The transition from TV star to film star is often tricky for a lot of actors, but Blake Lively proves to be handling the transition almost seamlessly. A closer look would reveal that this can be mainly because of her strong beginnings in film in movies like The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants films and Accepted.
Lively is still best known for her role as conflicted rich girl Serena van der Woodsen on the hit CW drama Gossip Girl, though her film career continues to flourish because of her critically acclaimed roles in indie films like Elvis And Annabelle and The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee. Now the 27 year-old actress hopes to heighten her profile as a film actress with a role as Krista Coughlin, the sister of a bank robber, in The Town.
The film is Ben Affleck’s sophomore film as director and as Blake can attest to, being directed by an actor, much less a major one in Hollywood, was no walk in the park.
“Well, for me, I got to experience Ben more as a director in the pre-production before we started shooting because he did so much work in finding all these wonderful resources for us,” Lively recalls, “From the women that we got to spend time with to the places that these people go around, just references, magazine clippings. He had this well of knowledge for us to tap into, if we wanted, at all of these resources.”
“He was so hardworking beforehand and really militant about getting the character down and the accent down, really understanding the people, the roots, where they come from,” she adds, “And also just their attitude was just such an important thing, how a detective would respond versus one of their friends. And then, when we were on set, it was just such a comfortable that was there that we were just able to step into and lose ourselves and that was more when I got to experience Ben as an actor and I never felt like he was there directing me or judging me, but rather we were just creating this together.”
Lively also adds that her being the star of one of the biggest TV dramas with the 18 to 30 year-old crowd did not help her one bit in getting the role.
“He had no idea who I was, no,” Blake says, “I read the script. It was a terrific part. It was a part that I was wrong for in many ways than I was right for, but I selfishly really wanted to play it because I just loved it so much, so I pursued the part and here I am.”
Co-starring with Blake is fellow TV actor Jon Hamm who is on the hit AMC drama Mad Men. She was asked what TV actors like she and Hamm look for in a film.
“I think the biggest difference for us is we’re on a TV show, mine goes a lot longer, ten months out of the year,” Lively says, “The roles you can do are so few, it has to be something you really want to do or you just want the time off. So when you find a role that you’re passionate about, that’s something you’re going to have to play and this was one of them for me.”
Lively also contends, however, that it’s not just the difference between acting in a TV series and acting a film a bit of a transitional process, it’s also her steady rise in film from quirky indie dramas to character-based Hollywood films to tentpole spectacles like her upcoming role in Green Lantern, which comes out July 17 of next year, that also is proving to be a transitional process in itself.
“It’s entirely different,” she says, “It’s a whole different art. When you’re doing a movie where the world is ending around you, outer space is crumbling around you, you’re in a big studio with big blue walls. Where this, you’re in a scene in a real bar in Charlestown where Ben filled with real ex-cons, which I didn’t know until they were telling me, ‘Oh, yeah, yeah, I lived in L.A. for 18 years, I didn’t see it though.’ ‘Oh, why not?’ ‘I was in prison. I just got out two months ago.’ ‘Oh, great!'”
“So, you’re so much more in touch with the world you’re a part of and you have a greater sense of what it’s going to be like and what you’re actually doing,” Blake continues, “Where a film like Green Lantern, so much of the movie takes place when my work is done in the next six months, at least half of that movie is going to come together, so the viewing experience will definitely be different. I don’t know what the heck I’m going to see.”