Carla Gugino, co-star of the "Sin City" Movie!
Whether she is appearing in a frothy television comedy or an intense movie drama, Carla Gugino creates interesting and believable characters. A native of Sarasota, FL, Gugino spent most of her youth being shuttled by her mother to various locations in California. At age 15, she and her mom were living in San Diego, when Gugino was convinced to try a modeling career in New York City. She succeeded, but soon found the fast pace of high-fashion modeling too much for her and moved to Los Angeles, where she took advice from an aunt, model Carol Merril, best known for her work on Let's Make a Deal game show, and enrolled in acting classes to study under drama coach Gene Bua. Gugino quickly found her calling as an actress and she threw herself into her studies. Because she was so young, her mother insisted that Gugino study only six months in Los Angeles and then return to San Diego. Just before the time period ended, Gugino made her film debut in the comedy Troop Beverly Hills (1986). More features followed, until she got her first supporting major role, that of Norma in the Robert De Niro/Leonardo Di Caprio drama This Boy's Life (1993). Her next co-starring role came in Miami Rhapsody (1995). Gugino interrupted her film career to play a co-starring role on the Michael J. Fox sitcom Spin City. She found she missed working in films and left the series. Her other television credits include the British miniseries The Buccaneers and television movies for the HBO and Showtime cable networks. As her film career progressed, Gugino kept landing increasingly meaty roles. In 1998, she starred opposite Nicolas Cage in Brian De Palma's action thriller Snake Eyes. Later following with roles in both Spy Kids and The One (both 2001), Gugino continued to gain wide exposure. Subsequently proving she had what it takes to thrill in the two Spy Kids sequels, Gugino was later cast as the eponymous character in the 2003 action/crime hybrid series Karen Sisco. Based on the character originally essayed by Jennifer Lopez in the 1998 Steven Soderbergh film Out of Sight, the show followed the exploits of a tough but sexy US Marshal as she chased fugitives along Miami's Gold Coast. That same year Gugino could also be spotted in a duel role in director Keith Gordon's The Singing Detective.
Recently Carla became a spokeswoman for L'Oreal, and is currently a series regular on the critically acclaimed CBS medical drama, Chicago Hope.
Carla Gugino was born on August 29, 1971, in Sarasota,Florida, USA. During her free time, Carla enjoys yoga, traveling and spending time with her friends in Los Angeles.
More fun facts about Carla Gugino
Played main female role in Bon Jovi's "Always" (1994)
Had a kidney operation when she was only 4 years old.
Niece of actress Carol Merrill.
Modeled for the prestigious Elite agency as a teenager but was considered too short for fashion runway work.
Has a butterfly tattoo on the inside of her left ankle.
Guess who's playing Sonia
With a very slim chance of Monica Bellucci saying yes, Carla Gugino, an Italian-American actress, will play Sonia Gandhi in an upcoming movie Sushmita Sen, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer were the names suggested to Delhi Times by celebs to play Sonia Gandhi in a forthcoming film based on Rasheed Kidwai's book Sonia -- A Biography . The suspe-nse is over. Barring the chance of Monica Belluci being signed on for the role (and that seems a long shot now), Italian actress Carla Gugino will play Sonia Gandhi.
Now, the Bollywood connection. Patricia Rose, the casting director of the film, is expected to come scouting for actors shortly. Zayed Khan is tipped to play Sanjay Gandhi -- his sideburns and hairline, with a pair of glasses thrown in, should do justice to the role. Tabu or Manisha Koirala could play Indira Gandhi.
Carla Gugino Incognito
Talented Gugino's movies haven't garnered name recognition, but she's happy with varied roles like in 'Spy Kids,' 'Center of the World'
Carla Gugino has demonstrated a distinct aversion to typecasting throughout her acting career. She was Pauly Shore's girlfriend in "Son In Law," an Edith Wharton heroine in "The Buccaneers," a not-so-innocent rape victim in "Jaded," a femme fatale government whistleblower in "Snake Eyes," and a neurosurgeon in last season's "Chicago Hope."
This may be why you probably don't know Gugino by name, but that's OK with her. "I think for the sort of who's-hot-now thing, fitting into a box really easily is very advantageous," she said during a stay in San Francisco last week. "For having a long career, hopefully -- and this is sort of what I base my choices on -- (I think it's wise) to do a variety of things. It confuses some people, and they're not quite sure what to do with you. But other people, thankfully, appreciate the fact that you don't just play yourself."
