Murphy is an 'open book' about love life

Brittany Murphy is, well, available.

She's between beaus. Not that she's on a manhunt, mind you. But she is out there. And she's not shy about having baggage.


"I'm an open book," she chirps in that adorable, Drew Barrymore-ish voice.



"I didn't start dating until I was 20, and I don't really date. So I've had five boyfriends in my life, and one fiance," she says. "And I'm still friends with most of them. You can look it up!"

And so you can. The perky, edgy, scrawny blond with the big brown eyes has made headlines with her acting, and with her dating. There was her Just Married co-star Ashton Kutcher, rumors linking her to everyone from Fred Durst (actually, she was engaged to Durst's manager) to her 8 Mile co-star Eminem.

"It comes with the territory," she says, giggling. "All that attention is just gravy. Tabloids don't get it right, and I find them hysterically funny. I just hope, when something turns up about me in a tabloid, that the other person finds it as funny as I do."

And really, we're not prying. One of the breakout girls of Girl, Interrupted, the once-dowdy child in need of a makeover (Clueless), Murphy has a new movie, Little Black Book. And since it is about an aspiring tabloid TV producer (Murphy) who uses her job to investigate the boyfriend's exes, women she finds a veritable shrine to in the guy's Palm Pilot, his "little black book," any nosy questions are just research.

"I don't casually date," she says. "I'm one of those 'serial monogamists.' My dating years are like dog years!"

Murphy, 26, has a lot in common with the woman whose voice she channels, and whom she calls "my career role model," Barrymore. She wants to produce, and notes Barrymore's production company as the prototype for hers. But the biggest thing she has in common with the uncommon Drew is her spontaneity.

"You get the refreshing feeling that you're actually hearing what's on her mind," The Toronto Star recently noted.

Not sure how it came up, but paparazzi are on Murphy's mind. Just for a moment.


"Guys following me around with cameras, taking pictures of me shopping. That's a riot.

"I went on a vacation once, with an ex-boyfriend, and there were paparazzi taking pictures of us on the beach. It was my first vacation, ever. Two years ago.

"But we forgot a camera! So we asked the paparazzi for a disc of the shots they took, and they gave 'em to us. So if I ever want to prove that I dated that guy, or show my kids what I looked like in a bathing suit back then, I have it.

"How sad is that?"

Very sad. A starlet asking her photo-stalkers for pictures?

"OK, I only did it ONCE!"


Murphy's versatility has come into question, through the years, as she's specialized in boozy, unstable and often loose girls - especially after shedding some pounds and going blond after Clueless (1995). And people are going to call you "dizzy" when you're so perfectly daft in Uptown Girls or in her one long-term gig, as the shapely, dimwitted Texan Luann in the animated King of the Hill on TV.

In her new movie, which opened Friday, Murphy leaves behind the heroin-chic pallor and black eyeliner. The hair is a little tamer. She plays somebody a lot more like "the real me," she says.

"I love playing characters I could never be, people you wouldn't meet every day," Murphy says. "I find great joy in that, finding those extremes. ... [But] there is such a great satisfaction in knowing that in addition to those far-out characters, that I can play somebody that people can relate to and my family can recognize."

Stacy, her character in Little Black Book, is, "like me, an eternal optimist. I still believe in love at first sight, and so does she." Stacy loves to sing, as does Murphy, who has had a band. She's sung on MTV. In the movie, Stacy belts out the occasional Carly Simon song whenever she's feeling down - "Nobody Does It Better."

But where Stacy is practical, taking a "Don't buy a car without looking under the hood" view of romance, Murphy is more a fools-rush-in type.

"There are some things that should remain secret between a couple, don't you think?"


You mean, you're not a snooper? Your new guy will know all about your past? You don't want to know about his?

"Oh, I've rummaged through the occasional medicine cabinet, you know, just to check on somebody's general health," she says with a laugh. "What lotions, potions and stuff are they using? That can tell you a lot."

The Orlando Sentinel is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.