Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cutting Away the Old Image

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cutting Away the Old Image

Article excerpt

Meg Ryan has a change of direction in her new movie In The Cut, released today

She's known as America's Sweetheart - the queen of chocolate box romantic comedies. But if Meg Ryan's latest movie doesn't banish that image for good then nothing will.

Gone is the blue-eyed blonde who shot to fame in feel-good fare such as Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally. Instead, the star is virtually unrecognisable as a dark haired, introverted bookworm in the new erotic thriller In The Cut.

And if that doesn't take a bit of getting used to, Ryan's fans are in for a bigger shock as the star embarks on some of the most sexually explicit scenes ever played out in a mainstream movie.

The graphic scenes with co-star Mark Ruffalo are all a far cry from her previous big screen innocent flirtations and the star admits they weren't something she relished.

"It's not the day you look forward to, when you see the schedule," she says, shifting uncomfortably in her chair. "But I felt totally taken care of. In the end it was a very protective environment, it was very choreographed. We knew every shot and every angle."

Although the role couldn't be more of a stark departure for Ryan, she denies it was a deliberate attempt to move away from her saccharine image.

"I'm not reacting to whatever idea of me is out there," she states. "I don't really think about it, truthfully.

"I don't cultivate image. I know there are plenty of people whose job it is supposedly to do that, but I think an audience sees that. The way you see yourself and how other people see you is entirely different."

Instead Ryan insists she took the part for two reasons. She wanted to work with the film's Oscar nominated director Jane Campion (The Piano). And she was drawn to the complexity of her character Frannie, a lonely Manhattan professor, who falls for a brusque but seductive cop Detective Malloy (Ruffalo).

"Frannie is someone who the world has disappointed, who love has disappointed, who has grown smaller and smaller inside," she muses.

"With Detective Malloy, for the first time she finds herself surprised and scared of the things he brings out in her. …

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