The actual hour-long Hollywood Reporter video of the six actresses who grace their cover: Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Hilary Swank, Natalie Portman and Helena Bonham-Carter. Here's how it breaks down if you don't have a full hour to watch (video at bottom of post). Unfortunately you can't "scroll" so the time stamps are useless as I type away.

0:01 Helena talks about first day-i-tis. Never thinks she can do it. I can't act!
1:30 Amy talks about being unemployed and feeling sorry for herself (interesting bit... both sad and funny) and the long time period where she considered giving up. But now that she's successful, what doesn't she like about her career?
Amy: I feel very vulnerable. I don't like it at all. You're very subject to other people's opinions. You know when it doesn't go well. 
Hilary: We know when it doesn't go well. We don't need to be beat over the head with it.

5:00 Swank talks about trying and even if you fail, always try your hardest. Ah platitudes! I didn't get enough of 'em on election night.
6:48 Annette is asked about her input into making The Kids Are All Right more of a comedy than it originally started as...
Annette: I just didn't want it to be earnest. But she's (Lisa Cholodenko) also kind of too generous when she talks about me and my contributions.
9:00 Helena interrupts to talk about the vibrator scene (but says she hasn't seen the movie).
10:30 Hilary complains that she can't find good comedies. Uhnnh, you're not a comic actress. We're 10 minutes in and Nicole has said NOTHING. I need Nicki. But she was like this at the Margot at the Wedding press conference I attended, too. She is kind of robotic until directly addressed. I say that with the utmost love but it's like she's a robot until the movie camera is on or the press cameras are off. It's... odd.
12:00 Natalie Portman calls the Black Swan screenplay "a blueprint." and reveals that she and Darren Aronofsky have been planning to make the movie for the past 9 years (!) and credits Nicole with the following great career advice...

Natalie: Nicole said it to me a long time ago when we were doing Cold Mountain. 'Always choose by director. You never know how the movie is going to turn out but you're guaranteed an interesting experience.' I've always remembered that.
Oh bless you, Nicole. We knew this about you already. Strangely, Nicole hasn't seen Black Swan.

16:00 Nicole speaks! She lists the plentiful injuries she got on Moulin Rouge! after the other actresses keep egging her on. The actresses discuss moments when you should say no, or call it a night, but you keep going. The knee injury, which took two years to recover from, happened at 3 AM.
Nicole: When you're so in the role, it's almost like a high. It's like a drug. There's no way I was going to stop.
Oh, we knew this about her, too.
18:00 Amy follows that up with a story about Leap Year. No really.

Nicole's "what was that?" love affair.
19:00 Nicole is praised again about something from outside this conversation (clearly the woman is more animated when she's not doing press) and asked if she's ever had conflict with a director. She seems confused by the question (bless) and says instead
Nicole: It's like a love affair for a certain period of time and then I walk away and go 'what was that?!?'
...which gets a big laugh from the other five. I know people think I'm undiscerning when it comes to Kidman but the truth is I deeply dig actresses who are auteurists at heart. Truth: They're always the most interesting ones.

Annette "Balance" Bening
20:00 Unfortunately then she starts talking about not feeling the same pull to work anymore. Damnit! Thankfully, Annette amends this, explaining that even though she went through that once she had children, the desire to work returns and there is something about the acting process that fulfills you in a way that you can't get elsewhere. Having a balanced life "sounds good" but...
Annette: Creativity is really about excess and when you want to make something there's a kind of obsession that has to come with it -- in a healthy way, in a way that is intoxicating. You're engulfed by something.
(Are you listening Michelle Pfeiffer? Come Back to the Five and Dime Michelle Pfeiffer, Michelle Pfeiffer.) She then goes on to reveal that she wanted the Debra Winger role in The Sheltering Sky.

25:00 Hilary refuses to rest on her laurels (would that be two Oscars?) and reveals a knowledge of writers and seeks out screenplays that aren't even sent to her. Good for her (I'm not saying that facetiously.) Talks about a part she didn't get and Annette teases her about it.
26:00 Nicole Kidman has seen Star Trek. She bought a ticket and everything (?). Hilary doesn't like science fiction. (Is that distaste a post-The Core problem? She doesn't say.)

Amy exfoliates
28:00 Amy vows to spend time with her daughter instead of doing movies -- damn you, infant! KIDDING! please no one bite my head off though infants have taken many of the great actresses away from us. And this conversation is further proof. (Sigh)
29:00 Nicole considered not making Rabbit Hole after having Sunday and struggling for financing. This part is a snooze fest.

