The difference between her character in Twisted and the male characters in The Big Clock or No Way Out is that the guys in those movies know whether they're innocent. In Twisted, Judd does not. Her character's having a series of puzzling blackouts, and she's beginning to worry that homicide is in her blood: Her father was a serial killer who murdered her mother before killing himself. Of course, to handle all this Judd didn't just "take on the mantle of imaginary circumstance." She also stepped up her yoga practice, learned to wield a lethal Japanese hand weapon called the yawara, and hung out with a real-life female San Francisco homicide investigator. And after shooting stopped, she stayed in bed for a month.
Judd gives [Philip Kaufman] credit for fleshing out the story's emotional vectors with [Samuel L. Jackson], [Andy Garcia] and Mark Pellegrino as Judd's ex- partner and ex-boyfriend. But Kaufman says it was Judd's energy that made it possible to portray a range of relationships within a plot- driven drama -- between woman and father figure (Jackson), woman and healthy partner (Garcia), and woman and unhealthy partner (Pellegrino). Judd makes a point of saying that from the beginning of her career she has studied the Sanford Meisner acting regimen at the Playhouse West in Los Angeles. Meisner taught a more "objective" form of Method acting than Lee Strasberg; with characteristic brusqueness Judd objects when I call it Method acting at all.
I mention that [Steve McQueen] was also the last of the genuine juvenile- delinquent superstars. "[Ashley Judd] is a Phi Beta Kappa," says Kaufman, "but she's a Judd, too -- people instinctively connect her to Tennessee or Kentucky and a knock-around country life and poverty. That's part of her makeup. We're used to giving recognition to actors who do extreme things with weight gain and makeup, but Ashley's characters strike a note with average women and their aspirations. She fights the fight for women who break through glass ceilings. And that's a heroic thing, not just in the homicide division or in the military."
All articles © The Baltimore Sun and may not be republished, copied or distributed without permission.
If you have questions or comments about the archives, please send us feedback