Dressed in a head-turning, low-buttoned, tangerine chiffon blouse and white capri pants, this morning Gugino radiates a playful sultriness, a genuine warmth and indubitable intelligence -- all of which come into play in her role as a super-spy soccer mom in "Spy Kids," the adolescent action-comedy that proved to be a $27 million hit its opening weekend.
Written and directed by Robert Rodriguez -- hitherto known for violent but equally cartoony shoot-'em-ups like "Desperado" and "From Dusk Till Dawn" -- "Spy Kids" is a zestfully fun and eminently cool family film that updates the kind of throw-away adolescent caper matinees Disney used to crank out in the early 1970s.
Gugino and Antonio Banderas play top-notch international secret agents who fell in love and retired into suburban parenthood. When they're kidnapped by the nefarious host of a surreal Saturday morning kiddie program (Alan Cumming) who has designs on world domination, their two young children have to come to the rescue with gadgets-a-blazin'.
Gugino took this frolicsome role because "I had just done this really dark role...and when I finish something very dramatic, I end up inevitably wanting to do a comedy."
That dark role was in Wayne Wang's controversial "Center of the World.".The film is a sexually charged character sketch about a pathetically lonely dot-com engineer who pays an icy stripper to spend a weekend with him in Las Vegas hoping she'll fall in love when she gets to know him. Gugino plays the stripper's friend, a tormented part-time prostitute who has had her children taken away from her. Wang had considered her for the lead, but he said (in my recent interview about the film) that her voluptuous efficacy might have been too much. "I was worried that she would eat the movie up with sexuality."
"I did 'Center of the World' right before, while I was shooting 'Chicago Hope'," Gugino said. "So that was something else that appealed to me about 'Spy Kids' -- (it was) lighter and playing dress-up for those opening sequences was really fun."
She has half a dozen costume changes in the first few minutes of the movie, which is a tongue-in-cheek, James Bond-like montage setting up the parental spies' backstory.
So how did Gugino prepare for playing a minivan-driving suburban secret agent?
"Well, you know, there are probably many, many things I could have done to prepare. But I had just finished doing 'Chicago Hope,' working nine months straight, and literally two days later I got a call saying would I go meet Robert Rodriguez for this movie 'Spy Kids.' Forty-eight hours later I was shooting. It was sort of like jumping in with a blindfold on, but it was fun because of that too."
Didn't she feel like she needed a break after the dual stress of "Chicago Hope" and "Center of the World"?
"I actually had tickets to Baja," she laughs. "I was going to lie in the sun! I was in such desperate need of a vacation. But a good movie is better than a good vacation."
Passionate and articulate about her profession, Gugino became an actress when she was 15, after a brief flirtation with modeling (at 5'5" she was deemed too short). She became emancipated after making enough money to support herself in her first film, "Troop Beverly Hills," and played the obligatory teen roles for a few years before landing the part of a disgruntled new bride who fuels the commitment phobia of sister Sarah Jessica Parker in "Miami Rhapsody."
"Spy Kids" was something of a reunion with Banderas, another "Rhapsody" co-star. "It's always nice when you go on a set and you know someone. It's easier to start a movie like that."
There was a definite rapport between the stars, Gugino said. "Robert plays guitar, so we did a little dancing, but not on screen. He's a very good dancer, I have to say."
According to Gugino, Rodriguez sent her the script for "Spy Kids" on the advice of 8-year-old Daryl Sabara, the boy who plays her son in the movie.
"I had done a Hallmark Hall of Fame film with Kathy Baker and Laura Dern and with these two kids, (one of whom was) a little boy named Evan Sabara -- whose twin brother (is) Daryl. When they were looking for the mom, Daryl brought a tape of this movie to Robert and said 'This is who we want to be the mom.'"
"I talked to Robert on the phone and he said 'I've been shooting with the kids for two weeks. I've fallen in love with (them) and I feel like I'm trying to find a mom for my kids."
Gugino said she flew to New York to meet with the director and it was a little chaotic "because (Miramax chairman) Bob Weinstein's wedding was that night at that hotel. I'm looking at my watch going, the wedding is starting in an hour!" Rodriguez offered her the part, "then I had my wardrobe fitting while he was getting dressed for the wedding. The next day I had my hair dyed red and I was shooting in Austin that night!"
Her favorite thing about her role in "Spy Kids" is "the fact that mom can be sexy, but she's kind of confused, but she's a good mom. I'm so excited to finally be at an age when I can play women and not girls."
She may finally get that vacation in Baja now that her promotional tour for "Spy Kids" is finished and the film is a big hit. But since she's in a space where she's getting the roles she's desired all along, taking a break seems more unlikely than ever.
