The Faculty: Clea DuVall: The Teen Star's Next Sci-fi Is "The Astronaut's Wife.'

By Jon Keeyes

As filming got under way, Clea DuVall formed a "family relationship" with the vast number of younger and older actors on THE FACULTY. On the set, she worked daily with Elijah Wood, Josh Harnett, Shawn Hatosy, and Laura Harris. In contrast, she also spent a lot of time off camera with the elder actors including Piper Laurie, Robert Patrick, and Bebe Neuwirth. "It was kinda weird when the adults got here. I mean, someone like Bebe Neuwirth, who I would sneak out of my room to watch CHEERS at 11:00 when I was younger, and now she's standing in front of me, and I wouldn't know what to say. But, there's no intimidation now. We assault each other, swear at each other, and it's all in fun"
And fun is exactly what DuVall has had while interacting with both the actors and their characters. In true Kevin Williamson fashion, each character he scripted is unique and self-stylized, seeming to fulfuill a range of personas thatevery movie-goer can identify with. "I think my character is important for young girls to see in kind of a more realistic way-a more up to date way because there have been characters similar to her throughout the teenage movies and she's a newer, more accurate version. This movie doesn't go into great depth of what she thinks and why she is the way she is, but I try to bring her across the screen as hard as I can " then DuVall laughed as her coffee induced-frenzy turns her mind to memories of the filming.
"Last Friday I got to shoot a gun. I'd never shot a gun before in my life, but I love holding guns and I love the way they feel. That's way fun. And we've done a lot of running, the more heated, physical stuff which I've never done before either. So, it's been really exciting for me."
Nearly two months in shooting, DuVall has gotten to enjoy a variety of new experiences that have kept her active and her attention focused. This is unlike her previous film in which she spent three months shooting only one day a week. The film is THE ASTRONAUT'S WIFE, a thriller about an astronaut who returns to Earth and turns into an alien. Laughed DuVall, "THE ASTRONAUT'S WIFE stars Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron as his wife and I play Charlize's little sister. I was just talking with my lawyer and New Line really likes it. That movie really scared me because it's so big and on my first day of work I had to sit across the table from Johnny Depp-who I've had a crush on since I was eight years old-and act with him. That was really weird."
With THE ASTRONAUT'S WIFE slated for 1999 and THE FACULTY opening at Christmas, DuVall is going to be getting a lot of limelight. With low-budget films sinking into the past, DuVall looks eagerly toward the furture. "I have two films I'm doing after THE FACULTY. The first I start a week after this one and it's called WILDFLOWERS. I really don't like talking about myself that much but...I'm in WILDFLOWERS with Daryl Hannah. And then I'm doing another movie after that which I'm the second lead or am I the lead? I don't know. They say I'm the lead but I don't think so because I think the other girl's part is bigger. It's called BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER and I'm probably the funniest girl you'll ever meet. Then I'm going to rest in late September." Then, in true DuVall fashion, her adrenaline starts pumping again as she leaps up to get ready to head for her next scene. "I like to work a lot," she said as the production assistant came to retrieve her. "I don't like to be idle because I can go nuts so I'll probably start working again in October, but I want to relax a second since I'll have been working for almost a year." Between her hardworking mentality, her charming talent, and the exposure THE FACULTY will bringer her, Clea DuVall is on her way to being a major success.