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Spinning Charlotte’s Web with Steve Buscemi

Steve Buscemi channels his inner rat in the live-action Charlotte’s Web. He chats with Hollywood.com about his experiences on the film, as well as the myriad of projects he’s currently working on.

HW: Were you concerned about doing this movie since it is so well known and loved–and been done before?
Steve Buscemi: Knowing that is intimidating. You want to make sure that they are going to pay attention to the things that made the book so popular and not just exploit the fact that it is a popular title and then do whatever they want with it. So yeah, there are those concerns and the intimidation factor of it being such a loved story and a film that was done once so well before but that is also the attraction.

HW: Is voice acting more difficult or easier than doing some of the character roles you have done in the past?
SB: It is a lot harder because I don’t have the other actors to play with, I am just meeting them for the first time now. That is the hardest thing about doing it and at times it can be tedious. Sometimes you are doing the same line over and over or you are giving them alternate versions of the same line and they pick which one to use. It can get really technical so it is hard sometimes to maintain that feeling of acting but somehow in the end it all seems to work and I am just amazed that I can watch myself in a scene with Julia Roberts and I still haven’t met her.

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HW: Let’s talk a little about Dakota Fanning. Is it kind of scary how mature…?
SB: I love her, I just think she is terrific. I just met her for the first time and I gave her a big hug because I just think she is amazing. She has an amazing gift because I don’t see any affectation in her acting. I just see a smart young girl who is totally natural and it is definitely a gift. Yeah.

HW: Can you talk about the stuff you are working on right now? Are you working on directing projects?
I have one film that I directed called Interview which is a remake of a Dutch film by Theo van Gogh. I am also acting in it with Sienna Miller. It’ll be in Sundance, outside of the competition. I play a political journalist who believes he is doing this puff piece on this up and coming starlet and is not prepared for who she is and she sort of does a number on him. Then I am in Tom DiCillo’s movie Delirious. I play a paparazzi who befriends this homeless kid, played by Michael Pitt, who becomes an actor. I am also currently in Adam Sandler‘s new movie I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. I flew in on the red eye Friday so that is the other reason I am a little bit out here somewhere.

HW: Is the Adam Sandler movie going to be another cameo role?
No, I have a nice part. I am an inspector for an insurance company for the city of New York who is investigating Adam and Kevin James who are firefighters and are pretending to be gay and married so they can get benefits for Kevin’s kids in the film. I don’t believe that they are gay, so I am trying to out them as straight.

HW: What about the Chris Rock movie?
There you go, thank you, another one. I Think I Love My Wife. I just saw Chris and he is excited about it, I think that is going to be released in March. I play his best friend at work and his character struggles with this old flame who looks him up. Maybe she wasn’t an old flame but somebody he had never hooked up with and now she is back in his life. Even though he is not sleeping with her, he is spending a lot of time with her and I am sort of his friend who advises him, even though my character will sleep with anybody. I am telling him ‘You can’t because you are too nice.’

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