Rosie: Our next guest went from capturing our hearts as Angela on TV's My So-Called Life, to capturing Romeo's heart in Romeo and Juliet -- which I loved. Take a look. [clip from R+J] Please welcome Claire Danes.
Rosie: Hi Claire!
Rosie: How are you?
Claire: I'm okay. Ooo...look at all those little nicknacky things.
Rosie: Yes, would you like any of them?
Claire: Um, oh, there are too many to pick from.
Rosie: Well, this is sort of a fun one. This is Superman, and he actually spins. Look.
Claire: Would I get to...to, I don't want to take that.
Rosie: Is that too much?
Claire: That's not a...is that a gift?
Rosie: For you Claire Danes.
Rosie: You can have my Superman spinny.
Claire: That's really sweet of you. Thank you so much.
Rosie: I know. Now you broke it! I give you...no it balances, look. Stick his little chin on the little, there ya go. Stick his chin there, now let go, don't press. See, you gotta learn how to do the toys right.
Claire: [at the same time as Rosie--] Superman's so...oh that's where it is, okay. Ooh. Alright. I didn't know Superman was so delicate.
Rosie: He is. We're gonna shave his head and call him hairman, you know, David, our hair guy who does that. Let me just say this: I think you're an incredibly talented actress...
Claire: Thank you.
Rosie: ...and, I have never understood Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet, not only did I understand, it was a captivating film.
Claire: Thank you very much.
Rosie: You were wonderful in it.
Claire: Thank you very much.
Rosie: You're welcome. Now, where did you shoot that?
Claire: Um, I shot it in Mexico City, um, which is a really magical, crazy place. It's sorta like the wild wild west when you have a group of manic boys, you know, situated in that place.
Rosie: A little crazy.
Claire: Yeah, it is. Bedlam existed. But, um, it was fun. It was really fun.
Rosie: Did you drink the water? Did you get any of the...
Claire: Oh yeah, we all suffered from Montezuma's Revenge.
Rosie: You did.
Claire: We all took our turns in the bathroom in agony. But we survived it and then we were really competitive, like, you know, "How many hours were you in the bathroom?"
Claire: But, um, it was a good time.
Rosie: Now, that young Leonardo Decaprininy, whatever his name is?
Rosie: Yeah, he is a cutie.
Claire: He is a cutie. Apparently, he was just in Japan promoting The Titanic, and like, he was swamped by ten thousand girls.
Rosie: Well is he a nice guy?
Claire: Um, he's a good guy. He's really amazingly talented and funny and goofy and sweet.
Rosie: How old is he, do you know?
Claire: He's, um, I think...November 11th is his birthday, I think he's like, 23, or something?
Rosie: And how old are you, young Claire Danes.
Rosie: You are not!
Claire: I am.
Rosie: You are seriously?!
Claire: Yeah. [Rosie deadpans to the camera]
Rosie: You're seriously eighteen years old?
Claire: Yeah, yeah, a lot of eyeshadow.
Rosie: Have another toy then! I didn't know you were eighteen! I thought you were like 24 or something! You're eighteen?!
Claire: I'm a baby.
Rosie: How old were you in Little Women?
Claire: I was, ah, fourteen.
Rosie: Are you kidding me!?!?
Rosie: Do you have any forms of ID? No, I believe you. My So-Called Life then, you were a baby on that.
Claire: I was thirteen when I did that. Thirteen to fifteen, those years.
Rosie: My goodness. Where did you grow up?
Claire: In New York, actually.
Rosie: Really? Where'd you go to school here?
Claire: I went to lots of different schools. I went to PS3, PS11, Dalton, Lab School, PPIS....
Rosie: Really, and did you always want to be an actress?
Claire: I did. When I was like five years old I was sitting on my parents bed and I was watching, um, television, um, MTV or something, and Madonna came on and I had an epiphany, I was inspired, and I thought, "I could be Madonna!"
Claire: But, um, yeah. So I danced around...and then I realize, no no, I didn't want to be a rock star, it was all about acting. But then, but then I found out actors didn't make any money when I was like ten years old, so I thought, "Oh, maybe I'd rethink my plan," and I decided I was going to be a therapist, and I was going to live in California and I was going to work in acting workshops on the side.
