+ Interviews +
... Brittany Daniel
The New York Times Upfront May 14, 2001 , Vol. 133, No. 18
Interview Dishing the Dirt with Brittany Daniel by Jill Meisner
In her new movie, Joe Dirt, Brittany Daniel plays a sweet country girl pursued by two men: one a loser, and the other a cool dude. The role, her first starring turn on the big screen, gives her the opportunity to play nice—a contrast to the nasty vixens she's portrayed in the past. (Remember Eve, the temptress on Dawson's Creek, and Jessica Wakefield, the mean twin on Sweet Valley High?) Recently, UPFRONT caught up with Daniel, who's 25, and talked about high school memories, sibling rivalry, and shopping. (And in person, she seemed kind of . . . nice.)
UPFRONT: Tell me about your character in Joe Dirt. BRITTANY: Well, I play this sweet little, virginal country girl. She's the one person in the movie who is really sweet to Joe Dirt. Everybody makes fun of Joe Dirt, because everyone thinks he's a loser. So, she's the one person that kind of sees past his really bad haircut and his acid-washed jeans. UPFRONT: Kid Rock is in the movie, right? BRITTANY: Yes. UPFRONT: What was it like to work with him? BRITTANY: Oh, a blast. It was so much fun. I didn't know that he was in the movie. So, I'm, like, heading for the table read [meeting where actors in a movie first read through their lines], and I'm a big fan of his and I was rockin' to his music, and he's standing there right in front of the building for the table read. And he's like "Hi, I'm Bob Richey." And I was like "What?" At the time, I didn't know his real name was Bob Richey. And he was like, "Yeah, I'll be playing Robbie." And basically, in the movie David Spade's character and Kid Rock's character kind of fight over me so I was like, "Oh, that's cool. I could deal with that." But he was really cool, and he shocked me because this is his first acting role. I had no idea how great he'd be. He played a bully so well, but he also made his character really vulnerable too, which is a nice little twist on it. You know, because sometimes you see the bad guy and he's just a jerk. But he [Kid Rock] just made his character where you really felt sorry for him, which is nice. And he just has so much confidence, like he would just ad-lib lines and just go for it. UPFRONT: You and your twin sister, Cynthia, played twins on Sweet Valley High. What is it like to compete with her for roles, and how's your relationship now? BRITTANY: Well, actually after we finished Sweet Valley High, she decided to stop acting. So, I guess growing up, right before we shot Sweet Valley High, like auditioning a little bit in high school, we had to compete against each other. But now she's a photographer. Because it's tough, I mean there's already enough, between siblings there's already that little bit of competition. So it would be really tough I think—I mean, I already have to compete against hundreds of other girls is hard, but then to compete against someone who looks exactly like me, man, that's stiff competition. But she's my biggest supporter, and it's nice now we kind of support each other because now she photographs me and I hire her, so it's good. UPFRONT: So, do the two of you meet up every so often or have special time set aside? BRITTANY: Oh yeah. I mean, well my sister and I talk on the phone every day, and then we definitely get together a couple times a week. And then we plan trips with our family, we'll meet up in different locations. Like, we went to Mexico for Christmas. And we've just been taking fun trips together through the years, so it's good. UPFRONT: Is it hard balancing your career with your family obligations? BRITTANY: Well my family is the absolute most important thing to me. So, like when I had my premiere, my whole family came out and they kind of shared the whole thing with me. Everybody was like, "Oh, you're so excited about your premiere and it's coming out." And I'm like, "I'm so psyched that my family is able to watch it with me," because it's kind of like, it's a little bit of a scary thing when you watch a movie with a couple hundred people. So, my family being there was so nice. I don't know, my parents just come out a lot and I go back and visit a lot, and I talk to them a few times a week on the phone, and my sister lives just a few miles away from me. I think that's just one thing that you have to have, is that you have to be close to your family to keep some kind of balance in your career because it's kind of sucky when it's so unrealistic. I think your family keeps you really grounded. UPFRONT: Listen, in every photo that I've seen of you lately, you've got this unique style. What are some of the places that you like to shop? BRITTANY: Um, what photos have you seen of me lately? UPFRONT: I saw one magazine story recently about all these stars and where they hang out. BRITTANY: Oh, right. I think it was Movieline. Of course like, I totally don't even hang out there. They just write that. They're like, oh let's do a photo shoot at this restaurant and now she hangs out there all the time. And of course I've never been there. Ummm, my favorite stores is this clothing store called Curve. I buy almost all my stuff there because they just have such a unique style. They bring in all of the up and coming designers into that store. I just like something kind of different than what everybody else is wearing. It's like everybody has that little 80s look going on, and it's like, well I want to do something kind of different. UPFRONT: You just moved from Los Angeles to New York. What are you going to do out here? BRITTANY: I'm actually just going to audition and take a some classes out here for a little while, just have a change of pace. And maybe try to do a little theater and stuff.
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