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10/21/2014 01:53 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Take Care and Iron Man Actress Leslie Bibb on Romantic Comedies, Women in Film, and the Acting Process

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Answer by Leslie Bibb, Model & Actress, Take Care, Iron Man, Iron Man 2

Is there something unique about filming romantic comedies?

I love a good Romantic Comedy. I really do. I typically go for a forties or fifties rom com. A good black and white with Cary Grant, a little Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart. They made great movies back then. I also go for eighties romantic comedies, too. One of my top ten favorite movies ever is When Harry Met Sally. The movie took two odd, somewhat unlikable characters, put them together, and they become the people we are rooting for. We love them. I think the toughest thing with romantic comedies is coming up with a fresh take on a story that's been told before. With our movie, Take Care, I feel like Liz Tuccillo, the writer/director, did that and it ain't easy to reinvent that wheel.

How do actors and filmmakers feel about the lack of roles for women, both in front of and behind the camera?

In regards to Take Care, there were a lot of women. I remember saying to our director, Liz Tuccillo, that there were so many women on our set and in our production office. I loved it. All the women were really rooting for each other. They were all badasses getting s**t done and doing what was necessary in all different departments and at all different levels.

I think it's sad that the fact that we had so many amazing women working on our film has to be pointed out. It shouldn't be a fun fact about our movie or any movie. It should be normal and not something we should have to comment on. However, I guess, slowly but surely, things are changing and evening out. All that aside, for me to be able to get a lead in a movie and to work with a woman like our writer/director, Liz, I would have done it for free. I had the time of my life!

What are the pros and cons between acting in a television series vs. a movie?

There's also something missing in this question: theater. My boyfriend has done a lot of theater and he says that it's really just about how far you throw your voice, are you reaching the back of the theater. You're doing the same work for all three mediums. It should be as nuanced. The real difference between the three comes down to the size of the screen, in a sense. The same action on a small screen can be overwhelming when seen on a big screen, but may be necessary on a stage. But, the work should always be the same, the homework, the attention to detail, knowing you're back story, creating this human being from the inside out and seeing them fully realized. One medium does not take more work than another.

Rehearsal is different in the three. With theater, you rehearse for a month usually and then start tech. And during previews, the play still feels like a moving target as the director is still fine tuning things and in the case of a new play, the writer sometimes rewriting. In film, it depends on the director. On Talladega Nights, we rehearsed a bit. Jon Favreau, also, appreciated rehearsal. It depends on where the filmmaker comes from. I see rehearsal as a luxury and I love it. In television, you literally rehearse the scene right before you shoot. It's fast paced, television, so I always am grateful when a tv director makes the time. However, time is the enemy of tv and sometimes the director will be like, "I just need you to come in from this side and we're going to do this and set the camera here..". It can be jarring, but it usually is about time. It's not like television hates rehearsal. It's that they can't afford the time because they're basically making a twenty-four or forty-eight minute movie in five days or eight days.

What different types of acting processes do actors use in film, television, or theater?

For me, I just want the material in my body, so when I walk on a set, it's gone. I don't want to have any specific idea of how I'm going to deliver the lines. A lot of times the director will say, "On that take you did this," and I honestly don't remember what they're talking about. I have no idea what I had just done but I feel like those are the best takes. Also, every actor has their own process. It's hard to say there is any set kind of process. I think it can change from project to project.

As far as memorizing lines, all Sam and I do is run lines with each other like crazy people. I also tape record myself, put it on my iPhone and listen to my lines over and over. But, I run my lines by rote. The big mistake with actors is when they learn their lines with intention because it shackles you. You miss out on a moment that could have gone somewhere exciting because you memorized it one way. I studied acting with Maggie Flanigan at The William Esper Acting Studios in New York and that is something they drill into you. Memorize your lines by rote. As actors, we must keep our minds and our bodies alive and not tied down with some preset idea of how something should go. If you do, then you, the actor, won't be able to work off anyone in the scene. Some of my favorite moments in Take Care are like those, those that happened in the moment, were surprises that none of us knew were going to happen. So, if we had been attached to an idea or result, we would've missed that great moment. If I had been thinking too much about what I was supposed to do, or rather what I thought should happen, then I would have missed a great, authentic moment taken off the other actor. To me, acting is just listening and responding authentically moment to moment.

American model and actress Leslie Bibb plays Frannie in Liz Tuccillo's film Take Care and previously played Christine Everhart in Iron Man and Iron Man 2.

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