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he Late Show
(CBS - November 11, 1997)

Dave: Ahhh...okay, here we go, let's bring out a guest, see what happens.

Paul: Good idea, Holly.

Dave: Yeah, okay. Our first guest, ah, you're not, ah, Felice, you're not part of the ah, Radio City Music Hall Christmas spectacular? (she's wearing bright red)

Paul: Oh, come on.

Dave: Are you sure, okay.

Paul: She looks, she looks great

Dave: Okay, I was just checking, I just thought, because I know, I know you look great, I knew it was opening, I didn't know.

Dave: Our first guest is, ah, one of the most ah, loveliest, is one of the loveliest and most talented youngest actresses around. Around where? Well, around...right over there, as a matter of fact. Around? Right over there! Are you kidding me? Ah, her new film, entitled The Rainmaker opens November 21st. Here she is, the always delightful Claire Danes. Claire?

Dave: How many times, Claire, how many times have you been on the show?

Claire: I guess this is my fourth time.

Dave: Fourth time. And the first time you were on you were what, like 15 or so?

Claire: I was about, ah, yeah, 15, so three years later.

Dave: Man, I want to tell you something, ah, you...the transformation is overwhelming.

Claire: Now I look like Minnie Mouse. Yeah. Um. No.

Dave: No, you don't look like Minnie Mouse. What do you mean by that?

Claire: No, I'm a little distracted by all my curls and my lips, I'm sort's fun.

Dave: Distracted by your lips, are you? [they laugh]

Claire: Yeah, um, yeah, it's sorta the boogie nights meets the cotton club

Dave: Easy, easy, now just relax here a second. You, huh? You, uh, may I ask how old you are now?

Claire: I'm 18, I'm still 18.

Dave: 18. But I'm telling you, is it like, show business, you look all growed up.

Claire: Yeah, I know, I've grown up. It's, um, yeah, that helped, I think, show business. I, I, I, poof, adulthood came over me, and I'm slowly adjusting.

Dave: Right, but are you still a kid? I mean, at 18 are you still a kid more or less?

Claire: That's such a weird question to answer cuz, um, I don't know what that means. I live on my own now, kind of.

Dave: Oh no, kids don't live on their own. See, that's a tell-tale sign, right there.

Claire: Well, I don't know. Some do.

Dave: Give yourself this seven question test: Do you live alone?

Claire: Um, well I'm in the process of moving into a home.

Dave: Well then you're not a kid. Do you fix your own meals?

Claire: Mmmmm...

Dave: No, then you're not a kid. Um, well good for you, you're all growed up.

Claire: Yeah. [laughter]

Dave: Paul, you know if you have any questions, like the jokes thing, come on over buddy, we've got two chairs.

Paul: It's a war zone.

Dave: Hop in here. Yeah, exactly. Um, you took some time off, did some traveling around?

Claire: Yeah, I took about six months to sort of be centered and grounded and I've...

Dave: And did that happen? Are you centered and grounded?

Claire: Yeah, then I started doing publicity about a month ago, so I'm a little off kilter again, but...

Dave: A little off center a little of the ground then.

Claire: Yeah, I traveled sort of to a million and one different places with my...with my new beau.

Dave: You new, you have a new boyfriend?

Claire: I do indeed.

Dave: I think 18, honestly, now it's none of my business, but I think 18 is too young to be dating. [laughter]

Claire: But aren't adults allowed to date? If I live on my own, if I, you know, cook my own meals, sort of...

Dave: Right, yeah...

Claire: ...aren't I allowed to date?

Dave: No no no no, we established that you're not a kid, we didn't establish that you were an adult.

Claire: Right, okay. Yeah, um...I'm in the middle range there.

Dave: But, you know, I live and let live, whatever people want to do it's fine with me.

Claire: Well, you know, he's 19, so we're...

Dave: What's his na...what's the deal on this guy?

Claire: He's name's Ben, his name's Ben Lee.

Dave: Ben. What does he do?

Claire: Ben's a musician.

Dave: He's a musician, of course. So, of course.

Claire: He's a singer/songwriter, but he's got that folkie poppy rocky thing going for him.

Dave: Where did you meet Ben? At a hootenanny? [laughter]

Claire: He's um, actually, I knew his music before I knew of him, or knew him, because, I was obsessed with his first album, and I asked the director of Romeo and Juliet to, Baz, to put his, um...

Dave: To put some music in it, that's nice.

Claire: Yeah, to put some on the soundtrack, but it didn't quite work out, but Ben was making a second album in LA, he's from Australia, so he's lucky he was in the same city as I was, and he faxed me, and he said, "You know, if you want to get together, get some coffee, we should do that."

Dave: You fell for that?

Claire: Totally! Because I had this major crush on him, for, ya know.

Dave: Yeah. Had you received, as a kid, many faxes? That's probably what pushed it over. [laughter]

Claire: Yeah, yeah, no, um...

Dave: You get a fax, that's gonna turn a girl's head, ya know? [laughter]

Claire: Things slowly evolved, I was, I was, I was not really ripe for dating quite at that moment, but, it was a nice little courting process that happened.

Dave: You're ripe now, I guess?

Claire: Well, um...[laughter] yeah. I'm...I'm...I'm ripe.

Dave: So you and Ben, you go off to, you went to Australia. Ben's from Australia, right?

Claire: Ben's from Australia. Yeah, we went to a million and one different places but I think Australia was my favorite.

Dave: What is it like? People just tell me that it's a wonderland, that it's unbelievable...

Claire: Well, nobody's there...

Dave: Physical beauty and nice people.

