Leelee Sobieski: Well, I'm only fifteen, so it's kind of surprising thinking that I'm going to get married at the age of fifteen. It's great because my character made that decision and I think that if I was in that situation I would also. It's just surprising to think that...I would get married on film at fifteen. I didn't think that I would get married in film until I was eighteen.
ETOL: In this film your character certainly had to face a lot of very difficult decisions. Do you feel as a young actress you've grown up very quickly as well?
Leelee: I think that when I work I have to be more serious than I am in my normal life. I'm sort of silly and free. I don't think I've grown up any faster than, let's say my friend, except that I have a job and it's sort of a full time job sometimes.
ETOL: Do you have a pretty normal social life and school life? Do you go to regular school and all that?
Leelee: Yeah, I have great friends at school and different people that I meet. I'm pretty much a normal girl. I'm not a specific actress who doesn't go to school or anything. I have friends at school and participate in a normal school life.
ETOL: After doing this film did you think about what you might do if you knew there was an asteroid coming here in a year?
Leelee: I definitely thought about that because my character had to think about that everyday. Playing her, I had to think about that sort of for my character and for myself and I do think about that.
ETOL: What do you think you'd do?
Leelee: How long do I have?
ETOL: You have a year.
Leelee: I have a year. If I had someone I loved I would get married. I would travel...
ETOL: Is there anyone in mind?
Leelee: No, not really. I would read a ton of literature, see a lot of great films, and experience life to the completely fullest degree that I could.
ETOL: I saw in your credits that you wanted to one day direct. Who are your role models so far?
Leelee: Mimi [Leder] is definitely one of them, being such a strong great woman in her field that is mostly a field of men. She's definitely one of people I admire. STEVEN SPIELBERG, STANLEY KUBRICK, I mean there are so many great directors I can't name them all.
ETOL: You've had an opportunity to work with many already, which is great. You mentioned Stanley Kubrick. Can you tell us anything about TOM CRUISE, NICOLE KIDMAN, and working with them on your last film?
Leelee: I worked with Tom. Tom is completely in love with his wife. They're a great couple. I can't tell you anything about my part or the movie. It's a secret project. Stanley Kubrick was amazing. He was such a debonair man. [He's] so sweet and nice, and sort of quiet with a great sense of humor. He was amazing to work with.
ETOL: Is there anything, off screen, that you can tell us about working with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman?
Leelee: I worked mostly with Tom. With Tom I thought, "Gosh he's huge." I thought he was going to have a huge head also, but he didn't. He was so down to earth and so sweet. He was just a nice guy.
ETOL: Back to Deep Impact, what was ELIJAH WOOD like?
Leelee: Elijah Wood was great. Elijah Wood is really a smart boy. He's very mature. He loves literature, and he's very literate. He's just a great guy too. He has a great, great family and he's very close to them.
ETOL: Did you know him before the film at all?
Leelee: I had known him from seeing him in films, but not on a personal level.
ETOL: One last thing from your credits, I noticed you're fluent in French. How did that come about?
Leelee: That came about because my father is French, so I some times spent summers in France. That's how it came about.
ETOL: You were born and raised in The US?
Leelee: Yes, in New York.
ETOL: That came in handy in a film that you've recently done?
Leelee: Yes, in 'A Soldiers Daughter Never Cries', which is the story of James Jones the man that wrote "From Here To Eternity." They live in Paris and he's an ex-patriot. It's sort of a coming of age story. They're sort of displaced Parisians and it's about the daughter in the family. They move to America and they are displaced Parisians there and they are displaced Americans in Paris. They're sort of mixed up and they don't fit in anywhere.
ETOL: Well on that note, thank you very much Leelee. Best of luck.
Leelee: Thank you very much.
ET: How old are you Leelee?
Leelee Sobieski: Fifteen.
ET: It seems like this has been a real busy year for you. How does this all feel?
Leelee: It feels great. Couldn't feel any better. I am very excited. Finishing up my school, I've got two more weeks, studying for all those final exams. It feels real good.
ET: Two years ago you were doing what and how did it proceed this quickly?
Leelee: Well, I never really wanted to be an actress. I always wanted to be a painter or a potter or write an illustrated children's story. It was always one of those things. I was in my school cafeteria in New York and they asked me to audition for a film. And I said, "Why not?" I thought I might as well go in and try for it. My parents said, "Why not?" And I didn't get it. But then I was interested, and I wanted to see what would happen, and I worked on it a lot, and I got better and I started to get things. A little while ago when I was 11-years-old I was a normal kid and when I was 12 I was a normal kid, and I still am a normal girl, but I guess I just work also. That is the only real difference and that I work with adults.
