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Michelle Pfeiffer


American actress.
Michelle Pfeiffer
Michelle Pfeiffer has the pivotal role of the movie and perhaps of her career as Angela de Marco, the unhappy missus of Frankie (The Cucumber). Shedding her WASP identity completely, Pfeiffer becomes the Italian princess, right down to the Long Island accent. Angela is an updated suburban moll, a gum-popper with press-on nails and lots of sweaters applique'd with feathers. She looks like a caricature, but there's anguish under all that mascara... This is her second movie marriage to the mob. As the wife in Scarface, she was the Latino mobster's WASP ornament, cold, trapped and tragic. As the Cucumber's widow, she's a deft comedian instead. It's her movie, and she graces it.
Pfeiffer quotes
The only friend I trust not to distort or misuse what I say is Michelle Pfeiffer.
Pfeiffer
Even from the beginning, when I was doing junk television, I still had this focus. I knew I wasn't going to be doing that forever, that I wasn't going to be like that...




Pfeiffer Michelle quotes
I didn't recognize her from one film to the next. I wasn't really looking at Michelle Pfeiffer; I was looking at the character in the movie. The thing that really clinched it was Married to the Mob. She had a kind of honesty in the character, and she had just the right amount of humor. She wasn't putting down the character; she wasn't making a value judgment on the character. She really was like the people I grew up with. The characters were Italians from Long Island, and here was an actress of a different type, different background, coming in and making me believe totally. That really made me sit up and take note. And then, when Dangerous Liaisons came out, I thought, 'She's the best we have.'
Pfeiffer Michelle
I think that, more than any other "beautiful actress," Michelle has been handicapped by her appearance. She has such an overwhelming face that people have tended to cast her because of the way she looks... I have a feeling she's been in touch with her gift all along, and that she's exhibited enormous patience with those of us who tend to focus first on how gorgeous she is.
Michelle Pfeiffer quotes
Michelle represents the best of both worlds. She's very feminine, understated and sophisticated, yet also mysterious, confident and provocative.
Michelle Pfeiffer
The description of the character is that Frankie is an attractive woman if she'd just put a little effort into how she looks. So that's basically the way I played her. I consider myself an attractive woman, and I can be not-so-great-looking if I don't put effort into how I look. But more importantly, the core of the character was someone who had given up on love, and that could be any age, any size, any form of beauty. That could be anybody.
Pfeiffer Michelle quotes
She was kind of shy, and halfway through the year, in fact, it was the end of the second semester where the other kids had been doing the debating and making the fiery speeches and stuff, Michelle hadn't volunteered very much. But then we did the Harry Truman trial, where they bring in witnesses. The players had to get some other kids to participate, so a little peer pressure. Michelle ended up being one of the victims of the bomb. She gets on the stand, and she had dressed herself up as a victim and had gauze and everything. She starts to talk, and she starts crying. You ever been in a play or something where you feel kind of uncomfortable that all of a sudden someone's doing something so emotional you don't know what to do? She does that to the class. And they're looking, and they can't figure out. What the hell is she doing? She hasn't been like this all year. It was just a stunning performance. And we thought, God, she really is a victim of the bomb. To the end of the year, we had her take on some more responsibility. But that was the first little bit of acting.
Pfeiffer
I don't like talking about the characters I do in film, ever. There's no deep, dark meaning. It's just an idea. It's just an idea.
Pfeiffer Michelle
A lot of times I looked into the camera and said, 'Too pretty.' We changed the lighting and hair. You know, she was hired originally in the town as a beautiful girl, but she's learned how to act. She's an actress of unlimited range. She works incredibly hard the body language, the hair, the voice. She's not bothered by movie star stuff whether she has a rug in her trailer or not. She doesn't care.
Michelle Pfeiffer
She was very, very particular about the visual aspects of what we were doing. After seeing the first rushes of film, she requested that her costumes be made less splendid. In fact, we reduced things. But it also had to do with the fact that it's Michelle Pfeiffer's face. She was so beautiful that they had to tone down the glories of the gowns to make her less stunning.




Michelle Pfeiffer quotes
There was a pronunciation and approach that seemed Dylan-influenced. Vowels were swallowed, word endings were given short or no shrift. When we worked, it almost became a joke with us that I was constantly reminding her to say the consonants as well as the vowels... And Michelle, must you continue to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day?... I can swear that every single note in that movie was hers. Seeing Michelle up there was like watching myself or my daughter. I was so nervous. I wanted her to be so good. I didn't want to feel as if I'd let her down.
Michelle Pfeiffer
I had a big mouth, and I used to mouth off to my mother all the time. But I'd make sure my father wasn't in earshot, because he'd let me have it. I was very strong-willed, very stubborn, and fairly dramatic, I guess. I remember my mother calling me a drama queen when I would be carrying on: 'Here's my little actress.' And I was a real tomboy. I wasn't a terribly feminine little girl. I never thought I was attractive to boys; I remember when the first boy liked me, I couldn't believe it. All the little girls with ringlets and crinoline dresses were the ones the boys liked. I was always beating them up why should they like me? I was always the biggest girl in the class, and if somebody wanted someone beaten up, they'd come and get me. I was the school bully. No wonder I played Catwoman. It all comes full circle.
Pfeiffer quotes
Pfeiffer gives the performance of a lifetime as the outcast countess. With her hair in tight curls that accentuate her pale beauty, she seems lit from within.
Pfeiffer Michelle
Pfeiffer gives us the whole woman. Her triumph goes beyond her facility with the Russian accent; other actresses could have done that. She's great at playing contradictions, at being tough yet yielding, cloaked yet open, direct yet oblique. What's she's playing, we suspect, is the great Russian game of hide-and-seek. But Pfeiffer gives it a personal dimension. Katya holds herself in check, but her wariness, one senses, is as much personal as it is cultural -- the result, perhaps, of her own secret wounds. It's one of the year's most full-blooded performances.
Pfeiffer Michelle quotes
I don't like improvisation. I really don't. I'm the only one that will admit it. Because I think people think you're not a real actor if you don't like to improv. I don't like it.
Michelle Pfeiffer
I act for free, but I demand a huge salary as compensation for all the annoyance of being a public personality. In that sense, I earn every dime I make.
Michelle Pfeiffer quotes
I used to stay up very late at night, much later than I probably should have for such a youngster, and I used to watch very old black-and-white movies with, you know, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, but I remember watching them thinking 'I could do that'... Even though I wasn't inclined at all to actually become an actress. I mean, that wasn't something that was... in the stars for me, no pun intended.
Michelle Pfeiffer
I showed Stephen [Frears] a couple of reels of Married when he was considering Michelle for Liaisons. And he was clearly under her spell. But maybe he hesitated for an instant. He said, 'You know, she's going to be out there with John Malkovich and Glenn Close.' And I thought but didn't say, 'They'd better watch out then.'
Pfeiffer Michelle
She became a singer, and it was an extraordinary kind of example graphic example of what a good actor can really do, you know. She spent a lot of research time, she went around and heard singers and studied what they did. Everything from, of course, all the body language and all of that stuff but vocally, we went in the studio and she sang a version of My Funny Valentine that, I mean... it killed me.


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