(Los Angeles correspondent Lisa Lee’s interview with Faith Hill airs this weekend on CMT Insider. For show times, check the On CMT page at CMT.com.)
LOS ANGELES — When movie director Frank Oz began to picture the cast that would bring his remake of The Stepford Wives to life, he couldn’t get Faith Hill out of his mind.
“I have always seen the character of Sarah the way that Faith looks,” Oz told CMT News at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. “And the strangest thing is, when Faith wanted to do the movie, I said, ‘Why do you want to do it?’ And she said, ‘There’s just something about that character that I know.’”
Hill’s character, beautiful and obedient Stepford wife Sarah Sunderson, doesn’t get a lot of screen time, but she is certainly pivotal to the plot. The movie centers around driven TV exec Joanna Eberhart (Nicole Kidman), who is unceremoniously dumped from her lofty position. She and husband Walter (Matthew Broderick) pack up the kids and move to Stepford, Conn., to find a simpler way of life. They’re met by perpetually sunny Claire Wellington (Glenn Close) who tries to indoctrinate them into the surreal Stepford world of manicured lawns, starched aprons and happy housewives — who are happy without the aid of Prozac. Hill plays one of those impossibly gorgeous housewives but one with a little flaw. She says the part gave her the chance to skewer the perfect public image that she’s usually putting forth on countless magazine covers and red carpet arrivals.
“It was almost like being on vacation from my world,” Hill told CMT News while promoting the film in New York. “My world’s always crazy [with] things going around like a whirlwind, and Sarah was basically controlled by a remote [control]. I was looking forward to that because it was like not being afraid to make fun of myself.”
Of course, Hill looked pretty perfect on June 6 when she and husband Tim McGraw arrived to a hail of camera flashes on the red carpet for The Stepford Wives premiere. And though bona fide movie stars Glenn Close, Bette Midler and Matthew Broderick were also there, it was Hill’s fans who made signs that read “We love Faith.” McGraw was pretty excited about the whole thing, too.
“I haven’t seen anything, so I’m probably going to cry or something,” McGraw told CMT News. “It’s going to be embarrassing.”
One of the best things about the movie for Hill was getting to spend time with her co-stars, including celebrated singer and actress Midler.
“We sang quite a bunch, mostly in elevators on the way down [to the set],” Midler said at the premiere. “I think she has cut one of the songs we were singing, but I’m not going to tell you what it’s called. I’ll let her tell you.”
Broderick said Hill’s enthusiasm on-set was a much-needed jolt for the all-star cast.
“The movie took a long time, and Faith was one of the refreshing things with all of us jaded people complaining how long things were taking,” he said. “It was sort of nice to have a fresh attitude. Everybody loved her.”
Co-star Close apparently got really close to both Hill and McGraw, and she offered Hill encouragement when she had to fake an orgasm in one scene. (She is off-camera, but you hear her nonetheless.) And yes, Hill says she was a little embarrassed.
“I’m sitting at a table with all these actors, and Glenn was sitting next to me,” Hill explained. “I could feel the blood rise up from my toes through my legs to my ears, and I swear they were on fire! It was three paragraphs, and I had to sit there and do this ‘vocal exercise.’ After I did it, Glenn just gave me this look like, ‘OK, you’ve earned your stripes. You’re in!’”
McGraw’s response to his wife’s sexy scene?
“I’ve heard it before,” he said with a straight face as Hill blushed beside him.
The Stepford Wives hit theaters Friday (June 11), and McGraw’s first major film, Friday Night Lights, will be released this fall. Although both singers are working on new albums, they both said they’d like to do more acting.
“We’d like to do a movie together,” McGraw said. “That would be fun.”