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Samaire Armstrong Mans Up For 'It's a Boy/Girl Thing'

24 May, 2008 By: Billy Gil

Samaire Armstrong

Looking at Samaire Armstrong, the stunning actress with the sugary voice of such TV shows as “The O.C.” and “Dirty Sexy Money,” you might not think she's the best choice to play a young man trapped in a young woman's body. And she didn't think so at first, either.

“All I heard was ‘body switching and he's a girl and you're a boy,’ Armstrong said of her first impression of the script.

But, according to Armstrong, who cites stoic male actors such as Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen as her idols, it ended up being a lot more fun than she anticipated.

“Sadly it wasn't that difficult,” Armstrong said. “I was the first and only girl in my family. My dad is a very strong man and very fit, physically. My mom is very strong but also very feminine. I was born into that duality.”

Armstrong ably plays opposite Kevin Zegers (Transamerica, Zoom) in It's a Boy/Girl Thing, due out on DVD June 17 for $26.97 from Anchor Bay Entertainment. The DVD includes a making-of featurette; an interactive “Are You More Boy or Girl?” quiz; a “History of the Aztec Statue” feature; cast bios; and interviews with Armstrong, Zegers and Elton John, who, along with his partner David Furnish, helped produce the film.

“I feel really lucky that David Furnish asked me to do it,” Armstrong said. “He took a lot of care and patience to make sure it went well.”

In the film, Armstrong plays a bookish, Yale-bound good girl who lives next door to Zegers' doltish jock. Add to that the class conflict of Armstrong's character's stuffy family versus Zegers' down-home clan — led by Sharon Osbourne as the feisty mother — and you end up with more than a fair share of mutual enmity, with practical jokes and bitch-outs aplenty a la modern classic teen comedies such as Heathers, Clueless and Mean Girls.

Of course, a curve ball comes when the two teens, on a trip to the museum, fight in front of an ancient statue that offers divine retribution in the form of switching the kids' bodies and minds. Zegers and Armstrong spend most of the movie sabotaging each other's characters — rich girl goes trashy and ruins her pristine rep, jock ditches his bimbo girlfriend and starts wearing sweaters and khakis.

“It was harder for both myself and him to transfer back because we were so used to playing our characters,” Armstrong said. “Kevin was really used to being a girl, and when he had to go back to being a boy, our director would have to say, ‘Kevin, less girly, more manly.' I really enjoyed seeing him do that because he's not that macho.”

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