ET: Is it exciting to see that your work has had such success?
Leelee: It is so exciting because I didn't think that 'Deep Impact' was going to have this much success. You know what 'Armageddon' is coming out also. I was just a little hesitant, and then 'Godzilla' came out the next weekend, so I said "Oh, it's gonna be smashed. 'Godzilla' is going to swish his tail and we are going to go down." But it didn't, so I was so happy. I didn't even think 'Deep Impact' was going to make a hundred million dollars. I was very shocked. And then this morning when I woke up this package arrived with this beautiful basket from Paramount that had cheese and apples and truffles and all these different things, and it said "Congratulations on 'Deep Impact' making the first hundred million dollars." I just thought it was so nice.
ET: Tell us about auditioning for Stanley Kubrick, the director of 'Eyes Wide Shut'?
Leelee: What can I tell you? I can tell you that I went in for an audition, I think they saw everyone from 15 to 18 or something, and it was an audition that had no parallel to the script. It was an audition that he had picked randomly from a Roger Avery script. It is about a girl going to get an abortion with her sister and she becomes mentally disturbed because she thinks the doctors "touched" her a bit too much, and she wants chocolates and she wants magazines, and she wants pictures to look at in the office. She just gets a little bit disturbed because of everything that is going on in her body. And that was the audition scene that had nothing to do with my part--something that he picked out.
ET: Did you know that at the time?
Leelee: I thought "Oh this is Stanley being sly and it really is from the script and he's pretending it's not." But then it wasn't. It really wasn't from the script. And the first time that was put on tape and I really thought she was a mentally disturbed girl going to get the abortion. The second time I found out she was mentally disturbed because of the situation. So there was a transition there. And that got sent to him and we went over to London, because he never leaves, and I had never met him before I was cast. I was supposed to be there for two weeks and I was there for two months. And I'd heard all these stories that Stanley was that he was very eccentric and a little bit weird - a weird monster man, and he wasn't. He was so debonair. He was so strong and sweet. He was obviously so intelligent-just this great phenomenal man. He was always, you know, touching his beard and smiling and thinking about one thing or another and coming up to you and whispering something. He's just a great guy. And he wore the same thing everyday.
ET: Well lets hope he has a full closet of them!
Leelee: Yeah, well he didn't smell bad.
ET: Now Tom Cruise stars in this movie. What was it like meeting him?
Leelee: He is very sexy yes. That sounds sort of silly coming from a 15-year-old but he was incredibly handsome. I though, "Oh he's going to be Mr. Hollywood and have a really big head." Then I met him on the first day, when my mother and I were there, and he came out and gave us a hug and a kiss on the cheek, welcoming us to the set. And I thought "What a gracious gesture! What a nice thing to do." Because he didn't have to do that.
ET: Did you get butterflies in your stomach?
Leelee: Oh yeah. The first time I was like "Oh my God! This is Tom Cruise!" I think you always have that reaction. You can't stop it. I'm sure he knows. He can see someone's face turn beet red or something. But, I guess then you get used to it.
ET: Did he have fun knowing that you were probably excited about meeting him?
Leelee: I'm sure he is probably so used to it. He must know that so many people are. But he is so in love with his wife. So in love. He was calling her on the phone because she was sick for a little while. And he was "How are you? Are you okay? Don't let the kids in the room because they are going to get you to go out." He was just great. One day I was wearing high heels and Stanley Kubrick asked Tom, "So you know, because Nicole is so tall, do you get annoyed when she wears high heels because then she is so much taller then you?" And he said "No! I love it when women wear high heels! It makes their legs look so sexy!" And he has no self-identity problem because he is not such a tall man. And he is like 5'8" or 5'9: He's not short in a sense.
ET: Are you able to discuss the nature of the role or the plot?
ET: How tough is it?
Leelee: Yes, I don't think they will cut my head off or anything. But it is just decency or something. We had to sign papers and papers and papers. My mother and I-so many papers. So many papers that we would not disclose any information. I didn't even read the script. I just know my part. I really don't know. I couldn't tell you what happens.
ET: And you had the whole script available to you to read?
ET: Among your friends, after your experience shooting this film--what was it that they were most curious about?
Leelee: Because it hasn't come out yet, they don't really realize it. When it does they will be like "What was it like?" They only know the movies that have come out, and the ones that are in the box and haven't come out yet, they are like "Oh, that doesn't count yet." And I'm like "Yes! It does count!" and they say, "No it doesn't count! We haven't seen it."