CANOGA PARK, California — Brittany Murphy can’t stop singing. She wants to record an album, she covers Carly Simon in her next movie, “Little Black Book,” and here on the film’s set, she demands that the crew pump up the volume on a silly show theme song so she can sing along.
Murphy wants to belt out the theme of “The Kippie Can Show,” the daytime talk show her character helps produce in the forthcoming romantic comedy, and the crew is more than happy to oblige.
As the cheesy music kicks in, Murphy dances around the fake TV studio, singing along to the lyrics, “Kippie’s daytime talk show!/ She ferrets out the truth!”
“I love that line!” she proclaims, winded from the performance and taking a seat on the talk show’s stage. “Imagine ‘Oprah’ and ‘Jenny Jones’ mixed together but syndicated out of Trenton, New Jersey. It’s a talk show on a downslope.”
“Little Black Book” is Murphy’s biggest payday to date (see “Brittany Murphy To Be Snoopy In Upcoming Film”
), earning the actress a reported $4 million for her role, which is supported by Kathy Bates (“About Schmidt”) as her boss, Holly Hunter (“The Piano”) and Ron Livingston (“Office Space”), who plays her boyfriend, an employee of
the New Jersey Devils hockey team.
“The film starts with this great quote from Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’: ‘Hell is empty/ And all the devils are here,’ ” she explained. “I like that. Ron goes away for two weeks and my character ends up with his Palm Pilot. She opens this Pandora’s Box full of information about
his ex-girlfriends. So she’s able to interview and meet every single one of his ex-girlfriends under the guise of working for the show.”
Though her character goes to great lengths to investigate her
boyfriend’s past, Murphy insists she’s not really the jealous type in real life. “I wouldn’t go searching for something. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. I’ve had to deal with jealous boyfriends; out of five boyfriends it has happened twice. And I’ve been a jealous girlfriend, but to a healthy extent.”
In addition to Livingston, “Little Black Book” includes a small role for another potential love interest, who ultimately reveals himself to be anything but.
“My favorite scene is with Gavin Rossdale,” Murphy said of the Bush frontman (see “Why Is Gavin Rossdale In Brittany Murphy’s Little Black Book?”
). “He plays Random, who works in a
coffee shop. I go up to him and say, ‘Are you my future lover? My gay best friend that’s supposed to save me from myself? What are you? I keep running into you.’ ”
“He says he’s not any of those things,” she continues. ” ‘Maybe it isn’t all about you. Maybe this is my story and you are here to help me.’ So it’s about embracing chaos. And chaos is life.”
Aside from the esoteric advice doled out in the flick, there could easily have been a conversation or two about careers. Rossdale and wife Gwen Stefani want to enter the movie world, while Murphy is excited about the music biz. Murphy has been talking about making an album for a long time (see “Brittany Murphy To Launch A Singing Career”
though she’s still reluctant to provide details.
“I’m writing a lot and investigating who would be cool to work with,” she said a couple of weeks before “Little Black Book” wrapped shooting. “I write in riddles and rhymes, I like old jazz and I play a little bit of trumpet. Who knows what my album will sound like?”
Before her album (which has no official release date) surfaces, moviegoers can judge Brittany’s singing chops during a pivotal moment in “Little Black Book.”
“Instead of shooting a crying scene, when the character hits her all-time low, she sings Carly Simon’s ‘Nobody Does It Better.’ You see her on the bathroom tiles, with candles everywhere.”
“Little Black Book” is scheduled for a fall release.
—Ryan J. Downey, with reporting by Nick Zano