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Greta Gerwig, Lola in 'Lola Versus,' might be the pal in Hollywood films--but the leading lady in independent films.
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BY ROGER MOORE
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
You might have noticed her in "The Dark Knight Rises."
That's Juno Temple, playing Catwoman's confidante, second banana to the tall, dark and runway-ready Anne Hathaway. It's a small role in a very large studio summer blockbuster.
But you can't miss Temple in "Killer Joe," the ferocious and indie Southern Gothic drama in which she stars, playing a "Baby Doll" style sexual naif.
Hollywood sees her one way--a supporting player. But Indiewood--the world of independent film--sees her as an object of desire, leading lady material.
"Hollywood does tend to see female beauty just one way," Temple acknowledges. "If they need a high cheek-boned beauty, I'm probably not going to be cast." She laughs. "If they're OK with an English yam, I'm in."
In major studio pictures such as "No Strings Attached," indie "It" girl Greta Gerwig can be leading lady Natalie Portman's pal.
If Gerwig, who turned 29 Aug. 4, wants her shot at "driving the action" of her movies, she knows she's got to go indie, as she did for "Lola Versus."
"I did one 'best friend,' and that's been it," Gerwig says. "I may never have to play another. But we'll see."
There have always been commercial considerations that drive casting in movies, big and small. Big names and screen exemplars of beauty such as Cameron Diaz, Halle Berry or Jennifer Aniston dip their toes in the indie-world, and that gets an indie filmmaker's movie noticed.
Independent filmmakers don't often have that luxury of casting, which has long explained why unknowns get their big break in low budget films, why the words "indie" and "pixie" (Think Kat Dennings, Zooey Deschanel) have been joined at the hip.
In a string of films, this summer has underlined the gap separating "Hollywood" screen beauty and independent film beauty.
From "Lola Versus" to "Safety Not Guaranteed," starring Aubrey Plaza, "Killer Joe" to "Ruby Sparks," written by and starring Zoe Kazan, indie film's idea of the cute young thing the audience and the leading man fall in love with has taken on its own model--still thin, but not supermodel thin--still pretty, but more cute and quirky than Vogue-ready.
Zoe Kazan "is such a gifted actress, but she doesn't fit the type that Hollywood goes for," director Valerie Faris ("Little Miss Sunshine," "Ruby Sparks") says.