Q&A: ''Derailed'' stars Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen -- The stars of the sexy thriller open up about Hollywood, the pressures to open a film, and the paparazzi

By Dave Karger
Updated November 04, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST
Jennifer Aniston: Mark Liddell/ICON International

Thank goodness Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen didn’t become an item on the set of their new thriller, Derailed: Their names can’t be combined into one convenient nickname à la ”Bennifer,” ”Brangelina,” or, come to think of it, the slides-off-the-tongue ”Vaughniston.” Face it: ”Clive-iffer” just wouldn’t work out. ”Jive!” suggests Aniston as she and Owen (who’s actually married with two kids — not that that’s stopped other people) finish a joint interview the day before launching into their press junket for Derailed, out Nov. 11. For Owen, 41, the story of two married professionals who meet on a Chicago commuter train only to have their hotel-room tryst interrupted by a rapist — and that’s all before a doozy of a plot twist that we won’t spoil — is a return to the philandering ways that won him an Oscar nomination for Closer. His next projects, the Spike Lee drama Inside Man and the futuristic thriller The Children of Men, will continue his bleak trend. For Aniston, 36, it’s her first film since her divorce from Brad Pitt and apparent hookup with Vince Vaughn and will be followed by her holiday romance Rumor Has It and next year’s ensemble drama Friends With Money. We got ”Jive” talkin’ about Derailed‘s toughest-to-watch moments, their respective career paths, and why Aniston won’t be saying squat about her love life anytime soon.

So, Jennifer, you basically read this script and said, ”Hmmm, a lying, cheating hussy — perfect!”?
ANISTON ”That sounds like me!” It’s typecasting. But reading it from beginning to end, there were no holes. I mean, you try to find a little hole somewhere, and…no idea! Not a clue.

I have to say, I didn’t see the big twist coming at all.
ANISTON I watched the trailer with somebody and they immediately [guessed it]. From the trailer!

You play such a dark character that it’s the biggest departure for you that I can think of.
ANISTON At first I was really nervous about it, thinking, I can’t do this. I was starting to buy into my own sort of stereotype in a way.

How did you get over that?
ANISTON You just do. You just say, ”Screw it, this is too much fun.” And you have a relentless producer and agent who say, ”You just have to.”

What was the atmosphere like on set when you were shooting that horrible robbery-and-rape sequence?
OWEN It was a couple days.
ANISTON I have to say, oddly enough, hard as it would seem, it was so choreographed and so technical that it wasn’t as traumatic as one would have thought.

Was there ever a point where you needed to take a break?
OWEN Only because there was too much laughing!
ANISTON We had such a good time. And I think we needed to, because of the nature of what we were doing.

Clive, between Closer, Sin City, and now this, it’s been a dark period for you. And yet you’re a big fan of Adaptation. Would you be interested in doing a lighter film?
OWEN Of course, it’s just that I’ve never [been offered] a light, frothy film that I saw the point in doing. It’s hard to write really good comedy. I read a lot of scripts that I just don’t find very funny.

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