Andie MacDowell exclusive interview

Apr 15, 2010 at 12:37 p.m. ET

Andie MacDowell has an illustrious movie career under her belt, but it was the ability to play an evil character in Patricia Cornwell's The Front and At Risk that has the actress particularly thrilled.

Andie MacDowell and her daughter Rainey Qualley

MacDowell gazed back upon her career and saw a common thread among her diverse characters. They were all people you would love to have over for dinner. Whether it is her roles in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Michael or Groundhog Day, MacDowell characters are always likeable.

At the other end of the nicety scale is the character from the mind of the best-selling crime author, Cornwell. MacDowell's Monique "Money" Lamont is clearly from the get-go, worse than what can be found in dark alleys. Lamont will sweet talk you while sharpening the knife behind her back. For any actress, sounds like bloody fun!

Andie goes bad

SheKnows: What first appealed to you joining the world of Patricia Cornwell? She's just a little popular!

Andie MacDowell: You know, I love her work. I think the character was the most enticing part for me. It's not everyday that you get to portray someone as complex and interesting as Monique Lamont. It was a lot of fun. I've never got a play a (pause) bitch. She's just so mean! A manipulative, narcissistic sex-addict! They don't come along everyday.

SheKnows: No, and in a way it must've been fun in the sense of it being something to dig your teeth into.

Andie MacDowell: Yes, it was fun, and to find the humor in it; that was a lot of fun. She's just so mean, it's funny.

SheKnows: I'm curious if when you're trying to be your meanest, do you ever bust out laughing when you realize what you're saying?

Andie MacDowell in The FrontAndie MacDowell: Yes. It happened a couple of times, but there are people like that out there! I've had to deal with them, you know, we all have.

SheKnows: You said you've read her books, had you read either The Front or At Risk?

Andie MacDowell: I read both of them before I started shooting. I made an effort.

SheKnows: Sometimes actors don't want to hit the written work first, but you found that it helped round out the character in your head?

Andie MacDowell: Well, I think I just did it for the sheer pleasure of just enjoying her work. The scripts were not exactly the same, but I did it just to read Patricia's work.

Books that move MacDowell

SheKnows: Do you have a favorite genre of novels?

Andie MacDowell: I read a lot of non fiction books. I'm obsessed with Carl Jung, so I read a lot of different adaptations of his work and how people see his work. I read a lot of those and then I burn my brain out, and then I like to read something lighter. I read The Help, along with everybody else. I really enjoyed that. I thought it was a really quick and easy read. I'm just reading The Cottonwood Bible. I'm a member of a book club, but I don't always make it. But I try to keep up with what they're reading. I love all of Oprah's picks, I think she picks good books.

SheKnows: Diane Carroll is a legend and I see you shared some makeup time with her while filming. What was that time like?

Andie MacDowell in The Front

Andie MacDowell: We didn't have any scenes together! The only time I really got to see her was in the makeup trailer (laughs)! But, she's beautiful, gracious and it was a lot of fun to be in the same makeup trailer that she was in! She's good people.

Up next, what's next for Andie!

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