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About The Characters
When Meg Ryan read the completed script for IN THE CUT, she found herself pulled into it like a swirling dream or nightmare. "The whole time I was reading the script, I felt like I had no idea what was going to happen next, like I had never been in this world before and yet, just as in a dream, there was something very familiar about it to me," she says. "Somehow, by the end, I felt I really knew who Frannie was. To me, she is like a woman's subconscious inner world come to life. She's a very deep character and the events of this story rock her to her very soul."

Ryan was particularly attracted to how little the character of Frannie seemed to resemble any other character she had ever played or even other female characters she had seen on the screen. "She's just utterly different," the actress notes. "She's not interested in pleasing other people, and she doesn't care who likes her or even what other people think about her. She's just going about her life, trying to live as authentically as possible. She's also an extremely interior person. Normally, I'm used to playing exterior people, so this was almost like doing a silent movie for me. Frannie is very much about what's happening below the surface and that was really interesting. She's also of course highly sexual, and she becomes more sexually and emotionally awakened throughout the story, and that led to a lot of stuff I've never done on screen before."

Key to Ryan's depiction of Frannie was figuring out just what she falls for in Detective Malloy, who at first glance seems to share little in common with a brainy, self-reliant academic. "I love that their relationship is so very unexpected," Ryan says. "They're almost opposite people. She is extremely erudite, raised in boarding schools, and also very literary. He's from the street and he has that quality of dealing in life and death. In a sense, he's about hard realities and she's about poetry."

Ryan spent hour after hour discussing Frannie's inner psyche and debating the issues that her story raises with Jane Campion, a process that yielded even more depth to the character. "Jane was like an atomic bomb going off in my creative life," Ryan comments. "She just completely rearranged my idea of what to expect from a filmmaking experience and how to investigate a character. She's really interested in a very thorough and honest investigation process – understanding on a deep level why a woman would behave in this way, or why these particular events happen to her, or what she would find interesting about this particular man, or what she really believes about love. I think Jane is more interested in pondering these questions than in getting any definitive answer – and that is what makes her such a powerful artist."

Campion found herself particularly impressed with Ryan's courage to go to the very edge and beyond, sexually and emotionally, in this breakout role. "I wanted to see Meg really get a chance to tap her dramatic potential," she says. "I thought she was ready to take a step into the deep void and there are so few stories that really give a woman the chance to explore themselves like Frannie does. Meg turned out to be utterly unafraid. Unafraid is a word that sums up Frannie, and it also sums up the way Meg approached the role."

But, Ryan never completely abandoned her innate charm in taking on Frannie's persona. "One of the wonderful things about Meg is that she has

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