How far would you go? The central question in "Nothing But the Truth," a new film about a Washington journalist played by Kate Beckinsale — who chooses to goes to jail rather than give up her source — doesn't often come up in entertainment journalism. Then Beckinsale herself goes and talks about you taking off your pants and, well, 'How far would you go?' suddenly seems appropriate to ask.
Surprising, bawdy and unrelentingly honest — it was Kate in a nutshell, the indie-darling-turned-action-superstar-turned-indie-darling who recently sat with MTV News to talk journalism, "Twilight," how she's seen more privates than an Army general and what role she'd once again don leather for.
MTV News: Admit it, now that you've played a journalist, it's hard not to have empathy for us lot.
Kate Beckinsale: You know, I'm trying to revisit my earlier, healthy terror and mistrust, because obviously I crossed over in this movie.
MTV: What do you make of the current state of journalism today?
Beckinsale: It feels very different than what I'm used to. Certainly, TV journalism seems not very in-depth in comparison to the news programs that I'm used to in England. I'm sure most people in England would say it's gagged and muffled there, too, but I think even more so here. I think there is a tendency to make news before the facts are in place. The fact of the Internet and the immediacy of having to get a story out can sometimes mean damaging facts can be out before they've been properly checked, which is dangerous.
MTV: Speaking of the Internet, do you follow any of the online talk about you being a shoo-in for award consideration?
Beckinsale: I have seen it, yes, especially because my mother is obsessed and sends me stuff because she's very excited. It was such a charmed job. It was one of those ones where we all felt it was perfectly cast and the director was so great and the script was really good. That in itself is kind of a prize, and everything that comes after that is so flattering and exciting. It's a bonus.
MTV: You know what's interesting about some of the online talk — so many people see you just as the action star because of your recent roles. Do you see yourself going back to that type of film now after something like this?
Beckinsale: I don't see why not. I mean, sometimes you have to pay the bills! These kind of movies, you have to pay to be in them because the budget is so small, and if you want to bring your kid, you buy a plane ticket and all that. When it's like, "Ooh, she's suddenly doing dramas," it doesn't seem like that to me because those big-budget movies obviously have more publicity, and there's more posters and people are more aware of them. It feels like you've done more of them than you actually have. It doesn't seem like such a radical, massive change to me.
MTV: Specifically, I know you've talked about Wonder Woman a great deal, but is there a character you'd love to do? Catwoman in a Nolan-directed "Batman 3," for instance?
Beckinsale: Absolutely, that would be awesome. I'd love to do that. One of the things I've done wrong with my career is not have a massive game plan for it. I enjoy being surprised. I was very surprised to ever find myself even considered for an action movie. I'm like the literary, academic geek who's not very good at sports, so it was amazingly shocking that anyone would ever do that. I like to be surprised.
MTV: I've got something surprising for you.
Beckinsale: Oh God, I hope you're going to keep your pants on.
MTV: I'm sorry ... what?!
Beckinsale: I don't like that sort of surprise.
MTV: Not today.
Beckinsale: OK, good. I've been flashed so many times. I have. I've been flashed, like, 22 times. It hasn't happened lately because in L.A. I'm in cars a lot, but, oh my God, on the subway in London it was constant. Anyway, you're not going to, so it's irrelevant.
MTV: I'm not going to and you're lying.
Beckinsale: I'm not lying. I'm absolutely not.
MTV: People don't just come up to you and take their pants off.
Beckinsale: Well, not generally at a press junket, but it has happened to me on the subway. They tend to say, "Can you look at my map," and it's there sitting there in the spine of the book. That's happened to me millions of times.
MTV: I'm gonna write that one down.
Beckinsale: Yeah, there's a hot tip for you, "How to meet people!"
MTV: Anyway, no, here's the surprise. Your name came up during some interviews we did with "Twilight." Are you familiar with that at all?
Beckinsale: The book? My daughter's reading it actually, yes.
MTV: They all say you're their vampire model.
Beckinsale: Oh really? That's very nice. Oh my God, the next generation. I'm like the grandma vampire!
MTV: What tutelage would you give them for their vampire-ness?
Beckinsale: I'm sure they don't need any advice from me, but that's the first I've heard of that. It's amazing to me that the fascination with vampires just seems to [grow] more and more and more. ["Twilight"] is obviously going to be enormous. I do feel like the granddaddy of vampires. That's a good title.
Check out everything we've got on "Nothing But the Truth."
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