Take Me Home Tonight Star Teresa Palmer on the '80s and Emulating Angelina Jolie
It's already shaping up to be a huge year for Teresa Palmer. Last month, the Australian actress kicked serious alien ass as a mystery assassin in the Michael Bay-produced I Am Number Four, and was rumored to be dating Zac Efron. This weekend, Palmer officially emerges from the shadows of her Twilight doppelgänger Kristen Stewart with her leading role in the 80's romantic comedy Take Me Home Tonight co-starring Topher Grace.
To commemorate this exciting time, Movieline met up with the 25-year-old in a deserted party mansion, much like the one in this weekend's film, to talk about trampoline sex, happiness and the '80s -- a decade that Palmer barely remembers.
Take Me Home Tonight was a very convincing '80s film. I really felt like it was filmed in that decade.
Thanks. We wanted to make it feel like we shot it in the '80s, put it in a time capsule brought it out, wiped the dust off of it and pressed play.
It seemed like the writers and cast really respected the time period. There weren't any tongue-in-cheek gags about huge cell phones. No one was wearing comically over-sized shoulder pads or turquoise eyeshadow.
No! We really wanted to celebrate that time. It's such a beautiful, magical era. So why not immerse ourselves in the culture as much as possible and just explore what was great about that time rather than what was silly about it.
You filmed this movie long before I Am Number Four, right?
Right. We filmed Take Me Home Tonight in 2004 and I Am Number Four last year. Both were wonderfully different experiences. To play a character like Number 6 [pictured below] in I Am Number Four was such a privilege because she is such a strong, dynamic, edgy, mysterious character.
Number 6 definitely had a little bit of Angelina Jolie to her -- that strength that so few actresses are given the chance to really explore.
That's such a compliment. Thank you so much. I channeled Angelina Jolie. She was one of my references for Number 6. I watched all of her movies and all of her earlier interviews from when she was a teenager. I wanted to try to encapsulate that mysterious quality and also make her as enchanting as she was intimidating. I think Angelina Jolie is exactly that.
An edginess. A confidence. A complexity to her character but also a hint of tragedy which was really interesting to watch. There's this underlying sexuality to her earlier interviews and I think Number 6 has that too.
Was it easy for you to tap into that confidence and sexuality?
Yeah. It was. I think I'm drawn to really complex characters like that. I think there is a darkness in everyone and it's so interesting to explore that.
Conversely, you play the object of Topher Grace's affection in Take Me Home Tonight -- which is a dangerous part because in a lot of cases, that character, usually female, ends up seeming very passive. How conscious were you of making sure that Tori Frederking was not just another girl on a pedestal?
It was imperative to get that right. I didn't want to do a disservice to the character by making her a typical popular girl. She's so much more than that. She has vulnerabilities and insecurities like everyone else. In some '80s movies, the lead female seems very unattainable. I didn't want Tori to be that way. She might start off that way in the movie but she progresses to a point where the audience feels like she could be their best friend or they could date her.
In this movie, Topher's character lies to Tori about his job to impress her. What's the worst lie that a guy ever told to impress you?
Let me think. I mean, guys have lied to me a ton. I think everyone is always the best version of themselves on the first date and it's not until the fourth or fifth date that they slowly start to reveal their true identity. I'm definitely guilty of trying to be the best version of myself on the first date.
In some cases though, the other person doesn't want to see the flaws in the person sitting across from them though on those first dates.
That's true. I'm guilty of that too.
I liked that both your and Topher's characters realize each others imperfections during the course of this movie which takes place in one night.
Right. It's nice that Tori admits that she wouldn't have talked to [Topher's character] Matt in high school. She was that girl and she owns it. I think Matt Franklin really appreciates that and at the same time, he's been lying to her all night and can't get the nerve to tell her until they're on the trampoline.
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