Woman of Interest: Famke Janssen

Famke Janssen talks about her directorial debut, her European fashion style and her on-screen female idols

by Monica Corcoran Harel
famke janssen image
Photograph: Tony Kim

You’re known for X-Men; what’s your latest movie? I wrote and directed Bringing Up Bobby (opening March 9), about a Ukrainian woman surviving in the U.S. with her son.

Your next acting role? I play Liam Neeson’s wife again in the sequel to the 2008 film Taken, opening in the fall.

Her script’s inspiration: I was born in Holland. My first impression of America came from films, so I wanted to play around with that idea. Bobby’s mother was also raised on movies. Her version of the American dream is that you can con your way through America. But it’s all for the benefit of her son.


Taking risks: I came here to model at 21, but making Bobby was a bigger risk. I had to give upacting to do it, and that was scarybecause I didn’t have an income. I worried about paying my mortgage. But I like to take risks, to evolve. Tripping and fallingand getting back up again is all part of the process.


Fashion style: I don’t have one. But I do dress up a bit. I guess I’m very European in that way. You’ll never see me wearing sweatpants unless I’m on my way to the gym.


Female idols: I absolutely love strong women. I watch a lot of movies from the 1930s because the women are so strongand intelligent. Katharine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck—they were just so full of character.


Her approach to aging: It’s not always pretty—the wrinkles, the sagging—but it’s part of life. Trying to stay young is alosing battle, so why bother? Put your energy into something more constructive! 


Want MORE? Check out our story on Golden Globe nominee, Glenn Close.

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First Published January 30, 2012

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