After three decades of acting, Jennifer Jason Leigh could fill a hospital with all the crazies, drug addicts and alcoholics she's portrayed. "They're all complex characters," insists the star of Single White Female and Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, who continues her troubled trend by playing Meg Ryan's unlucky-in-love sister in the thriller In the Cut (opening in select theaters tomorrow). Does it bother Leigh that we've started to think maybe she's one of these damaged damsels, herself?
"It doesn't affect me," says the 41-year-old. "It's other people's perceptions, it's not going to change who I am. It might disappoint people when they meet me, I'm sure. I certainly have had dates where guys wanted some crazy lunatic girl. I'm not that. I'm sooo not that."
Unlike her character, Pauline a one-time It girl who lives above a Chinatown strip club and is being prosecuted for stalking a married man Leigh's managed to keep her career stable and interesting since her '90s heyday. She'll be seen next in The Machinist with Christian Bale, and just finished filming Palindromes by twisted Happiness helmer Todd Solondz. Now she's busy writing the follow-up to her directorial debut, The Anniversary Party.
But in her ever-growing filmography, there's one project that made us question her sanity. What on earth was this cerebral thespian doing as the voice of Bridget in 2002's Hey Arnold! The Movie? "The voice thing was just something I wanted to see if I enjoyed," she explains. "It could have been a really fun thing. I did a little bit of it and didn't enjoy it so much. You're in these cold rooms, and it's kind of silly. Not to say I would never do it again, but I didn't love it." Apparently, nothing beats a good ol' fashioned loon.