Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Interview: Diane Lane on Paris Can Wait

After he acted with Diane Lane in her first film, 1979's A Little Romance, Laurence Olivier called the then-14-year-old “the new Grace Kelly.” The description still feels apt. Like Kelly, Lane comes off as simultaneously hot and cool, her honey-smooth voice and air of classy self-possession paired with a mischievous sense of fun and unselfconscious sexuality. But fortunately for Lane, as she discussed in our recent conversation, she came along at a much better time for women than Kelly did, a time when Hollywood and the world at large were less prone to stereotyping women.

Lane has played everything from tough to tender in a wide roles ranging from a preternaturally self-reliant teen in Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish to an inchoately frustrated young housewife in Tony Goldwyn's A Walk on the Moon to early reality television star Pat Loud, who embodied so many of the changes that rocked middle- and upper-middle-class America in the '70s, in Cinema Verite. For all their differences, her characters share a sense of integrity and a watchful intelligence that point to complicated inner lives.

Her latest feature, Paris Can Wait, is a spiritual midlife journey written and directed by Eleanor Coppola, Francis's wife, that's packaged as a will-they-or-won't-they romance. Lane's Anne, the wife of a prominent director, is happily married and living a more than comfortable life, but her creativity and engagement with the world have been channeled almost exclusively into supporting her husband and daughter—until they are reawakened on a road trip with Jacques (Arnaud Viard), a friend and colleague of her husband's.

Lane was back in her hometown of New York last week to promote Paris Can Wait, which she describes as a “middle-life check-in.” Quick to laugh, yet thoughtful in her almost free-associative answers, she seemed unguarded and comfortable in her own skin throughout our interview.

What time did you start these interviews this morning?

They came to my room at 7:30. Girl hours. Backwards in heels. [Laughs] And then they have the nerve to criticize how you look! [Laughs] You do it!

Exactly! When you quit acting in films for a while in 2008, you said you weren't coming back at all if you didn't start seeing better roles for women.

Oh sure. Eighteen months felt like a long time when I was in my 20s. Now it feels like—a couple of hours. Time does morph as it goes forward.

But do you think things getting somewhat better for women in Hollywood?

I think the culture wants to be represented. I think that's what's going on, rather than some minority being a squeaky wheel that needs grease. You see what I'm saying? We're 52 percent [of the population]. I just was a juror at the Tribeca Film Fest for the Nora Ephron award, which was fascinating. I'd never been on a jury before. It gave me a frame of reference for this film, because it would have qualified: female director, female screenwriter. That's Nora's legacy, and she set the bar high. She grossed a lot of millions of dollars! She was very successful. So, be successful. That's the punchline. Because it's show business. Its not show love, show friends, show respect, show fair. We are a capitalist contribution to the globe. Read the rest in Slant Magazine

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