ORBzine - 2000.09 Paris Jefferson

ORBzine Paris Jefferson September 2000

ORBzine - Paris Jefferson [Saturday]

As she was coming in, Paris asked Tim how it went, and he told her - Great, I just told them a couple of stories and they loved them. But Paris didn't have any stories! She had to go straight to the Question and Answer bit.

How did you get the role of Athena?
Paris - I applied. [The crowd laughs] I don't know how I got it. I was the shortest person at the casting auditions. I'm only 5ft 3.

Did you like playing Athena?
Paris replied that Athena felt justified in what she was doing, because she was protecting her family in the same way that Xena was protecting her daughter.

Was there any rivalry on set?
Renee, Lucy and Kevin are all very down-to-Earth. There was no rivalry on set.

Did you like knocking Ares about?
Paris thought it was great. Kevin Smith is massive, 6ft 3, and she got to knock him across the room.

What nationality do you consider yourself to be?
Paris has always opted out, and called herself a citizen of the world. However, when she was watching the Olympics she found herself cheering for Australia.

How do you find the costume?
Paris said she loved the cleavage - she wants to be buried in that cleavage! The main problem was the orange body paint.

Standard Operational Procedure dictates that the actors are best filmed when at their most comfortable.

Is there a dream role you would love to play?
Paris would like to play Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Did you have special training for the sword fights?
Paris had never done sword fights before. She had no training - the stunt co-ordinators did all the fighting.

Why did you get involved with Greenpeace?
For 2 years in her early 20s Paris was depressed about the environment. She gave money every month to Greenpeace.

Was it easy to act in SPFX scenes?

Can you tell us about any good practical jokes on the set?
Paris wasn't involved in practical jokes on set.

Who was your favourite god?
Apart from Athena? Probably Kevin [Ares].

Are you on-line?
Paris says she is computer illiterate. [Editor's note - she now has an ORB-store.com address]

Were you nervous about coming here?
This is Paris' first convention - she wasn't nervous, but didn't know what to expect.

Who are your favourite actors?

  • Miranda Richardson [Ever heard of her? she asks a room full of people who grew up on Blackadder]
  • Judy Dench
  • Maggie Smith
  • Gene Tierney
  • Marlon Brando
  • Russell Crowe
  • Richard Rocksborough
  • Frances O'Connor

    Did you work with Danielle Cormack?
    Paris didn't recognise the name.

    Do you have any siblings?
    Paris is an only child - her mother's ALWAYS proud.

    What was the last good film you saw?
    Paris used to go to the movies a lot. A few months ago she saw about 6 bad movies in a row, so now she goes to the theatre instead. It's harder to act in the theatre - you can't ask for a second take. She saw Jason Priestly in "Side Man" on its last night - it got a standing ovation.
    [Editor's note - it also stars Edie Falco, from Oz and Sopranos]

    Paris' favourite films include:

  • On the Waterfront
  • Laura
  • Big
  • Strictly ballroom

    Post-synching is when you watch yourself on a big screen, and voice over your own lines.

    What do you do in your spare time?
    Paris' hobbies are hiking and travelling. She once taught kids in a village in Fiji how to Rock&Roll dance.

    What is the most interesting role you played [prior to Athena]?
    Paris played Janis Joplin for a Channel 4 film. She had to look as bad as possible.

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    Paris's appearances
  • Xena: Warrior Princess
  • NTSC - USA Francais PAL - UK UK Videos

    ORBzine - Paris Jefferson [sunday]

    Could you tell us the story about the kiss in the tent?
    The kiss between Paris/Athena and Musetta Vander? It was originally censored, because it was a bit too raunchy. There are several out-takes of it. Paris' idea was that Musetta should walk out of the tent, tugging a little hair from between her teeth.

    [audience oohs, as it appears Paris' Aussie humour is too much for them]

    Did you have high hopes of getting a role before you went to LA?
    Paris' first went to the USA - from the UK - in January last year [1999]. There are 3-10,000 submissions for every role - it is very hard to get an audition. Everyone else in the Xena auditions was about a foot taller than her. Paris went in, and there were 10 people all sitting behind desks. She knew she wouldn't get the job, so she didn't go overboard on it. She just sat in the chair, instead of moving about. Paris feels that must have been what did it for her.

    What was the worst job you've ever worked on?
    Shooting an advert with a first-time director in Amsterdam. It took 36 takes, and Paris was hanging upside down the whole time. In the end they had to stop because her eyes were so bloodshot.