31:00 Hilary and Amy talk about not doing certain roles and how it's disrespectful to the actor who did it to talk about roles you wanted or turned down. Natalie says that if directors vacillate about who to cast it's not a good sign "never a good sign" actually. It shows they don't know what they want. Hilary vaguely claims to have been"coerced" into certain roles. By whom? Are we talking about The Core again? Let it go!
32:00 Amy reveals panic about super tight close-ups and wondering if she exfoliated properly. I hate those too, Amy! But for different reasons. I like to see like hair, shoulders, hands. I want to see how the actor uses their body, not just their eyes nose and maybe top lip.

Helena continually cracks Natalie up.

33:00 INTERESTING. Now we're getting into it. Helena Bonham-Carter talks about her discomfort with Lars Von Trier (!)..."but I didn't realize this man was a visionary". Admits she turned down Breaking the Waves. Natalie Portman is very excited about this reveal. Nicole says it's one of her favorite films (of course it is!) which eggs Helena on in the story. HBC thinks it was really weird that Emily Watson told everyone (she did? I don't remember this) that Helena had turned it down  'because that film made her!'

35:00 Helena talks about her 'late bloomer' personality and that she's finally comfortable with her sexuality. 'There were lots of parts I was just not ready for.' This all makes me wonder how the hell she got through The Wings of the Dove (1997) in which she is freakishly perfect and totally erotic, too. And for which she won the Oscar (SHHHHHhhhhh. Let me live in my fantasy world where deserving things happen.)
36:00 Nicole says she still e-mails Lars Von Trier (!) but agrees that he can be mean. The moderator brings up The Five Obstructions as an interesting portrait of Lars. Nicole "I don't need to see that. I worked with him."

38:00 Helena discusses Tim Burton at length but tells a great story about befriending a focus puller on Sweeney Todd who totally helped her get more takes since Tim wouldn't give them too her.
43:00 I am totally losing focus now as The Bening discusses stage vs screen.
45:00 Interesting... she's giving a lot of credit to Milos Forman for helping her to understand film acting. Funny that she brings this up because I was just watching Valmont again the other day and she is really quite fantastic in it and its' about a 180 from Glenn Close's interpretation of the same role.

The Bening as the evil Merquise de Merteuil
Watching them back to back would surely remind us that no two actors will give you the same thing. Ever. (Now, admittedly the cast, director and screenplay are different, too. But still. They are SO different within the exact same story / character.)

The Bening kicks the story up a notch by imitating Forman's directions in his voice.
47:00 Okay now I love Milos Forman more than I ever have in my life. Natalie loves Annette's story and shares her own (also in Forman's voice from her time with him on Goya's Ghost)
Natalie: You're acting like you're in -- like this is a bad movie. This is not a bad movie. This is a good movie.
Annette: That is brilliant
48:00 Nicole tells a Jane Campion story! No way. Okay this is getting better and better. It's a story about a Jane Campion short she pulled out of because she didn't want to wear a shower cap OR kiss a girl. 'I was 14. I wanted to kiss boys!' Hahaha.
50:00 Amy Adams calls the moderator on his "baiting" when he is talking about movies being only made for young boys now. None of them take the bait except Hilary....
51:00 ...who weirdly goes on a bizarre tangent blaming critics (!) for the failure of dramas. Yeah, that's right. Ticket buyers totally listen to unemployed critics. 'Critics don't like linear storytelling anymore!' They don't? This is news to me.

52:00 Nicole and Helena both praise HBO and TV in general (?) Kidman says she's doing something for HBO. She is? I so cannot keep up with upcoming movie news.
54:00 Amy hates that being an actress means you're supposed to also be a model. Helena tells her she doesn't have to pretend to be a model. 'Wear whatever you like. You'll get criticized for it but..." Helena would know.
56:00 Natalie explains that she was lucky to finish high school before the internet explosion of actors having no privacy. She can't imagine what the famous teens go through now. Nicole says she wishes she had been a director instead of an actress (!)
58:00 Annette talks about the "crazy intimacy" of acting and goes on and on and on and on some more about how acting really has very little to do with the acoutrements of fame and red carpets and whatnot. Interesting stuff if I weren't already exhausted and since i can't rewind, I can't quote anymore.

Here's the whole interview if you have the hour.

Some armchair possibly inaccurate observations:

  • Helena Bonham-Carter is very funny.
  • Hilary and Annette both talk with their hands a lot .
  • Nicole & Natalie are both shy but not inattentive
  • Amy Adams doesn't want to be in this room at all. ( But hey, she's got an infant daughter. She's justifiably distracted. We'll cut her some slack.)
I say goodbye to these six lovely ladies for now.

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