Michelle Trachtenberg Gets Wild in "Eurotrip"

Eurotrip Michelle Trachtenberg
Michelle Trachtenberg stars in "Eurotrip.". DreamWorks Pictures

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fans grew to accept Michelle Trachtenberg as Sarah Michelle Gellar's kid sister Dawn when she joined that show in its 5th season. Now with her role as the sole female 'buddy' on vacation in Europe in "Eurotrip," Michelle Trachtenberg emerges out of her 'kid sister' character and into something much more adult - and loads more sexy. Will fans accept this new more mature Michelle?

If the advance reaction to "Eurotrip" is any indication, Trachtenberg can put playing kid sisters behind her.


Have you ever been just a friend to a group of guys you’d want to hang out with?
No. When I was younger I was a big tomboy. But I have not recently been ‘the guy.’ I have always been, you know, ‘the girl.’ I think it is because I wear the Stiletto shoes and the pointy heels and the tighter jeans. I don't think guys can get into Stilettos and low riders. Or they shouldn't anyway.

Are you finding that now you’ve turned 18 you’re ready to sink your teeth into some meatier roles?
It's very interesting. When you grow up on film, people sometimes have difficulties accepting the fact that you are growing up. They always imagine you younger. But I think with “Eurotrip” and my other independent movie "Mysterious Skin"…

And it doesn’t hurt that they focus on you in your bikini, even in the trailer.

Well, I am young. I better show off what I have now (laughing).

Did you think of it as an opportunity to show that you are growing up?
Yeah, in a sense. I wrapped “Buffy” and I always felt on “Buffy” that they wanted to keep me younger for a specific reason. It seemed like I was getting younger every year that I was on the show.

I think there was a reference to me being 15, then 14. So this was the next project I chose. I wrapped "Buffy" on April 19, and I was on a plane four days later to Prague. I chose this project because it has sexier moments and it also has adult comedy. I am 18 and that is my comedy.

So were the sexier moments fun for you, but terrifying for your mother?
My mother was there every day of the production. You know what? My mother and I are so close, she really understands the fact that I am 18 and I am maturing. I guess I am not your average 18 year-old. Most people say they talk to me and I sound older. I may look younger but... The sexy moments for me, I wasn't thinking of them as sexy. I was thinking of them as more specific to my character. So it was necessary for my character’s development in the movie, so that's how I played it.

Have any X-rated magazines called you yet?
Oh, I will not be doing any FHM or crazy Maxim magazines. I will leave that to the other actresses in Hollywood who want to shed their clothes because they think that's beneficial to them. I would much rather chose a creative way - like in a movie.

How do you stay in shape?
Right now I am in ice skating training for my next movie.

I am Disney's “Ice Princess.” That's their big Christmas movie, so I am training to be a figure skater. I am in ice skating training five days a week, 3 hours a day. I have ballet class every other day for two hours. And for "Six Feet Under", last week there was a sequence where I had to do a whole choreographed dance number, so I had four hours of dance practice every day.

Tell me about filming in Europe. What are your best memories?
I love Europe. I have been to Europe before, but it was my first time in Prague. That was definitely interesting. Four months filming in a foreign country. You know, it is great because you get to learn all about different cultures. I feel so much more enriched. I appreciate so much more what we have here in America. We are very spoiled and we don't realize it.

Go there and come back here and it's like, "I love paved concrete!"

Did you have any problems dealing with the food?
The food was interesting. My background is Russian, so cheese and potatoes [are] my love. There was plenty of that. And fried cheese! Imagine a mozzarella stick but in a big square. It is really, really, really good. And really, really, really bad for you (laughing). It's like an artery on a plate. Here is your heart attack right there.

Did it freak you out that people over there recognized you from “Buffy?”
It was very complimentary, actually. I didn't realize how popular “Buffy” was overseas. It is really flattering. I found it very difficult to walk around in the Louvre. I was like, "Why are these people videotaping me?" But it was very sweet. It was very interesting meeting people from all around the world.