Claire: And I was going to live next door to my best friend, and we were going to have an ajoining pool, and, you know, slides on eit, both of our yards, so both of us could slide together, and I was going to have kids. There were no men in this picture.
Rosie: No, no.
Claire: Apparently they didn't...they weren't a concern. But then I thought about that seriously for about a year or...
Claire: You know, and then I finally made an announcement to my parents: "Money or no money, I must be true to my art!"
Rosie: And be an actress.
Claire: And be an actress.
Rosie: Do you have siblings?
Claire: I have a brother who's 25.
Rosie: And you didn't want to share the pool with him, just your friends.
Claire: Yeah, no, my brother was back in New York.
Rosie: Cause my sister and I used to have those plans, we were going to buy ajoining houses and the whole...
Claire: Yeah, my brother was a lot older than I was, so...
Claire: ...we were....
Rosie: So, are you going to go to college, young eighteen year old?
Claire: Yeah, I'm going next year, to Yale.
Rosie: [Totally speechless as audience cheers] You're going to Yale?!
Rosie: Claire Danes!
Rosie: Eighteen and off to Yale.
Rosie: What were your SAT scores?
Rosie: Come on, Yale, don't give me this "I don't remember". You got into Yale, they were hot!
Claire: No, no, no. I'm not telling.
Rosie: You are telling.
Claire: No, I'm not telling.
Rosie: It's a live show and we'll wait!
Claire: I am not telling.
Rosie: Yes we will. We will wait, Miss Danes. [hums the "Jeopardy" theme, throws in the words: "What are Claire Danes' S A T scores...]
Claire: I'm not even making one up. No...no...
Rosie: You're not going to tell me?
Rosie: Can you get Yale on the phone, because I'm sure that they will be proud of...
Rosie: Well, you must be a smart person to get in there.
Claire: I guess. I guess, I hope so. I hope they think so. They do, apparently.
Rosie: Did you apply to other big swanky, like Harvard, or...
Claire: Yeah, yeah. I didn't get into Harvard, I got into Yale. I got into Columbia which is...
Rosie: You are such a dope! [everyone laughs] I'm only kidding. I couldn't even fill out the application for Yale. I don't even know where Yale is, but I've heard of it.
Claire: Yeah, it's cool because my Grandfather was Dean of Art and Architecture there, and so my dad grew up in New Haven, and I have lots of family there...
Rosie: [to audience] What was that reaction? Like that's a bad thing -- her Grandfather's smart too, give her some credit here...
Claire: No, it's nice, 'cause it's in the family, like, I've always thought of colleges associated with Yale.
Rosie: Let me tell you this: even if your grandfather was the...you know, whatever...if you were a dope, they wouldn't let you in.
Claire: [embarrassed] Well, thank you for telling me that...
Rosie: Well, that's the truth.
Claire: I'm so insecure.
Rosie: You are?
Claire: Well, I have to write this paper, you know, I have to tell the school what I've been doing in my time off.
Claire: And I just sit in front of the computer and I just freeze. Because all of my phobias, all of my insecurities about being an unworthy and inadequate, like are focused on this paper.
Rosie: Ok, let's do it right now. "Over the Summer..." it's a good start...
Claire: "Over the Summer..."
Rosie: "I did the Rosie O'Donnell Show."
Claire: "I did the Rosie O'Donnel Show."
Rosie: No, that's, see, that's gotta be...but you have to realize that if you weren't up to par, they would say "Sorry, kid."
Claire: Well, thank you thank you thank you.
Rosie: You know Jodie Foster went there.
Claire: I know she did.
Rosie: She's a smarty too.
Claire: Yes, yes she is.
Rosie: If they told me you were eighteen and going to Yale, I would have been so intimidated to interview you, I'm so happy they didn't tell me that! I'm not even kidding you. Do you want to hear what an idiot that I am? I went to see Amistad last night, which is a great new Steven Spielberg movie...
Rosie: I mean, it's amazing.
Claire: Okay, well I'll see it.