Claire: Yeah, nobody's there and the nature is extremely beautiful, and um, very exaggerated, you know, and there's 72, we were in Sidney, and there's 72 beaches alone in Sidney, three million people, so, you know. So, it was great. And I fed kangaroos.

Dave: Kangaroos, now kangaroos are the big, ah, two legged things that hop like...

Claire: Yeah, and they have joeies, the little baby kangaroos that come out of the pouch.

Dave: The little babies...they're marsupials, aren't they?

Claire: They are. They are marsupials, that's a good word.

Dave: Are they nocturnal? Are they carnivores?

Claire: Um, no, the koalas which I petted...

Dave: Koalas...

Claire: Are nocturnal animals.

Dave: Oye! Did you see any dingo?

Claire: No, I think I did, yeah yeah yeah. But, yeah, yeah.

Dave: You know, there was a time...

Claire: I kept the babies away.

Dave: Yeah, there was a time in Australia when they had an epidemic of dingoes sneaking into town and stealing babies.

Claire: Australian history is pretty, pretty impressive.

Dave: Yeah, but they clamped down on that.

Claire: Yeah.

Dave: They don't have it the way they did back then, thank God for it, ya know. Where else did you go on your big whirlwind centering tour.

Claire: Um, we went to ah, we went to London, we went to Paris, we went to...

Dave: Paris and London, oh my God you're a lucky one. Had you been to either city before?

Claire: Um, yeah...

Dave: Didn't you work in Paris? You made a film there.

Claire: Yeah, I was sort of working in both those places but it was really, I had more down time than I had, then I was forced to be on set, using my brain. Um, so yeah, I just blundered into museums, blundered into hotels, blundered into museums, and, um, yeah, I took my first big road trip.

Dave: Have you ever tried to check into a museum?

Claire: Check in?

Dave: Yeah.

Claire: No, I haven't?

Dave: The way you might check into a hotel?

Claire: Right, right. [laughter] Camp underneath the Monet. Um, yeah.

Dave: I know, that's right. Paul, do you have anything?

Paul: No, I'm enjoying the interview though. It's good.

Dave: Oh, alright. And so, ah, how did you enjoy working with Francis Ford Coppola?

Claire: It was great, um, and the best part about it was just going up to his estate in Napa Valley...

Dave: You fell for that?!?! [laughter] I'm trying, I'm just trying.

Claire: [laughing] Okay. Um, yeah, we would just sit around in a group, the different actors and Francis would tell stories about Marlon Brando...

Dave: Oh, and what kind of stories?

Claire: Oh, they were great stories. My favorite was how Marlin Brando was going on a diet, and he loved ice cream so he put all of his ice cream into his fridge and he locked it with these huge chains and he'd...

Dave: To keep himself from breaking...

Claire: Yeah, but in the middle of the night, you know, he'd would break down and shoot the chains with a gun.

Dave: Oh, yeah. [laughter] I think I saw that on Martha Stewart. [laughter] As a tip to get at the ice cream, shoot the chains...

Claire: Well, well I heard it from kind of a cooler...

Dave: Ah...when you were a kid, were you influenced greatly by films? Did you have a favorite movie when you were growing up?

Claire: Yeah, yeah, my...yeah, Footloose was probably my favorite, um...

Dave: Footloose is where they, uh, they outlaw dancing in they have to...

Claire: Yeah, it's a great movie with Kevin Bacon and, and I actually met Kevin Bacon the other day and I was trying to be very cool and very aloof and finally I broke down and I said: "Look, look, you're my idol, I know, I've watched Footloose obsessively when I was five, and I know it by heart", and he said "When you were five?" Um, yeah, but, no, I was watching it the other day and I have it all memorized and I know some of the moves.

Dave: You can dance the way they were dancing?

Claire: I have a couple good moves down.

Dave: Well, let's go, let's see them, what do you have.

Claire: You ready? [Paul already has launched into "Let's hear it for the boy"]

Dave: Yeah, I'll just sit here then. I'll just sit here. Woah! Very nice. That was something!

Claire: Um, that's good. Um, no...

Dave: Thank you very much.

Claire: Um, no, Chris Penn has this whole montage sequence and that's, cuz he's on a football field and that's, my favorite one.

Dave: [laughs] The movie here opens ah...Novemberrrrr 21st.,

Claire: Not Footloose.

Dave: No, no, your movie. What's...The Rainmaker. You happy about the movie?

Claire: Um, yeah, yeah. It's a Grishim movie, and I play the girl in distress, the damsel in distress.

Dave: Don't you think that this John Grisham guy and this other guy, uh, uh, the scary guy, he writes two books an hour, what's his name, you know the big, Joe, what's his name? Steven King. Don't you think these two guys oughta sit out for a while?

Claire: No, I think they're enjoying their ride. America still loves their films, they go see it.

Dave: But they just, I mean, you go to a multiplex...

Claire: Look, I'm in his mooovvvvviiiieeeee.

Dave: I know, believe me, it's fine. You've been paid already, right? [laughter]

Claire: Yeee...yeah.

Dave: You go to one of them multiplexes, you got 40 screens and like 30 of them are either John Grisham or Steven King movies. You know, that's fine, but give somebody else a chance.

Claire: And I'm in one of them.

Dave: Give some of these other kids a chance is all I'm saying.

Claire: Anne Rice.

Dave: Nice to see you again, Claire.

Claire: Nice to see you.

Dave: Thank you very much for coming out here.

Claire: Thanks, sure.

Dave: Claire Danes...

Originally transcribed by: Andi Wolf Dolphin

© CBS 1997