an actress, she's a chameleon. She can be the girl next door one minute and Angelina Jolie the next.’’
Cuthbert said she is enjoying all the attention that a Maxim cover and the role as a porn star brings, but she does not want to be defined as a sex symbol. ‘‘I'm looking for longevity, and you don't get longevity in this business playing on your looks or sex appeal.’’
To that end, the Canadian-born actress already has signed to star in the Joel Silver-produced horror flick ‘‘House of Wax,’’ which begins filming in Australia on May 5. As soon as she returns after the two-month shoot, she reports immediately for the fourth season of ‘‘24.’’ ‘‘No time off for me this year,’’ she says with a laugh. ‘‘There's time to rest later.’’ Last year was no easier. Besides the TV show, she had small roles in the films ‘‘Old School’’ and ‘‘Love Actually.’’ After those assignments, she said she was ready to tackle a leading role in a major studio film.
‘‘You hear the words ‘porn star’ and it makes you wonder. So I sent a copy of the script to my mom (back in Montreal) and she loved it. She told me to go for it.’’ In the film, which is reminiscent of Tom Cruise's breakthrough movie ‘‘Risky Business,’’ Cuthbert plays an adult film star who wants to get out of the business and lead a normal life. She befriends the high school boy next door — after she catches him watching her from his bedroom window — and a romance ensues. ‘‘Of course, everybody wants to know what kind of research I did for the role,’’ she says, smiling. ‘‘As a matter of fact, I got to spend four days talking to two adult film stars who were on the set to film a scene for the movie.
‘‘The key to the film for me was to find out what these women were like when they weren't shooting these adult films. I wanted to know if they were always ‘on,’ if they always looked like that and if they always dressed like that. ‘‘What I discovered was that these women are strong and tough. And they are much different in their real lives than in their work. That was the challenge of this role — to strike this weird balance between being this cool, strong woman in real life and then looking like a slut when I'm working.’’ Up north, eh?
The oldest of three children, Elisha Cuthbert was born in Calgary, moved with her family to Vancouver six months later and then settled in Montreal where she attended high school and actively pursued an acting career. At 7, she was a foot model for clothing catalogues but began acting professionally at 10. Later, she starred on two TV series — Nickelodeon's ‘‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’’ and ‘‘Popular Mechanics for Kids’’ — as well as several TV movies.
Upon high school graduation, she announced that she was moving to Los Angeles, which did not sit well with her parents. ‘‘They knew I was serious about acting because I had given up my entire summer vacation the year before to film a movie, but they were not happy about me moving alone to L.A. ‘‘I told them that I would give myself six months. If nothing came of it in that time, I would come home and go to college. I thought that was a very mature attitude. Still, it took five months of bugging them.’’ Her parents reluctantly agreed, and the aspiring actress found a one-bedroom apartment near the studios in Burbank. With her agent's help, she went out on 23 auditions. And got 23 rejections.
The week before she was set to pack up her belongings and return home, she got the role on ‘‘24.’’ It was her 24th audition. ‘‘I swear to god,’’ she says, holding up her hand as if to swear in a court of law. ‘‘It's not a made-up Hollywood story. It was my 24th audition.’’ The TV series helped her get her green card, a new house and an SUV. With or without the series, she got herself a new boyfriend, who is not an actor. He threw her a surprise 2lst birthday party at a Hollywood nightclub. Her cake was decorated like a California drivers license. ‘‘My friends all came, but the paparazzi wasn't there,’’ she says. ‘‘Nobody recognizes me, even when I go to clubs. I guess I should feel lucky.’’
That might change, particularly if this new movie does well, and Cuthbert says she's ready for whatever awaits her. ‘‘I'm not in this for the money or the fame,’’ she says. ‘‘I'm in this to be a working actress. And I'm certainly not in this to be a sex symbol. I know my career could go in that direction after the Maxim cover and this role, but I believe in my heart that it's going to go in an entirely different direction. ‘‘If studios won't give me a chance to do anything other than sexy roles, then I'll just have to make them.’’