Jeff Smith 8 p.m., Aug. 30
Project X Interview: Kirby Bliss Blanton
A new day, a new trailer for Project X, the party-gone-wild movie opening Friday:
You wouldn't know it from the trailer, but Kirby Bliss Blanton plays a pretty big role in the story as Kirby, the hero's friend-who's-a-girl but maybe not quite sort of girlfriend.
The Big Screen got to sit down with Kirby, and because we do love us some compare and contrast, we opened with the same question we gave to her co-star Alexis Knapp.
In the press notes, Project X director Nima Nourizedah says, “I wanted the cast to feel like they were the characters, not actors playing this or that." The notes go on to say, that the filmmakers "found young actors with not only characteristics similar to the roles as originally drafted, but also traits they could incorporate into the script, fashioning the part to the performer, and vice-versa." I’m guessing that’s a big part of why so many of the characters have the actors' names - you play "Kirby," for example. How did you bring that effect - of being a character and not an actor - to the film?
Kirby Bliss Blanton: “I’m kind of a tomboy myself, and I usually hang out with dudes. And honestly, it’s something I’ve been through myself – a situation where you’re friends, but you’re kind of teetering on the edge of being more than friends,. You don’t want to break that boundary, but maybe you want more. I think that’s the most relatable thing in the movie, and because of the similarity, it wasn’t hard to bring myself into the character.
In the course of the film, Thomas and Kirby talk about how they’ve drifted, and it seems to have happened when Costa arrived on the scene.
KBB: Right., it’s exactly when Costa arrives. I visualized Thomas, JB and me all growing up in the same neighborhood, playing soccer together. Then Costa moves in, and he’s loud, and he’s got jokes, and he kind of takes over as the leader of the group, which I think was Kirby’s niche. And then I got a little bit older, and I wasn’t the young girl that they could play basketball with any more. I was a girl girl, and they realized that. I think that’s what caused us to drift.
I’m curious about the tomboy thing. You’re hanging with dudes, and that includes dudes like Costa, who is...
Yes. He’s saying, ‘I’m looking to get as much pussy as I possibly can,’ and as a tomboy, you’re hanging around with him when…
KBB: I’m not offended by that. I totally get that. I mean, I talk very inappropriately, and the fact that we kind of got to do that in the movie was very fun. I’m used to being closed-lipped all the time, walking on eggshells. In this movie, we didn’t have to do that.
The point of the party is pretty much to score with hot chicks. What does Kirby think of the party?
KBB: She’s hoping they get what they want out of it, but at the end of the day, I think Kirby’s intentions are always to maybe get Thomas’s attention. Even though she’s at the party and she wants him to have a good time, when things go toward him and Alexis being together, she definitely gets jealous.
You can imagine her being the girl who really loves the guy, saying, ‘You’re chasing this impossible dream. You don’t even know her...”
KBB: Exactly – “…and what you want is standing right next to you.”
Given that, I can see her saying, “What are you doing with this party? This isn’t you.”
KBB: Right. Well, the other part is, I think Kirby wants to see if he can pull it off. She’s there to observe, and maybe also to protect them. She’s their friend above anything else, so if anything goes down, she wants to be there. And what goes down ends up being something that she does not want to see.
Speaking of that – and I don’t think we’re giving anything away that isn’t given away in the trailer - would you have forgiven Thomas?
KBB: I think they’ve been friends for so long, and I think she realized that he was under the influence. Not only of ecstasy and alcohol, but the influence of the party, the attention he was getting from it. The notoriety. You get kind of overwhelmed by that. I mean, the party is the night of his life, and [Alexis is] the girl of his life. What would you do, say no? I think that at some point, she becomes more empathetic, and understands that he kind of needed this. He got his confidence. And he also says that if it were to happen again, he would prefer for it to be just them. I think that’s a winning statement.
You say he kind of needed this. But did he need it in Kirby’s eyes? She already liked him.
KBB: She was fine with him, with who he was. But he doesn’t seem like such a pitiful character any more. He’s taking control, and I think she finds that attractive. He’s owning up to the fact that he did wrong.
Taking control? It seems like he spends the whole evening losing control.
KBB: But at one point, he just kind of gives up and feeds into it. I think for young people, that’s really relatable – you know, ‘Fuck it.’ I think everybody has that point, and he gets to it, and you get to see him unravel a little bit and let loose – finally. Because he’s kind of a tightass.
So the triumph of the party is…
KBB: That he really does let go and start to enjoy it. Even though there are consequences, I think the positives for Thomas outweigh the negatives.
While we’re on the subject of the party…
KBB: We’ve already heard from some moms, thinking we’re promoting partying or underage drinking, which isn’t the case at all. At the end of the day, it’s there for your entertainment. But I am talking to the WB right now, saying they need a warning: “Don’t do this at home. We had stunts. We had medics. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it. You’ll lose.”
I thought JB was going to die when he jumped from the roof. I hadn’t yet seen the trailer that shows he survives.
KBB: We don’t hold back. You’ve got to break the rules and break some boundaries. That’s what makes it funny and outrageous and really shocking.
Why set the party in high school and not college? You could still have the underage drinking thing, the destroyed house…
KBB: I think this is more realistic. I mean, I was… yeah, leave it at that. I think it’s more realistic. Even though the rule is 18 or over for an R movie, unfortunately, sometimes the curiosity with drinking and drugs and sex comes a little before then. So I just think this is a realistic point of view. He’s turning 17, so…I remember those days. But I wasn’t a party girl, and nothing has ever been as crazy as that party. Which is kind of why we made the movie.
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