It takes two

You must have been very comfortable being cast opposite your Titanic co-star? It was invaluable to have a dear friend who you have known for over a decade,be a partner in a film like this.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Published: March 8, 2009 5:48 am

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You must have been very comfortable being cast opposite your Titanic co-star?
It was invaluable to have a dear friend who you have known for over a decade,be a partner in a film like this. To have somebody that talented to work against,and whom you intrinsically trust to give you her forthright honest opinion about what we’re both doing — all that’s something you can’t really buy. I know a lot of the intense moments in this movie were made that much easier and were pushed to even further limits because of that relationship.

Playing Frank Wheeler must have felt like a departure for you.
Yes,in almost every instance I’ve played a character who’s heroic and who defies adversity and the odds in order to fulfill some promise to himself or some other character and is gallant in that regard.

Frank’s not at all like that. He’s charming and dashing,but flawed too.
I very much loved his un-heroic qualities. I felt the sympathy shifts in this movie from character to character. You have compassion for a character one moment and what’s disconcerting is the next moment they do something detestable.

Have you read Richard Yates’ book on which the film is based?
I have read the book many times. But I received the script first and got hold of the novel afterwards. What it did was answer a lot of questions for me.

Those people who know the book love it,but it’s still not widely known.
That’s why it took so long for the film to get made. The book wasn’t a bestseller. Even towards the end of his life,Yates didn’t get the proper credit that he deserved for creating such a masterpiece.

It’s a very interior story. People express their thoughts,but they don’t always correspond to their actions.
At first glance,it’s about two people in the 1950s,people dissatisfied with life in the suburbs and the loss of their own individualism. But then you get the nuances and you discover the conflicts. This is not a nostalgic look at the ‘50s,and it’s not about people who were a product of that specific period. It’s simply about two people who weren’t destined to be together.

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