How much work goes into the crafting of a believable blond bimbo character with six lines? The NY Times, doggedly determined to find out the answer, sat down with Must Love Dogs [Ed.note—Kudos to the movie's publicist for carpet-bombing the media with stories this weekend.] actress Jordana Spiro (twelfth-listed on the IMDb page) and dissected the steps of the process that follow the initial purchase of a good bottle of peroxide:
But when Jordana Spiro, as Sherry, bounces into a party scene to flirt briefly with Mr. Cusack's character, Jake, she might as well be in the movie by herself. With her come-hither hair, Goldie Hawn lips and solemnly empty-headed gaze, Ms. Spiro nails the dumb-blonde stereotype with a mere six lines of dialogue. Later, after having been made to watch Jake's favorite film, "Dr. Zhivago," Sherry soulfully confides, "I didn't get it" - and Ms. Spiro makes her earnest gravity both pathetic and hilarious.
[ SYLVIANE GOLD] Given that you've studied acting in London and New York and Los Angeles, have you noticed any geographical differences in the approach to the blond bimbo?
[ JORDANA SPIRO] Good Lord.
Q. I'm not asking just to throw you a curve. I'm really wondering.
A. Let me think. ... Well, I guess the difference is that the New Yorkers and the Londoners are looking at the blondes from the outside. And the L.A. people are the blondes. But that's a terrible thing to say - and I like L.A., too.
Q. It's sort of hard to resist making blonde jokes.
A. And you hear them a lot when you turn into a blonde. Because all my friends are pretty sarcastic. So I've been made fun of for quite a while, ever since I dyed my hair. That's what was fun about playing the classically blond airhead - to be able to embrace it fully.
Indeed, Spiro overcame her natural brunette coloring by fully inhabiting the character, spending days wandering Los Angeles asking strangers how many friends she might need to screw in a lightbulb, and turning on the light in the morning by opening the car door. (They're right! It IS hard to resist making blond jokes!) All flippancy aside, let's not diminish the kind of preparation involved in the transformation. It's no less rigorous than Christian Bale's now-legendary dropping of 60 lbs for The Machinist, which far fewer people will ever see.