Vision by Brantley Bardin
taken from Details magazine 99
If television is the opiate of masses, Rebecca Gayheart - star of Kevin Wiliamson's
new twentysomething angst fest Wasteland - is one addiction we can really get behind
the plight of a beautiful woman. Take Rebecca Gayheart. As nubile Noxzema girl,
she buffed her
face all the way to a Wayne's World schwing award. She died for love as a Mafia princess on Beverly
Hills 90210. She even save mankind from an alien invasion in, yep, Robin Cook's Invasion. Still, something was
missing. "I didn't give a damn what it was," Gayheart says, "But I knew I needed something outrageous so
people would stop with the whole girl-next-door, good skin thing."
That something came in the form of an ax-wielding psychopath, which she played
in 1998's slash fest
Urban Legend, and then again as an accomplice to a nasty murder in this year's Jawbreaker. You might
think, now that she's hooked up with Scream king Kevin Williamson for his new TV series, Wasteland,
that Gayheart is into something even bloodier... and more acne-oriented.
no. In this ensemble comedy-drama about six friends struggling to find themselves,
she's called upon
to play a wannabe actress turned assistant in the New York City district attorney's office. While she's not
exactly the girl next door, her skin is clear and smooth. Says Williamson, "Rebecca's the essence of Sam,
a Southern debutante who seems as if she's gotten everywhere in life on her beauty alone. Her character's
journey is going to dispel the myth at every turn."
Williamson's Dawson's Creek put cool teen sex on the TV map. In Wasteland,
he puts a group of
postcollegiate types under the microscope to examine what he calls their "second coming of age."
Gayheart, 27, counts herself among them. "Before, it was a given that you'd get married and start a family
at a certain age," she says, "but my generation avoids it. We still act like we're 20. I mean, it's a great thing
to be young at heart and all, but when do we step up to the plate?"
She's sincere, even though the implicit comparison to these slackers doesn't
seem quite apt. After all,
Gayheart's a coal-miner's daughter who left the hills of Pine Top, Ky., for New York City - alone - at age
15; she has been committed to the same man, film and video director Brett Ratner, for more than 10
years; and sweetest of all, she wishes for nothing more than to make enough money to "whisk" her
parents away from Appalachia. "When I start to complain about being tired and have a call time at five in
the morning," she confesses, " I just say to myself, Okay, girl, reality check. I mean, my father does for a
living is the hardest work in the world."
Williamson calls her "a remarkable actress who's been completely underrated
about what she's really
capable of doing." Still, Gayheart humbly claims to be a bit shell-shocked by her Holly
Golightly-in-Hollywood status: "Sometimes I wake up and think, How did I get here?" Nevertheless,
sometimes a beautiful woman just likes to be told that she's beautiful. "Not long ago I was in New York,"
she says, " and this homeless guy asked me for some money. I said sorry and kept on walking, but then
he yelled out, 'Hey, you look like Michelle Pfeiffer!' I swear I stopped in my tracks, turned around,
opened my wallet, and handed the guy a $20 bill." She adds, with a laugh, "See? All women want is a