Michelle Pfeiffer is arguably one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. She has it
all Ė a great career, a handsome, successful husband (Ally McBeal and The Practice
creator/producer David Kelley) and two children; Claudia, whom she adopted prior to
meeting Kelley in 1993 and John, the biological son they had together six years ago. But
What Lies Beneath is not only the title of Pfeifferís latest movie, a suspense horror
movie directed by Robert (Back to the Future) Zemeckis. It also hints at the dark side
lurking underneath the lithesome star with a taste for scary movies and a determination
not to ever forgive the man who would dare cheat on her. In What Lies Beneath, the
42-year-old actress plays the wife of a cheating husband (Harrison Ford) who must deal
with the mistake that came back to haunt them.
In the movie, your character forgives her husband. What would you do if that happened
Iím not a very forgiving person. I would have a hard time getting over that, I think.
If I were genuinely in love with the person, that would be such a violation, such a
betrayal. I know people talk about forgiving someone to keep the family together and there
is something to be said for keeping the family together, I guess, but Iím not sure I
could be that selfless!
An apparition haunts your character. Have you ever seen a ghost? Are you a believer?
I havenít had any proof either way, but I know people who claim to have seen ghosts,
lived in houses that were haunted and claim to have had encounters and these are really
sane people, not kooks. So since I have no reason to disbelieve them, I guess I tend to be
more of a believer than a non-believer but I have no first-hand experience to base this
I heard you turned down The Silence of the Lambs because it was too scary. Is that true
and if so, then why do this movie and why now?
I didnít turn it down because it was scary Ė I like scary movies. It was because
ultimately Hannibal Lecter was the smartest person in the script. He was the evilest
person in the script and he won and I had a problem with that. I thought Clarice Starling
should have won out in the end and it really didnít sit well with me that evil won
So why this movie?
This woman starts out as a very blind, fragile being who wasnít always that way but
came to be that way so she could exist in the environment that she created and continued
to live in as a lie. Ultimately she is like the phoenix that rises from the ashes. She
sort of rises from the lake and in the end sheís a braver, stronger and more
independent woman. I liked that character and I also hadnít done the genre before and
I really wanted to work with Bob Zemeckis. I want to make good movies and he makes good
movies, so in the end I thought it would be something I could be proud of, which I am.
How did you get along with Harrison Ford?
We had a genuinely good time. We worked really hard and heís very funny. He has a
very dry kind of quirky sense of humor and it takes a while to figure that out but he
likes to tell jokes and that is one of the surprising things about him which I share,
because people think Iím also very serious. My nature is pretty serious, actually,
but that is because when we both do interviews we are a little uncomfortable and that
comes across as serious.
You said you like scary movies. Do you remember the first one you ever saw and what
impression it left on you?
Early on, the movie that had the strongest impact on me was The Bad Seed. I was obsessed
with that as a child Ė and I mean obsessed. And Iíd comb the TV guide for
Frankenstein or Dracula movies. I loved vampire movies and then later on I loved The Birds
and then things like The Exorcist and the first Alien. All of those movies were thrilling
for me because I always loved scary movies. That is why it is such a treat to be in one.
You look more beautiful than ever. How do you handle all the responsibilities of wife,
mother and movie star?
Do I look rested? Actually, I havenít been resting much this weekend at all because
of the kids! But Iíve been off work since last December, when I wrapped this movie
and so Iím getting some sleep and enjoying the fact that my schedule fits in with my
husband and children these days instead of the other way around. Itís been a long
time since I havenít had another movie lined up and I guess it is because of all
these other great things I have in my life that I make my choices even more carefully