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July 2008
An Interview with Paula Patton

An Interview with Paula Patton
By Wilson Morales

July 30, 2008

Just when it's tough out there for a female to get quality roles, Paula Patton has manage to score not just one, but two good roles this August, The first of them is a role opposite Kevin Costner in 'Swing Vote'.

'Swing Vote', which opens on August 1st, deals with the story of an election set somewhere in the near future where Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner), a lovable loser, who is coasting through a life and has not a political thought in his head, is thrust into an improbable dilemma. In response, he is coaxed on by his 12-year-old daughter Molly (Madeline Carroll) to take more of a serious approach to life. Molly runs the household and sees an opportunity on election day to energize her father. The election is a "dead heat" with the sole deciding ballot in the hands of a mystified Bud, who is being wooed by candidates from both sides.

Patton plays a reporter who tries to use this situation as a vehicle to get out of town for the big leagues

In speaking with blackfilm.com, Ms. Patton talks about her role and working with Kevin Costner.

What attractedyou to this role?

Paula Patton: I read the script and I laughed out loud. This is a film that I want to be a part of. I just thought that it was so witty and well thought out and heartfelt; and I really liked the character. It was a character that I had not played before but I thought she was really interesting. She’s this ambitious girl from a small town and looking for a way out and her ambitions get the best of her. So the question goes – how far is she willing to go to get ahead? Everyone in this film is questioning themselves. They are allowing the media circus to come in and twist their lives around.

Have you been in a position where you had to make a decision to determine the outcome of a situation?

PP: It probably started with what college you wanted to go to, but not as monumental as deciding who will be the next president of the United States.

Did you do any research for the character you played as a reporter?

PP: Absolutely, I always like to do research to the lives that any of the characters that I play and I followed around Antoinette Antonio. She’s a journalist newscaster in New Mexico and I got to learn what’s it like to be a journalist in a small town.

How was working with Madeline and Kevin (Costner)?

PP: Madeline is the next Jodie Foster. She’s a magnificent actress. She can cry on cue. She’s smart and funny and everything you want her to be and she’s 8 years old. Kevin is just as great and a veteran and I tried to pick up as much as I can from him. He’s generous and when you are doing a scene with him, he makes sure you give him your best performance. It was a really wonderful collaborative process. To make people laugh in a comedy is a gift and he made people laugh.

What do you think the message is with this film?

PP: The message is that we have to stop being so apathetic. I know that the world is busy and crazy that we live in. it’s hard to care about anything when we are thinking about putting gas in our car and putting food on the table for the kids, but we have to remember to be civic minded. If we don’t we are going to be in a situation that we have no control over. I also think we have to be politically active. In the end you have family and you keep your family close, and that is what’s it all about.






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