How Jan Brady went bad for revenge thriller 'Blue Ruin'

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“I’m not known for my gun-play,” says Brady Bunch star Eve Plumb.

No kidding. So how did the actress who played Jan Brady on the classic sitcom wind up portraying the gun-toting matriarch of a crime family in the indie revenge thriller Blue Ruin (which was released last Friday and is also available  to watch on VOD)? “Well, auditions are few and far between and I will audition for anything,” says the plain-speaking Plumb, 56. Her taped audition impressed director Jeremy Saulnier, who was unfamiliar with the actress’ small-screen work. “Jeremy shows me all these audition tapes, and he was like, ‘She’s really good,’” recalls Blue Ruin star Macon Blair, who plays a vengeance-seeking homeless man in the film and did recognize the Brady sister. “I was like, ‘She is really good. What I’m saying is you’re going to have Jan Brady with a goddamn machine gun! That’s kinda cool, right?’”

Plumb admits to having doubts about taking the role. “I did have to think a minute,” she says. “Because I’m not a big action-movie kind of person or — what is that called? — violence porn, with things blown off and all that stuff. That’s not my genre. [But] I decided that I’m going to go for it. The way it turned out was so different from what I expected. It’s much more realistic and frightening — the violence doesn’t seem gratuitous at all.” For his part, Macon Blair says acting with the sitcom icon was a surreal experience. “If the me-from-1980 knew that the me-of-2012 was going to be lying on a floor and Jan Brady was going to lean over and be like, ‘You okay down there?’ my mind would have blown,” he reveals. “It was just this surreal moment of different timelines colliding.”

Plumb can treasure her decision to take the part. Blue Ruin screened at both Cannes and Sundance and has garnered extremely positive notices, with my colleague Keith Staskiewicz comparing the film to the Coen brothers’ debut Blood Simple in the course of his review.

Is Plumb hoping her appearance in the film will lead to other badass roles? “Here’s hoping, here’s hoping,” says the actress. “It’s a lot easier to maintain the image of a hard-lookin’, gun-toting gal than someone who’s glamorous.”

You can check out the trailer for Blue Ruin below.

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