May 13, 2010 Jennifer 0
May 13, 2010  •  Jennifer  •  Leave a Comment

Emmanuelle Chriqui has a rare quality in a rising star: She sounds genuinely humble.

Upon hearing her strong showings in the Best of Montreal’s Most Desirable Woman and Best Actress categories, she’s delighted: “I’m always surprised by this kind of thing. It’s lovely. I’ve been acting since I was seven, and it’s always been about the work. But if something like this helps me to get where I want to go, that makes me happier.”

The Montreal-born (and Orthodox Jewish-raised, by Moroccan immigrant parents) Chriqui has become one of the busiest young lasses in Hollywood, gaining solid notices and a lot of recognition after a show-stopping three-episode gig on the hit series Entourage. “That was supposed to be it—three episodes. But our chemistry was so strong they decided to write me into the show on a regular basis. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.” Chriqui is currently shooting season seven, but says point-blank, “I can’t tell you anything. Not allowed!”

Hopefully, there will be room for another threesome like the notorious one Chriqui appeared in with Kevin Connolly and Malin Akerman. For those of you unfortunate ones who missed it, it was HBO so they didn’t hold too much back. “We rehearsed that very carefully. Think about the first time you kissed someone. There’s a lot of nervous energy there. Doing those scenes is like doing any other important dramatic scene. There’s a beginning, a middle and an end.”

As well as the regular gig on Entourage, Chriqui has found good fortune in various film roles, working with Adrien Brody (in Cadillac Records), Adam Sandler (You Don’t Mess With the Zohan), Steve Buscemi (Saint John of Las Vegas) and Andy Garcia (Georgia). Chriqui has a considerable presence onscreen, but she also has a refreshing look that’s out of step with the achingly generic Britney clones. “I have a different look, no question,” Chriqui says. “It’s both a blessing and a curse. Some people are still not open to the idea that the girl next door can be a bit exotic. I suppose J. Lo has opened things up a bit. There have been roles I’ve been heartbroken not to get. I tried out for Girl, Interrupted, but didn’t get it. I had just moved to L.A. and I was so nervous during the callback audition. It was sort of like an out-of-body experience. But for every role I haven’t got, there are other roles I have managed to get.”


And Chriqui reports that her Montreal memories are Technicolor vivid. “Though I grew up in Toronto, our first cousins lived back in Montreal, so we’d visit a lot and every summer we’d be there. I have huge Montreal memories! Especially when I got to 15, well, it was just so much fun. It was the place where they weren’t necessarily checking IDs at the door. I remember going to Business and DiSalvios on St-Laurent. I lived in New York for a while, I live in L.A. now—but you know, there’s nowhere quite like Montreal. There’s something very different about it.

“My sister still lives there, and many friends of mine. Whenever I come back, it feels like such a sanctuary, it’s this fun island that was everything to me during my childhood. Whenever I’m in Europe, I feel very at home. I think that’s because of the time I spent in Montreal.”

Chriqui says she spends her downtime immersing herself in old movies. “I didn’t go to film school, so there are a lot of films I’m really enjoying discovering. I just went through a load of film noir—Out of the Past, Murder, My Sweet—and some foreign films, including The Bicycle Thief.” And the way actors and stars used to behave is the way Chriqui likes to run her life now. “Back then, you didn’t know absolutely every detail of an actor’s private life the way you do now. I don’t really talk about my private life. I think that means that people can accept me better in different roles. It’s much harder for people to pigeonhole you if they don’t know everything about you. I really prefer it that way.”

From the Montral Mirror

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