17th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival

Kevin Zegers at the 17th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival

Interview with Rebecca Murray (Movies.about.com), Jan 7, 2006
Photography by Gary Murray

Transcript of video by cpps90

Transamerica really leaps off the page as the transitional role on Kevin Zegers' resume. Acting in films since the early '90s, the now 21-year-old performer has taken on his fair share of pre-teen and teenage fare - Air Bud, Wrong Turn, Dawn of the Dead - but with Transamerica, Zegers gets to sink his teeth into a grittier, more adult role.

Kevin Zegers joked about having to miss a football game on TV in order to help honor Transamerica star Felicity Huffman as she picked up the Breakthrough Performance Award at the 17th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival. According to Zegers, Huffman deserves every award she's received for her gender-bending performance in Transamerica.

NOTES from cpps90:

  • The interview was conducted Jan 7, 2006.
  • The video that was posted at "http://movies.about.com/library/weekly/blzegers010906.htm" did not contain the football comment.
  • Felicity Huffman was selected for the award on Dec 20, 2005. The award was presented to her on Jan 7, 2006.

Rebecca Murray: What was it like working on the set when she [Felicity Huffman] was in makeup?

Kevin Zegers: Um, much different than she is in person, I gotta say. Uh, no, she's uh, the amount of work she put into this film was unbelievable. There was such a small crew that we were together probably three weeks before we started and till a couple of weeks afterward. So it was a big chunk of time that we were kinda spending, either in that car or just together. So, um, to see someone work so hard is really quite incredible.

RM: Well, she worked really hard, but so did you because you have to react to her dressed as a woman, yeah. What did you do to get your mind set into that?

KZ: Um, I wasn't...that was probably the farthest thing from the character that I was playing's mind. Anybody who would listen, and kinda show him any kind of affection was, uh, was a good thing, and he didn't really kinda care what they looked like or how they talked or anything like that, so...It actually wasn't that difficult, because I kinda just took her for what she was. He's definitely not...he's messed up as it is, so he's definitely not the most judgmental guy which is I think is the reason why the film works, because there's two people who kind of just need a little bit of love, uh, from anybody, they don't really care, so...

RM: This is really far off from most of your filmography. What grabbed you about this project?

KZ: It's a great script, and I, in the last year or so, have been trying to do stuff that I myself as an adult I guess now would want to go see, and, um, enjoy reading. Um, I'm not really doing anything for the sake of just kicks anymore. If I read something I like, I'll do everything I can to get that job, so...

RM: Indie films, major studio - doesn't matter?

KZ: Doesn't matter to me. If it's good, it doesn't really make a difference. I've been working since I was a kid, so the last thing I need is to, you know, stockpile money for, and do bad work. I would much rather just do a good job on something, and let the chips fall where they may.

RM: Well, you know, you do the small film, and all of a sudden now everybody loves the thing, and it's getting all these awards. What do you think?

KZ: It's, you know, it's great. But when I read the script, I...there was a very distinct feeling I had that it was gonna do well. It's just...I think it's a good story and I think that there's very few good stories out there. And I think that there's very few untapped kind of, um, little intricacies of people. And I think that this kinda just gets something that people...you're not gonna watch this movie and say, "Oh, I've seen that before; it kinda follows the normal thing that you're used to seeing." So, uh, it was definitely...for me, at least, it was something that, um...I think it deserved all the stuff that it's getting because, I think, for [director] Duncan [Tucker] to write this script is incredible. And everything that comes...especially Felicity [Huffman], I mean, as much stuff that she can get for this movie, the better. Because I think that she is just so hard-working and incredibly talented, and it's taken, god knows how many years of doing this, to finally have something where people finally say, "You know, Felicity Huffman is an incredible actress." Obviously the [TV] show [Desperate Housewives] has helped as well. But, um...I'm just really proud of her, not in a, you know, condescending way, but I...she deserved everything that will come. And I really hope that she wins every single one of the awards that she's up for.