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by dr andrew cousins

Julia Ribbings - Oscar Winner

Julia Ribbings has been one of Hollywood’s most popular actresses for the last ten years. However she finally got the industry recognition that many felt was long over due when she was recently awarded the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in White Trash Lawyer. I was lucky enough to be given an interview with the woman that the world wants to meet.

Julia, can I just start by saying how grateful I am that you have taken time out from your busy schedule to talk to me today.
Hey, like, you know? It’s no problem. Really. Netribution is one of my favourite shows. I never miss it. And when I’m away I always get somebody to tape it for me.

Er, Netribution is a website.
Er, right. I knew that obviously. Just my little joke, you know? Wacky huh! That’s why they call me the "wacky actress".

Right. Erm, very good. You certainly had me going…
You have four minutes left.

Oh, ok..
They can get this website in America, can’t they?

They can get it any where in the world with Internet access.
I can probably stretch it to ten minutes. What would you like to know?

What was it like to finally win that Oscar after so many previous nominations?
Oh God, it was just like, "Hello. They love you". You know? So many emotions. Joy, happiness, ecstasy, fulfilment, some more joy. Indescribable really. I think a moment like that really puts things in perspective, you know? Like, you are suddenly taken out of your body and you look down at yourself and you get to see how others see you and it’s like, wow, you – are - beautiful. You have value. I think I said it best when I made my acceptance speech, "The beautiful thing about today is that we can put all of our differences aside and agree that I was the best actress this year by far". I think the applause spoke for itself. There’s so much backbiting in this industry, you know? It’s like, "hello, can you be any more bitchy". But what’s great about someone like me is that I can take it or leave it. You know? Like, I like having millions of dollars and three luxury homes but deep down I haven’t changed as a person. That’s so valuable. You have nine minutes left.

Of course you won the award for playing a part that was based on a real person. Did that seem strange at all?
Hey, yeah totally. The first day on set I went into my trailer and said, "Well Julia, it’s time to put you away and let her out". You know? When you are playing a real person you have to physicalise them completely. But at the same time you have to use bits of your own psyche. It’s like, you have to take a swim in Lake You but wearing her swimsuit. Does that make sense? There was one day when she was on set to do a cameo appearance. It was a bit weird. I was like, "what’s going to happen here?". Because she was her and yet I was her too. See? So, like we should have cancelled each other out and the universe should have imploded or something. But it didn’t, so we carried on. Weird though.

It interests me that you say that you "put yourself away". It seems like a very self-conscious thing to do in preparing for a role. Yet you’ve never struck me as a method actress. Is this a new approach that you are using?
I think that all acting is at heart a self-conscious thing. It’s sort of akin to being naked with your clothes on, if you follow my meaning. I’m always very wardrobe focussed when I’m playing a part. If the clothes are right then the character mostly flows from that. You know how if you have underwear that just doesn’t fit right then somehow you don’t fit right with the world? Well acting is kind of like that. In fact on White Trash Lawyer, I can truthfully say that the push-up bra was doing 90% of the work for me. In fact, maybe I should give my Oscar to Playtex!

Maybe they should be given a special award for Best Supporting Role!
Are you saying that you thought I was only worth a Best Supporting Role? That’s, like, my God!

No, no. It was a joke. Sorry.
You should be. Three minutes.

There was some controversy surrounding this years ceremony when Mike Myers made fun of sound crews when he presented the Best Sound Editing award. How did you view what happened?
It’s tricky. Sound is very important, you know? Like, without it we’d all be doing silent pictures right? On the other hand, without people like Mike Myers and me they’d all be out making nature documentaries for the ‘Wonderful World of Disney’ . Could they have played the sassy yet sensitive single mother turned legal eagle? Answer: no. Could I operate an eight track digital DAT recorder? Answer: Yes, probably. It’s a question of perspective.

One thing you didn’t do in White Trash Lawyer was your trademark ‘comedy trip’. Can we expect to see that in the movie that you are currently making?
Well, the movie I’m currently making is a romantic comedy with Chris O’Donnell called, ‘How can I still have a Career?’. And in answer to your question, yes I do my comedy trip. Actually, I saw the trailer for Miss Congeniality yesterday. I noticed that Sandra Bullock has also started doing a variation on the comedy fall. All I can say to her is "back off!" I invented that! That’s mine! Find your own gimmick! You don’t just mess with me lady, you mess with my whole fan base! Awards don’t win themselves, you know? I’m still Queen Bitch around this town! One minute, final question.

You’ve played many different roles in many different movies, have we ever seen the real Julia Ribbings in any of them?
As I said, you have to bring yourself to any part that you play. But it’s yourself reflected in the mirror of another human soul. I look around Hollywood and I see so many broken people. People who don’t know themselves anymore. I just thank God that fame, wealth, power and status haven’t changed me at all. I can put all those years of appearing in low rent zee grade movies behind me. I’m still me.

Julia Ribbings, thank you.
Where’s my personal assistant? Somebody stirred my coffee counter-clockwise. Can I get a new one please? Like, today?

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