Rosie: It really is amazing. You should see it. And I'm watching it and there's this woman, young woman, playing Queen Isabella, and they told me Claire Danes is on tomorrow, and I'm watching, going, "Oh, Claire Danes is in this movie. Look, she's Queen Isabella!" The girl playing...you...not you...
Claire: I didn't....
Rosie: ...had like, three lines. And I thought that you were coming on this show to promote your part in Amistad in which you had three lines, and I thought, "This girl needs a better agent!"
Rosie: But you know who it was?
Claire: Who was it?
Rosie: Anna Paquin.
Claire: Anna Paquin.
Rosie: How old is Anna Paquin?
Claire: I think she's, she must be like three years younger than I am, or...
Claire: Or two years younger?
Rosie: So, I don't know, I was crazy.
Claire: I was reading...I read an interview, though, with Anna Paquin, and she said that her favorite films were Independence Day, Speed and Air Force One.
Rosie: You know what? I don't think she's going to be going to Yale.
Claire: Yeah...no, but here's this girl who was in The Piano...
Rosie: That's right.
Claire: ...you know, and these are her favorite films. I thought, hmmm.
Rosie: She's still young, there's still hope.
Rosie: Now can you stay for another segment, oh brainy smart one?
Claire: I'd love to.
Rosie: Me and the young smarty with the new movie we're going to talk about after this break; don't go away. COMMERCIAL BREAK
Rosie: Back with the young, gifted Claire Danes who is hosting SNL this week. You nervous?
Claire: Hmmm...I'm having a good time, though. We just had the read-through, which, I did not know what was expected of me at all...
Claire: ...I was just thrown into this chaotic system, but, um, people are really friendly there, and they're really bright and hilarious, I'm just laughing my way through it.
Rosie: Very kind: Molly, Will, they're very nice. And they're all sweet people.
Claire: They're really really sweet.
Rosie: And I'm going to watch, because I watch it every week.
Claire: Yes! Please do!
Rosie: You'll be funny. Have you done live theater? Because it's similar to that.
Claire: Well, like I started out doing, I was a, I started out dancing as a kid, and I did these artsie-fartsie performances on the Lower East Side...
Claire: ...and, um, so, yeah, that was my stage work. You know, being a duck in the middle of a group of...I don't know...aliens, or something. Avenue A, you know...
Rosie: Yeah, downtown.
Claire: ...it's like weird, it's weird stuff. There's times I still don't understand. But, yeah, that's...it'll be fun to do that.
Rosie: You'll have a good time. Now you have a new movie out.
Claire: I do.
Rosie: The Rainmaker, a John Grisham novel, and you play a young woman who is abused by her husband.
Claire: Um, yeah, I play an abused wife, so, I'm the damsel in distress. But the protagonist of the story falls in love with me and saves me, and...yeah.
Rosie: And he's a young lawyer, with...
Claire: He's a young, innocent...
Rosie: ...a heart of gold, although he starts out slimy.
Claire: ...chap who becomes disillusioned, you know, and he starts actually working in the legal system.
Rosie: Alright, we got a little clip, Claire Danes, 18, who can believe it, in The Rainmaker, take a look, right here.
Rosie: That would be you? And that young boy, what's his name, that young male?
Claire: Matt Damon.
Rosie: Matt Damon, what else has he been in?
Claire: Um, he was in Courage Under Fire, he was in School Ties, he's on the cover of Vanity Fair this month...
Rosie: And how old is he, 12? How old is he?
Claire: No, no, he's, he's...I think he's 27.
Rosie: Twenty-seven years old.
Rosie: Really. Well, listen, the film opens next Friday, November 21st.
Rosie: Good luck with it...
Claire: Thank you.
Rosie: And good luck to you, over at Yale...
Claire: Thank you...
Rosie: I'm very impressed with you, young eighteen year old.
Claire: Thank you.
Rosie: And you come back whenever you want.
Claire: Thank you.
Rosie: And good luck on SNL. Claire Danes, go see her movie, will you? November 21st. We'll be right back after this. [to Claire before the mic is turned off] That was good.
Originally transcribed by: Andi Wolf Dolphin
© ABC 1997