"That time for actresses, as we all know, is relatively short," Gugino said, looking forward. "I would like to be able to, in 15 or 20 years, be doing more producing, because I do find that's also creative and it doesn't matter so much how many wrinkles you have on your face."
Carla Gugino to Seduce Peter Krause in 'After The Fall' Broadway Revival
Carla Gugino has been tapped to play opposite Peter Krause in the upcoming Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Arthur Miller's After The Fall, according to the actress' agency.
The actress, as Krause, will be making her Broadway debut in the work directed by Michael Mayer. The production is set to begin previews June 25 at the American Airlines Theatre towards an opening on July 29.
Mark Nelson, Jessica Hecht and Candy Buckley are also expected to be part of the ensemble. No official casting, other than Krause, has been announced.
Gugino, who recently starred in the short-lived television series "Karen Sisco," is known for her work on television and film. Her big screen credits include her role as wife to Antonio Banderas in the "Spy Kids" trilogy as well as turns in "The Singing Detective," "The One," "TheJimmy Show," "Judas Kiss" and "Snake Eyes." She was also Michael J. Fox's original girlfriend on TV's "Spin City" and appeared on "Chicago Hope." Gugino has appeared on stage in a production of Of Mice and Men at the Geva Theatre.
Gugino will play the role of Maggie, a famous singer troubled by an addiction to sleeping pills and alcohol — believed by many to mirror the author's marriage to Marilyn Monroe.
After the Fall follows a lawyer in his forties who journeys into his past to discover how he ended up where he is. In his soul-searching quest, he revisits the death of his mother and a line of failed relationships. Many believe the work to be autobiographical.
The design team for After The Fall will feature Richard Hoover (sets) and Michael Krass (costumes). Additional casting and creative team will be announced shortly.
The play debuted on Broadway in 1964 with Jason Robards, Jr. in the lead role and Barbara Loden as the singer — a turn that won her the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress. Hal Holbrook and Faye Dunaway also appeared in the work staged by Miller's oft-collaborator Elia Kazan.
Carla Gugino stars in 'Karen Cisco'
ABC is right to pin high hopes on its new drama Karen Sisco, which debuts tonight in the tough 10:00 p.m. slot against NBC's Law & Order. The show is receiving the best reviews of any of the new shows of the season. David Bianculli in the New York Daily News writes: "Karen Sisco, from the very first frame, is a stunner -- and a keeper." Matthew Gilbert in the Boston Globe notes that the show "offers viewers a nice change of pace, a crime alternative rooted in unconventional police methods, Miami atmosphere, and that old-fashioned standby, luck." The show stars Carla Gugino in the title role, leading the Washington Post's Tom Shales to remark: "Actually, 'Carla Gugino' might have made a better title than 'Karen Sisco'; it sounds more formidable somehow. But this can be taken as evidence that Gugino is well suited to the part and vice versa. It's always a kick when that happens, and Karen Sisco turns out to be a kick and a half." And Vinay Menon concludes in the Toronto Star: "Though it's folly to make sweeping prognostications on the basis of a television pilot, Carla Gugino seems poised to become a break-out star."
Carla Gugino's Kisses With Banderas
Actress Carla Gugino had to deal with an array of action sequences in new movie Spy Kids, but one of her biggest challenges was kissing her co-star Antonio Banderas. Carla, who plays Antonio's wife in the flick, was forced to repeatedly kiss her screen husband in a manner that was deemed appropriate for the film's young target audience - a fact which didn't bother the actress in the slightest. She says, "We had to be careful because it's a family movie. We had a variety of kisses and we were eventually told to tone it down. We had a lot of takes in that scene."
Interview with Spy Kids' Carla Gugino
Actress Carla Gugino talks about her career so far, including her latest, Spy Kids, and costarring with Jet Li in The One.
Carla Gugino is one of those ubiquitously chameleonic actresses. Her name usually draws looks of confusion from film buffs, mostly because her oeuvre to date has been so varied that she's been literally lost in her roles. Mention that she was Pauly Shore's love interest in Son in Law or the platinum blonde who got shot in Snake Eyes and folks will get that glimmer of recognition in their eyes. But just a glimmer. To put it another way, she's not a star, but rather an actor. And that's meant as the highest of compliments.
Gugino is currently burning up the big screen in Robert Rodriguez' smash hit Spy Kids, which re-teams her with Antonio Banderas (the two literally shared a minute's worth of screen time back in 1995's romantic comedy Miami Rhapsody).
At any rate, Spence D. caught up with Ms. G. when she passed through San Francisco to promote Spy Kids. They talked about her diverse career, what kind of food she likes to purloin from hotel mini-bars, and whether or not Jet Li has taught her any martial arts moves, seeing as how they are working on a film together.
