Anne Heche finds comedy intoxicating in 'She Said'

BY GEORGE LANG glang@opubco.com Published: October 19, 2012
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Anne Heche opens the new all-female comedy “That's What She Said” by smoking and brushing her teeth at the same time, then her character, Dee Dee, spends the rest of her eventful day in a cloud of enthusiastic intoxication. And Heche, who will star in the NBC comedy “Save Me” later this season, has Alec Baldwin to thank for it.

“I always like getting a call from Alec, but I don't think I'm on his speed dial,” Heche said in a recent phone interview.

“He's like, ‘Heche, I gotta talk to you,'” she said, affecting a distinctly Baldwin-esque gravelly monotone. “‘There's a movie you gotta do, it's a friend of ours, Kellie Overbey, we were in ‘Twentieth Century' with her, she's a cute blond, she wrote something that only you can pull off.' Never in a million years would I say no to Alec Baldwin.”

Since Overbey appeared with Baldwin and Heche in the 2004 Broadway revival of the 1930s screwball comedy “Twentieth Century,” the actress and writer wrote the off-Broadway play “Girl Talk,” which evolved into the screenplay for “That's What She Said.”

The story begins with BeBe (Marcia De Bonis) freaking out before a first date, and calling on Dee Dee to bolster her confidence. Unfortunately for BeBe, Dee Dee is not the person to lean on, considering she can barely stand up most of the time.

When the two friends try to help weepy young woman Clementine (Alia Shawkat), who is smarting from a breakup, Clementine's compulsive tendencies spur a daylong adventure in bad behavior.

Heche said that portraying her character's chemically altered existence takes genuine skill, and it's not something to be undertaken while under the influence.

“I've learned the hard way that acting drunk and being drunk on camera are two things that definitely do not go together,” she said. “You think, ‘Wow, I thought I was really good being drunk in that drunk scene,' and it's the worst scene ever.