10 Questions with Piper Perabo
The beautiful Piper Perabo is receiving glowing reviews for her acting in the controversial new film, Lost and Delirious. But she rose to international stardom in 2000 as "Violet 'Jersey' Sanford" in the film, Coyote Ugly, and then as "Karen Sympathy" in The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle.
The lovely Piper Perabo (Photo courtesy of Toyota Motorsports)
Born in 1977, she studied acting at Ohio University and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1998 with a BFA in acting. Just like her character in Coyote Ugly, she then moved to New York with dreams of stardom. That first happened in 1999, when she played the girlfriend of a wannabe rapper in Whiteboyz, and continues now with roles in Molly Gunn, Slap Her, She's French and Lost & Delirious.
Piper came to Long Beach, California, to race in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in a 10-lap sprint to raise money for charity. SportsHollywood caught up with Piper at the celebrity practice at Willow Springs raceway in California on March 10, and asked a few questions.
SportsHollywood: What's the fastest you've ever driven outside of a race?
PERABO: I did 110 once on an old beach road.
SportsHollywood: What kind of car do you drive every day?
PERABO: I don't have a car.
SportsHollywood: Wait, so then you stole a car and did 110?
PERABO: (Whispering) It was my dad's car.
SportsHollywood: How did you get interested in car racing?
PERABO: Actually I was interested in learning Motocross, but then a friend told me about this race. I just asked if I could do it... And they said "Okay!!!"
SportsHollywood: Which is a bigger dream-come-true: Becoming a famous actor or being able to drive over 20 mph on a street in Southern California?
She can wreck my clutch any time. (Photo courtesy of Toyota Motorsports)
PERABO: Sort of equal.
SportsHollywood: Which is scarier: Going 100 mph on a track or going 5 MPH on the 405 freeway with all the drive-by's?
PERABO: I prefer the 405. At least then I'm in an Automatic... I'm not really that good at shifting yet.
SportsHollywood: Do you plan to use a stunt man for sharp turns?
PERABO: I would really like to. I'm really bad at downshifting. The guys with the flags at each turn are all either giving me looks or turning and running.
SportsHollywood: Favorite sports movie?
PERABO: What was the movie with Paul Newman where he played baseball. The Natural. I cried when he used the little kid's bat at the end. Wait, that was Robert Redford. Okay, I'll just change my answer to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with Newman and Redford and pretend it's a sports movie. I cried when they used the little kid's bat at the end.
SportsHollywood: Favorite sport?
PERABO: I like indoor climbing a lot. There are no stick shifts!
SportsHollywood: Rate the competition here: Who are your biggest threats?
PERABO: (Looking around to see who she can tease within earshot.) Josh Brolin, of course... Dara Torres (not that good but really competitive). David Alan Grier is just a threat in general, but not so much on the race course. He's very needy since we did Rocky and Bullwinkle together. Restraining orders don't help...
SportsHollywood: Name five parts of a car engine:
Somewhere under all that clothing is Piper Perabo. (Photo courtesy of Toyota Motorsports)
SportsHollywood: You've already beaten Elisa Donovan...
PERABO: (Laughing)... Spark plugs... There's gotta be some nuts and bolts in there. Give me a bolt and two nuts. That's five.
SportsHollywood: Any advice for beginning racers?
PERABO: Yes. Learn the stick shift first. Then race...
SportsHollywood: How do you go to the bathroom in a racing suit?
PERABO: You know, here's the problem, just between you and me: The zipper goes pretty far -- but you can't unzip the whole thing in the bathroom, so you have to start early and you're flashing everyone your undergarments on the way to the bathroom.
SportsHollywood: Are you gonna need to use the restroom soon?
Interview by Dan Mahin and Jeff Hause
Piper Perabo: Actress
Films: Molly Gunn (2001), Slap Her, She's French (2001), Lost and Delirious (2001), Followers (2000), Coyote Ugly (2000), The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000), Knuckleface Jones (1999), Whiteboys (1999), and Single Spaced (1998), as "Giant Squid."
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