    Were you nervous about coming here?
    Paris didn't ask the other guests what to expect. She thought it would just be a panel, where she could just sit in the corner while everyone asked Hudson and Tim all the questions. Tim said I told them a few good stories.

    Why do so many Australian actors go to Hollywood?
    Once you've conquered Australia there's nowhere to go except going International, which means to Hollywood. For example, Geoffrey Rush got so big he had to leave.

    Was it difficult working in England?
    When Paris arrived in England she had STLG400 and 6 phone numbers. These people who say, if you're ever in town feel free to drop by. English people mean what they say, but not immediately. Her first jobs were the commercial in Holland, and she played a drug addict in The Bill.

    Do you do your own stunts?
    When Paris was filming, she noticed all the dangerous stuff was left until the end.

    Paris worked with Burt Reynolds in a spectacles commercial - She played the sychophantic secretary. Over the years he's had 38 bones broken, he was accidentally shot twice. The last thing he did, someone was meant to hit him in the face with a chair. It was mean to break apart, but nobody thought to check it. There was an iron bar in the chair, and it smashed his jaw. He's now undergoing speech therapy so he can learn to talk again. Paris thinks the problem was that because he used to be a stuntman, he assumed everyone would be as professional as he was.

    Have you worked with anyone else who's famous?
    Paris worked on Poirot with David Suchet. He gave her a tip - Don't say the line until there's a reason to say it.

    What did you do when you weren't on set?
    Paris told us to ask Ted Raimi about the hike he did with her.

    Paris' mother was very liberal, but she always said 2 things.

    1. Don't ride a motorbike.
    2. Don't bungee jump - your eyes may pop out.

    Do you have any ambitions?
    Paris wants to direct! Also, she's started writing recently.

    How do you find the costume?
    The costume wasn't uncomfortable or heavy. That was great cleavage! Paris would like to be buried with that cleavage! The armour was quite light - all the joins weren't metal, they were leather.

    Was it difficult to get a look-alike stunt double?
    No, it was surprisingly easy. Especially when you consider there's costume make-up involved.

    Paris did the Volkswagon commercial - the Just Divorced one. A male friend of hers - they were sharing a flat at the time - didn't recognise her. He said She's quite attractive, really. She said to him That's me! He looked again, and said Oh, so it is.

    Is there anything you wouldn't ever do?
    Sleep with Tom Cruise - she lied! Paris wouldn't do something if she didn't like the script.

    Were you involved with any practical jokes on set?
    No, she wasn't - she was rather shy on set.

    How did you get on with the other actors?
    Lucy Lawless told Paris You are holistically sexy. Paris says It's hard to explain - it means sexy, but not overtly so.

    Ted and Paris got drunk together late one night.

    Who do you admire?
    Peter O'Toole, other people who have worked in the industry longer than she has. Paris would love to work with Spielberg and the guy who directed Out of Sight , Steven Soderberg.

    Any acting ambitions?
    Paris could match Athena against M [Judy Dench]

    [Someone in the audience suggests You could be the villain in the next Bond film]

    Paris mentions Secret Rapture, which was on at the National. It's a play about a woman who falls off a railing and lands on her husband.

    What did you want to be when you were a kid?
    Paris wanted to be a tap-dancer.

    What's the difference between Australians and New Zealanders?
    New Zealand was colonised by Scots and non-convicts. Australia was colonised by people who had nothing to lose.

    The Australian sense of humour is very different from the American one. The man who directed Cry in the Dark was at a dinner in L.A. The people at his table ordered 7 pork dishes, and the waitress asked Will there be anything else? He replied I don't think we've got enough pork. The Americans didn't understand his sense of irony.

    Would you do Pantomime?
    Paris would consider doing pantomime, but it's usually for Soap [Opera] stars.

    Have you ever made any embarrassing blunders?
    Paris have a habit of accidentally insulting people. Paris was first represented by an Extras agency. The boss was in her mid 40s, dressed in a black suit, and Paris had been warned the woman had a reputation for being hard. The woman asked Paris if she had anything smart casual. Paris asked her what she meant, and the woman used the suit she [the woman] was wearing as an example. Paris told her, I'm sure I can find something like that at Oxfam. The woman replied, You'de be surprised, this cost STLG140. Paris said No, YOU'D be surprised, they have some great bargains there. It wasn't until an hour later, when Paris recounted it to a friend, and the friend said You know, that sounds kinda bad ...

    Paris also once told someone I hope I age as well as you have.

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