‘My heart was pounding in my chest…’
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‘My heart was pounding in my chest…’

Elisabeth Shue reminisces about her encounter with killer fish in Piranha 3-D.

hollywood Updated: Oct 30, 2010 00:58 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times

She debuted as Ralph Macchio’s girlfriend in

The Karate Kid

. Twenty-six years later, she still remembers the feeble set-up Crane had to kick at the end. “You hoped he could pull it off, after all, Mr Miagi had said it was “indefensible” if done correctly. Then wham, Daniel kicks Johnny Lawrence right in the temple for the third point and wins. I’ll never forget that kick for the rest of my life,” asserts Elisabeth Shue.

The actor is best remembered for her role as a prostitute in

Leaving Las Vegas

(1995) with Nicolas Cage. The performance earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, along with a BAFTA and Golden Globe nomination. Followed by,

The Saint

, Woody Allen’s

Deconstructing Harry

, and

Hollow Man

. “I’m happy with the films I’ve done and would love to go back and relive Jennifer in

Back To The Future II, III

for its innocence and simplicity,” she muses.

This Friday, Shue will be in the theatres as Sheriff Julie Foster of

Piranha 3-D

. Having grown up with three brothers, she admits to having spent a lot of time beating them and being beaten up.

“So I felt connected with what it must be like to be a sheriff in a small town where everybody looking at goes, ‘She doesn't look like a sheriff!’ Unfortunately, there’s just one scene… the first… where I get to flip a frat boy, throw him against a car and handcuff him. Once that scene's over, I'm just a mom trying to save her kids,” she sighs.

Quiz her on her first impression of the sea monsters and she admits to a visceral fear of the water from Jaws. “Every time I'm out in the ocean swimming, I feel there’s something out there,” she says, adding that her fave on-screen moment is when soon after the massacre by the killer fish, calls her from a boat that is sinking and on which 10 kids on it bleeding to death.

Shue says, “I jump off my boat, run across floating debris, vault into a speed boat and take off. The stunt was too dangerous for me but Alex (director Alexendre Aja) sweetly let me do it. I was scared, my heart was pounding, but I got it right. The film is full of such scenes but the one that comes in the first 10 minutes will definitely make you scream.”

The scene that almost made her scream was one that required her to climb across a rope, backwards, in the scorching heat. “It’s a small thing but it flattened me and made me nauseous. The other stuff was fun–shooting with guns, driving speed boats and saving people. I've never got a chance to be physical in a film even though it was so much a part of my personality,”she says.

Shue is in the middle of shooting a movie with Jennifer Lawrence now. “It’s sort of a Psycho meets Disturbia. Produced by Aaron Ryder whom I worked with on

Hamlet 2

, and Mark Tonderai who did


, it’s a small, independent movie. I’m having a lot of fun,” she exults.

Interested in doing Indian cinema? She smiles, “Give me a competitive role and an interesting script and I’d definitely give it a shot!”

First Published: Oct 29, 2010 18:33 IST