For those who aren't aware of the story, Linda Lovelace — born Linda Boreman — starred in one of the most famous porno movies of all time, Deep Throat. Her popularity quickly rose, but as she became the face of porn, seedy allegations surfaced; mainly, Lovelace was coerced by her husband (intensely played by Peter Sarsgaard) to perform in the movie. Denouncing the film, Lovelace then became an activist as a spokeswoman for the anti-porn movement.
In Lovelace, the story of the seventies sex icon turns out to be a grim exploration of a little girl lost who, with one movie, becomes the face of an industry that she had practically nothing to do with.
So, did you watch Deep Throat?
“I did all the preparation before we got on set, except the viewing of Deep Throat. I saw that during my Christmas break. I watched like ten, 15 minutes of it.”
Why didn’t you watch the whole movie?
“I knew too much. I knew that she didn’t want to be a part of it. Also, I’m just not a fan of porn in general –– just find it really boring. At that point I had already gotten really close to her, and it’s just not a nice thing to see.”
Did you know of Linda Lovelace before the movie?
“I had an idea of who this woman was. And I think most people did because she’s a household name. I was born in the mid-eighties, and I still thought that I had this idea of who this woman was. She represented so much that really didn’t represent who she was in any way, shape or form.”
It’s one of your most demanding roles to date.
“This was absolutely the first time I ever had a real responsibility to become somebody. There’s just a lot at stake, and I feel, emotionally, I just had to embody her and believe in her one hundred percent and tell her story. I was responsible for validating her story, and for embodying this woman who’s struggling. I feel like this is the first time I actually feel like a real actor, because of this movie, because of this role. I prepared as much as I could. We have a lot of footage of her, there’s a lot to see. And she wrote two books. It’s very easy to just jump into her state of mind.”
The moving kitchen scenes with Sharon Stone as your mother...
“It took a lot to get there, that’s the thing. Those were really hard days in the beginning. I just thank God we shot it when we did. Really, they slapped me into it. It was astonishing how quickly I was able to jump in, like, heartily. Physically, though, I mean putting on the clothes and wig and the accent and playing opposite Sharon. It’s just a huge education right off the bat.”
What’s your relationship like with your real-life mom?
“I have a great mom. My mother is amazingly supportive and very, very open-minded and liberal. She just wants me to live every moment of my life and find happiness and find peace in myself and just find my identity. I mean, in terms of sex and love, I think I’m more open than she probably would like me to be sometimes, because she worries about me, she’s very protective. But I feel one hundred percent comfortable telling her everything that I think and feel and do. And even though I feel like my parents weren’t affectionate, for some weird reason, I don’t know how I turned out to be so affectionate myself.”
Did you and Peter prepare a lot? “
We had a dinner and then we had a week of rehearsals, a good solid week where Peter and I could improv a little bit and find our comfort level with each other. It happened really quickly. He’s amazingly talented and also just very, very open, and very sensitive. I’m really lucky because the content in this film, it could be difficult. Luckily we were able to get there easily, I think. It could have been hard. Peter and I got to a safe place very quickly, where we could trust each other. He was still trying to figure out why he was doing it, playing Chuck, because he had a pregnant wife. I think she (Maggie Gyllenhaal) convinced him to do it.”
How difficult were the sex scenes?
“It’s funny because I felt liberated when I was doing it. There was nobody there just to cover me up and stop. I’m sure people who are very protective of me wouldn’t feel comfortable with that but it’s like, what’s the big deal? I was made to think, growing up. I was made to think that nudity was wrong because everything was always censored in movies. And it’s like, why are we covering ourselves up?”