Lu (Nicole LaLiberte) sees that her coworker, a naïve college student named Shae (Danielle Panabaker), is troubled. Lu befriends her. Shae is dazzled by Lu’s confidence and the same seductive vibe as Angelina Jolie’s Oscar-winning character in Girl, Interrupted. But as the movie progresses, Shae realizes things are out of control. Shae pulls away from Lu. Lu does not like that. Not one little bit. Ooh, the palpitating rush. This is a psychological thriller that borders on horror. It’s got gore, violence and a touch of Thelma and Louise; though more parts Monster, the film about serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Charlize Theron won a well-deserved Oscar for that performance. This film is not award-winning caliber but, for anybody who has ever been wronged by a dude, this is glorious fun to watch. Ah, sweet revenge.
The film opens tomorrow and Examiner Dorri Olds nabbed an interview with Nicole LaLiberte yesterday.
Dorri Olds: How did you prepare for playing Lu in “Girls Against Boys”?
Nicole LaLiberte: I read and watched videos of Aileen Wuornos, the murder of Sharon Tate, and stories about Scientology — people who’d left the cult and were murdered for it.
Was director Austin Chick hands on or did he allow you freedom?
Austin trusted what I was bringing to the role. For the most part, Austin had a lot of other things that he was dealing with.
Did you stick to the script or did you add things to your character?
It was really a combination. The mannerisms were all me. The intensity is mine. I cultivated that intensity for a long time.
Did you have a hard time leaving the role when you were off work?
No, because we shot such long days and a long-term relationship had just ended. I was grieving the loss of the relationship and playing this hard-hearted character. It gave me strength to play such a powerful character. She really knows what she wants. That helped me process the breakup. Instead of going into a weepy pile I had to foster a lot of strength, which helped to process my sadness. In the role I had to draw on my own power as a female. It helped me in my life. A film can be very timely in that it can mirror your own life and what you’re going through.
What would be your dream role?
My dream is to be in a Jane Campion movie — a period drama romance. I’d be in a field with flowers in my hair, and a flowing prairie dress.
When did you first know you wanted to act?
When I was a 7-years old I had a 10-second moment where I knew I wanted to act. I didn’t actually start acting until five years ago. I was a ballerina for a long time then became certified in shiatsu and I took some other directions. When a friend wrote a play she wanted me to be in it. That’s how the acting started. I’m naked in the play in New York. [Laughs]
Were you afraid of your father seeing that?
I’m actually really comfortable being naked in the name of art. It’s not too weird in front of my dad. In the play I was only naked for literally 20 seconds at the beginning of the 2nd act. So it was really just a moment. I probably wasn’t as aware of being naked on the nights when family members weren’t there. I modeled for a while so I got used to posing and having people look.
How did your family feel?
My family is always happy when I have clothes on. Me too!
Do you read reviews?
I’m new to this whole thing. I’ll probably peek. [Laughs] I’m curious.
Most actors say they avoid the reviews.
I’ve always been a bit of an oddball.
Then you picked a great profession. By the way, writers are oddballs, too.
I love writers!
Did you ever consider writing?
Yeah I have. I’ve been writing some stuff on the side. I’m also doing music; working on an album. Right now I’m juggling all of my artistic pursuits.
What parts of the music do you play?
Piano, guitar, I sing, and I bang weird instruments.
Do you write the music and lyrics?
Yeah I have. Right now I’m collaborating with someone stronger at composing though.
What other kind of writing appeals to you?
It wouldn’t make any money but personally I write haikus. I love poetry and I’m dabbling in screenwriting and playwriting. I started writing something recently that began as a play but now it’s turning into a screenplay.
Are you writing it with a part for yourself?
No. My story does have a female character but it’s much more about a mother & son addicted to heroin together.
What are your upcoming projects?
Isn’t that also starring Terrence Howard?
Yes. Oh and I just finished a few episodes of Dexter.
How was it working with Michael C. Hall?
I didn’t have scenes with Michael C. Hall but I did with Jennifer Carpenter and the crazy blonde serial killer played by Yvonne Strahovski. Jennifer was super professional and easy to work with. I’ve had a string of playing offbeat characters. That role on Dexter was really fun. I play a chain-smoking ex drug addict but it’s questionable whether I’m using again. Yeah, lots of complex weird characters, lately.
Are you afraid you’ll get pigeonholed playing these types?
I haven’t been at this long enough to get pigeonholed. “Girls Against Boys” is the first movie I’ve done where I’m in most of the scenes. Hmmm, I hope I don’t get pigeonholed. I don’t feel like I want to be.
Psychological Thriller and Horror. Rated R (violence and some gore). 97 minutes. Opens Friday, February 1, 2013 at the Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th Street.