Q and A With… Claire Danes And Charlie Cox

The stars of the new movie open up about classic love/hate relationships—and whether love really wins out in the end.

By Susan L. Hornik

When your characters meet in Stardust, you kinda believe you hate each other. What was that like?

Charlie: It was so much more fun to play a love story that goes through that kind of journey. It’s much better than watching a couple fall in love and then it’s just how they get together. The discovery that you love one another after all those scenes of bickering—that was really interesting and different for me. It’s very relatable.

Claire: It’s kind of a classic construct: They hate each other, they argue, then whoops—they’re in love! I’ve had this before in my life; I can’t say it worked out though…

What do you think brings these characters together?

Charlie: I think it’s a story of true love. It’s meant to be unexplainable. They may be brought together by a series of events, but it seems more like destiny and the romantic notion of fate.

Claire, since you were playing a star, your character actually glowed when she fell in love. What was that like?

Claire: Well, I don’t know really how it felt to glow—it all happened in post production! But when I read it in the script, I started to refer to the glow as “Acting MSG” (like they have in the Chinese restaurants) because it sorta enhances the feeling that I’m supposed to be having.

It was actually exhausting playing those scenes, because you have to create a heightened, joyful feeling and that can be more challenging than being desperately sad and crying hysterically. I drank a lot of Red Bull!

Do you believe in romantic destiny?

Charlie: I’d like to, yes. But it hasn’t happened yet for me.
Claire: In my weaker moments!

You had great chemistry with each other.

Charlie: It’s so funny, I was studying English when I was a teenager at school and there was a poster of her [Claire] in Romeo + Juliet. So it was really so interesting that I was able to work with her. And we had so much fun! We became great friends and I think she is a wonderful person and actress.

Claire: It’s completely ephemeral and mysterious—I am just really glad we had it. You tend to know you have it when you are having a good time.

Claire, you get to be whirled around the dance floor by the still very sexy Robert DeNiro. What was that like for you?!

Claire: He’s not the most graceful dancer—and my toes felt it! He was just not very concerned about the steps. We had a choreographer there but it did little good. I was such a boring schoolgirl about it, ‘It’s not the right foxtrot! You are not keeping to the lines!’ But it was incredibly magical.

Charlie, your character develops a crush on someone who is definitely not good for him. Ever done that in your own life?

Charlie: Always! Everyone at my drama school!

Have you ever wished on a star and asked for love to come to you?

Claire: I wish on anything! I love blowing eyelashes—I never miss an opportunity. Every birthday I am very serious about dedicating my cake to a wish I want to make!

Charlie: Yeah, I think when I was younger. But in London, you don’t see many due to the weather. So I think we just wish we could see more stars!

Contributing entertainment editor Susan L. Hornik is based in Los Angeles.
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