AE: I made eye contact with him on a street in Manhattan. That was cool.
TG: I think he’s fantastic. I had sat beside him at Lincoln Center, to watch Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia. It was just by accident that I sat beside him, and I was very well-behaved with him at that point. We got into a conversation and he was so sweet and so very gracious.
And so a year goes by. Halloween this year, I see him at his premiere [for] Southland Tales. You know what? He remembered me. I couldn’t even remember the play because I was so stunned to be seeing him again. He remembered me, he remembered the play. He remembered that we had a couple of mutual friends.
Then, of course, as I proceeded to get a picture with him, my friends told me, "Thea, you should really watch out for being a fan." You know what? I don’t know about that. I’m glad I was honest about how I felt. I was genuine with my feelings. And yes, maybe I’m not supposed to act like a fan here in Hollywood. But f— it, you know?
When you bump into someone who you adore, worship and idolize — someone who gives you a sense of faith in the world and something that is progressive and positive, and gives you a good feeling about life, and about what you’re doing, and that there’s hope for the future — when you meet someone who does that to you, you can’t help but be a bloody fan.
AE: But how do you really feel about Wallace Shawn?
TG: [laughs] I have had people come up to me and be excited to see me, so I respect what being a fan is about. I respect worship and respect. I respect respect. I love it when someone shows me their affection for my work, and I am grateful for it. It’s important to let people know when we like something of theirs.
Thea Gill in Dante’s Cove
AE: Are you homesick for Canada? Do you miss poutine? What is that anyway?
TG: Oh, that’s so funny. I was at a dinner and met a food writer. She told me there’s one Canadian restaurant in Los Angeles. So I said, "What does this restaurant serve? I’m curious: What are the Canadian dishes?" And she said one is poutine, and I didn’t realize that was particularly a Canadian thing, but it is. It’s like french fries and gravy.
AE: Poutine sounds classy. In New Jersey, it’s just called fries and gravy.
TG: [laughs] Yeah, it’s french fries and gravy, but it’s not a regular delicacy here.
AE: We should go out for poutine some day.
TG: We should go out for some poutine.
AE: That sounds dirty, but I really just mean fries and gravy.
AE: So, what are you planning to do while the writers are on strike?
TG: Well, I’m going to get [a] MySpace [page]. I’ve been denying and rejecting MySpace for so long, but I’m realizing that it is a good marketing tool. So, I’m getting a MySpace [page].
AE: Well, look, you held out as long as you could.
TG: Yeah, yeah. I know, but you can’t really do it for much longer, though. Everyone needs a MySpace. There’s a Thea Gill fans MySpace, but I don’t have my own official MySpace.
AE: I have an idea for you for after the writers’ strike. I see you playing one of those deeply damaged female teachers who has an affair with her underage male student.
TG: Oh, that would be good. Yeah, that would be a good role for me.
AE: Plus, for some reason, those teachers are always blond.
TG: I could start with my hair up in a bun, like the librarian look, and slowly let it all fall down. Unbutton my blouse and …
TG: Yeah. And then the boy — or the girl — pants in ecstasy over me, in need of me. But yeah, I’d love to [do] that.
AE: Sounds like you could tear that role up.
TG: Anything off-center is up my alley.