News maker Ahney Her
Ahney Her a 16-year-old Sexton High School student, stars opposite Clint Eastwood in “Gran Torino.” She was interviewed by Tim Barron on WQTX, 92.1 FM.
Tell me about meeting Clint Eastwood for the first time.
I met him the first day of shooting. I had no idea what I was doing, but when I met him, he was very kind. I knew he was a big, important guy, but I didn’t know how big and important. He sent a very nice and comfortable vibe.
Did you freak out when you heard you got the part?
I was actually quite calm. It didn’t hit me until a couple weeks later that I was in such a big movie.
It was interesting to see the audience kind of soften throughout the movie as people learned more about your community (the Hmong).
The movie really gave out a lot of information that people didn’t know about, so that was good.
The racial slurs got the biggest reaction in the theater, and there were some laughs that weren’t necessarily for the right reasons. What was it like working with those slurs? Did it at any point make you uncomfortable?
No, definitely not. I’m not really affected by that kind of stuff. I knew it was just acting. It portrayed a real thing, so it didn’t really bother me. It’s reality; you can’t really hide away from that.
Any big surprises when you went to see the final result up on the big screen?
The movie actually turned out better than I imagined. I thought it was going to be a little bland, but it turned out to be quite interesting. I liked it a lot.
Did you get [Eastwood’s] cell number? Do you guys text? Are you still hanging out with him in any way, shape or form?
I don’t hang out with Clint Eastwood himself. I e-mail his wife here and there, but I text and call the other cast members.
Do you have any other plans in the short and long run? You’re going to school, but you’ve got the summers free.
I definitely want to do more movies. If not movies, TV shows. I don’t really mind. I definitely want to do more acting. It’s a lot of fun.
Culturally, do folks really bring that much food to someone they like? Is that part of the movie real?
If someone helps you out, and you really appreciate it, you might bring them a little treat or something or invite them over to dinner, but it’s not that dramatic. It’s really not.
Are you experiencing any of the downside of celebrity yet? Any friends asking for money?
No, people don’t ask for money straight up — they imply it [laughs]. They ask me how much I get paid and stuff like that, and they ask me a lot of questions. I don’t really mind answering, just because I’d probably be like them if I were in their shoes. There’s just a lot of random people talking to me now-a-days.
Did you get a helicopter ride from Eastwood?
I wish. No, sadly, I didn’t. Maybe one day I can request one from him.