Here's what she told us.
IGN FILMFORCE: So Spy Kids is kind of like a reunion for you and Antonio... CARLA GUGINO: Yeah.
IGNFF: Except this time around you get a lot more screen time. CG: Exactly! We get much more screen time, which is very cool. Yeah, on Miami Rhapsody we just sorta got to know each other on the set, but we had, I think literally one scene where we said "Goodbye." So yeah, this was cool when I found out Antonio was doing it. It's always nice when you go on a set and you know someone. So when I got to Austin and got in the hair and make-up trailer and, you know, there was Antonio "Hi! Hi!" and it just makes it...it's easier to start a movie on that note.
IGNFF: The thing that you got screwed out of on Miami Rhapsody was that you never got to cut a rug with him. I mean he danced with just about every woman in that movie, except for you. So did you get a chance to dance with him this time around? CG: That's true. We did do a little dancing on the set of Spy Kids, actually. Because Robert plays guitar, so we did a little bit of dancing and he's a very good dancer, I have to say. But, yeah, not onscreen. IGNFF: Your career has been pretty extreme, ranging from light-hearted comedies to heavy dramas. I tried to wade through Jaded the other night... CG: Oh my Lord! You deserve a prize for that. I saw once online that it was referred to as "Carla Gugino's lesbian movie." I didn't realize that I'd done one.
IGNFF: But going from something like Son in Law, which is the Pauly Shore piss-take, to a film where you're naked and beaten up on a beach after having been raped is a pretty drastic character change... CG: Right [laughs]. I am so sad that you reminded me of that.
IGNFF: And then to go to Spy Kids, that's something that a lot of actors wouldn't dream of doing these days, you know actually stretching their roles to the extreme. CG: Yeah. You know, the thing is that I definitely do gravitate towards really very, very different material. And I don't have a favorite genre. I mean, I always sort of base it on instinct. And it does seem to be that after I finish something that is very dramatic, I end up inevitably wanting to do a comedy or something like that. Jaded was something – not to give it too much time – that was an interesting idea, I thought, and the director's a very smart person, and there were a lot of good elements sort of about it, yet I also think that I was in a place in my career, it was early on enough that I felt that I could change more than I really could change; that I could improve it more than...now I think I realize that there is only so much you can do to make something, to elevate something. And again, like I said, it's not that it was...there was a lot of potential there, but ultimately, yeah, it ended up being a tricky movie. Uhhh, there was another point that I was gonna say about that, but I can't remember what it was...
IGNFF: Actually, I was just trying to touch upon your range as an actress. I mean a lot of young actresses these days get typecast as the vixen or sexpot or the smart outsider or they just do the same kind of straight drama over and over again. You've been able to be very chameleonic, you know able to do something like Jaded where you go "Whoa! Time-out now." And then you go "Hey, she was the wild girl getting a tattoo in Son in Law and she was the informant in Snake Eyes. That is definitely unique in that a lot of actors get stuck doing the same role over and over again throughout their careers.CG: Thank you. Totally. Yeah. And you know what's interesting about that is that I think for the sort of "Who's Hot Now" thing, fitting into a box really easily is very advantageous. For having a long career, one hopes, and this is sorta what I base my choices on, that if you do a variety of things...you know, it's interesting because it confuses some people and they're not quite sure what to do with you and other people, thankfully, you know, appreciate the fact that you don't just play yourself, that you can, in fact, transform into different characters. I find often in Hollywood there are many people who play themselves really beautifully. And certain parts are not that dissimilar from who you are as a person. And there are other parts where you would like to think that you have nothing in common with those characters, but you probably do have more than you think. It's interesting how when you walk into a room in LA there's a sense of what you walk in, as is sort of what you can do. So I spent a lot of time choosing different things to hopefully show people that maybe that's not the case.
IGNFF: And it should be cool, too, in terms of maintaining your anonymity. CG: Yeah.
IGNFF: I mean I didn't know who you were by name. But once I had a list of the films you've made in front of me, I totally knew who you were. I think that's kinda cool, because I've actually bought into you as each of the characters you've played rather than being "Oh, there's Carla G. again." CG: That's so good. I mean, I'm really happy with that. You know, the reality is the only reason to have your name really well known is so that you have better choice in projects. And for me, that's the only plus side of that. Eventually you have to get to that point where people know who you are so you can green light a movie or whatever. It's all those business aspects of things. But yeah, also it's funny I have red, short hair in Spy Kids and now that I have long, brown hair, you know, I look totally different. I saw Robert Rodriguez the other day and I hadn't seen him for a few months and he was "Carla? I didn't recognize you." And I was like "Okay, if you don't recognize me then I can certainly wander the streets fine."
