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Interview with Rebecca Da Costa, co-star to Robert De Niro and John Cusack

Rebecca Da Costa plays Rivka, the long-legged femme fatale who doubles as an action figure in “The Bag Man.” She agreed to a one-on-one interview and sat down Feb. 25 to speak candidly with Examiner Dorri Olds about the movies, Oscar picks and so much more.

Rebecca Da Costa as Rivka, the hooker
Rebecca Da Costa as Rivka, the hooker

"The Bag Man" nabbed big talent. Robert De Niro plays mob boss, Dragna. John Cusack plays Jack, the protagonist. Jack is hired by Dragna to fetch a bag and never look inside. Dragna sends Jack to a remote location full of weirdos. Cristin Glover hit all the high notes as Ned, the wheelchair-bound eccentric and manager of a seedy hotel. Expect twists, turns, and clichés.

Let's hope first time writer/director David Grovic will have learned a lot about moviemaking by the time he makes another. The best thing about the film is this interview with the Brazilian knockout Da Costa.

Dorri Olds: Growing up were you aware of how beautiful you were?

Rebecca Da Costa: Not at all. Until I was 17 I thought I was ugly. I was very tall. At 13, I was five foot eleven. I come from a part in Brazil where the average height for women is five foot three. It wasn’t fun at all to be the tallest one in school.

Were you bullied?

Oh yeah. They called me Olive Oyl, giraffe, and all the nicknames you can imagine. Children can be very cruel. But I have a tough, strong mom who kept saying, “Don’t worry. You’re beautiful.” I didn’t believe her at the time. Then at 14, I won a modeling contest in my hometown. It was amazing to see other girls like me—skinny, tall, different. That’s when I started to get comfortable in my own skin and by 17 I started to find my identity.

If you had to describe yourself what would you say?

I’m funny. I like to think that I’m smart. I’m open. I love connecting with people. That’s my mission in life. That’s why I love to travel, to explore, without even speaking the language.

You must be brave, too. You did your own stunts, correct?

Yes, my stunt double didn’t work out and because I’m so tall they couldn’t find somebody fast enough. They asked me if I’d be comfortable doing it. I said, “Yes!” Then I had to train for a week to make sure I wouldn’t hurt myself. It was a lot of fun.

What did you learn from the stunt coordinator?

How to fall, how to jump and how to kick. I had to jump up, hang from the ceiling and kick. It was very hard. My legs are strong but my arms don’t have power. After training I got the hold of it.

“The Bag Man” opens in New York City at AMC Empire 25, 234 West 42nd Street on Feb. 28. It will be available On Demand March 4. Crime thriller drama. Rated R. 110 minutes.

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