In taking on the lead role of Rachel in Something Borrowed, actress Ginnifer Goodwin found a whole new challenge: making a character sympathetic when you just want to give her a good slap. In the film, Rachel finally makes a move on the man she’s loved for years, despite the fact he’s engaged to her best friend (Kate Hudson). The Big Love star sat down with Metro to talk about playing a difficult character and longing to get back to her Shakespearean roots.
What was the draw for you for this character?
I was actually inspired by the challenge of making her sympathetic because, on paper, I don’t agree with any of her decisions. I was inspired by the fact that I judge her so harshly, and I wanted to tackle my fears about playing her. I took the part because I wanted to understand girls like her, women like her.
Did your opinion of her change after playing her?
I feel that I can be more sympathetic, though I may not be able to fully say I empathize with her in any way. Ultimately she just makes so many choices that are off of my own moral compass. On paper she’s the antagonist, if you step back.
What advice would you give Rachel if you were her friend?
Oh my gosh. “Grow some balls, lady.” I mean, it’s a difficult situation for Rachel because she’s always looked for her self-worth in the attention that she receives from other people. Ultimately I would say to her — but she’s not ready for this at the top of the movie — you know, ask for what you want. The worst thing that can happen is you are rejected and you will move on. In the history of the world, no one has ever died of a broken heart.
You have a lot of Shakespeare in your background. Do you have any plans to do more?
Oh, I’d kill to do anything that anyone would let me do. I mean, Shakespeare is my first love and my introduction, really, to theatre. I would do anything to be back on stage performing Shakespeare plays.
Have you had trouble finding time in your schedule for things like that?
That is a consideration, but also I think it’s just being taken seriously by the people who put on those kinds of plays can become difficult when you do a lot of film and television. No matter what my training — and I understand why — I think that there’s an inherent sort of snobbery there that I respect.