Katherine LaNasa: The Campaign's First Lady
Katherine LaNasa plays Rose Brady in Will Ferrell’s new movie, The Campaign. If you’ve never had a chance to get to know Katherine, sit down, strap in and shut up. She’s about to take you on a giggle-fueled ride detailing her annoying diet, her upcoming hippie-love wedding and why she can kick your a** in Zumba...
Kat: You play Will Ferrell’s wife in The Campaign which opens Aug. 10th. What's going through your head in the 24 hours leading up to that? Are you nervous, anxious, stressed, happy, in desperate need of a stiff drink?
Katherine: It's so funny you said that. My fiance and I just worked out and he went to get us some breakfast and I thought, a beer sounds good. I'm annoyed he's bringing me iced coffee.
Kat: "Hey Honey, how about you bring me a Mimosa? How would that be?"
Katherine: Oh, I know. I'm on this stupid diet, The 4-Hour Body, which it kinda works and it's healthy and everything, but I could use a carbohydrate right about now. I realized why you get skinny on the diet. It's like greens, protein, eggs, beans, avocado and tomato.
Kat: I didn't hear "beer" in there.
Katherine: Or Mai Tai. I got so sick of this diet that yesterday I ate four veggie sausages and two tomatoes with salsa on them. But this friend of mine who, you know, is younger than me, was like, "Yeah, I lost all this weight doing that."
Kat: I was watching the trailer for The Campaign, and just looking at Zach Galifianakis' eyebrows and mustache cracks me up. Do you have tricks you use to keep from laughing, like thinking about something grim?
Katherine: Most of the time if you look at someone between their eyebrows, it will look like you're looking at them.
Kat: Except if you look between Zach's eyebrows, that will make you laugh. His eyebrows are ridiculous.
Katherine: Will was making me laugh so much, I went home one day, and I was living in the same apartment building as Sarah Baker (who is also in The Campaign) and I told Sarah, "He’s really funny. He's just so funny." And Sarah said, "Yeah. I know. He's Will Ferrell!" Zach said he can't look at Will without laughing because his eyes are so small.
Kat: You look like you guys had a great time filming this.
Katherine: I can tell in some of the takes that I'm about to laugh. I'm trying to act like my character is laughing at him, but I'm actually laughing at him. I would be like crying, and everyone is looking at me like, "Can this b**** just keep it together? I'd like to go home before dinner."
Kat: That actually makes me feel a lot better, because when you're like little "Jane America" like me, and you're watching a Will Ferrell movie, you're like, "Are you kidding me? How do you keep a straight face?"
Katherine: I felt a lot better because I would just bust up and I'd think, "I’m not a pro. These are sketch comedy pros and they know how to not laugh," and I'm like the freshman, like I don't know what I'm doing. But then Will's makeup artist told me that Mark Wahlberg, when they were doing The Other Guys, couldn't get through anything. That made me feel better.
Kat: Is there a blooper outtake at the end?
Katherine: You know what! There isn't! But I bet there will be one at the end of the DVD. There's like enough material for two or three more movies.
Kat: How fun was it to parody the election process during an election year?
Katherine: For me it was scary.
Kat: Really! How come?
Katherine: I'm just not that political. I'm non-partisan. I do vote, but I've been so disappointed in who we have and the choice of candidates and for me personally, there just hasn't been anyone I've been excited about in a long time. Where are the old guys? Where are the Eisenhowers, the Roosevelts, the Abe Lincolns?
Kat: All the cool people are dead now.
Katherine: Yeah! They died. But I started to watch the Republic primaries, and I thought the movie was more comic than it is. I was like, "Oh, we're doing this! Oh! We're selling the debt to China! Oh! We need more campaign reform!"
Kat: It was kind of a learning curve for you, huh?
Katherine: I know. And that’s really kind of immature and embarrassing to admit but it's true. I look at my fiance and he takes it on. And I think, we need more people like him. He knows everything that happens. He's pulling that load.
Kat: Besides The Campaign, what's your favorite Will Ferrell movie?
Katherine: Elf. The scene where he talks about Santa coming.
Kat: A classic, for sure. In The Frozen Ground, set to be released in November, you play a serial killer's wife. Talk about a sharp transition...
Katherine: It was. I went from Alaska to New Orleans to start The Campaign. But, that poor woman. That was a true story. She was very smart, quiet, religious, a special-ed school teacher and a mother. Robert Hansen was a baker and just a really sick guy. He was from a really upstanding family, he was a baker, it was in Alaska and it was during the oil boom and everyone had planes and there were prostitutes and strippers. So he'd go out in the middle of the night, but he was supposed to. He was a baker. He'd be out in the middle of the night, he'd fly hookers out in his plane somewhere — and rape them and kill them. He'd send his wife away to Europe with the kids and she was like, "Look how spoiled I am." Yeah, so after that movie I was ready to have like a nervous breakdown. I'd just sit in the corner and sob half the time. And I was in Alaska so we'd have daylight for like 2 1/2 minutes.
Kat: That must have been almost therapeutic to switch gears and do something light-hearted and fun.
Katherine: I had a week off from one project to another which was good. I needed to decompress a little bit. I was really, really tired.
Kat: You used to be a dancer. Do you ever miss that?
Katherine: I don't. (Laughs)
Kat: Geez. Do you want to think about it?
Katherine: Nope. Let me think, noooo. Hold on, let me check my, nooooo. Not at all. None.
Kat: Why such an emphatic no?
Katherine: It's just really hard. I remember doing this performance, I had my own company and I had choreographed this dance, and it was really hard to do. And for some reason it was really emotionally hard to do, and believe me, I'm not like, "Oh, as an artist, I'm suffering with my work."
