Q and A With… Richard Gere and Diane Lane

Chatting with the Nights in Rodanthe stars about love

Nights in Rodanthe is a beautiful yet heartbreaking love story. What do you think this film teaches us about love?

Richard: I don’t know about the “teaching” aspect. But I think movies that work probably are a mirror in some way. So we can see ourselves. I think it’s about people who have been through a lot. They know themselves enough; they have a certain sense of dignity and responsibility about them.

Diane, in the film, your ex who cheated on you wants another chance. In real life, would this guy really have a chance with you?!

Diane: Ha! Well, I’d have to parlay that into the best answer I can, which is to say that it’s not unheard of to manipulate children into taking sides in a relationship with the parents. And I like the fact that the movie touched on that, because when you get the kids to take sides, that’s below the belt. That to me was worth visiting and saying that when people allow that to happen, we’re justified in saying this is an unfair fight, and I don’t want to play with somebody who’s not going to fight fair.

You have done three movies together and have wonderful chemistry! What’s that like for the two of you?!

Diane: Well, the first thought that comes to mind is that you can teach an old dog new tricks! It’s wonderful to have that comfort level of all our past conversations and experiences and not have to wear kid gloves. Oh, and you can get “there” by Take 2 instead of by Take 7.

Richard: [In our situation,] you have a built in level of respect and trust and openness to essentially be yourself. Especially in film acting. It allows for a deeper, uncensored communication.

You get to write beautiful love letters to each other. Do you think that’s a lost art form?

Diane: I’m very sentimental about anything that can arrive with a postage stamp on it. There’s something about paper, the other person’s hands and breathe and intent were upon that paper and it’s tactile… You can touch the same object the other person touched just for you.

Richard: I like that time and effort had to be committed to it. Care was taken.

How is it to do love scenes with each other?!

Diane: We laugh a lot!

Richard: Should we tell them?! It was body doubles. We weren't even there!

Diane: You know how when they do movies where they save the stunt for the end in case something bad happens. That's what they did with the love scene for us! In case one of us got hurt. “Oh, my back! Sorry!” Our director had to be in another room with the monitors because he was so nervous. He was saying “Go for it, honey. You know how to do it!”

Richard: And she does!

Contributing entertainment editor Susan L. Hornik is based in Los Angeles.
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