Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Venice: What was it like working on this film with Christina?
Cam Gigandet: It was difficult to make. The set was massive and working at the Burlesque lounge was very complex in terms of shooting. Working with Christina was such a special experience. To be able to work with someone making her film debut and to see her grow as an actor and figure things out was both exciting and a learning experience. I’ve been acting for eight years and to see someone like Christina, who is fearless, is just amazing.
Speaking of amazing, how was it working with the legendary Cher?
I was so nervous to meet Cher. I was sitting in my trailer and just really nervous and within 30 seconds of meeting her she had my guard down. She was relaxed and I was having a normal conversation with her. With Cher! She is just one of the coolest women I’ve ever met. She is relaxed and fun and easy and it was awesome. In watching her work she would always play around, trying something new with each take, whether it’s the first or the tenth take, she was always taking risks. I will take that with me to every job I do; it’s such a bonus. You can get so comfortable doing one thing and Cher was not going to have that. She would literally try anything, at least once.
How did you come to be part of Burlesque?
I was working at Sony Studios on a movie called Priest, which is a western-style vampire-type movie. I had been on set in my full leather cowboy wardrobe, all dirty and gross and the producers came up and asked me if I would go to their car and listen to some songs that Christina had done specifically for Burlesque. I was sitting in the car listening and I knew at that moment that it would be the perfect next thing to do because it was so different than my role in Priest and my past characters. Finally I was playing a good guy and he was in love and who doesn’t want to play in a love story?
It sounds like you have a plan for your career. How do you choose your roles?
I don’t know that I have a strategy, but I kind of base it on what I am doing at the moment. I get bored easily and if I get bored I’ll end up getting sloppy, and for me personally, that’s not a good place to go. I like variety and I like to try new things and keep pushing the limits. There are so many good projects out there and if you are given the opportunity, there is a lot to do and I don’t have to do the same thing twice.
How did you prepare to play Jack?
Well, he’s a musician and I’m not, but I tried as hard as I could to get familiar with music, but it’s tough. I don’t quite have that ear. Of course he’s also a bartender, and I practiced at home as much as I could until I got comfortable enough. I’ve been on the other side of the bar many times. [laughs] Those were the two main things, everything else came easily. Falling in love with Christina wasn’t a difficult thing to do.
Do you have a favorite character of the roles you’ve played so far?
I don’t know if I do. There have been so many that I absolutely loved and they’re all so different and have their different qualities, good and bad. Working on Twilight was something where the physical changes, the wig and the wardrobe and all those things, that was fun to play, to live in that world. In Priest I was a cowboy sheriff and in Burlesque I wear a bowler hat and mascara. Who doesn’t love that? [laughs] They’ve all had great things about them.
What other actors inspire you?
There are many, but right now it’s Ryan Gosling. He knows how to do it; he’s changed the way I think about things. He’s been able to keep this certain timeless class throughout every job he’s done, on set or off. It’s amazing how he handles things.
So how does a Seattle boy break into Hollywood?
I still don’t know. [laughs] I played sports growing up, I had a normal childhood and right out of high school I felt that I needed to leave. So I moved to Los Angeles and someone said I should try an acting class, and from that moment on I knew it was really what I wanted to do.
What was your first big break?
I got hired on “The Young and the Restless” and it was kind of an open-ended deal and after about two or three weeks, they fired me. Yep. I was fired from a soap and, especially in hindsight, it was a break. It allowed me to have a different career path. It was one of those lessons in life.
Did you struggle during your early years in LA?
Thankfully, I’ve had parents that have supported me from day one. That’s the only reason I’m still here. They’ve made it possible. Also, I have an acting coach that I adore who has been a great friend, Leigh Kilton-Smith, and she worked on Burlesque with me. She’s given me good guidance. For me at least, the simplest way I could get to the truth was the way that I was going to pursue.
You’ve studied acting and trained, and yet here is Christina who is a novice actor, but a trained singer and performer. You had almost all your scenes with her; how did you figure out the process of working together?
What I learned was patience, first of all. She was figuring out her process and it benefited me to be patient with her and to support her as much as possible. That way, in turn, she would reciprocate with me. Even though I have been doing this for a while, I still run into problems or obstacles and she was very patient with that. You end up having this bond and you understand you’re in it together and it worked out very well.
Tell us about your (mostly) nude scene in the film.
Shooting the naked scene was an adventure...the strategically placed box of cookies. It’s part of the job and you come to accept the fact that you have to do it and you relax and try to have fun with it.
Is there a dream role, one you’ve always wanted to play?
What I haven’t done yet is a period piece of some sort, something that you have to dive into on different levels, physical aspects that I haven’t done yet. Mostly it’s about finding a specific story, something that speaks to you.
Are there any jobs you really wanted that you didn’t get?
The Steve McQueen bio-pic, that was a tough one. The role went to someone else. Steve McQueen is the essence of coolness. I really admired him and would have loved a shot at it.
What’s up next for you?
[laughs] Well, nothing. I just finished a movie a week ago in Shreveport with Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman. It was pretty rough; we went there in August and it was brutal. It’s called Trespass and Joel Schumacher directed. It was quite the experience.
Source: Venice Magazine

No comments:

Post a Comment