By David Spaner
October 8, 2003
Berkley's headed for Broadway
The star of Moving Malcolm says she was deeply affected by the role she played in the Vancouver film

Elizabeth Berkley on one of the sets used to shoot Moving Malcolm, directed by Ben Ratner, who also co-starred in the film.

These days Elizabeth Berkley's focus is on New York as she prepares to debut on Broadway. But that doesn't mean her thoughts aren't with Moving Malcolm, too, when it screens at the Vancouver International Film Festival tonight.

Berkley was deeply affected by the experience she had shooting the film in Vancouver last spring.

t's actually my favourite role I've ever played," says the American actor, who's appeared in films such as Showgirls, Roger Dodger and Curse of the Jade Scorpion.

"This girl Liz is a real human being tormented with her desire to love and be loved. There are certain things I've been able to hide behind in certain roles, whether it's a look or an accent. This character is completely emotionally raw and real. That's what I really loved."

The anti-romantic comedy (tonight, 7 p.m., the Ridge; Friday, 11 a.m., Granville), directed by and co-starring Vancouver's Ben Ratner, is about an aspiring writer who helps move the father of his ex-fiancée (Berkley) into a new apartment.

Berkley, who lives in New York and Los Angeles, says the sense of community she encountered during the Vancouver shoot was unique.

"What was real cool to me is Ben has this amazing group of supportive friends. I guess they all came up together," she says.

"Though there is a community in L.A., you're kind of alone in a lot of your creative mission.

"In Vancouver, the actors all seemed to know each other and support each other. There's no ego. It's all about let's do the work. I love that. And it's rare and that kind of energy is infectious. It's really, really special."

She was also pleased with the resulting film. "Put it this way: what it felt like while making it actually translated."

Berkley has plenty to be pleased about since wrapping Moving Malcolm. She's developing a major movie musical with the producers of Chicago and will make her Broadway debut in Sly Fox next year at the fabled Barrymore Theater.

Although audiences know Berkley primarily as a movie actor, she's also a gifted stage actor who, back in her hometown of Detroit, danced and sang in everything from Gypsy to The Nutcracker. ("I got my Equity card when I was 11, so I've done a ton.")

Sly Fox is a comedy co-starring Richard Dreyfuss and directed by legendary filmmaker Arthur Penn, the director of Bonnie and Clyde.

"I was thinking about that before I walked in the room and then I thought I better stop thinking about that, make myself nervous," says Berkley.

When she opens on Broadway it'll be the fulfilment of a childhood dream.

"I'm really excited. There was a ballet class I went to in Detroit and this other girl's mother made a T-shirt for me that said 'Broadway Bound.' I still have that." -End