Kat: Are you going all Black Swan on us right now?
Katherine: Yeah, exactly. I was thinking, why is it so hard? So I was done. I mean I really love to dance. Grant and I are getting married in a week and there will be some dancing. We have two-people dance parties at the house. Now I joke that I'll only go to a dance exercise class, where I'm the best person there.
Kat: So at Zumba, everyone better look out.
Katherine: Right, like I'd go to Yoga Booty Ballet or do something good at Curves. So if it's just me and a bunch of Filipino housewives, I will probably be the best dancer there. I'm just guessing.
Kat: You're the girl everyone loves to hate in Zumba class!
Katherine: Yes, having been a professional ballet dancer, I think I can safely guess that I'd be the best person at Zumba. I would do one little move and they'd be like, "Wow, that looks good," and I'd be like, "Well, it should look good, I only spent 20 years perfecting it." Have you done Zumba?
Kat: Oh yeah. In the back of the class thank you very much.
Katherine: That's the best place. That's where all the pros are.
Kat: You sort of develop this false sense of superiority over the other people in the class, and you're sort of making fun of them in your head, but the truth is you are so bad, that's why you’re at the very back.
Katherine: Because no one's looking at you.
Kat: Right, right, right. Because you're so much "cooler" than everyone else. So you touched on getting married in a week (to Grant Show)! Congratulations! How are the wedding plans coming?
Katherine: They're good. This particular week has been like, "Wow, okay. What's happening? I could have thought this out a little better."
Kat: You mean having a movie open and getting married in the same time period?
Katherine: I'm actually looking forward to the week before my wedding because that will be my downtime.
Kat: Is this going to be like a big ole' Hollywood blowout?
Katherine: No, no. There will be a couple of Hollywooders there, but it's mainly just our buddies. It'll be pretty small, and kind of a hippie love kind of wedding. You know, my friends are crafting stuff.
Kat: Oooo. Is there going to be any bare feet or daisy chains?
Katherine: Well, we found this hippie in Portland who makes dream catchers. Rachel Rice in Portland, we found her at www.rachaelrice.com. I told her I wanted one the size of a hula-hoop and she spazzed out because she has a hula-hoop in her house and she's been dying to make a dream catcher the size of a hula-hoop. So everyone's dream came true.
Kat: Are you taking any cool trips after the wedding?
Katherine: Yes, we are going to Tahiti. Isn't that great? What sounds more honeymooney? Maybe Hawaii I guess.
Kat: Mmmmm. Hawaii's been done. That's so cliche. Besides getting ready for everything with your 4-Hour Body diet, what’s your best post-40 beauty secret?
Katherine: Well, I haven’t eaten meat in like 30 years.
Kat: Are you kidding me? How do you do that?
Katherine: You get kind of used to it.
Kat: When you first started that, did you ever crave a big, fat, juicy steak?
Katherine: No, I used to be a professional ballet dancer. I had to go away to train at special schools and so most of what I was eating was in the cafeteria, and I come from Louisiana which has amazing food so the cafeteria food was all kind of gross to me, so I think that's how it happened. I just got kind of used to it. I gotta say though, when people are making bacon, that smells so good.
Kat: I just saw a Facebook post that said, "Either you like bacon, or you're wrong."
Katherine: There was a Jimmy Fallon thing about Kate Moss who said something like, "Nothing tastes better than skinny," and he said, "To which the whole world replied, 'bacon'."
Kat: Amen. When I read your bio, I wasn't able to find out much about your childhood. So how about telling us something that would surprise us about you. Do you have any interesting birth defects or can you perform any stupid human tricks we should know about?
Katherine: Nothing I can mention.
Kat: Oh, now. It's just you and me.
Katherine: Well, I moved about eight times by the time I was 8.
Kat: How come so much?
Katherine: My dad was in Vietnam and when he came back he was a surgeon and wanted to study with different people in different places. We lived on an army base in Savannah, Georgia, and then he did some kind of internship in Nashville, Tennessee, — we lived there for a year. Then he did a residency in Charleston, South Carolina. Then we went to Detroit, and we lived in somebody's attic.
Kat: Oh my.
Katherine: Yeah, that was really interesting. We were living in Gross Pointe which is the wealthiest area, and we had no money because Dad had zero dollars, and we're living in this super-wealthy area in someone's attic. And I made friends with this girl next door and there were these patent leather flip-flops, probably got them at the local drug store or something, but we couldn't afford one pair. They were like this sherbet color. I was like, "If I could just have a pair of those flip-flops, everything would be okay." So I went to this girl's house, it was like Ritchie Rich's house, and we walked into this mudroom through the back door and there were 10 kids in the family, and there was a pile of those flip-flops in like every size.
Kat: And you're living in someone's attic at the time?
Katherine: Oh yeah, we couldn't get a haircut. If we went to Burger King, we couldn't get a drink. We couldn't afford the soda.
Kat: If The Campaign does well, you can have all the sherbet flip-flops and Burger King drinks you want. Okay, is there anything you want to get out there that we haven't talked about yet?
Katherine: Hmmm. Well, people don't know this yet, but I'm probably the best actress of all time. That needs to get out there. That's something people need to know.
Kat: Absolutely. You're playing Will Ferrell's wife, then you turn around and play a serial killer's wife. I think you could be on to something there.
Katherine: I got to shoot Jane Mansfield’s Car with Billy Bob Thorton and Kevin Bacon and Robert Duvall which was thrilling. I'm going to New York in about a month to start shooting Infamous for NBC which is sort of this dark, brooding, family drama, murder/mystery.
Kat: Will you come back and visit with us again when The Frozen Ground is released?
Katherine: Definitely. I look forward to it.