Malin Akerman, The Awkward Girl Next Door

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Published March 15, 2011

MALIN AKERMAN (RIGHT) WITH JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT IN ELEKTRA LUXX. STILL COURTESY OF SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS

Following a porn star, a high-class escort, and an aspiring porn blogger through few hectic days, Elektra Luxx is a whirligig of a movie that has a surprising amount of heart. Of the interweaving story lines, perhaps the most innocent thread belongs to Malin Akerman as Trixie, the drug-store clerk head over heels for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, a blogger obsessed with the film’s title character. Providing a breath of fresh air, Akerman changes up her bombshell image as the sweet and slightly odd Trixie. We caught up with Akerman to talk about shooting a movie in ten days and getting to be the “awkward” girl for once.

GILLIAN MOHNEY: Elektra Luxx is the second in a trilogy by Sebastian Gutierrez; what was your reaction when you saw his first film, Women in Trouble?

MALIN AKERMAN: Carla and Sebastian are all really good friends of mine. So I went to see the screening when it first came out. I had a chat with Sebastian afterwards and just sang his praises. He said, “I wrote the second one, and I have a part in mind for you. If you’d be interested…” I was like “Absolutely!” I read the script and loved it. It’s so much fun to do something with people who are like your family here in Hollywood. We had a blast doing that. And I just love Sebastian’s way of writing. He writes really sexy, funny stuff for women. He respects women so much, and I feel comfortable going out on a limb with him. But my character isn’t so crazy. The relationship is really beautiful and I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt—it was so much fun doing a scene with him. I’m excited to see where that relationship goes. MOHNEY: Well, are you going to be back for the final movie?

AKERMAN: I think so. If Joey is coming back, then I certainly am as well.

MOHNEY: In this film, you’re pretty covered up and conservatively dressed while everyone else is in lingerie. Was that a relief?

AKERMAN: Honestly, I’m enjoying being the awkward one. I feel like I had the opportunities to wear the crazy latex outfits in Watchmen. So I’m happy—I’m very satisfied with the clothing area. I’m happy to just be a clerk at a drug store. I hope she stays innocent and does not get involved in the porn industry. Just for her own storylineit’s nice to have a lot of opposites that all come together, [it’s] always more interesting to watch.

MOHNEY: I loved your scene with Joseph—it’s very sweet, but it has your edge on it. What was your take on Trixie?

AKERMAN: I kind of love it, because I think we all have weird thoughts and have our own visions of things that you don’t necessarily express to the rest of the world. I kind of feel like that this is one of those moments—she’s saying things that she wouldn’t normally say, but since [Joseph] fainted, it’s just kind of an intimate moment. And I really liked that about it. Even though it might be a little odd-sounding—I think it’s cool. Because we all in real life put on these masks—we don’t swear when we’re around certain people… When we come home, when you’re on your own I’m sure you’re really different than when you’re with your boss.

MOHNEY: What was it like working on a movie that had an overwhelmingly female cast?

AKERMAN: I think that’s what attracted me to it. I love the fact that Sebastian wasn’t afraid to write a script where women were sexy and empowered. A lot of [times], when women are written as strong characters, they wear suits and try and fit in a man’s world. This is set in a woman’s world, and they’re very strong and very human. They’re fallible, but sexy and funny. I like that whole idea of us using our femininity and being okay with it. I like that aspect of the way Sebastian writes, and I unfortunately didn’t have a lot of time with all the women. I had my scene with Joey—which is not unfortunate at all! But I didn’t get to see [everyone.] It’s such a quick shoot for everyone—it’s a ten-day shoot. Which is amazing to think about, shooting a film in ten or eleven days.

MOHNEY: I can’t even process how you would do that.

AKERMAN: Yeah for me, it was fine. I was in and out in a day. But for Sebastian, I think he must have just been out of his mind.

MOHNEY: It can be an odd movie to describe. Is there anything you’d want the audience to come away with?

AKERMAN: I think it’s a fun way to look into a few people’s lives. I think life is based on relationships in general, and I think that it’s basically what it is. These characters, although they may be former porn stars or high-priced call girls, they’re all just human and struggling with different kinds of relationships on all different levels. At the base we’re all human, and at the base we’re all in search of love. I think that makes the world go round—having love in your life.

ELEKTRA LUXX IS OUT NOW IN LIMITED RELEASE.