Set in the changing world of the late 1960s, GIRL, INTERRUPTED is the searing true story of Susanna Kaysen (two-time Oscar® nominee Winona Ryder), a young woman who finds herself at a renowned mental institution for troubled young women, where she must choose between the world of people who belong on the inside-like the seductive and dangerous Lisa (Angelina Jolie, Golden Globe winner for Gia and George Wallace)-or the often difficult world of reality on the outside.
Susanna's prescribed "short rest" from a psychiatrist she had met only once becomes a strange, unknown journey into Alice's Wonderland, where she spends nearly a year on the ward. Based on the best-selling book of the same name and directed by celebrated Cop Land director James Mangold, the film features tour de force performances by today's most critically acclaimed young actors, including Ryder and Jolie. GIRL, INTERRUPTED also stars Jared Leto, Brittany Murphy and Clea Duvall, as well as Oscar® winners Whoopi Goldberg and Vanessa Redgrave.
Key to Mangolds screenplay was the antagonist role of Lisa. It is a showy, tour de force kind of role, and a showy, tour de force kind of actress won the part: two-time Golden Globe Award winner Angelina Jolie.
"We got tremendous response from every young actor in Hollywood to read for the role of Lisa," says Konrad. "But Angelina walked in andwithout even saying a word of dialoguesat down in the chair as Lisa! We were riveted. Once we heard her speak the words it was clear to uswithout a doubt, wed found her.
"Angelina is charming, sexy, dangerous and courageous," continues Konrad. "You cant take your eyes off of her, and you dont want to. Shes a magnet. We needed that because Lisa had to be able to affect Susanna so deeply, and Angelina did that brilliantly."
"Yeah, Lisa is completely sane," says Jolie, laughing and flashing her now-famous smile, of her character. "Shes the sanest sociopath Ive ever met. Shes a completely normal person who follows her instincts and impulses to the nth degree. She is very, very in touch with herself. The problem is, she doesnt have that internal switch to tell her whats moral or rational.
"Shes totally free. She may be locked up in the hospital, but she is the freest character Ive ever played," adds Jolie, who admits she "indulged" in being a free-spirit herself while exploring the essence of this character. "I think Lisa is a genius! She couldnt care less about what anybody thinks. She feels its only important to be really strong about who she is, and she wants everyone else to get up and dance that dance with her. I loved playing her. Lisa and her journey truly meant a great deal to me."
"Angelina has no filter, and that is Lisa," says director Mangold. "Part of what allows us to function in the world is the presence of our filters. Those filters are what keep us from telling our boss hes an asshole. Angelina is filter-less, and I think thats what makes her such an amazing actress. She sees herself, her characters and the world so clearly.
"Winona and Angelina found great pieces of themselves in these characters," adds Mangold. "Thats always really important for me when Im casting a movie. I look for an actor who can find a significant piece of themselves and put it on the screen. Its powerful when the actor is connected to the character all the way through their eyes into their heart. If that element is there, then there are no limits to what I can shoot and how close I can go with the lens."