"Message Movies" can often make it feel like you've been transported back to a high school classroom, but everyone once in a while an utterly captivating film just so happens to have an underlying message of profound importance. At Any Price is the perfect example of that dynamic duality.
Wrapped inside a taut father/son drama is an issue of massive social relevance: the prevalence of Genetically Modified Foods on our shelves, and how far the companies will go towards ensuring their continued production. The topic stirred something deep inside co-star Heather Graham, who couldn't be more proud to be a part of this project.
ETonline: What attracted you to this film and the role of Meredith?
Heather Graham: I really loved the director, Ramin Bahrani. I think he's so talented, and he was the thing that attracted me most. But when I read the script, I thought it was interesting and dark subject matter to explore. And a very unusual movie. As for Meredith, her story is a bit sad, but you don't fully understand all of her from the film, but I found that world of farming so interesting to learn about.
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ETonline: Yeah, I didn't know much about the world of GMOs before this movie.
Graham: Neither did I, so it's really cool to do a movie that's about something. Like, when we did the press junket, I felt like we weren't answering a lot of silly questions, you know? It's about how big corporations are totally screwing everyone over. Personally, I'm against GMOs -- they just seem terrible and people aren't really thinking about the bigger picture. It's all about winning at any price and they don't care about repercussions, which you see in the movie.
ETonline: Does your experience with At Any Price make you want to get involved with more "message movies?"
Graham: For sure. I just wrote a script I want to direct and act in, it's a sex comedy with a female empowerment message. I do want to make movies that say something. Although at the same time, there's a benefit to pure entertainment because sometimes you just want to watch something silly. I'm just happy to be talking about smart things as a result of making this movie.
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ETonline: The movie doesn't really give the audience a lot of answers about who your character is, which I found refreshing. But as an actor, did you have to do a lot of work to understand where Meredith was coming from? Like with sleeping with both father (Dennis Quaid) and son (Zac Efron)?
Graham: Well, as a woman, the idea of wanting to have sex with Dennis Quaid and wanting to have sex with Zac Efron doesn't really need to be justified [laughs]. There wasn't a lot of "Oh, how do I delve into this totally unrelatable choice?" I think I just felt lucky to have these two hot men to kiss. But within that, it's a story about having this unrequited love and then finding a connection with his son. It's a small town and there are not a lot of choices. In New York City, it would be much easier to stay away from these people, but she doesn't really have that option.
ETonline: You'll likely find yourself having to justify a lot of your character's actions in the upcoming Flowers in the Attic remake. What attracted you to that project?
Graham: You know what's funny, as a kid I never read it but I was mentioning it to some of my friends and they freaked out. I mean, they're obsessed. My friend watched the movie like 20 times. There's something weird and powerfully disturbing about that story. The original movie was campy, which is great, but we're going a little more real and disturbing. The story itself is so crazy, and we're taking a slightly darker approach to it.
At Any Price is now available on DVD.