IGNFF: I hear that you're shooting what is tentatively called The One, the new Joel Silver-produced Jet Li movie. CG: Yeah, they asked me to do that and I didn't have to go through the audition process, which was very cool. I play three characters. One of them is sort of a mean vixen who detonates a bomb. Another one is I play the wife of Jet in a different universe and he's a cop and I'm a veterinarian. There's small action stuff, but I don't do any martial arts.
IGNFF: He didn't teach you any Shaolin crane style or other positions? CG: No, no. You know, this is a man who's been doing it early on. I think when he was like 11 he went and demonstrated for President Nixon. And he's been doing it since he was like six. So I think the idea of teaching me a quick move would probably be incredibly offensive [laughs]. So though I'm tempted to ask I sort of decided [not to].
IGNFF: And he hasn't offered up any free lessons at this juncture, either, I gather. CG: No, he hasn't. He's a really amazing guy; he's a Buddhist and really just sort of a very peaceful person. So really his martial arts come from a completely different place than, you know, I would think. But, yeah, that movie they asked me to do. It's nice, as time goes on to just sort of have [the luxury of not going through the audition process]. And, hopefully, maybe that's what doing an array of parts does for you.IGNFF: Hey, did Robert sport his little hat during the shoot? CG: [laughs] His little fisherman cap? Yep, yep. Which is so funny, 'cause having done Snake Eyes, you know, Brian DePalma also wears like his khakis. Which I've talked to people who worked with Brian 1-, 15 years ago and they asked "Is he still wearin' the khakis?" And I said "Yeah!" I don't know what it is about directors; I guess it's whatever's the most comfortable for them [laughs].
IGNFF: You were easily in the best of the Pauly Shore movies... CG: I had such a fun time. You know, it's funny because a lot of people really love that movie and it's a movie that for me is not really that reflective of who I am as an actor. And yet I would say that some of the most passionate fans that I have are from that movie. People will come up to me and say, "I've seen that 20 times!" It's actually a fun story. He's a really funny guy and I think that's an example of someone who maybe got into a rut of a certain kind of role, 'cause I actually think that he's more versatile than what we've seen him do. We had a great time. I was sort of trepidatious about doing that movie and then I went and tested with him and he and I had such a fun time that I was like "Okay, I'll do this movie." It was great. You know, Flea was in it; it was just a fun movie. A long time ago, now.
IGNFF: Trepedatious, man, that earns bonus points. CG: [laughs] Oh no! But I hate that when I read some sort of an interview and it's like "Oh, like they didn't get that out of a thesaurus!" Did I use that word? And I even used it without noticing. You know, I used to be made fun of as a kid for being really articulate; it was sort of like a strange thing. I don't know how it happened.
IGNFF: When you get locked down in a hotel like this doing the press dog and pony show, what's the first thing you grab outta the mini-bar in your room? CG: Heh-heh-heh....well....let's see...probably those roasted cashews. Yeah, it would be between them and the M&M's, you know? But you gotta mix it up, especially if you're travelling from city to city, 'cause, you know, too many M&M's gets a little [much]. And then of course if there's any sort of dark chocolate around, that would be my first choice over anything.
IGNFF: If you weren't acting, what would you be doing? And to tie into that, what's the worst gig you've even had to do in order to squeak by during lean times? CG: I was really lucky to bypass that. I mean, lucky I guess, really lucky on that level. I also sort of bypassed, like in a way, my teenage years, because I was so obsessed with being a professional actor, so I missed probably a lot of fun. But I started acting when I was 15 and I got emancipated and I was able to support myself, which was amazing. I got some help until I did my first movie, which was Troop Beverly Hills, which sort of got me enough money to say, "I'm not moving back home, I'm living on my own." What else would I do? I don't know, which is sort of the scary thing. I think at this point now, I would really like to do more producing, as well. I think right now, probably for the next 10 years, I'm so excited to finally be at the age where I can play some of the roles that I'm really excited to play. And play women and not girls. But that time for actresses, as we all know, is relatively short in terms of the amount of roles that come your way. I'm happy to be at the beginning of that period of time. But I would like to be able to, in 15 or 20 years to be able to be doing more producing because I do also find it to be part of the creative process. And it doesn't matter so much how many wrinkles you have on your face and all that kind of stuff. Ummm, yeah, I just sort of fell in love with acting. I know that people have said it a lot "If there was something else I would be equally as good at I might have, at really frustrating times decided to switch and do that," but since I don't know what that is, I'm stuck with this! [laughs]