Hope Davis

About Schmidt

Interviewed by Alec Cawthorne

Being bench-pressed by Nicolas Cage in noir thriller "Kiss of Death" is among Hope Davis' biggest claims to fame. But that looks set to change as she co-stars with Hollywood royalty Jack Nicholson in "About Schmidt".

What was it like the first time you were on set with Jack?

I had butterflies! I was really nervous. I was supposed to do a really big scene where I was supposed to cry and all that stuff and I was really mad at [writer/director] Alexander Payne for scheduling that scene first. But then Jack walked onto the set and all my fears evaporated. He just knows how to disarm people in that way.

How did you and Jack rehearse the father-daughter relationship?

We didn't rehearse at all. We just sat down and started, and the scenes were that good and he was so amazing. It was easy.

Was it familiar territory for you?

Yes. That was my dad exactly. When my dad needed a shirt ironed, he would yell downstairs to my mother, who would drop everything and iron his shirt. And this is a man, too, who doesn't know how to make a sandwich. I think there's a lot of truth in it, so that's kind of painful. But it's also hilariously drawn. How you see this movie and what it will mean to you will depend on how old you are. I think the film is easy to watch because it's so funny and so beautiful.