Terry Gross on the big screen

    It was bound to happen sooner or later.

    Fresh Air host Terry Gross has a cameo role in The Beaver, a feature film directed by Jodie Foster and co-starring Foster and Mel Gibson.

    It will be screened at the South by Southwest festival later this month. It opens in theaters in May.

    Terry shot her scene in New York well over a year ago, but the film’s release was delayed in part by Gibson’s personal controversies. You may remember that recordings surfaced last summer that apparently caught Gibson’s profane and sometimes racist rants aimed at his former girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva.

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    In the film (you can see a trailer below), Gibson plays a depressed executive who finds his voice by talking through a beaver hand puppet. He becomes a national celebrity and does a round of media interviews, including one on Fresh Air.

    Terry said she took the role in part to learn more about the craft she’s asked so many questions about over the years.

    “I thought, I’ve talked to so many actors and directors, it would be so interesting not only to observe, but to be part of the process,” she told me.

    She came to the set with no lines in the script, but improvised some dialogue that made it into the final cut.

    I coaxed Terry into a studio to talk about the experience, and you can listen by clicking on the audio above. I enjoyed it so much, it took three files to hold the twelve minutes we talked.

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