NEW YORK — From 4 Times Square to a meeting with Martha Nelson and on to the offices of Marie Claire, Trudie Styler has been making the rounds, delivering her message direct.
While as a movie producer she has put out a string of high-profile films, including Guy Ritchie’s “Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels” and Michael Apted’s award-winning documentary “Moving the Mountain,” Styler has recently returned to acting. So instead of hitting the fashion shows, she’ll travel to the Toronto Film Festival this week to promote “Cheeky,” a black comedy that Styler produced and costarred in as Nancy, a wacky game show contestant. “She’s a feisty, loud-mouthed, rather tragic, hard working nurse,” says Styler, taking another meeting in the lobby of the Chambers Hotel, dressed in her sleek Balenciaga gear.
This story first appeared in the September 9, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
But then Styler wasn’t the only one multitasking on the “Cheeky” set. Director David Thewlis wrote the screenplay and stars in the film. “We had a lot of things going against us,” Styler says. “But it didn’t seem to bother Luc Besson, God bless him. He put up half the money to make the film.”
While in Toronto, Styler hopes to generate financial support for her next project, “A Guide to Recognizing
Your Saints,” which she’ll coproduce with Robert Downey Jr. But after that, Styler, who acted for 17 years before becoming a producer, promises she’ll only develop films that provide a juicy role. Take “Alpha Male,” for example, which Styler will begin filming next year, playing a woman who is “very envious, very angry, bubbling inside and hugely jealous of her well-off sister.”
Styler rediscovered her love of acting two years ago, while performing in “Me Without You.”
“I said to myself ‘Damn, this is fun,’” she remembers. “I love full immersion into character. I’m not interested in the least in playing anyone who has my lifestyle or is anything like me. I like very wild characters.”
Of course, the character Styler is most often associated with is the the one she laughingly calls Mrs. Sting.
“I say Mrs. Sting with lots of affection because I’m very happy with my status as Sting’s wife,” says Styler, who has been involved the rock star for 23 years. “I can smile about it because I actually feel very secure.
I make my own mark in the world.
I don’t feel like ‘Oh I wish they wouldn’t keep bringing his name up.’ We’re a team, him and me.”
Still, as a jet-setting producer and wife-of, Styler has advantages over most actresses who might decide to get back into the game after an eight-year hiatus. Before reading for Thewlis, Styler called in the big guns. “I’m in a very fortunate position,” she admits. “I had a master class with Dustin Hoffman before I went in for my reading. We worked on the character and broke it down. He really put me back in the saddle, and how.”