"I love it, I love it, I love it," she trills at the very mention of the title. "It's one of the most beautiful films I've ever done in my whole life — so gorgeous and romantic and beautifully written and directed by Ruba Nadda. I'm just honored to be a part of it."
Since making her mark Off-Broadway as the muse of playwright Richard Greenberg, the New Orleans-born actress has been concentrating on film and television, earning an Oscar nomination for "Pieces of April" and an Emmy Award for "Six Feet Under."
Her rep is that of a reliable character actress and television guest-star, but "Cairo Time" elevates her to her first star part.
She plays Juliette, a high-powered fashion-magazine editor, who, married to an overworked UN official, falls in love with his security officer when she is forced finally "to slow down and move on Cairo time."
"Juliette is the woman I always wanted to be — elegant, eloquent, centered," Clarkson says. "I mean, I'm 'the girl' in the movie. And I like being the girl in the movie. I might not go back to playing anything else."
Her co-stars are Alexander Siddig, Elena Anaya, Tom McCamus — and Cairo.
This is Clarkson's first venture into the Middle East — and she was able to use that for her character. "I have been using my fear of the unknown, but, once there, I found Cairo to be a beautiful city. I was fortunate to be able to marry my own traveling with Juliette's and have them come together to aid me in playing this part."
Although it won't go into release until August, "Cairo Time" is lifting off next week with a special showcasing at the Tribeca Film Festival 2010, getting its U.S. premiere April 25, at 6 PM at Borough of Manhattan Community College and a public screening April 27 at 4 PM in Clearview Cinemas Chelsea's Theatre 8.
— Harry Haun