Marguerite Moreau Riding the Acting Wave in Off the Lip


"I’m from Newport. I’d check out 16th Street, the River Jetty and my house was right by the Bog House. I think that’s one of the reasons the director (Bob Michelson) and I clicked — he goes out surfing way more than I do," says 27-year-old Marguerite Moreau, actress in the new surf flick Off the Lip. "We had an ongoing debate throughout the OTL shoot about long boards versus short boards — I was for long, he was for short. I’m all about the chill, where he’s all about cutting it up."

As far as a surfing goes, Moreau seems to have plenty experience dropping into dunes along the coast of her hometown of Newport Beach, Calif. The rising star has also had plenty of experience as an actress, beginning in the early ‘90s as a teeny hockey player in the popular Mighty Duck movies, a short stint on made-for -TV movies like Firestarter 2: Rekindled, followed by movie roles in Free Willy 2 and Queen of the Damned, the sequel to Interview with the Vampire. Last year she appeared in the courtroom drama Runaway Jury and now, in 2004, she’s hitting Tube City off the North Shores of Maui, in this high-action surf movie.

Moreau plays Katy in Off the Lip, a new-jack reporter looking for a mysterious "master surfer" nicknamed Monk. According to Moreau, she connects with her character’s story very well.

"One February, I ran away with my girlfriend. We were in Poughkeepsie, New York, going to Vassar and it was freezing. The minute I graduated, I was asked, ‘How’d you like to do this movie in Maui?’ It was like [my character] Kat’s job — too good to be true. That was completely my experience as well," says Moreau. "Everyone’s asked me if I identify with my character in this film. I’m like, ‘Yes!’"

Shot entirely in digital video, Off the Lip takes a slightly different angle on filmmaking, camera-wise. In addition to this, Moreau got the chance to play around a bit with her character and, as it turns out, the overall looseness overflowed onto the screen.

"It was cool; it was all justified camera angles. We were shooting on tape so you could shoot as much as you wanted which gave me a lot of room to develop my character," she says. "It gave us a lot of freedom to use the camera as a character. You could be really experimental and see ‘What would happen if…’ It was a really unexpectedly nice ride."

When asked if she's ever thought of reprising her Firestarter role, Moreau has chosen to bring her pyrotechnic days to a close. "After Hellboy, [Selma Blair] was the coolest fire starter I'd ever seen. I’ll leave that to Selma because she’s kicking some butt," says Moreau with a grin.

Those who watch surf movies might draw parallels between the premise of Off the Lip and that of 1991’s Point Break. Moreau, however, has a different take on the newer story, but also reveals a different insight.

"I think that in Point Break, where Bhodi gets to at the end is sad because Keanu (Reeves) brings in his hero. [Conversely] Kat, in the end, gets to let go — she gets to be the person that she wants to be," says Moreau. "The difference is that she was free, whereas Keanu was more tied down; he was unhappy. I mean Kat’s [experience] is scary because it’s the unknown, but it’s that great scary. You don’t know life until you live it."

Off The Lip is currently in theaters.