PAGE 2: Michelle Trachtenberg on Fame, Romance, and Future Projects

Interview with "Eurotrip" Stars - Scott Mechlowicz, Jacob Pitts, and Travis Wester
"Eurotrip" Photo Gallery
"Eurotrip" Trailer, Credits, and Movie News

"Eurotrip" is about traveling the world to find love. What's the farthest you’ve ever gone for romance?
Gosh, I don't know. I don't like to search too much. I find it is easier when romance finds you.

And has it?
Yes, romance has found it's way into my heart in the past.

So what was Valentine's Day like this year?
I have many valentines. My mom and my sister and my directors. I got calls from all of them.

And my friends. I respect what Valentine's Day stands for because it is about love. But I just feel - specifically about that holiday - why is it just one day that you have to tell the person that you love how much you love them? I think that is a little silly. I am much more the girl that likes the spontaneous. Like if I am dating someone and they just randomly surprise me one day. Like, “Here is a present.” It is great to do it on Valentine's Day, but don't just do it on that day.

So then the way to your heart would be?
The way to my heart is by being truthful and spontaneous.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
I am not that interesting! [laughing] I chose to wait to get my drivers license. Since I was working and I didn't have time, I got it like a week before my 18th birthday. Another thing...I am addicted to Nutella, the chocolate hazelnut spread? I can't live without it.

I need a daily dose of Nutella.

What are your tips on dealing with fame?
Keep your private life private. Be open to suggestions from different people. And just be nice. I have heard stories about people who are just plain rude to the press or fans. I have never understood that. I come from a place where the press makes or breaks an actor and it is more of a teamwork relationship.

What's the hardest thing you’ve had to learn for a role?
Ice skating. It is very difficult. It takes a lot of discipline and a lot of hard work. It's fun, but you are there on the ice every morning freezing and trying to do these moves and these tricks.

What is "Ice Princess" about?
It is basically a story about this girl, her name is Casey, and her secret dream has always been to be an ice skater. Her family is very studious and more centered on her getting into Harvard, so she devises a plan by using her knowledge of physics - with the three local champion ice skaters - and basically says, "I'll trade you my knowledge of physics if you let me train with your coach and your choreographer.” So she trains throughout the movie and becomes this great skater. There is a love story as well. It is a really sweet romantic comedy.

Maybe you can get Tara Lipinski to be your stunt double.
Oh, how funny. We have too much of a different body type. I am way taller than Tara. But she is a sweetheart. I have met her before. She is way talented.

You’re also going to have a guest role on “Six Feet Under?” What’s your character?
I am doing a four-episode arc. I play a pop singer and Keith - Michael St. Patrick - plays my bodyguard.

So it is a little bit different from the normal, very dark, "Six Feet Under" feel. But it is very cool.

Do you sing?
They have songs that they know how they want them to sound. There will be a little bit of both. When it will be a recording, it will actually be this huskier voice. But when we are in rehearsal, during actual filming the scene as a rehearsal, I am singing as I am dancing. And that is very difficult. Go Britney and Christina.

And you’ve also got a project called “The Mysterious Skin” in the works. What’s that about?
“The Mysterious Skin” is basically about two boys who were sexually molested when they were younger. One grows up to really embrace this and he pretty much whores himself out to the gay community. That's Gordon Levitt and he is just brilliant. And Brady Corbet plays the other boy.

He is very confused about what happened to him. He thinks he was abducted by aliens. I plays Joe's best friend. I am the only one he has ever been able to trust in his life, so I help him understand what happened to him when he was younger.

Sounds like a feel good movie.
Yeah, feel real good that it didn't happen to you!

Speaking of movies, do you know if there is going to be a “Buffy” movie? And if it happens, will you be in it?
You know, I have absolutely no idea. But right now, I am focusing on “Ice Princess.” I like to keep diversity in my roles.

Interview with "Eurotrip" Stars - Scott Mechlowicz, Jacob Pitts, and Travis Wester
"Eurotrip" Photo Gallery
"Eurotrip" Trailer, Credits, and Movie News