Release Year 2005
Role Nola Rice
Director Woody Allen
Writing Credits Woody Allen
Co-Stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Matthew Goode, Emily Mortimer
Runtime: 124 min
Match Point is a drama about ambition, the seduction of wealth, love, and sexual passion. Perhaps most importantly, however, the story reveals the huge part luck plays in events, refuting the comforting misconception that more of life is under our control than really is.
When we first meet Nola, she comes off very confident but as the film continues, we find out that she is actually very neurotic beneath it all. Even though this role is a supporting one, Nola proved to be a challenge for Scarlett and many critics agreed that she stole the show.
Scarlett plays Nola Rice, a struggling American actress. Nola comes to London with her upper-class fiancee Tom Hewett. She is not exactly in love with him but is attracted to him and enjoys the stability that he is able to provide her. Nola meets Chris Wilton who is in a relationship with Tom's sister. Nola and Chris are immediately attracted to each other and soon they start a destructive sexual relationship together.
On filming with Woody Allen "I have been a big fan of Woody’s before I was supposed to be watching his movies. And I was nervous. I was definitely nervous. I don’t know if I was intimidated... I was really cast the week before we started shooting. We did these camera tests which were horrible... and Woody was just kind of there and he said, 'Hi, I’m Woody Allen.' And he stepped behind the camera and you start coming out in all these outfits. It’s like my worst nightmare.
The next day we started shooting. We shot a scene where my character, to my misfortune, has to explain her entire history to Jonny’s character and you don’t expect on your first day of working with Woody Allen that you’re going to have five pages of dialogue. So, yeah, I was nervous. My first take was horrible. But, then I realized that I better suck it up, because I was going to have seven weeks of this."
On her character "I was attracted to the desperation of the character. A lot of people have said, 'Oh, she’s all of a sudden this confident girl and then she turns into this neurotic person.' It’s not really true. She’s very strong-willed; she knows what she wants. She wants to build on something, because she doesn’t have anything. I was attracted to that and I thought it was interesting. It felt real to me. All of her actions were reasonable."
"I was very attracted to Nola's desperation. I thought, 'Okay, I'm capable of playing this part, it's not out of my league.' She's needy, trying to get control of her out-of-control life. She's trying to grab on to whatever she can so she doesn't have to admit her life isn't what she wanted it to be."
"I think Nola is very sexy and certainly my hair and makeup artist spent hours upon hours plastering things on me to make me appear sexier. Her lines in the film are very sexy, her moves are very sexy and I think when I watch the film, I think it’s believable that he would hunger after her in that way."
On the first sex scene "That scene was pretty miserable. We were so wet. Getting fully wet, drenched when you’re wearing jeans is the most unpleasant thing of all time. Especially when you’re all nice and toasty and then they’re like, ‘Okay, we’re going to dump buckets of water on you now.’ Noooo! At first I was like, ‘I can just get wet in the rain.’ They were like, ‘We have to make you drenched.’ I really hated my costumer that day. I really hated Woody that day too. I was like, ‘Why rain? It wasn’t written. Can’t we just do it in a barn?’"
Co-star Jonathan Rhys Meyes on Woody and Scarlett "I remember one day Scarlett decided to put a sticker on Woody’s lapel saying ‘Hello, my name is Dennis.’ Woody didn’t realize this for many, many hours. But, he found out it was indeed Scarlett because who else would have the gumption? His relationship with Scarlett was very funny because he’s so amused by her. I think if Woody could be a 21-year-old girl, he’d be Scarlett Johansson."
• Scarlett considers Woody Allen one of the best directors and the man himself was very taken by Scarlett too.
• Kate Winslet was originally cast in this film as Nola Rice, but backed out in order to spend more time with her family. Since this was filmed in England Woody Allen had to have a certain percentage of a English cast and crew, apparently he made his quota before casting Winslet, after she dropped out Woody cast Scarlett.
• This is Woody Allen's first film to be shot entirely in Britain and also his longest one to date.
• Match Point was shown in competition at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
• Scarlett, Jonathan Rhys Meyes and Emily Mortimer have all made out with Ewan McGregor in separate films.