known as the writer and star of .S'wingw‘s. For Janssen. though. it made perfect sense. ‘l’ve heard people say that she would never be with him.‘ she says. 'but women choose men for other reasons than their physicality. I think women‘s initial attraction has more to do with the man‘s sense of humour or witty personality. all the things that Jon brings to his character. ()K. we may seem like a bit of an odd couple. but it rings true if you think of those Kathrine Hepburn/Spencer 'fracy screwball comedies from the 4()s.‘
Another credibility problem was the idea that someone as beautiful as Janssen
would have problems finding a boyfriend. But earlier this year. her six-year
marriage to Todd ‘Kip‘ Williams broke tip. so at 35 she‘s single again. With the benefit of hindsight. Janssen’s astute response seems peculiarly pertinent. ‘.-\udiences like to think that actors are perfect. and that they don't have any marital problems or relationship issues. But it‘s no different for me than for anybody else. I can relate to Love 61' Sat as much as any other woman.
‘In fact. in some ways. it‘s harder as an actor. Very often male actors are married or have partners who give up their lives to be on set and keep them company for four or five months. But I have to do it on my own. My husband or boyfriend is not going to give up his life for five months. just to be with me. So when women are successful and they work a lot. it's hard to make a relationship work. You're on location a lot. you travel a lot. and you're very independent. which a lot of men have a problem with. If anything. I think that ambitious. hard-working women probably have a harder time finding a man. because they also need to find one for whom that
'We picked up on my flaws and they're in the movie for everyone to see.’
kind of lifestyle is not a threat.‘
Next up for Janssen is a role that liavreau wrote especially for her. The film. a gangster comedy called Mat/e. marks l‘avreau‘s debut as a director. and also features his friend and .S'u-ingm's co-star Vince Vaughn. ‘I play a stripper.‘ says Janssen. a mite seriously. ‘But I don't stripf she adds with a laugh. ';\lso. my part is not comedic. lt's edgy and rough. She’s a single mother who has drug problems and all sorts of things. so it’s pretty dark.’
()nce again. Janssen is trying to broaden her horizons. Let‘s hope the pigeon- holing critics will be able to see that far.
Love & Sex goes on general release, Fri 29 Sep. See review.
Janssen in the dark
Talk about inauspicious beginnings. Janssen made her film debut in 1992 opposite Jeff Goldblum in the now forgotten melodrama, Father And Sons. Two years later she was 'Lady X’ in the TV movie, Model By Day, described as ’Pret A Porter meets Barb Wire'. And things didn’t get any better with something from 1994 called Relentless IV: Ashes To Ashes, in which she was cast as a gorgeous shrink.
Janssen’s big break came in 1995 when she played villain Xenia Zaragevna Onatopp in the first Pierce Brosnan Bond adventure, GoldenEye. That film saw much sparring, oral and otherwise, between the two sexy and sadistic leads: Onatopp: 'You don't need the gun.’ Bond: 'Well, that depends on your definition of safe sex.’ Bond: 'I must say, I've had a lovely evening.’ Onatopp: ‘Well, once again the pleasure was all yours.’ Touche.
Throughout the latter half of the 905, Janssen's film choices have been distinctly mixed. There were good-ish ones (Ted Demme’s Sundance hit, Monument Avenue, Robert Altman’s The Gingerbread Man, Woody Allen's Celebrity), terrible ones (Deep Rising, Circus) and interesting ones (City Of Industry. Rounders, The Faculty). You might add to the last list the 1998 oddity, The Adventures Of Sebastian Cole, a transsexual comedy romp with wilfully awful 805 pop soundtrack directed by Todd Williams to whom Janssen was married.
Unsurprisingly, the 5ft 11in former Dutch model (whose name in Frisian means ‘little girl', ironically enough) has been typecast as either a vamp or clothes horse. But with 1999’s knowingly-cheesy 2- grade horror movie remake House On Haunted Hill,
' l H » Janssen got to
parody those stereotypes playing rich bitch Evelyn Stockard-Price (wife of the character played in the original film by Vincent Price).
Though Janssen’s role in X-Men as telepath Jean Grey was overshadowed by other characters, she secured her first leading role in Love & Sex. Such was the success of her collaboration with co-star Jon Favreau that Janssen is now working on his follow-up to Swingers, Made. (Miles Fielder)
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