CULVER CITY, California — Believe it or not, there are some people out there who don't remember "Single White Female" (a random polling of MTV interns yielded sad, sad results). There are others who wouldn't mind seeing the classic thriller reimagined for a post-Internet, post-cell-phone generation. And for all these folks, Leighton Meester, Cam Gigandet and Minka Kelly have been hard at work filming the story of "The Roommate" from hell.
"The biggest change now is it's a different time and people are dealing with things in a different way, and information is passed a different way," Gigandet explained of the very loose update of the 1992 Bridget Fonda/ Jennifer Jason Leigh hit. "Everything has kind of changed, and I think this is a new version that deals with things that are going on right now."
"The movie is about Sarah — Minka Kelly's character — who comes into college; it's her first day, and she comes to the dorms and she meets me, her roommate Rebecca," explained a bloody Leighton Meester when we caught up with her on the dorm-dressed soundstage where they were filming the movie. "We develop a friendship, and then it goes south and Rebecca starts to develop an unhealthy fixation on Sarah, and tries to merge with her and become very, very involved in her life."
On the day we visited, Meester was filming a powerful scene over and over again that had her coming to Kelly's character with a (staged) mugging that she was using to endear herself to her new roomie. "It's really emotional," she explained. "I think it's going to get physical in a little while."
"There's a very intense fight scene between myself and Leighton," Kelly explained of later developments in the film, which have them squaring off. "We will be on wires — we do have a stunt coordinator, it's pretty serious and bloody. We'll be throwing each other around for sure.
"When girls fight, girls fight to kill," grinned Kelly, who rose to fame playing Lyla on "Friday Night Lights." "They may slap and pull hair, but they also throw punches and they're wild — all you have to do is Google 'girl fights' on YouTube; it's pretty scary how they go at it."
"I watched 'Single White Female' and 'Fatal Attraction' — 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' is a really good one," Meester explained of her preparation to play a college roommate with more issues than Sports Illustrated. "It's really a fine line. Because you could look at somebody and be like, 'Oh, they're a really good friend,' and from all exterior views of Rebecca she's a really good friend and is supportive of Sarah ...[but] if something is threatening her, it threatens Sarah ultimately, because she starts to believe that they're the same person. It's really interesting to see that."
Gigandet, meanwhile, told us that he's just happy to be playing a good guy for once — and is happy to watch the two actresses playing off each other to take their games to the next level.
"[Minka's Sarah] meets my character at a party, and we have this blossoming relationship," he explained. "[Recently] I saw [Leighton] do a scene where she's up waiting for Minka and I to get home from a date, so I drop her off at her dorm. And Leighton comes out with the creepiest look on her face! Just so much disgust, and she doesn't even look at me. [My character] has never even met her before.
"She's just staring at Minka with these eyes that say, 'There's something off,' " he grinned, looking forward to the film's September 2010 release."It's kind of wild to see. She's kicking ass."
Check out everything we've got on "The Roommate."
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