Updated February 02, 2009This week I had the opportunity to chat with the hilarious Siobhan Fallon Hogan who plays Blanche Gunderson in the new romantic comedy New in Town which also stars Renée Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr. New in Town follows the classic formula of a big city girl taking on life in a small, rural town. Siobhan's character, Blanche, lives in the small town, New Ulm, Minnesota. She has a group of friends that meet at her home throughout the movie to work on their scrapbooks.
In the movie, how do we find out that your character is an avid scrapbooker?
As the credits role during the very first scene in the movie, you see our hands, and as the camera pans out you see that we are scrapbooking. We have a group that meets at my house, a scrapbooking club. At least three times in the movie, we are seen getting together at my house scrapbooking. Later in the movie, at Christmas, Renée’s character gives me cash as a bonus, and I say “What’s this?” When she says “It’s money,” I tell her, “That is nice, but around here we usually make gifts to give each other.” I give her a scrapbook that I had made for her so she can remember her time in New Ulm and we look through it together. (See Photo)
Do you think scrapbookers fit a certain stereotype?
As first, I did think that it was a Midwestern thing, but then I got home and started telling my friends about this role and one of my friends said that she has a good friend who is really into scrapbooking. It was then that I started to realize what a huge population scrapbooking has.
Did you research scrapbooking for the role?
Yes, I definitely did. The producers took me to scrapbook stores, and now I know that AC Moore has a whole section devoted to it. The producers did a great job of getting us all the right tools and supplies to work with as we filmed. I had so much fun doing it. I didn’t know about scrapbooking before this role. I have a daughter that is 14 and so I brought a lot of stuff back for her. She has made beautiful pages about our family. I think you have to be creative and neat and organized to be a scrapbooker. I love the bags that they have for organizing all of their stuff.
I saw in interviews that you have said that this is a movie that the whole family can go to and that you spoke up to the producers about the few swear words that gave it it’s original PG 13 rating, why was this important to you?
I approached one of the producers and said, “I have a bone to pick with you, I have kids and would like to bring them to this movie but I couldn’t in good conscience with some of the language. Why is this one word in there?” He said, “I spoke to the studio about it, and they felt that we would get more of an audience if the movie is PG 13.” I said, “I disagree with you, I think you would get more of an audience without that word.” Some Christian papers wrote about the same thing and now they have changed it. I don’t know that all of the words that some people might consider swear words have been removed but I know that the one bad one has been taken out.
I love making movies that I can take my family to. In this film, Harry Connick Jr’s character has a really great relationship his 14 year old daughter. My character is a Christian women and it is very respectfully done.
Why will scrapbookers, especially, want to go see this film?
Anything that you see that you are familiar with makes you want to go see it. My husband is into rugby, so if a movie comes out that is about rugby, he would want to go see it. There is a scene that I think anyone who has been with a group of scrapbookers will relate to. We are all talking, trying to fix-up one of the girls with a guy, but the whole time we all continue to work [on our scrapbook pages]. I had my family pictures and was really trying to do a nice job and make sure that the glue was not making a mess on the page. It made it really fun to do the scene because we were really scrapbooking.
For more information about the movie New in Town be sure to visit the Hollywood Movies on About.com:
Behind the Scenes of New in Town.
New in Town Gallery of Photos
The photo with this article shows Blanche, played by Siobhan, giving a scrapbook that she made to Lucy, played by Renée Zellweger. Photo credit: Rebecca Sandulak Copyright 2009 Lions Gate Entertainment