Thursday, April 25

Going for ‘the older man thing’


Going for ‘the older man thing’

Actress d’Abo finds another aged cinematic love interest in
‘Good Time’

By Michael Horowitz

Daily Bruin Senior Staff

Olivia d’Abo is only 25, but her last two cinematic love
interests have been more than double her age.

Last year, she showed up as Kirk Douglas’ late in life romance
in Greedy and on Friday, audience’s will see her opposite Armin
Meuller-Stahl in Bob Balaban’s The Last Good Time. Although vastly
different pictures thematically, the "older man thing" is the topic
that seems to come up when d’Abo talks to the press.

"I think that happens all the time in your work where you do two
things in a row that happen to have a similar pattern," she
protests, saying there’s too much made of the coincidence. "I
didn’t really think about it until I was actually shooting the
film, and what two better actors could I have to have that
experience with and learn such an abundance of knowledge from?"

Hanging out with The Bruin at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly
Hills, Courtney Love’s L.A. haunt, d’Abo is pleased to promote The
Last Good Time, even with the predicted questions about her passion
for the elderly. She feels the movie addresses a wide spectrum of
issues in a thoughtful way, without the hyper-concrete motions of a
studio picture.

"It just struck me as an important story that was very simple
and yet about everything," she says. "I thought there was such a
dichotomy between the old and the new and everything gets broken
down."

d’Abo plays street-smart Charlotte, who breaks up with her
sneering boyfriend at the start of the film. Her boyfriend’s
downstairs neighbor is Joseph Kopple (Meuller-Stahl), who writes
down what he’ll wear the next day and spends his time remembering
his wife, who has passed away. Left without a home or her respect,
Charlotte ends up on Joseph’s floor, only to initiate a
relationship that spurs both to seek another "last good time."

"You’re dealing with two people who are on such opposite
extremes in life and they meet under less than ideal
circumstances," she says. "Through their relationship, they also
help each other to get out of their set regimes in life that are
possibly holding them back."

One of the things d’Abo enjoyed most about portraying Charlotte
was the character’s strong-willed self-confidence. "She doesn’t
have a real need to be liked," she says. "That’s so important in
our society that we look for acceptance in people, which I think
strays us away from our individuality."

"You meet people and they’re like ‘Please like me, please like
me!’ and they’re so worried about that, as opposed to ‘Look, I am
what I am.’"

d’Abo believes that revealing your convictions is much more
healthy than adapting to the whims of others. "If you’re happy with
yourself," she figures, "you’re automatically going to be accepted
by society, because you’ve made a choice."

One of Charlotte’s choices in the film is to make love to
Joseph, a pivotal scene that required a tremendous amount of
line-treading by the filmmakers. The love scene had to be
passionate and powerful, yet never lecherous or tasteless. The
result pleased everyone.

"Both Armin and myself think any actor, to give actors credit,
… thinks about these things," she says. "You do have to cover
yourself and ask questions. You need almost a picture by picture,
scene for scene (explanation) when you’re doing love scenes.
They’re always tricky, they’re very tricky, whether you’re dealing
with a difference in age or what have you, because it’s a very
intimate thing. And more than that, it has to be real, it has to be
believable."

Added to these pressures is the distraction of the crew, albeit
parred down for intimate scenes. "You suddenly have everybody in
the world asking if you need something because they want to
coincidentally be on the set to see somebody in the buff," she
jokes.

Yet the pressures of an ordinarily tricky love scene were
magnified on The Last Good Time to an even greater degree. "With
this thing it was like walking on eggshells a bit, because there is
such an age difference," d’Abo says. "They’re at such opposite
stages of their life. But the way that it came across, it was
beautifully shot, it was tasteful, and I wouldn’t say erotic, but
it was sensual."

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