Dick

Character: Arlene Lorenzo
Directed by: Andrew Fleming
Written by: Andrew Fleming, Sheryl Longin
Other cast: Kirsten Dunst, Dan Hedaya, Will Ferrell, Bruce McCulloch, Teri Garr, Ryan Reynolds
Release date: August 4, 1999
Genre: Comedy
Running time: 94 mins

After taking a wrong turn on a White House tour, teens Betsy Jobs and Arlene Lorenzo stumble across a room packed full of presidential secrets. In an effort to find out exactly what the girls know, Richard Nixon himself appoints them as official White House dog walkers. Suddenly and accidentally, the two girls are swept up in the political intrigue of the world's most famous break-in: Watergate. As the clueless duo are plunged deeper into their Washington adventure, not even all the President's men can stop Betsy and Arlene from unwittingly changing the course of history.

Arlene: We have a very important school report on turquoise jewelry due in two days, and we can’t find any books on it, and the President’s having us followed. It’s too much pressure.

Arlene: How dare those people treat us like we’re stupid teenage girls.
Betsy: We are stupid teenage girls.
Arlene: No. We’re human beings, and we’re American citizens. And four score and seven years ago our forefathers… did something.

Michelle: “[I didn’t do any research for this movie] because Arlene has no idea whatsoever what Watergate is, or who the players are, and so I think it was really important to keep that naivete about it. Or then again, maybe that’s just an excuse for being lazy.”

“They said all along that it was going to be a really difficult movie to sell. It featured teenage girls, so you think they’re going for a teenage audience, but the title of the film is ‘Dick,’ which, um, turns a lot of people off immediately,” she says, laughing. “But the subject is Watergate, which a lot of teen girls are not going to be that excited about. It was a tough sell, and I don’t know how I would have done it. I thought it was a clever, ingenious idea, and I had a lot of fun making it.”

“Arlene is kind of what I remember being, like, at 11 or so — that geeky, really trying hard, very, like, focused and determined on whatever it is, however inane the task or whatever she set her mind upon. That’s kind of what I liked about her and I liked the transition and the, you know, subtle kind of growth that she makes throughout the movie. And as far as politically speaking, I grew up in a very political household and my father was very active with the Senate and all these kind of crazy things, so I grew up with a real background in history and government.”

Notable Mentions
• Filmed on location in Washington, D.C. and Toronto, Canada.
• For her performance in this film, Michelle was nominated for a Young Artist award for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress.