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Leonardo DiCaprios latest role caps off a golden decade of performances in movies like Blood Diamond and The Departed
What was it like working with Kate Winslet again after 10 years?
It was great,better even than I expected. Because not only is Kate the best actress of her generation,shes also my dear friend. So working with her again was a pleasure on two levels.
She was the prime mover of the project.
Yes,she shepherded it for many,many years. Shed just locked her eyes on the novel and was determined to see a great movie rendition of it.
Entertainment Weekly says you were reluctant to do the movieand it took her two years to coax you aboard.
That isnt true,actually. Its something I said yes to relatively quickly. I think that (misconception) may have come from the fact that Kate had the project so early on,but it wasnt until Sam (Mendes,her director husband) got involved and all the pieces were there that it seemed real. Its not often that powerful material like this comes your way.
Had you read Yates novel before getting involved with the movie?
Id heard about it and knew it had a cult following. But Id never read it. And,wow,when I did read itafter reading the scriptI was blown away. Im such a huge fan of Yates now. I dont think theres any book Ive read that comes as close to tapping into that unconscious voice we all have in our lives of doubt.
Did you have any qualms about playing a character that many people will find unsympathetic?
In the beginning Frank is very detestable. Hes sleeping with his secretary and convincing his wife she has mental problems because he doesnt have the courage to change his own life. But toward the end of the movie hes desperately trying to salvage the relationship and not knowing what to do,and becoming more and more of a lost child. I feel great compassion for him at this point. Yates does a terrific job of jarring you as an audience or a reader so you dont really know who to solidify your faith in. And thats very human. Were not just one thing. Were complicated creatures.