She won Brad Pitt’s love in Legends of the Fall, captured Sean Connery’s heart in First Knight, and melted Harrison Ford’s icy reserve in Sabrina. The latter two flops ended Julia Ormond’s brief stint as a mid-’90s It Girl, but now the British actress, 40, is angling for a comeback in Beach Girls, Lifetime’s new five-episode series (it premiered on July 31). Playing a former beach bunny who reconnects with the one who got away, she adds Rob Lowe to her list of onscreen conquests.
Have you ever watched a Lifetime movie? [Hesitating]
Um…a little bit…but not…not hugely.
They’re famous for being melodramatic. Yet Beach Girls is more wistful, nostalgic.
I got the sense this movie was [a departure] for the network. And it was nice to do something that was modern and wasn’t as heavy. I’m not standing on the porch in a corset, waving to the boys as they go off to war. Or dying of the plague.
Do you sometimes miss your It Girl days?
I made a deliberate choice to step away and get involved in refugee issues. [Now] I feel more balanced, more able to go back to acting.
After leaving Hollywood, did you ever watch a movie and think, ”I should’ve done that!”
I have definitely had my moments of ”I would have loooved to do that.” Like Being John Malkovich.
The year Malkovich was released (1999), you did voice-over work for the animated TV movie Animal Farm.
It was such fun — and I’m glad they didn’t ask me to be a pig. It’s liberating because you say goodbye to your physical self. To be asked to play a sheepdog that rounds up pigs — you’re there in a flash going ”Yes! Where do I bark?” And you’re in your flip-flops.