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McCORMACK, MARY : MARY'S UNREAD SCRIPT

On TV's Murder One, Mary McCormack works with a company of very serious artists, but such is not the case with her big screen role opposite the unpredictable and controversial Howard Stern in the surprise hit comedy Private Parts, based on Stern's autobiography. The actress, in New York for a play, spoke to PAUL FISCHER.

Before Mary McCormack landed the role of Howard Stern's wife Allison in Private Parts she was not one of his biggest fans. "I'd never heard his radio show, oddly, but I knew of him by reputation having seen him on talk shows and things. So when I got the script, it sat on my kitchen table for 2 weeks, and I really had no intention of going in on it or even reading it", 28-year old McCormack confesses.

"When I got the script, it sat on my kitchen table for 2 weeks,"

Then her agent encouraged her to check it out. "She kept on telling me what a wonderful part it was, and how terrific the director was. As soon as I read it, I wanted to do it." While Private Parts has clearly re-established McCormack as a new leading lady, she's been acting for quite some time. An accomplished stage actress, McCormack made her feature debut in John Hughes' 1994 remake of "Miracle on 34th Street". She also appeared opposite Robert Mitchum in the forgettable 1995 spoof "Back Fire!" (inspired by Ron Howard's "Backdraft").

"As soon as I read it, I wanted to do it."

The attractive McCormack scored better on TV in the legal department: she appeared in small roles in "Law and Order" and "The Wright Verdicts" before landing the role of the tough, dedicated lawyer Justine Appleton in the Seven Network's "Murder One".

The role of Mrs. Howard Stern is her first leading film role and it's one that gave McCormack an opportunity to display warmth and her comic side - something her TV series left untapped. After having worked with Stern in this funny and unexpectedly warm-hearted film adaptation of Stern's best-selling book, she has become a Stern convert.

"I listen to him constantly on the radio because he's terrific and unpredictable."

"Now I'm a huge Stern fan. I listen to him constantly on the radio because he's terrific and unpredictable." McCormack's screen character Allison, goes through (and continues to go through) an enormous amount. "She clearly has a great sense of humour, which she'd have to. She's also so smart which you can tell by the way that she deals with the unique relationship she has with him, a relationship that nobody else really knows about. She married this neat guy who might paint women's breasts in a radio studio one day but then be totally different later on, so she has managed to put everybody else's judgement to one side."

"She married this neat guy who might paint women's breasts in a radio studio one day but then be totally different later on"

McCormack met the real Alison, but because she's playing her in the past, what she "tried to get from meeting her, was what attracted her to HIM, just to try and decipher what her life was like when they met, because it was so different to what it's like NOW, as well as what they share, as opposed to trying to play her as she is now."

Though Stern is very much an unknown quantity outside America, McCormack believes that Private Parts is broader in appeal than that. "It's also a funny love story. Once audiences get to see it, they'll really enjoy it and laugh at all the right moments."

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PRIVATE PARTS (R)
(US)

CAST: Howard Stern, Robin Quivers, Mary McCormack, Fred Norris, Paul Giamatti, Gary Dell’Abate, Jackie Martling

DIRECTOR: Betty Thomas

PRODUCER: Ivan Reitman

SCRIPT: Len Blum, Michael Kalesniko (based on the book by Howard Stern)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Walt Lloyd

EDITOR: Peter Teschner

MUSIC: Vann Dyke Parks

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Charles Rosen

 

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 8, 1997

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