Diane Lane stars in UNTRACEABLE.

Diane Lane interview

Diane Lane Even Diane Lane admits that sheís an anomaly. At 43, the actress is still getting lead roles in major films and is still considered a sex symbol, whereas many female actresses her age unfortunately seem to go off the radar. Best known recently for her Academy Award-nominated turn in Unfaithful, Lane made her debut in film at 13 and graced the cover of Time at 14. She had major success as a teen in 80s classics like The Outsiders and Rumble Fish and then made a surprising resurgence in the late 90s. She will been seen next in the potential megahit Jumper.

Laneís new film is Untraceable, a horrific thriller in which Lane plays an FBI agent that investigates cyber crimes and comes across a website called killwithme.com, where the victims are killed off online, each time a little quicker as the popularity of the site grows.

She says, ďTo do a thriller like this, I wanted it to be smart enough to make me think--and it does.Ē While her role required her to be extremely tech savvy, she admits thatís just acting. She says, ďIím lousy at it. Iím allowed to hang out in the room with these people. I canít really participate. Itís different. They are born into it. I very reluctantly started paying attention when I was 30. I just donít have the brain cells to rub together fast enough, you know?Ē

Our ace journalist Paul Salfen conducted this exclusive interview with Diane Lane.

Not being versed in all of this, were you surprised by how many people are online trying to be anonymous about the things that they do?
The whole point, certainly when the internet was invented and on computers in the 80s, is we would invent a new identity. ďIíll be so sexy onlineĒ and ďIíll be 20 againĒ or whatever people have in their heads Ė ďIíll get all the babes and Iíll have all my hair backĒ. This was the vapidity of the original fantasy that people created about what being online was going to do for them. I mean, itís just the lowest common denominator possible, so itís interesting what comes. We think it and then we make it real, to a certain degree. And then we have all these cautionary tales that grow out of it. Iím so glad the FBI exists after seeing whatís on the internet and how theyíre stopping the bad guys.

Your character was based on a real woman in the FBI and you got to work closely with her. Were you surprised by what she had to do on a daily basis?
She was great. I adore her. It helped a lot to have ďthe real McCoyĒ. She was amazing and it was very comforting to see somebody who was so capable, so totally womanly. The more I got exposed to the need for these people to exist - theyíre angels. Literally their job is to do intervention against malicious attempts on the internet. Iím so naÔve I didnít know that viruses do not spontaneously occur, like in nature. I mean, doesnít the term virus imply it just grew in a Petri dish? Oh no, some brainiac sat down and figured out how to make everybody miserable, like an arsonist. Why? Do you have nothing better to do with your life? I guess not. Iím so disappointed in human beings and myself for not knowing better.

What was it like to see these real crimes and investigations go down firsthand?
It didnít take more than five minutes of sitting with her to witness bad behavior and wish that that was just in a movie and it wasnít real. This one, Iím glad was just in a movie and wasnít real. So I canít really go into details to protect her identity. I donít think it would be appropriate for me to. But I saw some things that I wish I hadnít seen. I think I want the FBI to continue doing their good work.

So you found this all intriguing outside of filming?
I feel like I have some things in common with the law officers that I got to know. Iím always looking for motive and tracking backwards looking for why would somebody do this? What is the justification for anything, whether itís the scene in the film that Iím filming Ė just to get to the truth of things.

As a mother with kids on the internet, did all of this bug you out a little?
I know what kind of fire would be under me if my daughter was on the computer in this story. It brings it home a little bit closer even still within your own house because Iím a parent of teenagers and I know that we would be having a conversation about the world if this were going on for real in the world. Itís a scary premise. I have teenagers in my house and this is the movie they want to see. They really relate to it. Itís their world. The internet - they have such entitlement with it, they have control over it. They feel like itís more theirs than the physical domain reality that they live in.


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