The poker champion movie actress is faced with questions about her questionable film roles

By Dalton Ross
Updated August 12, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Even for a woman who has done it all on screen (girl on boy, girl on girl, girl on killer doll…), Jennifer Tilly just keeps getting hotter. The 46-year-old is not only starring on the big screen (in indie films Saint Ralph and Bailey’s Billion$, both in selected theaters now) and small (in the upcoming CBS comedy Out of Practice), but she also recently won the ladies-only event at the World Series of Poker. Let’s see how the queen of broken hearts deals with a handful of jokers in a game we like to call Stupid Questions.

Clearly you know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em. But how come you didn’t know when to walk away and know when to run when offered a role in The Haunted Mansion?

Well, [my character] Madame Leota has no legs. She’s pretty much trapped in that crystal ball. But, you know, you’ve seen my oeuvre.

In Seed of Chucky, you comment that ”I’m an Oscar nominee, for chrissakes, and now I’m f—ing a puppet.” Just for curiosity’s sake, which was more gratifying?

Well, I was an Oscar nominee [for Bullets Over Broadway] because I was respected by my peers, and I was f—ing a puppet because my career took a very strange downturn, so I would have to say probably being nominated for an Oscar.

You manage to seduce Gina Gershon in Bound. In your estimation, is that more or less challenging than tying one’s shoes?

I think it was more difficult for me because I don’t think I’m Gina’s type. But it was actually kind of easy because it was written in the script, so she had to act like she was attracted to me whether she was or not.

Speaking of seduction, you’re playing Henry Winkler’s girlfriend in Out of Practice. How many episodes before you’ll let him take you up to Inspiration Point?

I have a feeling we’re not going up to Inspiration Point. I think there might be some sort of platonic pecking happening, maybe a bit of gropage. I play his hot younger girlfriend, so it’s lucky I’m playing opposite Henry Winkler because he’s one of the few people where I can be the younger girl.

You played ”The Hooker” in the movie Dirt. Are you still pissed at Angel McConnell for scoring the coveted role of ”Pregnant Crack Ho”?

Angel created the role of Pregnant Crack Ho. She’s actually out of focus in the background, but she was acting better than me, I’m sure.

You once said you have no problem showing cleavage because you ”give the audiences what they want.” That’s awfully considerate of you, but on the same topic, what made you think audiences wanted a movie like Embrace of the Vampire?

I believe I played a man who turns into a woman for a page and a half for the sole purpose of seducing some young hottie. I got paid in American Express traveler’s checks and went to Europe the next day and bought jewelry, so it’s a happy memory for me.

You play a nurse in Saint Ralph. Does your character — how can I put this? — give the audiences what they want?

No, not really, because it’s a family film. Nobody gets what they want in this movie, including me. Actually, this is another movie where I had some hot lesbian love scenes and they cut them out. But if what you want is to see a kid running the Boston Marathon, then I guess Saint Ralph gives the audiences what they want.