Jennifer Coolidge: More than just a MILF | Arts
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jennifer Coolidge: More than just a MILF

Posted by on Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 3:42 PM

[caption id="attachment_1674" align="alignleft" width="204" caption="Jennifer Coolidge in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call—New Orleans, which plays its final Triangle engagement Thursday, Jan. 14, at the Carolina Theatre in Durham. (Photo courtesy of First Look Pictures)"]

It took one simple acronym to put Jennifer Coolidge in the public eye: "MILF." Since her appearance as the teen-deflowering Stifler's mom in 1999's American Pie, the actress says she's been inundated with scripts for "horny mother and trophy wife" roles. But she looks back on the part with fondness: "It's gotten me a lot of dates."

Coolidge will appear at Goodnight's for a stand-up comedy show beginning tonight and continuing through Sunday, though she doesn't quite know what her set will be: "Probably a lot of weird stories about being an actress." She should have plenty of those, for the last decade has made her a familiar face in film and TV, particularly in such films as Legally Blonde, A Cinderella Story and Best in Show.

"Kids will go up to me who've seen Cinderalla and go 'Are you a bad witch?' Sometimes you'll get someone who goes, 'You're the crazy evil lady in Pootie Tang! Someone said they loved the girl I played on an episode of Friends, and I forgot I did Friends. It all becomes a distant memory."

In the past year, Coolidge has played a hooker on ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager, a plastic surgery addict on Nip/ Tuck, another mom in Gentlemen Broncos, and a small part in Bat Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans for Werner Herzog and Nicolas Cage.

"It's honestly my favorite film from last year," says Coolidge, who that both Cage and Herzog were a pleasure to work with, despite their gonzo on-set antics. "I had no idea what it would be like working with Nic Cage, but he's just such a nice person, a real professional."

And she's a big supporter of the film, which is still playing in the Triangle: "I think it's one of the best movies of the year, and not just because I have a small part in it. Watching it, it was just brilliant. And I think it's the best thing I've ever seen Nic Cage in. He takes such huge risks sometimes, and he just went for it." She also praises Werner Herzog as "un-Hollywood," and reveals that despite the outrageous content of his films, he's "never taken anything stronger than an Aspirin."

Who would she like to work with? "I always liked Jack Nicholson, and I always hoped one day to get in a movie with him. I've always been obsessed with him and Anthony Hopkins. I would love to be like the mother or mentor of Angelina Jolie, or some up-and-coming young actress and show her how to operate the high-powered guns."

Despite her prolific output, Coolidge says her acting plans this year are unclear." "I'm doing the standup so I don't get bored with my life," she says. "When you live in Hollywood, it's like you're behind a tall hedge, this life that doesn't feel normal. When I started doing standup as a lark, you have to fly everywhere and hang out with people at hotels and get to know the area. I've gotten to see all these parts of the United States I never would have seen otherwise. It's like there's this whole life I've been missing."

She's looking forward to checking out the local sights in Raleigh, which could include the flea market. "I have yet to go to a city where they don't have a good flea market," she says.

"It's hard to find places where people are enthusiastic about what's local," she says. "I went on a date with this guy at one stop, and he took me to the mall."

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