Looking more raven-haired beautiful than ever, and brandishing a poise evidently honed by her days of dance (she’s a graduate of the National Ballet School of Canada), Neve Campbell returned recently in the latest season of Netflix’s political potboiler House of Cards.
The drama is just the latest hit vehicle for the Ontario native, who broke out 20 years ago in the beloved TV weeper Party of Five and then appeared in a succession of ’90s-defining movies, including Scream and Wild Things. Hello! got all caught up recently with the mother of one (she and her husband, actor JJ Feild, welcomed son Caspian in 2012), who opened up about her current success, family life and memorable Party days.
"What I’ve found fun about [political operative] Leanne is that she was set up as an unapologetically strong, successful and intelligent woman in her own right ... in a world that is clearly dominated by men. The fun of this season is that you see her walking the tightrope between her own moral compass and a need to continually succeed. We see that she’s caught between her humanity and power. As an actor, these are wonderful circumstances to get to play with."
Political crash course
"It feels like I’ve constantly been trying to play catch-up from living in Canada to living in England, then living in America. Each political system has its own particular challenge, but the American system is by far the most baffling to me. Especially in terms of the Electoral College. I’m pretty sure that most (well at least half) of Americans are especially baffled this year. So, yes, I’ve been learning a lot from being on the show."
A yogi at heart
"Pranayama [breath control] to me is the most important thing you can learn in yoga."
A Scream legacy
"I have never dressed up as Sidney for Halloween, but I know it would be an easy “go to” if ever I’m at a loss."
Last time she cried?
"Seeing my son play with his grandparents at the beach."
Naming her son
"JJ and I decided that we wouldn’t find out if Caspian was a boy or a girl until he was born. We feel it’s one of the last great surprises left in our society. We looked through many name books and decided that we would choose five names for a girl and five for a boy… I hadn’t expected to give birth in hospital so when that happened we had forgotten to bring the list. Caspian was the only name we could remember – and truthfully I think during the pregnancy I always knew he was a boy and always knew his name was Caspian. It suits him so perfectly."
A moment Neve, 43, will always have: the night she hosted Saturday Night Live, sharing the stage with David Bowie! “It was also one of the most terrifying experiences of my life,” she tells Hello! “I was so young and not in touch with pop culture that I don’t think I was truly able to appreciate how incredible it was that I was working with him. I knew from others that it was a big deal but wasn’t personally as aware of his music until after I’d worked with him. I had spent my entire childhood and teen years training as a dancer, then dancing professionally, that, like many athletes, there wasn’t much room to be exposed to much else ... I feel like I wasn’t really exposed to pop culture until I was actually already a part of it.”
“My dream come true,” says Neve about the movie she both co-wrote and co-produced, called The Company. Released in 2003, it was based on many of her own experiences in the ballet world, and now, years later, she remembers this about the experience: “It was such a coup to have got Robert Altman to direct the film for me. I’d been developing it for years. I finally got Bob to come on-board, got to dance with the Joffrey Ballet and work with choreographers who I’d admired since being a child at the National Ballet School of Canada ... His respect and openness to others, his lack of ego and inclusion of his entire crew was beautiful and inspiring and very unique in this business.” About the legendary filmmaker, she adds, “He was a true artist and visionary and leader and creator.”