Pretty Pumpkin Co-Star Says
Goodbye to Sex Kitten Roles
the age of 14, Dominique Swain shocked audiences with her explosive
acting debut in the erotic drama Lolita. Her performance
quickly caught the public's attention, earning the newcomer several
award nominations, including the Chicago Film Critics' Award for
Most Promising Actress. However, even though she appeared in the
Nicolas Cage/John Travolta action-thriller Face/Off that
same year, after 1997 Swain seemed to disappear from the movie
Swain continued to star in several films, among them Happy
Campers and New Best Friend, most of her movies only
opened in limited release. Even Swain's latest project, the United
Artists' comedy Pumpkin, is only opening in Los Angeles
and New York. And while Swain knows that she's now carrying the
"indie movie star" title wherever she goes, she insists that she's
not intentionally keeping herself away from huge Hollywood blockbusters.
don't put myself into the indie box," Swain says. "I just happened
to love the characters that I was going to play in each of those
small-budget movies and kind of planned them all back to back.
I think it is really important though to do commercial movies
so that you can continue to do what you want to do, and also so
that people can see you."
Pumpkin, Swain plays Jeanine Kryszinsky, an opinionated
sorority girl who never stands up for herself for fear of being
outcast by her sisters. While picturing the beautiful 5'9'' blonde
in the role of a catty sorority girl seems fitting, Jeanine definitely
doesn't fit the stereotypical sorority girl image. The role actually
takes Swain away from her typical roles, with the 21-year-old
actress sporting with an out-of-control,curly brown wig that makes
Screech's hair from Saved by the Bell: The New Class
look tame by comparison
really demanded the Afro," Swain says. "I think that I've been
kind of typecast into the sex kitten roles, even though I was
trying to avoid them. There were so many times where people would
be like, 'we're looking for this troubled teen who's going through
a sexual awakening' and I'd be like, 'again? I've been sexually
awakened.' I'm just glad to have this role as a kind of departure
and proof that I can do something else."
up in Malibu, Swain didn't have to look very far for someone to
model her character after. Although Swain has yet to attend college
and watch real sorority girls at work, Swain didn't have to look
any further than her own high school friends to get a feel for
used to know this girl who would take her sweater on and off six
times during a car ride because she had boys on either side of
her," Swain says with a laugh. "She'd be like, 'Oh, I'm so hot!'
and off her sweater would go, revealing this long, luxurious chest.
My friends and I would just be in the backseat like, 'what the
hell is she doing? She also made these little Zip-Loc baggies
filled with her cosmetics and would carry them with herabout
50 different products that were just necessary to take for the
weekend. I'm shocked every time I see someone like that."
for whats next for the former Lolita, Swain can soon be
seen in Briar Patch, a drama which lets her play another
character thats "absolutely not a sex kitten role." Although
Swain's not sure whether or not Briar Patch will be in
wide release, she is also in negotiations to start filming a psychological
thriller that she believes "everyone will be able to see." No
matter where life takes her, Swain's confident that she'll never
stop actingwhether the public knows it or not.
caught by the bug. No matter what else I decide to do for the
rest of my lifewhether I decide to direct, produce, act
or become a house painterI'm still gonna be acting whether
it's just a hobby or it's what I focus my life around. It's contagious."