DiVine DuVall

By Dave White.

Hometown girl Clea DuVall got naked in her very first movie role and winces when reminded of some others. But now she's got something to really cheer about.

Clea DuVall is younger than springtime and twice as exciting! Okay, I stole that line from Valley of The Dolls, but she really is cool. She's been in a ton of movies already, like the Tommy-Hilfiger-teens-battling-aliens flick The Faculty, Lisa Krueger's Committed, with Heather Graham, and Girl, Interrupted, for which her co-star, Angelina Jolie, walked off with an Oscar. Now she's got a lead in But l'm a Cheerleader, a hysterically funny and fluffy comedy about a pom-pom girl (Natasha Lyonne, who's one of Clea's bast pals off-screen) who lands in a sort of conversion rehab for gay people, run by Cathy Moriarty and RuPaul, after her parents (Bud Cort and Mink Stole) suspect her of being "that way". Clea plays the hot baby dyke who helps Natasha learn to unleash her lesbo power. I met with Clea at one of those evil corporate coffee joints and talked about movies, punk rock, Britney Spears and witchcraft.

Dave White: I was at the Les Beaux Peeps show the other night at Spaceland, and you were there. Do you go out to see many bands?

Clea DuVall: I love Les Beaux Peeps. Everyone in that band works together really well. You know, I used to go out to see bands a lot when I was younger and now it seems that there just aren't any I like.

DW: Oh please, don't tell me that.

CD: Actually, I really like Paige. They're my favorite. They used to sound like a cross between PJ Harvey and Julee Cruise. The singer has the best voice I've ever heard in my entire life, and
they're changing their sound in a really exciting way. You should check them out.

DW: I will. I have to hear an endorsement before I'll go out now. I'm in my 30s and I tend to fall asleep around nine o'clock. It's a commitment to stay up late and go out to shows.

CD: I'm only 22 and I fall asleep at nine o'clock at night!

DW: I'll take a nap if some band I love is coming through town, like Yo La Tengo or somebody.

CD: Yo La Tengo is great!

DW: I love them and I'm so glad that after-

CD: -like 300 years?

DW: Yes! They're finally getting some more attention.

CD: That's how long it takes, it seems, for the great bands to get their due.

DW: And then they get famous and you're happy but at the same time you feel your favorite band has been stolen from you.

CD: I kinda feel that way sometimes, like when PJ Harvey's To Bring You My Love came out and everyone got into that "Down By The Water" song and I would just fume when they would go [in airhead voice], "Oh God, I love that 'big fish, little fish' song!" So upsetting. I like The Need, too. They're amazing. Plus old Sugarcubes, Pixies-all the music I Iiked when I was 15. I don't like anything new.

DW: Okay, you have to evolve. You do not have permission to become like my
college friends who are stuck listening to Siouxsie and The Banshees and Elvis Costello for the rest of your life.

CD: I know-I try to keep an open mind but I just-oh, I don't know-I'm so tired of the mediocrity. It's fine when someone does it once but then it gets done 800 times, and that one popular thing gets huge and makes billions of dollars. Then you have people like Les Beaux Peeps or The Need who won't get acknowledged because they're doing something different. You can make 800 Britney Spears clones, and there's nothing wrong with her, but in fact I sorta like her!

DW: I just saw one of her videos on "Total Request Live" yesterday, and they are like a weird kind of candy-that one where the boy dancers form a heart around her-and your first response to it is, "Awvvw, that's so cute" It's sick!

CD: I was in New York this past weekend and my friends and I went to see "Saturday Night Live" because I had never seen it taped before. Britney Spears was hosting it and I didn't really know anything about her, whether she was Christina Aguilera or Jessica Simpson. I didn't know which one she was. I was watching her and she was really good! Her song was great! I was thoroughly impressed and I thought, "Wow, Britney Spears is so cool!"

DW: And then you're a little embarrassed, when you discover that, right?

CD: Right, and Natasha [Lyonne] was there and she's aIl really hardcore, like, "Grrrr!" That's Natasha. But I was like, "I wanna meet Britney Spears!"

DW: So did you go backstage?

CD: Yeah, we met her. She didn't care. She's the biggest star I've ever met. She was really polite, but she didn't care about us. We were just like every other person in America going, "Britney! Britney! We love you!" Really lame, like kids who cry to meet her.

DW: When they called me to tell me I would be interviewing you, I thought you were Rachel Leigh Cook from She's All That. I had never seen any of your movies.

CD: Oh nice. She's All That.. My best credit.

DW: So I'm watching it trying to find which one you are, and I leave the room just as your one big scene happens where you get sick in the bathroom during this party sequence. So my boyfriend yells at me from the living room, "Hey! Here's your interview subject with her face in the toilet!" That was my introduction to you. Then I went to The Internet Movie Database and found more of you and it's been a Clea-fest at my house for the past five days. I saw The Faculty, The Astronaut's Wife-

CD: Oooh, sorry about that one!

DW: And Con 't Hardly Wait.

CD: Oh God, my huge part in that. When you're onscreen for less than five minutes I guess you can't do much wrong.

DW: I even rented Little Witches, that crazy B movie about Catholic schoolgirls playing with witchcraft.

CD: Oh my God! Why did you do that!?

DW: That movie was a crack-up! You were like the satanic Spice Girls!

CD: I was so little when I made that! That was my first job ever and I don't even admit to it.

DW: How old were you? Twelve?

CD: I practically was. I didn't know anything! I had never even seen a movie camera before.

DW: And then there was that scene where they made you get all buck-naked and you're all dancing around that cauldron and there's fire and stuff! Insane!

CD: Oh Cod! Shut up! That is why I won't do any nudity now! It's that movie! They're like, "No, you won't see anything!" And they promised! "We're shooting you from far away!" they said. So we asked, "Then why do we have to get naked?" And they go, "Um-just because. It's for your character:' So we all think, "Oh...uh, 0K!"

DW: In those schoolgirl ouffits you got to Iook like Britney in the "...Baby One More
Time" video.

CD: Exactly! She did that because of LittIe Witches! The copier.

DW: You have a recurring role on the show "Popular" as Wanda Rickets, self-described Teen Trash, and it's hilarious! That show is so funny. It reminds me of that old show "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" where it's this nutty high school where the impossible happens.

CD: I was so happy to get on that show. Ryan Murphy, the creator/writer, created Wanda Rickets for me, and Jamie Babbit, who directed But l'm a Cheerleader, directed me in my second episode. I love that show, and Leslie Grossman, who plays Mary Cherry, is my idol! She's a genius. I act like a little kid around her.

DW: Now But i'm a cheerlearder makes two rehab movies for you, after Girl, Interrupted.

CD : Yes, i have to do them in twos. And i got to work with Jamie again after doing a short film for her. Ii've known her for a long time and she's amazing. She gets things out of me that i didn't know i had. She gets me to a place where i'm not even thinking, i'm just being, and its really good for me to work for her. She won't let me hold back. She busts me and yells at me.So , i want to make her proud. She's like my family and i want to do my best for her.

Have you heard any controversy about ex-gay ministries getting pissed off about the film ? They're mad at "Will and Grace" right now for the same reason, for making fun of ex-gay rehab programs.

CD : Oh, please be pissed off about it. Please go picket. Make more people come to see it !