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From "Us Magazine" November '98

Good God!

by Tom Conroy

It seems that Alanis Morissette has one hand in the music business and another one waving "Hi" to Hollywood. The 24-year-old singer, whose long-awaited new album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, is slated to be released Nov. 3, is also appearing in a movie -- the already controversial Dogma, starring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and directed by Kevin Smith. Given the nearly miraculous sales (28 million copies worldwide) of the pop diva's previous album, 1995's Jagged Little Pill, Morissette's role may be appropriate: Early reports on the film had her playing God.

Though Smith, who also wrote and directed Clerks and Chasing Amy, is refusing to discuss plot details, he will divulge that Morissette's role amounts to "an extended cameo" in the film, which reportedly features Affleck and Damon as less-than-angelic angels and Chris Rock as the 13th Apostle, Rufus. In one early interview, Affleck said that the film centers on a young female abortion-clinic worker (Linda Fiorentino) who is a descendant of Jesus. (Predictably, the Catholic League has been trying to have a talk with the film's distributor, Miramax, and Miramax's parent company, Disney.) At press time, Morissette was in the studio putting finishing touches on her new album with Jagged Little Pill collaborator Glen Ballard and wasn't giving interviews about the film.

Whatever Morissette's part in Dogma is, Smith, 28, says the singer has a "genius" for it and that "it's almost typecasting." Nonetheless, he had to persuade her to make the film. "I thought she had such a great presence in the video for 'Head Over Feet,' where it's just her singing into the camera," he says. "I just knew that she could act. I kept bugging her about doing something, and eventually she caved, thank God." (Pun intended?)

As for Morissette's future as an actress, Smith says, "Sooner or later, she's gonna do a pretty beefy part. I feel about her like I feel about Affleck: It doesn't matter what the part is -- they can fill it." But Morissette should be careful if she's shopping around for a vehicle. Madonna, after all, was great as a supporting actress in A League of Their Own, but when she starred in Shanghai Surprise, Who's That Girl? and Body of Evidence, audiences found her to be a jagged little pill.