Christina Milian interview, Be Cool movie review, F. Gary Gray, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, The Rock, Vince Vaughn. By Rob Blackwelder ©SPLICEDwire
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Christina Milian
Christina Milian in "Be Cool"
"Be Cool"
WHO: Christina Milian
WHAT: Actress and singer
WHEN: February 28, 2005
WHERE: Four Seasons Hotel, SF, CA
HOW (you might know her):
As host of MTV's "Wannabe," as costar of 2004's "Love Don't Cost a Thing" with Nick Cannon, and as the singer of pop-R&B hits "Dip It Low" and "AM to PM."

 LINKS for this film
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Vivacious Christina Milian is an actress, a singer, and now Travolta's pop-princess protégé in 'Get Shorty' sequel

By Rob Blackwelder

Christina Milian feels a certain kinship with Linda Moon, the struggling singer she plays in "Be Cool," the music-industry sequel to 1995's Hollywood-spoofing "Get Shorty."

Taken under the wing of John Travolta's mob-shylock-turned-music-promoter Chili Palmer, the character is a sweet-voiced songwriter looking for her big break, and that's a feeling the 24-year-old actress ("Love Don't Cost a Thing") and TV hostess (MTV's "Wannabe") says she knew well before her pop-R&B single "Dip It Low" peaked at No. 5 on Billboard's charts last August.

More successful in Europe (she's had three top-10 hits in England) and now on the rise at home (she also co-wrote Jennifer Lopez's 2001 single "Play"), Milian is having to become a businesswoman. But as she curls her tiny 5'2" frame into the cushions of a big chair in her San Francisco hotel suite this February day, she seems like any bright-eyed, ball-of-energy young girl (she still lives at home with her mom and two sisters) who has just come inside from a wind storm -- she's worried about how she looks.

As a makeup artist gives her a touch-up, she laughs an easy laugh (which happens a lot) at the pampering comforts of traveling on the studio's dime.

Q: It must be nice to have someone who follows you around to make sure you look as perfect as possible.

A: [Laughs and rocks forward in her seat] I'm not good at it. If I'm at home, it's totally basic. I put my hair in a ponytail. (When I go out), I'm like, "What do I do with my face?" I put the wrong color on my face, and my mom's like, "What are you wearing? Take off all that makeup!" You know, I learn from watching, but I'm no good. That's why I have him! [Tapping the back of her makeup guy's hand as he brushes her hair.]

Q: I guess you need him around now that you've been on the cover of ("laddie" magazine) FHM in England. That makes you an official hottie.

A: [Laughing harder] People have certain expectations when they see me walking around now!

Q: Everyone in England knows what you look like in a bikini.

A: Exactly! [Laughs again] I gotta make my face look good if I'm not going to show the body.

Q: Well, I don't think this guy has to work very hard.

A: Awww, thank you! [The makeup artist grins and leaves the room.]

Q: So in one of your big scenes in "Be Cool," you're making a music video, but only insomuch as it's staged for the movie. So it's not really a music video, and as an actress you're having to pay attention to the movie director, who is directing the actor playing the music video director.... Did you have a through-the-looking-glass feeling at times?

A: Yes! Yes. It was so weird. Being in the middle of it, doing the stuff I usually do (for a video) but kind of making fun of it now, and watching myself do all this.

But reading the script, it made me jealous! The big performance at the end of the movie? With all the fire and all that stuff? I was like, Dude! If only the record company would spend this kind of money and give me a show like this! I'd be set! But getting to do that (concert scene) in the film was great for me in real life -- it was live and it was real.

Q: Right, because the Aerosmith show at which you filmed the scene (a duet with the band's front man, Steven Tyler) was an actual concert.

A: Yep. 30,000 people there to see Aerosmith, and then here I come. [Laughs] The feeling that Linda is feeling in the movie, I was feeling it too! The nervousness, the adrenaline rush on that stage, and yet the confidence of just saying, "You know what? This is my chance!" I had a great time doing it.

And then, of course, watching Linda Moon go through all these struggles and her passion for music -- I'm like, I swear this is me! Only two years ago, I was wondering if I should give up on the music. It's a very competitive world. But you have to keep on believing -- like the song in the movie! [Laughs once more]

Q: Do you consider yourself a singer-actress, or an actress-singer, or...

A: Oooh. An entertainer. I've been doing both forever. I got my record deal five years ago, but before that I was always taking vocal lessons, demo-ing songs, meeting people constantly, singing wherever I possibly could just in case I could get a record deal. Acting I've done for 12 years -- (beginning with) commercials and TV. I focused on one, then I focused on the other, and now they're meshing together, which is great because that's how I've always wanted it to be. Hopefully it will stay that way.

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