October 02 – Fresno Bee: On the fly with Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’ co-star Kat Dennings
“I like to embellish. I like to use colorful speech. But this really is a special movie to me,” says Dennings during a telephone interview from San Francisco. The level of her voice goes up and down as she scoots around the hotel room. She has to get to a plane for the next stop on her long promotional tour for the movie.
Dennings‘ name might not ring many bells. She’s built a career on small, but memorable, roles in films such as “Raise Your Voice,” “Down in the Valley,” “Dreamland” and “Wanderlust.” But may know her face.
In a sea of blond, blue-eyed, tanned young actresses, Dennings is somewhere between the girl next door and a Goth. Her dark hair frames pale skin that looks even lighter next to the hot red lipstick she likes to wear.
“I was pressured when I was younger to look like everyone else. But the greats have all been unique. Meryl Streep never looked like anyone else,” Dennings says of her look.
The 22-year-old Philadelphia native started acting in 2000. Along with a role on the series “Raising Dad,” she made appearances on “ER” and “Sex and the City.”
None of those roles called to her as much as Norah. She identified with the teenager who manages simultaneously to be cool and not part of the in-crowd. The movie follows Norah on a wild night in New York, where she meets Nick (Michael Cera).
Dennings had such a great time making the movie that she says watching it is like “looking at home movies.”
A lot of actors fall in love with a script. That doesn’t mean the production touches their soul. But his whole project was a wonderful work experience for Dennings. She had met Cera a few times and wanted to work with him.
Almost the entire film was shot between sunset and sunrise. It didn’t take Dennings long to adjust to the odd hours.
“I love sunshine, but I can’t be in it,” Dennings says, poking fun at her light features.
It helped that Dennings felt a magical quality working in New York at such late hours.
“I had an incident while filming,” Dennings says. “It was 4:30 in the morning. I see this silhouette coming at me. It is my friend Brady who I had not seen in three years. It was almost a fairy-tale moment that I could run into someone I knew in a place so big.”
Movie buffs might pick up the familiarity of the characters’ names: Nick and Norah, from the “Thin Man” series of films. There is no connection between the old and new movies.
“But that was the first question my father asked me,” Dennings says as she ends the conversation so she can get to the airport